Liturgical Resources from The Jubilee Fund
For Sunday January 6, 2013
Year C, Epiphany Sunday
Epiphany Sunday :: White :: Isaiah 60:1-6 :: Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14 :: Ephesians 3:1-12 :: Matthew 2:1-12
Call to Worship (Responsive)
Adapted from Isaiah 60
L: Arise! Shine! For your light has come.
P: The glory of the LORD has risen upon us.
L: Nations and kings come before the Light of the World.
P: They shall bring gold and frankincense,
L: They shall proclaim the praise of the LORD.
P: We see and are radiant;
L: Let your hearts thrill and rejoice.
P: PRAISE THE LORD!
We gather in your Sanctuary, O God who gives light to the world. We gather because your light is near us, surrounds us, compels us to come together in Christ’s name. As we celebrate this day, the discovery of the Christ by the Magi, let our own Epiphany glow in each of our hearts. Teach us anew the blessing of your Son, Jesus, the Light of the World.
We recall and celebrate the coming of the wise men from the East. We recognize their gifts, and celebrate them as worthy of a newborn king. Today we have the opportunity also, to lay gifts before the King of Kings. Perhaps not gold or frankincense, but gifts nevertheless. Are they worthy? Of course they are. They represent the only gift God really desires: our willingness to recognize Christ as Lord of our lives. We will now receive the gifts you have brought to lay before the King of Kings.
Eternal God, we do indeed bring our gifts before you as did the Magi of old. We know that the value of our physical gifts pale in comparison, but hold fast to the hope they represent. Take these gifts as symbols of our love and devotion. Use them to reach new souls and allow Christ to born again and again in the lives of those you will reach. We offer them in the name of Christ our Lord. Amen.
It is interesting that the prophecy of Isaiah mentions only Gold and Frankincense. Yet we know that Matthew reports three gifts: including Myrrh. Tradition tells us that Myrrh is a gift for one who is to die, and was prophesy in itself. We also know there is plenty of other prophesy which foretold Christ’s death and resurrection. I’ll let the scholars battle that one out, but raise this question instead. Would we come to this table simply to remember Christ’s birth? Let us receive the gifts of our Lord AND Savior.
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