Today is the Seventh 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.
CALL TO WORSHIP
God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.
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
For the choir director: A song. A psalm of David.
What mighty praise, O God,
belongs to you in Zion.
We will fulfill our vows to you,
for you answer our prayers.
All of us must come to you.
Though we are overwhelmed by our sins,
you forgive them all.
What joy for those you choose to bring near,
those who live in your holy courts.
What festivities await us
inside your holy Temple.
You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds,
O God our savior.
You are the hope of everyone on earth,
even those who sail on distant seas.
You formed the mountains by your power
and armed yourself with mighty strength.
You quieted the raging oceans
with their pounding waves
and silenced the shouting of the nations.
Those who live at the ends of the earth
stand in awe of your wonders.
From where the sun rises to where it sets,
you inspire shouts of joy.
You take care of the earth and water it,
making it rich and fertile.
The river of God has plenty of water;
it provides a bountiful harvest of grain,
for you have ordered it so.
You drench the plowed ground with rain,
melting the clods and leveling the ridges.
You soften the earth with showers
and bless its abundant crops.
You crown the year with a bountiful harvest;
even the hard pathways overflow with abundance.
The grasslands of the wilderness become a lush pasture,
and the hillsides blossom with joy.
The meadows are clothed with flocks of sheep,
and the valleys are carpeted with grain.
They all shout and sing for joy!
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
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)
OLD TESTAMENT READING
People with understanding want more knowledge,
but fools just want more foolishness.
Every day is hard for those who suffer,
but a happy heart is like a continual feast.
It is better to be poor and respect the Lord
than to be wealthy and have much trouble.
It is better to eat vegetables with those who love you
than to eat meat with those who hate you.
People with quick tempers cause trouble,
but those who control their tempers stop a quarrel.
A lazy person’s life is like a patch of thorns,
but an honest person’s life is like a smooth highway.
Wise children make their father happy,
but foolish children disrespect their mother.
A person without wisdom enjoys being foolish,
but someone with understanding does what is right.
Plans fail without good advice,
but they succeed with the advice of many others.
People enjoy giving good advice.
Saying the right word at the right time is so pleasing.
Wise people’s lives get better and better.
They avoid whatever would cause their death.
The Lord will tear down the proud person’s house,
but he will protect the widow’s property.
The Lord hates evil thoughts
but is pleased with kind words.
Greedy people bring trouble to their families,
but the person who can’t be paid to do wrong will live.
Good people think before they answer,
but the wicked simply pour out evil.
The Lord does not listen to the wicked,
but he hears the prayers of those who do right.
Good news makes you feel better.
Your happiness will show in your eyes.
If you listen to correction to improve your life,
you will live among the wise.
Those who refuse correction hate themselves,
but those who accept correction gain understanding.
Respect for the Lord will teach you wisdom.
If you want to be honored, you must be humble.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Pause for Reflection……
(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning. You may like to end with the following prayer…)
Holy Spirit, guide us through the rest of our day.
May we know your wisdom in our hearts,
Your strength in our bodies,
And your peace in our lives. Amen
(If these prayers are taking place before food, you may like to say the Grace here instead.)
Lord God, we thank you for your gift to us of this food;
Produce of earth, sky, many living beings, and much hard work.
May we eat with prayerfulness, gratitude and moderation;
With renewed minds and spirit-controlled appetites.
May we eat with compassion for those who hunger today,
And in such a way that reduces the suffering of all creatures;
Healing and preserving our precious planet.
Use this food to strengthen our bodies, revive our spirits,
Nurture our family and nourish our resolve;
That we may continue to serve all that lives with all our life. Amen
Psalms in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved
All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.