January 3, 2021 - Epiphany Holy Communion Service of Scripture and Carols

Welcome & Announcements: Good morning church! We will be celebrating Epiphany with Carols & Lessons. We will also be celebrating communion. Please have on hand a form of bread and communion juice.

 

For the month of January we offer ZOOM worship only at 9am.

Pastor Jenn and your church leaders invite you to ZOOM, Sunday morning, 9:00 am. 

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85441468430?pwd=aEJmcnJ3SGdkbWphMnlRV3JwQ3dXQT09

  Meeting ID: 854 4146 8430        Password: 279040

One tap mobile:  +19294362866,,85441468430#,,,,0#,,279040# US (New York)

For audio only using a landline or non-smart phone:  1 929 436 2866 US (New York)

 

Worship Service:

I invite you to prepare your hearts for worship by lighting a candle and receiving this video:

https://vimeo.com/495040599

 

Epiphany Lessons and Carols Introduction

Epiphany celebrates the appearance of God’s glory in the world through the birth of Jesus, our Emmanuel (“God with us”), and the revelation of the Savior to the Gentiles, and the whole world. It has been marked since the 3rd century with a Feast Day on the 6th of January and celebrated in both East and West in a rich variety of ways. In the Western Church, the emphasis has been on the nativity itself and the acknowledgment of Christ’s sovereignty over all through the visit of the Magi bringing their gifts of frankincense, gold and myrrh.

 

The Greek word epiphany means literally ‘sudden appearance’ and refers above all to the manifestation of God. This is the moment we see that Jesus is so much more than a good human being, a wise teacher and a moral example. In fact He is the Word become flesh. Later Jesus calls Himself ‘the light of the World.’ Thus the symbolism of light pervades this season. Christ calls us out of darkness and into light, so that we may recognize His affect on all creation. In this service, we pray that our eyes may be opened to see His glory; for all are made in the image and likeness of God.

 

Call to Worship

Arise; shine, for your light has come!
We are called out of our darkness into light.
Lift up your eyes and look around.
We rejoice in the gift of light.
Come let us worship the God of light and joy and peace. The Savior of the world.
We come to kneel at the cradle of the babe, the Light Incarnate.

 

Opening song: O Come, All Ye Faithful by Donna Farver & Linda Creasy

https://soundcloud.com/jennifer-parks-snyder/o-come-all-ye-faithful-3

 

1 O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him, born the King of angels.

 

Refrain:
O come let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.

 

2 True God of true God, Light from Light eternal, lo, He shuns not the Virgin’s womb;
Son of the Father, begotten, not created; [Refrain]

 

3 Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation, O sing, all ye citizens of heav’n above:
“Glory to God, all glory in the highest!” [Refrain]

 

Prayer:

Brothers and sisters, we are gathered to celebrate with joy the appearance of God’s glory in the world through the birth of Jesus, who is Emmanuel, God with us and to reflect upon the visit of the magi bringing homage to their King at His birth. As we rejoice in this, the Word made flesh, who called us out of darkness into light, so we pray that His love and faithfulness may be known in all the world. We pray for the unity and mission of Christ’s Church, and for all who minister the gospel of Christ, we pray for the world, that we may have reverence for the natural order and respect for every person, made in the image and likeness of God, and we pray for those who stand in need, for the lonely, the fearful, the sick and the bereaved, and for all who have no one to pray for them. May God take us and use us in His service; may God open our eyes to see His glory, and equip us to bless His people, now and at all times. Amen.

 

First Lesson Matthew 1:18-23Ellen Withrow

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When His mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name Him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.”

 

Special Music: What Child is This By Andira Dodge

https://soundcloud.com/word-rummager/what-child-is-this

 

Second Lesson Luke 2:8-20 Patsy Weir

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom He favors!” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

 

Prayer:

Almighty God, You have given us Your only-begotten Son to take our nature upon Him and to be born of a pure virgin: Grant that we, who have been born again and made Your children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by Your Holy Spirit; through Jesus Christ Your Son our Lord. Amen.

