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The Epiphany Of Our Lord

Worship
Lectionary Worship Workbook
Series IV, Cycle B
Call To Worship
This Call To Worship is based on Eugene Petersen's translation of Isaiah 60:1-3 in The Message.

Leader: Get out of bed, Jerusalem! Wake up, put your face in the sunlight!
God's bright glory has risen for you!
People: The whole earth is wrapped in darkness. All people sunk in deep darkness.
Leader: But God rises on you, O people of God.
People: His sunrise glory breaks over you.
Leader: Nations will come to your light;
People: Kings to your sunburst brightness.
Leader: Let us bow down before the one whose light fills the earth.
People: Amen!

This prayer is loosely based on the arrival of the Magi in Bethlehem and their worship of the newborn king. This Call To Worship and the following Prayer Of Confession and Assurance Of Pardon are all related.

Leader: Gifts for the newborn King.
People: O God, endow the King with your justice,
Leader: The royal Son with your righteousness.
People: All kings of the earth will bow down to him,
Leader: And all nations will serve him.
People: Noblemen pay tribute,
Leader: With gifts of gold and incense and myrrh.
People: Humble hearts seek him,
Leader: And lay down their treasures before him.
People: King Jesus, you alone are worthy.
Leader: Let us bow down and worship the King.


Prayer Of Confession
Leader: King of righteousness,
People: We tend toward comfort and conformity in the world,
Leader: Rather than taking our place in ways that are right.
People: We act as if the line between right and wrong
Leader: Is insignificant to you.
People: We do not let your righteousness rule in us.
Leader: Ruler of justice,
People: Who sees those who are oppressed
Leader: And hears the cries of the afflicted;
People: We live sheltered and self-centered lives,
Leader: Not seeing or hearing or caring or acting as you do
People: On behalf of those who are hurting or dying.
Leader: Our sense of justice is dulled.
People: We are slow to respond to the call of justice.
Leader: King of righteousness, ruler of justice,
People: Forgive us, change us, reign in us,
Leader: So that our lives will bear evidence to your presence in us
People: To those who need to know you. Amen.


Assurance Of Pardon
Leader: How great is our God!
People: Ever faithful to his promises!
Leader: He will deliver the needy who cry out,
People: The afflicted who have no one to help.
Leader: He will rescue them,
People: He will rescue me,
Leader: For our lives are precious to him.
People: God is our help and salvation.


Prayer For Illumination
Week in and week out we enter into the sanctuary of God, and yet, we do it without pause or attention to the awesome nature of the one into whose presence we come. As we open now the pages of this book, may we be aware of the humbling presence of the one the Magi met long ago. Amen.


Benediction
Ephesians 3:10
God's intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms. As we leave this place, let us go forth intent on being revealers of God's wisdom in all we do. Amen.


Hymns

Adoration

As With Gladness Men Of Old

Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light

Fairest Lord Jesus

Go Tell It On The Mountain

If Jesus Goes With Me

O Sing A Song Of Bethlehem

One Small Child

We Three Kings


Contemporary Choruses
Here I Am, Lord (Appears as a hymn in some new hymnals)
UPCOMING WEEKS
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Easter 6
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110+ – Illustrations / Stories
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Psalm 98

Let the floods clap their hands;
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In the mid-1960s, a popular song declared, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It's the only thing that there's just too little of.”1 It was an era of both national and international unrest. And the American landscape was reeling from the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement, and opposition to both. Amidst headlines so marked by unrest and division, therefore, the sentiment of the song struck a chord with an American audience. 
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Prejudice is always wrong. Nat King Cole is a well-known artist who was the first African American to host his own national television program. In 1948, he purchased a beautiful home in an exclusive Los Angeles neighborhood. When the local neighborhood association confronted him and informed him it didn’t want any undesirables to move in, Cole responded, “Neither do I. If I see any coming in here, I’ll be the first to complain.” He lived in that house until his death in 1965.

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John Jamison
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (vv. 9-12)

Hi, everyone! (Let them respond.)

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
Call to Worship:

Jesus gave up his life for us. In our worship today let us explore how to love one another as he has loved us.


Invitation to Confession:

Jesus, sometimes our love for each other is thin and pale.
Lord, have mercy.

Jesus, sometimes we pretend to love but fail to care.
Christ, have mercy.

Jesus, sometimes we don't know how to love.
Lord, have mercy.

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One evening, when I was 26 years old, beleagered by guilt for acknowledged sins, I was deep into an hour-long prayer of repentance. In despair, I grieved that I had broken the commandments and that I was not worthy of God's love.

Near me lay the Bible, unused and unfamiliar. I had never, ever read from the Bible. Yet my hands reached out and took the Bible to open it. I knew not where, nor why. But my hands knew the way. They opened to John 15:9-11 and as my eyes began to read, my mind knew the meaning with clarity. My eyes read verse 10 first:
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Theme of the Day
God's love brings us together.

Collect of the Day
It is noted that God has prepared great joy for those who love Him. Petitions are then offered that such love may be poured into the hearts of the faithful so that they may obtain these promises. Justification as a reward for our deeds (love) is communicated by this prayer.

Psalm of the Day
Psalm 98
Stan Purdum
(See Christmas Day, Cycles A and B, for alternative approaches.)

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Once upon a time a great and powerful king ruled over a vast territory. There was something very strange about this kingdom, however -- everything was the same. The people ate the same food, drank the same drink, wore the same clothes, and lived in the same type of homes. The people even did all the same work. There was another oddity about this place. Everything was gray -- the food, the drink, the clothes, the houses; there were no other colors.

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