Sunday, January 6, 2018


Organ PreludeVeniunt sapientes (Gregorian Proper for Epiphany)

Words of Welcome and Announcements John Strawbridge

Choral IntroitFrom the Eastern Mountains (Pitts)

From the eastern mountains pressing on they come,
Wise Men in their wisdom, to His humble home;
Stirred by deep devotion, hasting from a afar,
Ever journeying onward, guided by a star.

* Call to Worship

L: We gather wondering, ‘Where will we find the Babe born in Bethlehem?’
P: We will find the Babe in the laughter of children, in the wisdom of grandparents.
L: We gather asking, ‘where will we find the Child of Christmas?’
P: We will find the Child where the needy are gifted with hope where the oppressed are set free.
L: We gather wanting to know, ‘where will we find the Christ who has come for us?’
P: We will find our Hope where fear is overwhelmed by grace, where hatred is overwhelmed
by love, where all people are overwhelmed by joy.

* Opening HymnWhen Mary Hugged Her Newborn Son (TALLIS’ CANON, Carolyn Winfrey Gillette)

1. When Mary hugged her newborn son,
She pondered all that God had done.
Could she know all her child would be —
The life he’d bring humanity?
2. When shepherds heard the angel’s joy,
They went to find that baby boy.
Could they see there in Bethlehem
A friend to outcasts just like them?
3. When wise men came with gifts to share,
They saw young Jesus playing there.
Could they behold in one so small
God’s gift most precious of them all?
4. God, make us faithful, humble, wise
To know that Jesus changes lives.
May we be open to the way
That he would change our lives this day.

Prayer of Invocation (All)Epiphany (UMH 255)

L: O God,

L: You made of one blood all nations,

L: And, by a star in the East,

L: Revealed to all peoples him whose name is Emmanuel.

L: Enable us who know your presence with us

L: So to proclaim his unsearchable riches

L: That all may come to his light

L: And bow before the brightness of his rising,

L: Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

L: Now and for ever.

ALL: Amen.

Sharing Joys and Concerns

Pastoral Prayer

Lord’s Prayer

Children’s Moment

AnthemWise Men Saw the Light (Larson)

While the world lay sleeping, dreaming through the night,
Wise Men searched the heavens looking for the light.
One star was a diamond burning in the sky;
Dreamers missed the meaning; sleepers missed the sign.

Far from home they traveled, walking day and night,
Though their feet were weary, they pursued the light.
‘Til they found the promise, there would be no rest:
Dreamers missed the journey; sleepers missed the quest.

When the star had lingered where the infant lay,
They were filled with gladness as they knelt to pray.
When the night had ended, though the sun was bright,
Dreamers missed the miracle; sleepers missed the light.

A Reading from the Old Testament – Isaiah 60:1-6                                                 Sefi Abedoh, Liturgist

Arise, shine; for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
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.
Nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

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.
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.
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.

* HymnWe Three Kings (Vs. 1, 2 & 5)                                                                                                   UMH 254

1. We three kings of Orient are; bearing gifts we traverse afar, field and fountain, moor and mountain, following yonder star. 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. O star of wonder, star of light, star with royal beauty bright, westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light.

5. Glorious now behold him arise; King and God and sacrifice: Alleluia, Alleluia, sounds through the earth and skies. O star of wonder, star of light, star with royal beauty bright, westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light.

A Reading from the Gospel – Matthew 2:1-12

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.

Sermon – “Following the Star”                                                                                              Rev. Debbie Scott

The Offering of Gifts & Tithes

Offertory – Fit For A King (Martin)

I travel to Bethlehem’s cradle,
To kneel at the manger tonight,
But what can I bring to honor the King
That’s worthy of Jesus the Christ?

The sages gave gifts of great wonder;
They brought treasure both rich and rare.
Compared to their gold, what gifts could I hold
To give to the Savior there?

A heart full of love for His people,
A voice that is ready to sing,
A life that is willing to give its all,
These are the gifts that are fit for a King.

* Presentation of OfferingPraise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow UMH 95

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; praise him, all creatures here below;
praise him above, yet heavenly host; praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Offering Prayer (All)

As long ago travelers laid their gifts before the Christ child, we too bring our gifts with great joy. Use our gifts for justice and righteousness, that oppression and violence may cease and peace may flourish. May the light of your love shine through our living, that suffering may end, and all may rejoice in your gift of life. Amen.

Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper

Act of Covenant No. 607

L: I am no longer my own, but thine.

L: Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.

L: Put me to doing, put me to suffering.

L: Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee,

L: exalted for thee or brought low by thee.

L: Let me be full, let me be empty.

L: Let me have all things, let me have nothing.

L: I freely and heartily yield all things

L: to thy pleasure and disposal.

L: And now, O glorious and blessed God,

L: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

L: thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it.

L: And the covenant which I have made on earth,

L: let it be ratified in heaven.