 

Song: Noel first 2 verses

https://soundcloud.com/jennifer-parks-snyder/noel-2

 

1. The first Noel the angel did say was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;

in fields where they lay keeping their sheep, on a cold winter's night that was so deep.

 

Refrain:

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, born is the King of Israel.

 

2. 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.

(Refrain)

 

Third Lesson Matthew 2:1-12 Donna Winn

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 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.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: ‘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.’” Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 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.” 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. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 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. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

 

Prayer: Pastor Jenn

Almighty God, by the leading of a star You revealed Your only-begotten Son to the peoples of the earth: In Your mercy grant that we, who know You now by faith, may at last behold Your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.[1]

 

Children’s Time: It's our children's time and I want to start with a question I ask you each and every week: Who are you? Children Respond: Special Gifts of God!

PJ: That's right, you are special gifts of God each and every day and I'm so lucky to spend time with you!

 

There is a tradition I want to share with you called: Chalking the Door. It is an Epiphany ritual that can be done at church then repeated in the congregation’s homes.  It is basically a house blessing.  Using chalk, members of the congregation or household write on the door frame the year’s date and the letters C, B, and M (the initials of the three wise men, Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, but they are also an abbreviation of the Latin blessing Christus mansionem benedicat, which means, May Christ bless this house).  The date is interrupted by the letters:  20+C+M+B+21 for this Epiphany.   Prayer is then offered asking that the door welcome many visitors during the coming year and that all who come through the doorway be blessed. 

 

Prayer/Blessing: God of doors and homes, bless this home this year and every year. Bless all who come and go through this door, both those who live here and those who visit. May all who enter through this door come in peace and bring joy. May all who come to this door find welcome and love. May the love and joy in this home overflow and spread into the community and the world. Amen.

 

Sing Along Song: We Three Kings  https://youtu.be/oPWdVgC8vPU

 

1 We three kings of Orient are; bearing gifts we traverse afar,
field and fountain, moor and mountain, following yonder star.

 

Refrain:
O star of wonder, star of light, star with royal beauty bright,
westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light.

 

2 Born a King on Bethlehem's plain, gold I bring to crown Him again,
King forever, ceasing never, over us all to reign. [Refrain]

 

3 Frankincense to offer have I; incense owns a Deity nigh;
prayer and praising, all men raising, worship Him God on high. [Refrain]

 

4 Myrrh is mine; its bitter perfume breathes a life of gathering gloom;
sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying, sealed in the stone-cold tomb. [Refrain]

 

5 Glorious now behold Him arise; King and God and sacrifice:
Heaven sings Alleluia, Alleluia the earth replies. [Refrain]

 

Sharing of Joys & Concerns:

Prayer & Lord’s Prayer:

 

Magi Prayer:

Wise and wonderful Giver, as the magi were led to You by the star, we know that You provide us with a star for our own lives, so that we are always pointed in Your direction.

            With the holy gift of Your Son, may You grant us the wisdom to discern what is right and true for our lives.

            May our fears be calmed by Your presence. May our worries be overcome by Your strength. May all the concerns we lift up to You by name or only silently in our hearts, be covered by Your amazing grace.

            And in all things, may we know Your love is constant and true as You go with us in the adventures of life each day in this new year. Blessing us with health, with happiness, with love, with peace, through Jesus Christ. And it is in His name we pray, saying…. Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.  For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen.

 

The Fourth Lesson Luke 2:21-28  Peggy Parks After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the Child; and He was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord’), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, ‘a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons.’ Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him what was customary under the law, Simeon took Him in his arms and praised God.

 

Offering Invitation for the New Year Doug Sitler

We, as your elected and appointed church leaders, worked to form a new budget that offers ministries for the church (Bible studies, Youth group, Sunday school, Worship & Music), and supports ministries in the community (Camp Victory, The Women’s Center, Bloomsburg U Campus Ministry, and the Food Bank). Together we will enhance the lives of all people with the good news of Christ.

