Lectionary: Day of Epiphany Year A, B or C

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Readings for Epiphany (6 January)
Isaiah 60:1-6 Arise, shine, for your light has come
Psalm 72:1-7,10-14 Give the king your justice, O God
Ephesians 3:1-12 the gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body
Matthew 2:1-12 The visit of the wise men

Suggested Hymns (From Denis Towner. TIS = Together in Song; AHB = Australian Hymn Book; SA = Sing Alleluia)

lesson Hymns for the Day of the Epiphany, Yrs.A,B,C TIS AHB SA
Angel voices, ever singing 386
G Angels from the realms of glory 309 235
G As with gladness men of old 314 239
O Be thou my vision 547 455
O Beauty for brokenness 690
G Brightest and best of the stars of the morning 310 234
Christ is the world's light, he and none other 246 191
Christ is the world's true light 238 179
Christ whose glory fills the skies 212 140
Come thou long-expected Jesus 272 200
O Come to be our hope, Lord Jesus 688
Come your hearts and voices raising 297
G Earth has many a noble city 291 216
G Funny kind of day, funny kind of night 329
God himself is present 121 47
G God your glory we have seen in your Son 461 395
Ps Hail to the Lord's anointed 275 203
O Hark the glad sound! the Saviour comes 269 197
How brightly beams the Morning Star [199] 220
E In Christ there is no east or west 459 391
Jesus good above all other 177
Ps Jesus shall reign where'er the sun 207 136
Joy to the world! the Lord is come 268 224
Laudate Dominum (Praise the Lord all you nations) 73 57
Let all mortal flesh keep silence 497 418
Let earth and heaven combine 305 229
G Long ago, prophets knew 283 61
Lord bid your servant go in peace 324 248
Lord God you now have set your servant free 733
Lord Jesus Christ lover of all 737
Lord Jesus if the same you are 566 [472]
Lord Jesus our bright Morning Star 199 [220]
O Lord the light of your love is shining 675
Lord we are blind, the world of sight 633 563
Lord your almighty Word 447 61
Love came down at Christmas 317 243
E Make me a captive, Lord 604 528
Now to the Lord a noble song 113 33
O bless the God of Israel 284
O Laughing Light, O first-born of creation 255
Praise O servants of the Lord 70
E Praise our God, the great Creator 165 110
Pull back the veil on the dawn of creation 326
Saviour of the nations, come 295
O Sing of the Lord's goodness 183
G The first nowell the angel did say 301 221
O The people that in darkness walked 274 202
The Virgin Mary had a baby boy 307 232
G To us a child of royal birth 308 230
We limit not the truth of God 453 335
When Christ was lifted from the earth 248 93
G When God almighty came to be one of us 281 214
Ps When morning gilds the skies 227 151
G Who is the baby an hour or two old 325
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness 454 382

Other Possible Hymns

(Numbers refer to The Australian Hymn Book and Sing Alleluia.)
3 (TIS 100) All creatures of our God and King vv 1-3,6-7
84 (TIS 142) Glory be to God the Father
125 O Jesus king most wonderful
465 (TIS 560) All my hope on God is founded

SA 28 (TIS 16) I have call you by your name
SA 81 `The kingdom is upon you'
SA 86 (TIS 282) The voice of God goes out to all the world

Sermon summary (click here for complete sermon)

Many nations, one light

Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. .... Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. ....(Isaiah 60:1,3).

The Day of Epiphany, traditionally celebrated on the Sixth of January, happens this year (2002) to fall on a Sunday, and we take the opportunity to give thanks to God for its theme which is the showing of Christ to the whole world. The story of the wise men from a foreign land is a sign of this purpose of God in Christ.

It helps in trying to understand how we are to present the universally inclusive claims of Christ to different people, if we see first how the ancient people of God understood the revelation they had received as a blessing for all nations. Some Bible study will repay the effort.

Wider expectations were contained within the Old Covenant

A word of hope Isaiah 60:1-6 Arise, shine; for your light has come, ... 3 Nations shall come to your light; Isaiah 56:6-7 ... my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. Where else is that said? [Mark 11:17] ref. Isaiah 66:18-20. See also Solomon's prayer at temple dedication, 2 Chronicles 6:32-33; and Isaiah 2:2-5; Jeremiah 16:19-21; Zechariah 8:20-23.