ALL:     Amen.

Great Thanksgiving

People of Advent: the Lord be with you!
And also with you!
People of Christmas, lift up your hearts.
We lift our hearts overwhelmed with grace to the One who was born for us.
People of the Star, offer your songs of joy and thanksgiving to God.
We will sing our praises to the One who has revealed glory & hope in the Babe of Bethlehem.
In that first moment, you spoke, Radiant God, and the light of creation
dispelled the thick darkness of chaos.
You whispered, and your glory filled the skies.
You sang, and the dust of the earth was shaped into your image,
as you breathed life into us.
We could have lived in grace and peace with you
for as long as the sun endures,
for as long as the moon hangs in the night sky.
But we were tempted by the sweet taste of sin,
and overwhelmed with temptation’s wealth of cheap gifts and thrills.
The prophets were sent to tell of your gifts of joy and peace,
but we listened to the world’s news of success, power, achievement.
Finally, in that dark time of despair, you sent Jesus, your servant of salvation.

Therefore, we will join our voices with the wise ones, as well as the foolish,
of every time and place who forever sing of your grace:

Holy, holy, holy, God of bright dawns!
All creation renders tributes of praise to you.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who saves the lives of the needy.
Hosanna in the highest!

Holy are you, God of redemption, and blessed is Jesus Christ, our Savior.
Overwhelmed with compassion, he left the glory of heaven,
to become a prisoner of sin, so we could be set free.
Overwhelmed with hope, he entered death’s house,
to break its dark power forever.
Overwhelmed with love, he traveled another road, walking to Calvary,
so we might run with joy into your waiting arms.

So, as we remember his birth, as we prepare to journey with him this year,
we speak of that mystery called faith, which is revealed to us through Christ:

Christ came, the morning star of love;
Christ died, the night star of salvation;
Christ arose, the radiant star of resurrection;
Christ will come again, the constellation of hope.

Holy One of stars and sinners, send down your Spirit of hope
upon those gathered around this Table,
and on the gifts of the bread and the cup,
that they might make us your faithful and loving children.
Feed us with the bread of hope, that when we leave,
we will travel another road,
to defend the weak, to speak for the voiceless, to assist those cast aside.
Refresh us with the sweet nectar of grace, so we, overwhelmed with joy,
would go forth to enter the houses of the strangers in our midst;
to enter the despair of the lonely and forgotten;
to enter the hearts of everyone we meet.

And when eternity’s time begins
and we are gathered around your Table,
with friends and family we loved,
with those we ignored and mistreated,
with all our sisters and brothers of grace,
we will lift our songs of glad joy to you,
God in Community, Holy in One. Amen.
Sharing the Bread and Cup
Prayer After Receiving (All)
We have seen your star, O God, shining brightly over us and all the peoples of the earth. Teach us to trust your light. Help us take risks, that we might step out in faith into the unknown. Guide us to the place where you abide, that we may be overwhelmed with joy like the magi before us. Guide us to the stable of your love, that we may offer you the gifts of our lives. Amen.

* Closing HymnSing We Now of Christmas (Vs. 1, 3, 4 & 5)                                                        UMH 237

1. Sing we now of Christmas, Noel, sing we here! Hear our grateful praises to the babe so dear. Sing we Noel, the King is born, Noel! Sing we now of Christmas, sing we now Noel!

3. In Bethlehem they found him; Joseph and Mary mild, seated by the manger, watching the holy child. Sing we Noel, the King is born, Noel! Sing we now of Christmas, sing we now Noel!

4. From the eastern country came the kings afar, bearing gifts to Bethlehem, guided by a star. Sing we Noel, the King is born, Noel! Sing we now of Christmas, sing we now Noel!

5. Gold and myrrh they took there, gifts of greatest price; there was never a stable so like paradise. Sing we Noel, the King is born, Noel! Sing we now of Christmas, sing we now Noel!

* Benediction

L: Arise, shine, for your light has come.
Take that light into the world and spread it around.
P: We see more now than when we came together.
We are ready to hear the world’s cries and feel its pain.
L: Your hearts will thrill and rejoice in your Savior.
Give yourselves as servants of the Gospel.
P: Christ has numbered us among the saints.
We are part of God’s eternal purpose.
L: You are commissioned and empowered to serve.
Look for the star that will lead you day by day.
P: In boldness and confidence, we make our witness.
In the strength God supplies, we become helpers of the needy. Amen.

* Choral ResponseAs With Gladness Men Of Old (Kocher)

As with gladness men of old
Did the guiding star behold;
As with joy they hailed its light,
Leading onward, beaming bright;
So, most gracious Lord, may we
Evermore be led to Thee.

* Ringing of the Bicentennial Bell

* Organ PostludeStella Duxit (Medieval Scottish melody, arr. MacFarlane)

Categories Uncategorized | Tags: | Posted on January 4, 2019

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