 

Offering Prayer

God of light and promise, we bring our gifts to further Your work in a dark world. May they bring Your light to those overwhelmed by darkness, pain, and loneliness. Accept these gifts of money and time, indeed, the gift of our very selves. Let them shine for all to see, and be brought into the sphere of Your love and righteousness. Amen.

 

The Fifth Lesson John 1:1-14 Pam Szilagyi

 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and without Him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in Him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being through Him; yet the world did not know Him. He came to what was His own, and His own people did not accept Him. But to all who received Him, who believed in His name, He gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen His glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

 

Prayer of Confession & Great Thanksgiving

Prayer of Confession -

Ever-patient God, we are a people who live in thick darkness.  We stumble around bombarded by news of war and poverty, famine and genocide, injustice and oppression, that can overwhelm and paralyze us.  Help us be people of the light, shining Your light of righteousness, peace, and joy into all the dark places of our lives and world.  Unlock the mystery and glory of the babe born in Bethlehem.  Turn our aimless wanderings into a journey of purpose guided by Your star.  Let the light break into our lives and our world, and transform us into people of the light.

 

Words of Assurance

As certain as the dawn follows the night, so is the promise of God's forgiveness and love for us all.  Arise and Shine. Follow the star. Find the light of the world born in Bethlehem and be transformed from darkness into light.

In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.

(Doug) In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven. Glory to God. Amen.

 

The Great Thanksgiving

Hear the good news: The home of God is among mortals.
We are glad God is here.

Let us give God thanks and praise.
We are thankful for our lives, and praise God for blessings toward us.
We are grateful to You, O God, Creator of the new heaven and new earth, and of gifts yet to come, more than we can even imagine.
You, O God, make all things new.
You dwell among us and call us to be Your people. You dry the tears from our eyes. You take away the power of death. You bring us through mourning and crying and pain to be with You.
You, O God, make all things new.
In a surprising gesture, You came in human form to dwell among us. Through Jesus Christ, You turned the world upside down- healing our diseases, teaching us new ways of thinking, living with us into new ways of community, overcoming sin and death to rise again in newness of life. We remember His life, death and resurrection with thanksgiving.
You, O God, make all things new. 
Come now, with Your Holy Spirit, and make us anew. Release us from our old burdens of hate and sorrow. Free us from our doubts and fears. Transform us into Your people, full of love and joy, ready to do justice and dwell with you.
You, O God, make all things new.
By Your Spirit, bless these elements and use them in Your transformation of us, that Christ may indeed dwell in us and we in You, Great God, Three-in-One. Amen.

 

Receiving of the elements:

The body of Christ, born to give us light. Thanks be to God.

The blood of Christ, shed to welcome all to the Light. Thanks be to God. Amen. 

 

Prayer: Gracious God, You have made us one with all Your people in heaven and on earth. You have fed us with Scripture and the bread of life, You have renewed us for Your service. Help us who shared this good news and these communion elements, to be faithful disciples so that our living may be part of the life of Your kingdom, and our love be Your love reaching out into the life of the world; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Closing song: Joy to World by Donna Farver & Linda Creasy

 https://soundcloud.com/jennifer-parks-snyder/joy-to-the-world-4v

 

1 Joy to the world! the Lord is come; let earth receive her King;
Let ev'ry heart prepare Him room, and heav'n and nature sing,
And heav'n and nature sing, And heav'n, and heav'n and nature sing.

 

2 Joy to the earth! the Savior reigns; let all their songs employ,
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains. Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy, Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

 

3 No more let sin and sorrow grow, nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found, Far as, far as the curse is found.

 

4 He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness, and wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love, And wonders, wonders of His love.

Benediction: Jude 24 Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

 

 

 

 
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