Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs
+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!
O come, let us adore him!
We praise you, O God, we acclaim you as Lord; the white-robed army of martyrs praise you.
Reading: 1 John 1:5–2:2 (NLT)
This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.
My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.
Reading: Psalm 124:2-5, 7-8 (NLT)
What if the Lord had not been on our side when people attacked us? They would have swallowed us alive in their burning anger. The waters would have engulfed us; a torrent would have overwhelmed us. Yes, the raging waters of their fury would have overwhelmed our very lives.
We escaped like a bird from a hunter’s trap. The trap is broken, and we are free! Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
Reading: Matthew 2:13-18 (NLT)
After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, and they stayed there until Herod’s death. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: “I called my Son out of Egypt.”
Herod was furious when he realized that the wise men had outwitted him. He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, based on the wise men’s report of the star’s first appearance. Herod’s brutal action fulfilled what God had spoken through the prophet Jeremiah:
“A cry was heard in Ramah—weeping and great mourning. Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted, for they are dead.”
Lord Jesus, even at your birth, you met with the hatred of men, and children were the first to suffer for your sake. We proclaim that you are at our side: we shall not fear.
+ As you were persecuted, so will be your brothers and sisters; Lord Jesus, we look to you for help.
+ You committed no sin: yet you, like us, were called to suffer. Help us to take up our cross and follow you.
+ The Holy Innocents were your silent witnesses: may we proclaim you to others by word and deed.
+ As a child you were persecuted and driven into exile; save all the children of men, in exile or under persecution.
Lord God, the Holy Innocents bore witness to you not by speaking but by dying. Grant that the faith we proclaim in words may be borne out by deeds. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
“Living In The Light “ – Vineyard UK Worship
If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holly Spirit. Amen!