January 6, 2019

January 6, 2019
Center for Faith and Giving 
worship resources, Epiphany

Epiphany                                                        January 6, 2019

Isaiah 60:1-6

Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14

Ephesians 3:1-12

Matthew 2:112

January 6 is Epiphany day, from a Greek word meaning “appearance” or “manifestation”. It’s a day we celebrate the Light of life shared with the world, as we tell the story of the Magi coming to worship the Christ child.

This follows the 12 days of Christmas.  In many congregations Christmas decorations remain up, and more light is added for Epiphany.  Paraments change to white for this day, and then to green for the “ordinary” season which lies, this year, between January 13 and March 3.

Call to Worship   
(adapted from Isaiah 60:1-6)

Arise!  Shine! For your light is come.
Many: The glory of the Lord is rising on you.
For behold; darkness shall cover the earth, 
               and thick darkness the people.
Many: But the Lord is come!  God’s glory is upon US.
Come, let us worship the Light.
Many:  For the wise among us are those who follow the Light of Life.

opening prayer  (adapted from p. 78 in Thankful Praise, CBP, St. Louis, MO, 1987)

God of the shining star, Maker of light,
   You led us to the manger and on to this new day.
   So as we worship you, fill us with your radiance, 
      and with all that shines through the life of Jesus Christ,
   that we may become signs of your Light for the world
      in what we do and say and are.    AMEN

Stewardship Moment
In Hispanic congregations, Epiphany is a time for festive celebration and sharing gifts in response to the story of the Magi bringing gifts to the house (not the stable) where Jesus and Mary were.

Image result for what gifts would wise women have brought?

Of course, there are plenty of jokes around about what gifts might have been offered if the travelers had been women 

What gifts are you bringing, to celebrate the arrival of Jesus?  On this first Sunday of a new calendar year, may we all consider ways we can offer treasures from our own lives:  time, talent and treasure.  

(consider singing “As with Gladness”, CH #173 either as it’s written, or adapted verse 3 
            “As they offered gifts most rare 
                  in that house, both plain and bare,
            so may we with holy joy, 
                 honoring that little boy,
            all our costliest treasures bring, 
                  Christ to you from whom they spring.”)

God of all life, we remember the story of the Magi 
       who traveled long distances and shared their gifts.

We are eager to share our gifts as we begin this new year,
       anticipating the journeys and opportunities of these next 12 months.
Help us use this offering to share the Good News of Jesus
       as we put it to use in the ministries to which you call us.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion  
(adapted fromRev. Elsa Peters,  https://www.liturgylink.net/2013/01/05/epiphany-

As we come to this Table, we come, asking where love might be born,
                                         seeking joy that might satisfy our thirst.
We come to a place where wise people gather,
                                          remembering Bethlehem.
Lehem meaning bread.
Bethel meaning house.

There is something here that will satisfy our hunger
     no matter how long we have wandered.

Here our hearts arise, for our Light is come.

In this bread and in this cup, we celebrate 
     because God is making a house at this table.
God satisfies our hunger in the most unlikely places…
     a back-water town where travelers lodge,
     a refugee’s safe space, after fleeing governmental anger
     a table in the center of this safe space.

So come to this table.  All are welcome.
     God comes to be with us here, 
     as God came long ago.