January 8, 2023

Worship Resources for 
the Center for Faith and Giving

Epiphany Sunday

Jeremiah 31:7-14 

Psalm 147:12-20 

 Ephesians 1:3-14

John 1:(1-9), 10-18 

Call to Worship  

One:  Remembering the light of the star which called the magi,
Many:  we gather to give thanks to God,
One: for God will turn our mourning into joy!
Many:  God will comfort us, and give us gladness for sorrow.
One:  We can become radiant because of God’s goodness;
Many: we will rejoice and be satisfied with all God provides!

Opening Prayer  

God of eternal hope,
you place a light in every darkness and a star in every sky.
Yet sometimes we still find ourselves walking in despair,
 slogging through the slough of despond.
Somehow we forget you are always and forever with us.
Today we give you thanks for your Son, Emmanuel, 
  who is always and forever “God with us.”
We pray, once again, you will shine your light on our paths 
  and walk with us through the mountains AND the valleys of our days.

Moment for Stewardship                 

In many cultures around the world, Epiphany (January 6) is the day of receiving gifts.  Children eagerly put their shoes outside the door, along with hay and carrots for the camels, in hopes the magi will bring gifts to their home as they brought gifts to Jesus long ago.

What are the gifts you might bring, to honor the birth of Jesus?  Few of us would bring gold, frankincense or myrrh, but each of us is invited to bring our offerings as one way of giving thanks to God for the gift we’ve received in the One born to set us free.

(consider singing “We Three Kings” CH # 172, especially verses 1 and 2)

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Lord God Almighty!  You’ve made it possible for us to be adopted as your own beloved daughters and sons.  
We rejoice that we’ve been given forgiveness, 
                that we’re redeemed by Jesus’ death,
                that we are heirs and now can live marked by the Holy Spirit.
We give you thanks for all we receive from your abundance,
and offer these gifts as signs of our gratitude.
So receive this offering, help us use it completely, 
and allow us to fully claim our identity as your own.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion  

“from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” (John 1:16)

Perhaps you, like me, have experienced being completely filled up over these last weeks.

For some of us, that might be related to the amount of food we’ve consumed, sugar we’ve ingested, liquor we’ve imbibed.

For some of us, that might mean the emotion connected to this first Christmas after the death of someone we’ve loved, or after the new life we’ve welcomed by marriage or birth or adoption into our family.

For some of us, it might bring to mind the spiritual abundance we’ve experienced through the weeks of Advent, and the 12 days of Christmas.

John’s Gospel declares “the Word became flesh and live(s) among us”.  Perhaps no other place brings that to us so clearly as at this Table of grace,
for it is here we see in simple elements of bread and cup the symbols of Christ’s glory.

You are invited to share in this feast today, taking into our lives once more the touch and taste, 
the fullness of grace.