Epiphany Sunday – 06 Jan 2019 – Matthew 2:1-12 ~ wise men worship Him

Epiphany Sunday

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Opening Prayer

Lord God of the nations, we have seen the star of your glory rising in splendor. The radiance of your incarnate Word pierces the darkness that covers the earth and signals the dawn of peace and goodwill. Make radiant the lives of your people with that same brightness, and beckon all the nations to walk as one in your light. We ask this through Jesus Christ, your Word made flesh, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, in the splendor of eternal light, God for ever and ever. Amen.
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“We Three Kings of Orient Are” – Angel City Chorale

We Three Kings of Orient are, Bearing gifts we traverse afar,
Field and fountain, Moor and mountain, Following yonder Star.

O Star of Wonder, Star of Night,
Star with Royal Beauty bright,
Westward leading, Still proceeding,
Guide us to Thy perfect Light.

Born a King on Bethlehem plain,
Gold I bring to crown Him again,
King for ever, Ceasing never
Over us all to reign.

Glorious now behold Him arise,
King, and God, and Sacrifice;
Heav’n sings Hallelujah:
Hallelujah the earth replies.
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Gospel Reading: Matthew 2:1-12 (NLT)

Visitors from the East

Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.”

King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem. He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?”

“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote:

‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, are not least among the ruling cities of Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’”

Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared. Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!”

After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.
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Prayers of Intercession:

Almighty God: We join today with wise men and women throughout the ages who have worshiped King Jesus, born in Bethlehem in a manger. Shine your light in our darkness that we may be filled with hope in every circumstance.

We pray especially –

+ For the people of all tribes and nations, that they may hear and believe the Good News of your saving grace….
+ For believers in the Middle East, suffering persecution, that the light of Christ will lead them to safety….
+ For Orthodox believers, who celebrate Christmas on January 7th, that together we may all draw closer to you  and be one in Christ….
+ For the Jewish people, our brothers and sisters, that through the faithful study of your word, they too may recognize Yeshua Mashiach….
+ For people of all faiths and of none, that in this New Year they too may grow in peace and goodwill….
+ For our friends and relatives who have died in Christ, that may rejoice in the perfect light of your presence….

Almighty God, Ruler of all nations: help us according to our needs, and guide us on our pilgrimage to eternity. We pray, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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“Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” – Six-String Soldiers

Oh beautiful star of Bethlehem | Shining far through shadows dimmed
Giving the light for those who long have gone
Guiding the wise men on their way | Unto the place where Jesus lay
Oh beautiful star of Bethlehem shine on

Oh beautiful star (beautiful, beautiful star) of Bethlehem (star of Bethlehem)
Shine upon us until the glory dawns
Give us a lamp to light the way | Unto the land of perfect day
Oh beautiful star of Bethlehem shine on

Oh beautiful star the hope, the grace | For the redeemed the good and the blessed
Yonder in glory when the crown is won
Jesus is now the star divine | Brighter and brighter he will shine
Oh beautiful star of Bethlehem shine on

Oh beautiful star (beautiful, beautiful star) of Bethlehem (star of Bethlehem)
Shine upon us until the glory dawns
Give us a lamp to light the way | Unto the land of perfect day
Oh beautiful star of Bethlehem shine on
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Blessing

+ May God who called you from darkness into his marvelous light shower you with his blessings and strengthen you in faith, hope, and love.
+ May God whose only-begotten Son enlightened the world on this day make you also a light to your family, friends, and neighbors.
+ May God who guided the Magi with a star lead you to the perfect light of Christ when your earthly pilgrimage is done.

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!



Categories: Life in Christ

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