Year V: Week 3 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. 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 32

A psalm of David.

Oh, what joy for those
    whose disobedience is forgiven,
    whose sin is put out of sight!
Yes, what joy for those
    whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt,
    whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
When I refused to confess my sin,
    my body wasted away,
    and I groaned all day long.
Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.
    My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Interlude

Finally, I confessed all my sins to you
    and stopped trying to hide my guilt.
I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.”
    And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. Interlude

Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time,
    that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment.
For you are my hiding place;
    you protect me from trouble.
    You surround me with songs of victory. Interlude

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
    I will advise you and watch over you.
Do not be like a senseless horse or mule
    that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”

Many sorrows come to the wicked,
    but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord.
So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him!
    Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!

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 14:1-21

How John the Baptist Was Killed

At that time Herod, the ruler of Galilee, heard the reports about Jesus. So he said to his servants, “Jesus is John the Baptist, who has risen from the dead. That is why he can work these miracles.”

Sometime before this, Herod had arrested John, tied him up, and put him into prison. Herod did this because of Herodias, who had been the wife of Philip, Herod’s brother. John had been telling Herod, “It is not lawful for you to be married to Herodias.” Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people, because they believed John was a prophet.

On Herod’s birthday, the daughter of Herodias danced for Herod and his guests, and she pleased him. So he promised with an oath to give her anything she wanted. Herodias told her daughter what to ask for, so she said to Herod, “Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.” Although King Herod was very sad, he had made a promise, and his dinner guests had heard him. So Herod ordered that what she asked for be done. He sent soldiers to the prison to cut off John’s head. And they brought it on a platter and gave it to the girl, and she took it to her mother. John’s followers came and got his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus.

More than Five Thousand Fed

When Jesus heard what had happened to John, he left in a boat and went to a lonely place by himself. But the crowds heard about it and followed him on foot from the towns. When he arrived, he saw a great crowd waiting. He felt sorry for them and healed those who were sick.

When it was evening, his followers came to him and said, “No one lives in this place, and it is already late. Send the people away so they can go to the towns and buy food for themselves.”

But Jesus answered, “They don’t need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

They said to him, “But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish.”

Jesus said, “Bring the bread and the fish to me.” Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves and the two fish and, looking to heaven, he thanked God for the food. Jesus divided the bread and gave it to his followers, who gave it to the people. All the people ate and were satisfied. Then the followers filled twelve baskets with the leftover pieces of food. There were about five thousand men there who ate, not counting women and children.

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 Stability.

Conscious that a tree often uprooted and replanted will become stunted and weak, I commit myself to the Principle of Stability. As a follower of the Way of Community, I will avoid moving from church to church, group to group and ministry to ministry, but will learn to blossom where I am planted.

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


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 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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