Year V: 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 24 (Domini est terra)

All:

The King of Glory and His Kingdom
A Psalm of David.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
The world and all who live upon it.
For He has founded it upon the seas,
And established it upon the waters.

Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
Or who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
Nor sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive blessing from the Lord,
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Your face. Selah

Lift up your heads, O you gates!
And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
The Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O you gates!
Lift up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
He is the King of glory.

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

Sing a new song to the Lord!
    Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!
Sing to the Lord; praise his name.
    Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.
Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.
    Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.
Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!
    He is to be feared above all gods.
The gods of other nations are mere idols,
    but the Lord made the heavens!
Honor and majesty surround him;
    strength and beauty fill his sanctuary.

O nations of the world, recognize the Lord;
    recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong.
Give to the Lord the glory he deserves!
    Bring your offering and come into his courts.
Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor.
    Let all the earth tremble before him.
Tell all the nations, “The Lord reigns!”
    The world stands firm and cannot be shaken.
    He will judge all peoples fairly.

Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice!
    Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!
Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy!
    Let the trees of the forest sing for joy
before the Lord, for he is coming!
    He is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with justice,
    and the nations 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 & Friends

  • Lord Jesus, you who put the solitary in families and in whose House the 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

Nicodemus Comes to Jesus

There was a man named Nicodemus who was one of the Pharisees and an important Jewish leader. One night Nicodemus came to Jesus and said, “Teacher, we know you are a teacher sent from God, because no one can do the miracles you do unless God is with him.”

Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot be in God’s kingdom.”

Nicodemus said, “But if a person is already old, how can he be born again? He cannot enter his mother’s womb again. So how can a person be born a second time?”

But Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born from water and the Spirit, you cannot enter God’s kingdom. Human life comes from human parents, but spiritual life comes from the Spirit. Don’t be surprised when I tell you, ‘You must all be born again.’ The wind blows where it wants to and you hear the sound of it, but you don’t know where the wind comes from or where it is going. It is the same with every person who is born from the Spirit.”

Nicodemus asked, “How can this happen?”

Jesus said, “You are an important teacher in Israel, and you don’t understand these things? I tell you the truth, we talk about what we know, and we tell about what we have seen, but you don’t accept what we tell you. I have told you about things here on earth, and you do not believe me. So you will not believe me if I tell you about things of heaven. The only one who has ever gone up to heaven is the One who came down from heaven—the Son of Man.

“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, the Son of Man must also be lifted up. So that everyone who believes can have eternal life in him.

“God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world guilty, but to save the world through him. People who believe in God’s Son are not judged guilty. Those who do not believe have already been judged guilty, because they have not believed in God’s one and only Son.

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


Pause for Reflection…

READING: THE WAY OF CHRIST (Optional)

Principle of discipleship drawn from the book, “The Way of Christ”

Reader:
The Way of Peace: The Principle of Harmony Amongst the Saints.

Admitting that at best I only see dimly and understand incompletely, I determine to live in unity with my brothers and sisters, maintaining at all times the unity of the spirit. As a follower of the Way of Peace, I will quickly forgive perceived wrongs committed against me, and not allow anger, resentment or unkind words to abide in my heart or on my lips.

All:
This is The Way of Peace: The Principle of Harmony Amongst the Saints.


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 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.

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