1062 Autumnwood Dr, Winnipeg, MB R2J 1C7  (204) 256-8792

Bulletin – January 3, 2021

Epiphany / Communion

Approach

Lighting the Christ Candle

As we light this candle this day we do so as a symbol of your light among us. So, as we light this candle, we hope to feel your glorious presence with us as we wait for your appearing. As we light this candle, we remember your wondrous grace as we exhaust our coping capacity. As we light this candle, we pray for your gift of newness that will override our weariness. As we light this candle, we remember that you are Love Incarnate in the world. Amen.

Call to Worship

One:   We gather.
All:     a community of faith in God’s subversive world.

One:   We gather to celebrate
All:     that no darkness can extinguish light.

One:   to remember
All:     that love will always be more powerful that death,

One:   and to trust that
All:     peace will always be stronger than violence.

One:   We gather,
All:     people of faith in the light of God’s world.

One:   Welcome to worship.
All:     We come to worship together in community.

Hymn – “A Light is Gleaming”

A light is gleaming,
Spreading its arms throughout the night,
Living in the light.
Come share its gladness,
God’s radiant love is burning bright,
Living in the light.

When light comes pouring into the darkest place,
It hurts our eyes to see the glow.
Sometimes a word of hope reminds us of our fears,
Our memories and tears.

A light is gleaming,…

When night is round us and every shadow grows,
A star is there to light our way.
It tells a story of Jesus who came near to say.
“God’s light will ever stay.”

A light is gleaming,…

And Jesus showed us a brighter path to walk.
He showed us things we hadn’t seen.
Now we, like Jesus, can help creation shine,
And this will be a sign.

A light is gleaming,…

So let us live in the brightness God has giv’n,
And let us rise to see the dawn.
We trust that God is here a-sparkle and ablaze,
Warming all our days.

A light is gleaming,
Spreading its arms throughout the night,
Living in the light.
Come share its gladness,
God’s radiant love is burning bright,
Living in the light.

Prayer of Approach

God of Light, God of revelation and epiphany—through the words of the prophets you have shown us the world of your dreaming and longing: a world built on justice, overflowing with plenty, and crowned with joy. And through the coming of Emmanuel – his living and loving, his words and actions—you have shown us how such a world might be fashioned.

God of Light, we confess that we have gone astray and have left your light. We follow the dim lights of the world of success and fortune. We follow the dim lights that this world offers.

Forgive us for not seeking the true Light, of your love for all the world. Forgive us for not following the ways of Jesus, who commanded us to love one another. Help us to come back to the light of your love; and, like Jesus, may we always be ready to live generously, love expansively, speak boldly and act courageously, that the Kingdom of your dreaming, with its justice, abundance and joy, may become the present reality of all the peoples of this world. Amen.

Words of Assurance

Time for All Ages

The Word

Scripture Reading:          Isaiah 60:1-6

1 Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.

2 For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you.

3 Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

4 Lift up your eyes and look around; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from far away, and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses’ arms.

5 Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice, because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you.

6 A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the LORD.

Hymn – “Arise, Your Light is Come”

Arise, your light is come!
The Spirit’s call obey,
Show forth the glory of your God,
Which shines on you today.

Arise, your light is come!
All you in sorrow born,
Bind up the broken-hearted ones
And comfort those who mourn.

Arise, your light is come!
The mountains burst in song!
Rise up like eagles on the wing;
God’s power will make us strong.

Scripture Reading:          Matthew 2:1-12

1 In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” 3 When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

6 ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.’”

7 Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8 Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” 9 When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11 On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

Hymn – “The First Nowell”

The first Nowell the angel did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay,
In fields where they lay a-keeping their sheep
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.
Nowell, Nowell, born is the King of Israel.

They looked up and saw a star,
Shining in the east, beyond them far,
And to the earth it gave great light,
And so it continued both day and night.
Nowell, Nowell, born is the King of Israel.

And by the light of that same star
Three wise men came from country far,
To seek for a king was their intent,
And to follow the star wherever it went.
Nowell, Nowell, born is the King of Israel.

This star drew nigh to the northwest;
O’er Bethlehem it took its rest,
And there it did both stop and stay,
Right over the place where Jesus lay.
Nowell, Nowell, born is the King of Israel.

Then entered in those wise men three,
Full reverently upon their knee,
And offered there in his presence
Their gold and myrrh and frankincense.
Nowell, Nowell, born is the King of Israel.

Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord,
That hath made heaven and earth of nought,
And with his blood our life hath bought.
Nowell, Nowell, born is the King of Israel.

