Year II: 12 Days of Christmas

New Year’s Day: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

Happy New Year Everyone!  And for those who may be joining us today as part of your New Year’s resolution – welcome!

Today is also the Eighth Day of Christmas, the traditional twelve day festival that begins on Christmas Day and runs until January 5th.  During this time we concentrate our readings on Jesus’ early life.   This leads us to January 6th, which is the Feast of the Epiphany, where we celebrate Christ’s revelation to the world as Messiah, predominantly in the events leading up to and immediately after his baptism.

As with all of the most important days in the Christian calendar, today the Apostles Creed is replaced by the rather longer Nicene Creed.  In the midst of the festivities, keep the Rhythm and the Rhythm will keep you…


CALL TO WORSHIP

Reader:
Lord, Open my lips.
All: 
And my mouth will give you praise.

Reader:
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  
All:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen


INVITATORY PSALM:  

Psalm 100 (Domini est terra)

All: 

A Song of Praise for the Lord’s Faithfulness to His People

A Psalm of Thanksgiving.

Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.

All:  
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen


MORNING PSALM

Psalm 96

A Song of Praise to God Coming in Judgment

Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!
Sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, bless His name;
Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.
Declare His glory among the nations,
His wonders among all peoples.

For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised;
He is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
But the Lord made the heavens.
Honor and majesty are before Him;
Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.

Give to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
Give to the Lord glory and strength.
Give to the Lord the glory due His name;
Bring an offering, and come into His courts.
Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!
Tremble before Him, all the earth.

Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns;
The world also is firmly established,
It shall not be moved;
He shall judge the peoples righteously.”

Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
Let the sea roar, and all its fullness;
Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it.
Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the Lord.
For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth.
He shall judge the world with righteousness,
And the peoples with His truth.

All:  
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen


WORSHIP

All:  
(A time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous.  Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)


PRAYER & INTERCESSION

Reader:
Let us pray for the day and its tasks, for the church and her life, and for the world and its needs.

(You may use these prayers as written or use them as ‘prayer pointers’ for your own spontaneous petitions.

Personal Requests
  • Lord God, thank you for keeping us safe through another year and waking us at the beginning of this new year of hope and opportunity. We pray for vision to do what you would have us do, for courage to live how would have us live and for willingness to let go what you would have us leave behind…
              –  As we set our face towards the rising sun.
  • We declare that the past is forgiven, the present is provided for and the future is assured…
              –  As we set our face towards the rising sun.
  • We declare that our life is hidden with Christ in God and nothing can pluck us out of his hands. All that God has prepared for us shall come to pass…
              –  As we set our face towards the rising sun.
Family and Friends
  • Lord Jesus, you who put the solitary in families and in whose Housethe sparrow may find a home, guard and protect our families and loved ones this coming year. May they see every need met, every problem solved and every trial overcome.
              –  As we set our face towards the rising sun.
  • We declare that as for our house, we shall serve the Lord. May our homes be filled with joy and our streets be filled with dancing…
             –  As we set our face towards the rising sun.
  • We declare that goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our life. May our families experience the overflowing presence of God this coming year…
              –  As we set our face towards the rising sun.
The Church
  • Lord of the Church and High King of Heaven, come and tabernacle amongst us. May this coming year be a year like no other. May your church go from strength to strength and from glory to glory…
              –  As we set our face towards the rising sun.
  • We declare that every budget shall be met, every ministry financed, every need supplied and every bill paid this coming year…
              –  As we set our face towards the rising sun.
  • We declare increase in your church. Add to those who are being reached, sanctify those who are being saved and refresh those who are serving…
              –  As we set our face towards the rising sun.
  • We declare that this year the backslider shall be restored. Bring home those who wander and restore those who stray…
             –  As we set our face towards the rising sun.
The World
  • Mighty God, in this New Year we pray for the evangelisation of our world. Let the task be completed in our lifetime and the mission accomplished soon. Give us power to reach our city and compassion to love its people…
              –  As we set our face towards the rising sun.
  • We declare that in our city and on our watch, no person sleeps rough without an offer of shelter…
    –  As we set our face towards the rising sun.
  • We declare that in our city and on our watch, no person goes hungry without an offer of food…
    –  As we set our face towards the rising sun.
  • We declare that in our city and on our watch, no person goes to hell without an offer of the gospel…
    –  As we set our face towards the rising sun.
  • We declare that in our city and on our watch, no person struggles alone without the offer of community…
    –  As we set our face towards the rising sun.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Reader: 
And so we pray…

All:   
Our Father in heaven,
Holy is Your Name.
Your Kingdom come.
Your 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.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
Forever and ever.  Amen.


GOSPEL READING

John 3:1-18

You Must Be Born Again

Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

For God So Loved the World

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

Reader:      
The Word of the Lord.
All:  
Thanks be to God.


Pause for Reflection…


READING FROM THE CHURCH
 FATHERS (Optional)

Lesson from the Church Fathers – ‘Awakening Faith’ Day 339


Pause for Reflection…


THE NICENE CREED

Reader
And so we make our declaration of faith…

All:  

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth,
Of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
The only Son of God,
Eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
True God from true God,
Begotten, not created,
Of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation,
He came down from heaven:
By the power of the Holy Spirit,
He became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
And was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
He suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again,
In accordance with the Scriptures;
He ascended into heaven,
And is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
And his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
Who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
And the life of the world to come.  Amen.


COLLECT

Reader:
(Either this or an alternative closing prayer may be said.)

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek,
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
In Jesus Name.  Amen


BLESSING

Reader:
(When praying in community, this or a similar blessing may be used)

And may the road that passes through this New Year open before you in peace,
May your spirits be lifted to the things above,
And your hearts content with your portion below.  Amen


Psalms taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.  Other Scripture taken from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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