Year II: Week 6 of Epiphany

Tuesday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

We are currently in the Epiphany season; the time between Christmas and Lent.  Epiphany celebrates the long awaited manifestation of Christ; no longer as a baby in a manger but as the Saviour of the World.  The Epiphany season continues right through until the beginning of Lent and the gospel readings follow Jesus’ early ministry.

Commemoration: St. Valentine:  St. Valentine is still celebrated today as the patron saint of romantic love.  Ancient sources identify him as a priest who was beheaded near Rome by the emperor Claudius II in 269 AD for helping Christian couples wed. It appears he was born in Terni in Italy.


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 95:1-7  (Venite, exultemus)

All: 

A Call to Worship

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
For the Lord is the great God,
And the great King above all gods.
In His hand are the deep places of the earth;
The heights of the hills are His also.
The sea is His, for He made it;
And His hands formed the dry land.

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand.

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 97

A Song of Praise to the Sovereign Lord

The Lord reigns;
Let the earth rejoice;
Let the multitude of isles be glad!

Clouds and darkness surround Him;
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.
A fire goes before Him,
And burns up His enemies round about.
His lightnings light the world;
The earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord,
At the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
The heavens declare His righteousness,
And all the peoples see His glory.

Let all be put to shame who serve carved images,
Who boast of idols.
Worship Him, all you gods.
Zion hears and is glad,
And the daughters of Judah rejoice
Because of Your judgments, O Lord.
For You, Lord, are most high above all the earth;
You are exalted far above all gods.

You who love the Lord, hate evil!
He preserves the souls of His saints;
He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked.
Light is sown for the righteous,
And gladness for the upright in heart.
Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous,
And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.

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

  • Almighty God, we thank you for another 24 hours of life. We smile at your love and breathe in your goodness. May your presence go with us every step of this new day.
              –  Lord, hear our prayer…
  • For open eyes to the needs in our world and open hearts to the provision of your Spirit.
              –  Lord, hear our prayer…
  • For hearts ready to distribute, ears ready to listen, mouths ready to bless and eyes able to see.
              –  Lord, hear our prayer…

 Family & Friends

  • Father of all, protect our families from all harm. Keep them from the pestilence that comes by day and the arrow that flies by night. May they be overwhelmed by your goodness…
              –  Lord, hear our prayer…
  • That our relationships may be bound together tightly in your love and that we may have humility to nurture relationships that are weak.
              –  Lord, hear our prayer…
  • For clear direction and guidance. Keep us from asking your blessing upon our agenda when our ears are closed to your agenda.
              –  Lord, hear our prayer…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, we pray for unity within your church. May all peoples come to your house and find unity and peace. May your church be a true House of the Nations and may that which was lost at Babel be restored in Zion.
              –  Lord, hear our prayer…
  • For the churches in our area, their leaders and ministers. For hearts big enough to capture your heart and for love deep enough to care for your people.
              –  Lord, hear our prayer…
  • For the work of Churches Together, that your people may no longer be divided by class, race or creed.
              –  Lord, hear our prayer…

The World

  • Creator of the earth, forgive us when we have destroyed the world you created through mindless greed, unthinking consumption and inexcusable brutality. May we be found to be competent and compassionate administrators of your creation.
              –  Lord, hear our prayer…
  • Forgive us for our cruelty against the animal kingdom, and the insane exploitation of the natural world. Teach us to live on earth as wise caretakers of your dominions.
              –  Lord, hear our prayer…
  • May we discover new and just ways of sharing the goods of the earth, struggling against exploitation, greed, or lack of concern..
              –  Lord, hear our prayer…
  • In our world of vanishing resources, teach us to live simply, love deeply and consume sustainably.
              –  Lord, hear our prayer…


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

Matthew 23:13-22

“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.

“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred?And you say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it. And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it.

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 348


Pause for Reflection…


THE APOSTLES CREED

Reader
And so we make our declaration of faith…

All:  
We believe in God the Father, Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, dead, and buried:
He descended into the grave;
The third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
And sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From there he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit;
The Holy Worldwide Church;
The Communion of Saints;
The Forgiveness of sins;
The Resurrection of the body,
And the Life everlasting.  Amen.


COLLECT

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

Set us free, O God, from the slavery of our sins,
And give us the liberty of that abundant life,
Which you have made known to us,
In your Son our Savior Jesus Christ;
Who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
One God, now and for ever. Amen.


BLESSING

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

And may Jesus Christ, God of true God, light of true light,
Illumine your hearts and keep you safe,
Until He returns to claim you as his own. 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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