The gate into the kingdom is narrow, but ... there will be surprises:

Luke 13:29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. ...from Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, to the ends of the earth, Acts 1:8. cf Luke 24:37; Matt 28:19-20; Ephesians 3:2-6 the Gentiles have become fellow heirs; Romans 16:25 the mystery that was kept secret for long ages [1 Corinthians 2:7]; revealed to his holy apostles and prophets -- Mark 4:11 And he said to them, "To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God". Ephesians 6:19 Paul: Pray also for me; 1 Corinthians 4:1: stewards of the Gospel. 1 Corinthians 12:13 Galatians 3:28 ..neither Jew or Greek

It is more than a matter of mere tolerance

Inclusion in the one fellowship of all nations, etc. is more than a moral imperative: it is the very heart of the matter...God's secret purpose .. that the universe, everything in heaven and on earth, might be brought into a unity in Christ [Ephes 1:9-10]. We are called to more than merely tolerating differences. We see the positive value of contributions that peoples from many different backgrounds can make in immigrant societies. Similarly in the church, we have been blessed with the discovery of the ways that diverse gifts can be used. There are some dangers: cultural relativism and unjustified claims in secular ideology.

Love is greater than knowledge [1 Corinthians 13:2]

What difference does it make to know the mystery? -- Sharing the secret in love.

Order of service - Day of Epiphany (Christmas 2) Year A | DB Home | RCL Resources Index |

The Gathering of the People of God

Ascribe to the LORD the glory of his name;
worship the LORD in holy splendor. Psalms 29:2
May the LORD give strength to his people!
May the LORD bless his people with peace! Psalms 29:11

HYMN All creatures of our God and King vv 1-3,6-7 TIS 100 AHB 3

Merciful God, our Maker and our Judge,
We have sinned against you in thought, word and deed:
We have not loved you with our whole heart,
We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves;
We repent, and are sorry for all our sins.
Father, forgive us.
Strengthen us to love and obey you in newness of life;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

If anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2:1-2
Hear then Christ's word of grace to us:
Your sins are forgiven.
Thanks be to God.

DOXOLOGY: Glory be to God the Father TIS 142 AHB 84


Service of the Word

INTRODUCTION OF THEME: [A word to the children]
OLD TESTAMENT Isaiah 60:1-6 Arise, shine, for your light has come
PSALM 72:1-7,10-14 Give the king your justice, O God
EPISTLE Ephesians. 3:1-12 gentiles become fellow heirs, members of the same body
GOSPEL Matthew 2:1-12 The visit of the wise men

HYMN As with gladness men of old TIS 314 AHB 239


HYMN In Christ there is no east or west TIS 459 AHB 391

SHARING TIME [Notices, celebrations and requests for intercessions]
In peace, we pray to you, Lord God.
For all people in their daily life and work;
for our families, friends and neighbours, and for those who are alone.
For this community, our country, and the world;
for all who work for justice, freedom and peace.
For the just and proper use of your creation;
for the victims of hunger, fear, injustice and oppression.
For all who are in danger, sorrow, or any kind of trouble;
for those who minister to the sick, the friendless and the needy.
For the peace and unity of the Church of God;
for all who proclaim the gospel, and for all seek the truth.
For the Uniting Church in Australia,
for James, president of the Assembly,
for .... our moderator and for .... our chairperson of presbytery,
for elders and members of the church council,
and for all who hold office in this congregation;
for all who serve God in the church.
For our own needs, and for others for whom you have called us to pray.
[Silence. The people may offer their own petition, either silently or aloud.]
Hear us, Lord; for your mercy is great.
We thank you, Lord, for all the blessings of life.
[Silence. The people may offer their own thanksgivings, either silently or aloud.]
We exalt you, O God our king; and praise your name for ever and ever.
We give thanks for all those who have died in the peace of Christ, and for the promise of your eternal kingdom. [Silence]
In Christ you have called us to eternal glory;
to you be praise for ever and ever. Amen.

Almighty God, your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ is the light of the world. May your people, illumined by your word and sacraments, shine with the radiance of his glory, that he may be known, worshipped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper

The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
Thanks and praise ..... in the eternal hymn: [SA 100c and 100d]
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.
We thank you ....

THE LORD'S PRAYER [Front of hymn book]
THE LAMB OF GOD [Sing Alleluia 100e]

The Sending Forth of the People of God

HYMN At the name of Jesus TIS 231 AHB 170
DISMISSAL Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:
In the name of Christ. Amen.

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