January 7, 2018

January 7, 2018

The Epiphany of the Lord

For Meditation and Reflection:

Carol of the Epiphany
(John Bell, The Iona Community, Scotland)

I sought him dressed in finest clothes
where money talks and status grows
but poor and wealth he never chose
it seemed he lived in poverty

I sought him in the safest place
removed from crime or cheap disgrace
but safety never knew his face
it seemed he lived in jeopardy

I sought him where the spotlights glare
where crowds collect and critics stare
but no one knew his presence there
it seemed he lived in obscurity

then in the streets we heard the word
that seemed for all the world absurd
that those who could no gifts afford
were entertaining Christ the Lord

and so distinct from all we’d planned
among the poorest of the land
we did what few might understand
we touched God in a baby’s hand

Welcome and Announcements

Opening Prayer (Latin Sacramentary, 5th-7th cent.) (Pastor):

Everlasting God, the radiance of faithful souls,
you brought the nations to your light
and kings to the brightness of your rising.
Fill the world with your glory, and show yourself to all the nations;
through him who is the true light and the bright and morning star,
Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.

Responsive Call to Worship (Traditional Monastic Liturgy)

Pastor: We wait for the word of the Lord as we wait for the rains.
People: and our God shall come down upon us like gentle dew.
Pastor: The hills and the mountains will be singing praise to God.
People: Every tree in the forest will be clapping its hands.
The Lord will come and rule for ever. Alleluia.

Opening Song

Prayer for Illumination (Pastor)

Today’s Scripture Reading Matthew 2:1-12

Sermon by The Rev. Dr. Michael Lyle – “Choose Something Like a Star”

The Offerings and Offertory Music

A Litany of Thanksgiving

Pastor: All things come from you, O God, and with gratitude we return to you what is yours. All that we are, and all that we have, is your gift to us.
People: And so, in gratitude for all your gifts, we offer ourselves, and all that we have. By your Spirit make us one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world.
All: Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Joys and Concerns

Prayers of the Pastor and the People

The Lord’s Prayer (Traditional, with “debts”)

Holy Communion

Closing Hymn: You Are Salt for the Earth, O People – 181

Prayer of Benediction: (Pastor)

Go forward in the comfort and strength of God’s blessing. Remember that you are loved, that God is ever near, and that divine mercy is your way in the world. Amen.

Sharing the Peace as we go…….And we hope you can join us for post-worship coffee and conversation in Fellowship Hall.

Rev. Lyle is happy to stay following the service to talk about questions, concerns or thoughts you may have about today’s worship.

Thoughts for the Day/Week

As we leave God’s house of prayer, we return to the world filled and prepared to be God’s hands and voice. Like Eliot’s wise man, we may keenly sense “the old dispensation . . . an alien people clutching their gods,” but we return as visitors from another shore. We have gathered in Christian community, drunk deeply of the Spirit and been blessed by the word of God. The world remains uncertain of divine love, but is always ready and welcome to hear our reports of its nearness.

Our Statement of Faith

We gather in worship as an inclusive community, an open & affirming community of faith that transcends any distinctions based on gender, sexual orientation, nationality, race, or religion.

Our formal worship flows into a living worship of love and support for one another as we pursue ways to reflect God’s reign of mercy, justice, and peace in our community and throughout the world…

along with a continuing search for ways to celebrate the goodness of life together ……and always reaching out to draw others, with total inclusiveness, into this communal experience.