Year V: Week 1 of Epiphany

Epiphany Sunday: Morning Prayer

ABOUT TODAY

Feast: The Baptism of Christ: We are currently in the Epiphany season; and today we celebrate the Baptism of Christ (sometimes known as Epiphany Sunday). Epiphany is the time between Christmas and Lent and 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.

Due to the ground being frozen solid in much of northern Europe, the Twelve Days immediately after Christmas formed an extended holiday in rural areas. This was followed by a few days of preparation before Plough Monday, (the day after Epiphany Sunday) when ploughing would once again recommence.


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 (Jubilate Deo)

All:

Make a joyful noise 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 1

Oh, the joys of those who do not
    follow the advice of the wicked,
    or stand around with sinners,
    or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord,
    meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
    bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
    and they prosper in all they do.

But not the wicked!
    They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.
They will be condemned at the time of judgment.
    Sinners will have no place among the godly.
For the Lord watches over the path of the godly,
    but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.

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 at this Epiphany season that you didn’t remain a baby but grew to be declared as the Lamb of God at your baptism and the Saviour of the World by your death. Reveal yourself fully in us.
             – As we turn our face to the rising sun…
  • May that which we bring to your House today be pure and fervent and full of love to both God and man.
             – As we turn our face to the rising sun…
  • May our humanity be transformed by your Divinity and our weakness by your almighty power.
    – As we turn our face to the rising sun…

Family & Friends

  • Father of all, presence yourself with our families today. Make us effective witnesses to those we love and may the revelation of God bring transformation in our relationships. Let us always be bold to share your life.
             – As we turn our face to the rising sun…
  • For those who once followed but have turned their back on you, may they be restored to their first love.
             – As we turn our face to the rising sun…
  • May the peace of God rest upon our homes and your love nourish our lives.
             – As we turn our face to the rising sun…

The Church

  • Reveal yourself today in all your power, O God! Bare your holy arm and show your glory in your church! Let all nations be drawn to your light.
             – As we turn our face to the rising sun…
  • May you be pleased with our worship and may our gifts of time, resource and concentration be acceptable in your sight.
             – As we turn our face to the rising sun…
  • May visitors know your presence and be aware of your power. May your Word penetrate deep into their hearts today.
             – As we turn our face to the rising sun…

The World

  • Disclose yourself to the world this Epiphany season, O God! You came to the nobodies to make them somebodies! May all those who struggle to find hope in the desert of their lives hear clearly the life-giving message.
             – As we turn our face to the rising sun…
  • Let missionary endeavour multiply and your Kingdom be revealed upon the earth.
             – As we turn our face to the rising sun…
  • Let this gospel be preached from pole to pole and from shore to shore.
             – As we turn our face to 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

Matthew 4:12-25

Jesus Begins Work in Galilee

When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he went back to Galilee. He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum, a town near Lake Galilee, in the area near Zebulun and Naphtali. Jesus did this to bring about what the prophet Isaiah had said:

“Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali
    along the sea,
beyond the Jordan River.
    This is Galilee where the non-Jewish people live.
These people who live in darkness
    will see a great light.
They live in a place covered with the shadows of death,
    but a light will shine on them.”

Jesus Chooses Some Followers

From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Change your hearts and lives, because the kingdom of heaven is near.”

As Jesus was walking by Lake Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (called Peter) and his brother Andrew. They were throwing a net into the lake because they were fishermen. Jesus said, “Come follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” So Simon and Andrew immediately left their nets and followed him.

As Jesus continued walking by Lake Galilee, he saw two other brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. Jesus told them to come with him. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and they followed Jesus.

Jesus Teaches and Heals People

Jesus went everywhere in Galilee, teaching in the synagogues, preaching the Good News about the kingdom of heaven, and healing all the people’s diseases and sicknesses. The news about Jesus spread all over Syria, and people brought all the sick to him. They were suffering from different kinds of diseases. Some were in great pain, some had demons, some were epileptics, and some were paralyzed. Jesus healed all of them. Many people from Galilee, the Ten Towns, Jerusalem, Judea, and the land across the Jordan River followed him.

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


Pause for Reflection…

READING: THE WAY CHRIST (Optional)

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

Reader:
The Way of Joy: The Principle of Cultivating the Garden of the Heart.

Conscious that my own unhealed pain creates suffering for others, I take refuge in God to heal my sorrow in order that His joy would be my strength and His smile be always upon my lips. As a follower of the Way of Joy, I take responsibility for the garden of my heart, prayerfully transforming seeds of sadness, suffering and affliction, and diligently nurturing the seeds of wonder, joyfulness and hope.

All:
This is The Way of Joy: The Principle of Cultivating the Garden of the Heart.


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.)

Almighty God,
Whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ,
Is the light of the world:
Grant that your people, illumined by your Word,
May shine with the radiance of Christ’s glory,
That he may be known, worshiped,
And obeyed to the ends of the earth;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord,
Who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns,
One God, now and for ever. Amen.


BLESSING

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

And may the light of the glorious gospel of Christ,
Shine in your hearts and fill your lives,
With His joy and peace. 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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