Meditation – “To Wake Up”

Anthem – “When We Seek Him”

The Response

Communion

One:   Here at this table and in this sanctuary, let the Divine Spark enter our lives.
All:     Let the Holy Light aid us in seeing the Christ in our midst.

One:   The Brightness of the Christ will illuminate our way.
All:     The Radiance of the Christ will warm our hearts.

One:   God is shining upon you!
All:     And God’s light streams upon you!

One:   Open your hearts.
All:     We open them to the brilliance of God.

One:   Let us give thanks for the light and love of God.
All:     We praise our Creator with joy and thanksgiving.

One:   It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Almighty God, creator of heaven and earth. Before the mountains were brought forth, or you had formed the earth, from everlasting to everlasting, you alone are God. You created light out of darkness and brought forth life on the earth. You formed us in your image and breathed into us the breath of life. When we turned away, and our love failed, your love remained steadfast. You delivered us from captivity, made covenant to be our sovereign God, and spoke to us through your prophets.

          Holy are you, and blessed is your Son Jesus Christ, in whom you have revealed yourself, our light and our salvation. You sent a star to guide wise men to where the Christ was born; and in your signs and witnesses, in every age and through all the world, you have led your people from far places to his light.

          So, let us pray to God, who is made manifest in Jesus Christ. As the prophet Isaiah rang out, “Arise, shine; for your light has come”, empower your Church, O God, to ring out the Good News of the Light of your son Jesus, which pierces even the deepest darkness.

          As a star rose high into the nighttime sky to draw the nations to the Christ-child; send your blessing, O God, on this nation, and every nation, and draw the whole world to your peace and truth.

          As John the Baptist guided throngs of people to the edge of the wilderness and baptized Jesus in the River Jordan, we pray that you would guide our country and our leaders to the ways of justice and righteousness.

          Like the Magi who travelled from afar to bring gifts and celebrate the Saviour’s birth; we pray for this community, that we might bring our gifts to God.

          As Jesus climbed the mountaintop, and proclaimed blessings on the people of the world; we pray for the sick and the distressed. We especially pray for…

          As Jesus called his disciples to leave their nets and boats and follow him; we pray for those we love and who have answered your call to follow Jesus to your Heavenly Kingdom. Give them your peace. Amen.

          On the night in which he gave himself up for us, he took bread, gave thanks to you, broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said: “Take, eat; this is my body which is give for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

          When the supper was over, he took the cup, gave thanks to you, gave it to his disciples, and said: “Drink from this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant, poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

          Through the broken bread, we ourselves are broken open so that we might be open to God’s spirit made manifest among us.

          Through the poured out cup, we are inspired to pour ourselves out in generosity to the world.

          The gifts of God for the people of God! Come for all things are now ready!

Prayer After Communion

God of Light and Love, we cherish this table in this season when the nights are long and cold. Through this meal our hearts have been warmed. May the comfort in our souls sustain us through winter and nudge us to create welcoming spaces for our neighbours. With gratitude, we leave this time together energized to kindle your love in this world. Amen.

Hymn – “I am the Light of the World”

I am the light of the world!
You people come and follow me!
If you follow and love you’ll learn the mystery
Of what you were meant to do and be.

When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and the shepherds have found their way home,
The work of Christmas is begun.

I am the light of the world!
You people come and follow me!
If you follow and love you’ll learn the mystery
Of what you were meant to do and be.

To find the lost and lonely one,
To heal the broken soul with love,
To feed the hungry children with warmth and good food,
To feel the earth below, the sky above!

I am the light of the world!
You people come and follow me!
If you follow and love you’ll learn the mystery
Of what you were meant to do and be.

To free the prisoner from all chains,
To make the powerful care,
To rebuild the nations with strength of good will,
To see God’s children everywhere!

I am the light of the world!
You people come and follow me!
If you follow and love you’ll learn the mystery
Of what you were meant to do and be.

To bring hope to every task you do,
To dance at a baby’s new birth,
To make music in an old person’s heart,
And sing to the colours of the earth!

I am the light of the world!
You people come and follow me!
If you follow and love you’ll learn the mystery
Of what you were meant to do and be.

Benediction

May this holy season be for each of us a time of moving beyond what is “reasonable” and toward the star of wonder; moving beyond grasping tight to what we have to unclenching our hands and letting go, following the Light where it leads. May the transforming acceptance of Mary and Joseph, the imagination of the shepherds, and the persistence of the wise men guide us as we go into this week becoming bearers of light to all we meet.

Amen.

Response “O Light of Nations, Fill the Earth”

O Light of Nations, fill the earth;
Our faith and hope and love renew.
Come, lead the peoples to your peace,
As stars once led the way to you.

Categories: General News