Year V: Week 3 of Epiphany

Monday: 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, particularly at his baptism in the Jordan and his first miracle at Cana.  The Epiphany season continues right through until the beginning of Lent and the gospel readings follow Jesus’ early ministry.  The afternoon readings continue a chronological tour through the scriptures; whilst the readings at Compline continue to work their way through Paul’s letter to the Romans.


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 30

A psalm of David. A song for the dedication of the Temple.

I will exalt you, Lord, for you rescued me.
    You refused to let my enemies triumph over me.
O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
    and you restored my health.
You brought me up from the grave, O Lord.
    You kept me from falling into the pit of death.

Sing to the Lord, all you godly ones!
    Praise his holy name.
For his anger lasts only a moment,
    but his favor lasts a lifetime!
Weeping may last through the night,
    but joy comes with the morning.

When I was prosperous, I said,
    “Nothing can stop me now!”
Your favor, O Lord, made me as secure as a mountain.
    Then you turned away from me, and I was shattered.

I cried out to you, O Lord.
    I begged the Lord for mercy, saying,
“What will you gain if I die,
    if I sink into the grave?
Can my dust praise you?
    Can it tell of your faithfulness?
Hear me, Lord, and have mercy on me.
    Help me, O Lord.”

You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
    You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.
    O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!

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 the blessings of the weekend and the promise of this new week. May we know your presence in our workplace and your purpose in our labours…
             – Hide us under the shadow of your wings…
  • For minds kept pure and hearts kept clean by the power of your Holy Spirit.…
             – Hide us under the shadow of your wings…
  • For provision of every need, that Jehovah Jireh may indeed be our provider.
             – Hide us under the shadow of your wings…
  • For wholeness in our bodies, that Jehovah Rophe may indeed be our healer.
             – Hide us under the shadow of your wings…

Family & Friends

  • Father of all, we pray for peace in our marriages, blessing on those who live in celibacy, and your guidance for those searching for a partner in life.
             – Hide us under the shadow of your wings…
  • For those drawing near to the light of faith, may they find encouragement, wise counsel and may that precious seed be kept from the birds of the air.
             – Hide us under the shadow of your wings…
  • For those who are lonely, sick, hungry, persecuted, or ignored, that you would comfort and sustain them.
             – Hide us under the shadow of your wings…

The Church

  • Lord Jesus, at this Epiphany season, we remember how you revealed your true nature to the world as the Saviour and Sustainer of all. May your Bride, the church be revealed in our day without spot or wrinkle and be empowered to continue your presence on earth.
             – Hide us under the shadow of your wings…
  • For your people in the workplace, the marketplace and the home. May they demonstrate your love and compassion wherever they go.
             – Hide us under the shadow of your wings…
  • For our children and young people that they might be protected in their schools…
             – Hide us under the shadow of your wings…

The World

  • Heavenly Father, we commit our nation into your hands. May she have peace on her streets, wisdom amongst her leaders and equity in her courts. May those who work for social justice be encouraged and those who can bring change be courageous.
             – Hide us under the shadow of your wings…
  • For our Government, our Prime Minister Boris Johnson, his cabinet and all in parliament.
             – Hide us under the shadow of your wings…
  • For Local Councils, the police, fire and medical services and those working in caring professions.
             – Hide us under the shadow of your wings…

 

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 13:24-58

A Story About Wheat and Weeds

Then Jesus told them another story: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who planted good seed in his field. That night, when everyone was asleep, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat and then left. Later, the wheat sprouted and the heads of grain grew, but the weeds also grew. Then the man’s servants came to him and said, ‘You planted good seed in your field. Where did the weeds come from?’ The man answered, ‘An enemy planted weeds.’ The servants asked, ‘Do you want us to pull up the weeds?’ The man answered, ‘No, because when you pull up the weeds, you might also pull up the wheat. Let the weeds and the wheat grow together until the harvest time. At harvest time I will tell the workers, “First gather the weeds and tie them together to be burned. Then gather the wheat and bring it to my barn.”’”

Stories of Mustard Seed and Yeast

Then Jesus told another story: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a man planted in his field. That seed is the smallest of all seeds, but when it grows, it is one of the largest garden plants. It becomes big enough for the wild birds to come and build nests in its branches.”

Then Jesus told another story: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and hid in a large tub of flour until it made all the dough rise.”

Jesus used stories to tell all these things to the people; he always used stories to teach them. This is as the prophet said:

“I will speak using stories;
    I will tell things that have been secret since the world was made.”

Jesus Explains About the Weeds

Then Jesus left the crowd and went into the house. His followers came to him and said, “Explain to us the meaning of the story about the weeds in the field.”

Jesus answered, “The man who planted the good seed in the field is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed are all of God’s children who belong to the kingdom. The weeds are those people who belong to the Evil One. And the enemy who planted the bad seed is the devil. The harvest time is the end of the age, and the workers who gather are God’s angels.

“Just as the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all who cause sin and all who do evil. The angels will throw them into the blazing furnace, where the people will cry and grind their teeth with pain. Then the good people will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let those with ears use them and listen.

Stories of a Treasure and a Pearl

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. One day a man found the treasure, and then he hid it in the field again. He was so happy that he went and sold everything he owned to buy that field.

“Also, the kingdom of heaven is like a man looking for fine pearls. When he found a very valuable pearl, he went and sold everything he had and bought it.

A Story of a Fishing Net

“Also, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was put into the lake and caught many different kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled the net to the shore. They sat down and put all the good fish in baskets and threw away the bad fish. It will be this way at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the evil people from the good people. The angels will throw the evil people into the blazing furnace, where people will cry and grind their teeth with pain.”

Jesus asked his followers, “Do you understand all these things?”

They answered, “Yes, we understand.”

Then Jesus said to them, “So every teacher of the law who has been taught about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house. He brings out both new things and old things he has saved.”

Jesus Goes to His Hometown

When Jesus finished teaching with these stories, he left there. He went to his hometown and taught the people in the synagogue, and they were amazed. They said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and this power to do miracles? He is just the son of a carpenter. His mother is Mary, and his brothers are James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas. And all his sisters are here with us. Where then does this man get all these things?” So the people were upset with Jesus.

But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his hometown and in his own home.”

So he did not do many miracles there because they had no faith.

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 Community: The Principle of Transparency.

Remembering that scripture encourages us to “confess your sins to one another that you might be healed”, I embrace the Principle of Transparency. As a follower of the Way of Community, I will be open with my church community about my personal struggles and failures, avoiding wearing a mask that would make me appear better than I really am.

All:
This is The Way of Community: The Principle of Transparency.


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 and everlasting God,
You govern all things both in heaven and on earth:
Hear with mercy the prayers of your people,
And in our time grant us your peace;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord,
Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
One God, for ever and ever. Amen.


BLESSING

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

And may God, who delivered us from the dominion of darkness,
Give us a place with the saints in light,
In the Kingdom of his beloved Son. 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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