The Season after the Epiphany highlights the Magi’s journey to discover Yeshua, the Messiah. Truly, Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah-King proclaimed by the prophets as the star who would rise and come out of Jacob to be the glory of God’s people Israel and the light of the Gentiles. He is the Root and Descendant of David, the Bright Morning Star of beauty bright who will drive out the world’s darkness and oppression, and rule as King over God’s global kingdom.
Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Eternal God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for the gift of the star that led the Magi across plains, mountains, and terrain to the very place where the Bright Morning Star, the child Jesus, was with his mother. Their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh mirror the actual gifts of our lives to him – grant us the strength to seek, discover, and offer ourselves afresh to him who has conquered the darkness with his light. In his name we pray, amen.
Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, amen.
Te Deum Laudamus
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, amen.
Chronological Reading for the Day
An annual reading through the Bible in the order in which the events took place
Sunday: Lev. 27; Num. 1
Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).
Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.
Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.
Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)
Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Grant us the power and strength, O Bright and Morning Star, to shine your light before our family, friends, and neighbors, that they may through our works see your light, and along with us, be delivered from the power of the evil one. For your sake, we pray, amen.
Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
A star shall come out of Jacob and a scepter shall rise out of Israel, to bring light and salvation to the nations.
“The New Testament begins with the assurance that all history has been moving towards Jesus Christ as its goal and that he is the final and definitive manifestation of God’s presence with his people. Matthew’s genealogy and narrative of the conception and naming of Jesus are introduced with the words ‘a record of the origin of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham’. The genealogy points to the rise and fall of the house of David in the history of Israel and implies the re-establishment of Davidic rule in the person of Jesus. As the son of David, he is the promised messianic ruler, who will rescue and restore Israel (e.g. Is. 11:1–11; Je. 23:5–6). Specifically, he comes to deliver his people ‘from their sins’ (Mt. 1:21). As the son or offspring of Abraham he is the one through whom God’s promise of universal blessing for the nations will be effected (e.g. Gn. 12:3; 17:7; 22:18; cf. Mt. 28:16–20).”
~ David G. Peterson, Engaging with God: A Biblical Theology of Worship. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1992. pp. 81-82.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
Behold the Lamb of God, John 1.29-42
Peterson, Engaging with God
Our Corporate Disciplines
Book Discussion: Tuesday, January 24, 2023