Hilary Plowright
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Home Church 1st Sunday after Epiphany, January 10, 2021, Rev. Karen Hollis

We acknowledge these lands upon which we worship are the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation.

Preparing the Space Around Us

Whoever you are and wherever you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here! Welcome if you are gathering on zoom or if you are worshipping at home with the bulletin. We are one community and all part of the body of Christ. I invite you to prepare the space around you

so that for the next hour you can be fully in this worship experience, not to keep out the realities of the world, rather to focus us in the midst of it all on God. If you need to go and get something or shift something around you, feel free.

Preparing the Space within Us

Let us prepare now the space within us for a time of worship. I invite

you to sit quietly, perhaps with feet on the floor, taking a couple of deep breaths and bring yourself into this moment. Open yourself to the presence of God who is with us and within us . . . as you intentionally open yourself to God, open yourself also to what you need from this time of worship.

Greeting - Bruce Prewer

One:    Light! Light, light and more light!

Arise, shine; for your light has come,

and the glory of God has risen upon you.

All:      Nations shall come to your light,

and kings to the brightness of your rising.

One:    When Jesus was born in Bethlehem,

wise men came from the East, saying:

Where is he who is born king of the Jews?

All:      For we have seen his star in the East,

and have come to worship him.

One:    The wonderful light of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

All:      And also with you.

Opening Prayer  -  UCC Worship Ways                                        

Read the prayer slowly…

God of Light and Love, in this very moment the star still beckons. Gather us and let the star call us to new ways of healing and hope, restoration and renewal, as we discover again Christ’s call to discipleship. Amen

Hymn: The First Nowell -  VU #91

1 The first Nowell the angel did say
was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay,
in fields where they lay a-keeping their sheep
on a cold winter's night that was so deep.

Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
born is the King of Israel.

2 They looked up and saw a star,
shining in the east beyond them far;
and to the earth it gave great light,
and so it continued both day and night. [Refrain]

3 And by the light of that same star
three wise men came from country far;
to seek for a king was their intent,
and to follow the star wherever it went. [Refrain]

4 This star drew nigh to the northwest,
o'er Bethlehem it took its rest,
and there it did both stop and stay
right over the place where Jesus lay. [Refrain]

5 Then entered in those wise men three
full reverently upon their knee,
and offered there in his presence,
their gold and myrrh and frankincense. [Refrain]

6 Then let us all with one accord
sing praises to our heavenly Lord,
that hath made heaven and earth of nought,
and with his blood our life hath bought. [Refrain]

Prayer of Confession          

God, we come before you with our worries and anxieties, our feelings of loneliness and helplessness, our desire to manage and control; we acknowledge how difficult it is to wrap our minds around the state of the world and discern how to respond. Receive us in our need to control, to hide, to react, to despair and to criticize; receive us in all that we bring. We come before you as we acknowledge the things that keep us from turning to you.

Assurance of Grace

Even when the world is in chaos, God’s peace and stillness and assurance meets us where we are. This space is always available

to us as an inner resource for sustaining ourselves through a long challenging season. God is always faithful and will never leave us. Thanks be to God!

Peace of Christ

While the world is messy and the future is unknown, the peace Christ brings is wholeness through reconciliation. As we receive the light of Christ today, let us share with each other the peace it brings.

   The Peace of Christ be with you!

   And also with you

First Reading: Isaiah 60:1-6 NRSV - Paddy Waymark

Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you. Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Lift up your eyes and look around; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from far away, and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses' arms. Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice, because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you. A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the LORD

Gospel Reading  -   George Westarp             

One:      God be with you.       

All:        And also with you

One:      The Good News of Jesus Christ according to Matthew

All:        Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Matthew 2:1-12

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, "Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage." When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: 'And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.'" Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage." When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

One: This is the Gospel of Christ;

All:   Praise be to Jesus Christ

Special Music: We Three Kings  -  Turner Ivany

Reflection: - Theological Banquet  (see attached)            

Silent Reflection

Affirmation of Faith:

Let us affirm our faith . . .

You are the new song.

You are the next beat in my heart.

You are the praise and possibility.

You are the present and the future.

I believe the Light of the World has come this day.

I see it now in all days.

Those gone and those to come aflame in love.

Your love wrapped in human form,

Your love learned in justice and in mercy,

Your love risen over death.

I believe love has come on this day.

I believe love has and will always come.                                            

Prayers of the People   - Paddy Waymark (see attached)                    


All:      Hear Our Prayer

Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours

now and for ever. Amen.

Offering Prayer                                                                    

Let us pray . . .

God of Mystery and Grace, we give thanks that you are always with us and always at work in our lives. We give thanks for all of the blessings you impart; bless us now, O God, and everything we offer for the sake

of your kin-dom, that your light and hope might find places of need.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine. Glory to God from generation to generation, in the Church and in Christ Jesus, for ever and ever. Amen.

Hymn: Will You Come and See the Light -  VU #96

1 Will you come and see the light from the stable door?
It is shining newly bright, though it shone before.
It will be your guiding star, it will show you who you are.
Will you hide, or decide to meet the light?

2 Will you step into the light that can free the slave?
It will stand for what is right, it will heal and save.
By the pyramids of greed there's a longing to be freed.
Will you hide, or decide to meet the light?

3 Will you tell about the light in the prison cell?
Though it's shackled out of sight, it is shining well.
When the truth is cut and bruised, and the innocent abused,
will you hide, or decide to meet the light?

4 Will you join the hope, alight in a young girl's eyes,
of the mighty put to flight by a baby's cries?
When the lowest and the least are the foremost at the feast,
will you hide, or decide to meet the light?

5 Will you travel by the light of the babe newborn?
In the candlelit at night there's a gleam of dawn,
and the darkness all about is too dim to put it out:
will you hide, or decide to meet the light?

PP Blessing -  Iona Community

If you are with another person, you’re invited to bless each other, taking every other line.

One:      The Creator’s blessing be yours on your road, on your journey, guiding you, cherishing you.

N-Z:       The Son’s blessing be yours, wine and water, bread and stories, feeding you, challenging you.

A-M:      The Spirit’s blessing be yours, wind and fire, joy and wisdom, comforting you, disturbing you.

All:        The Angel’s blessing be yours, on your house, on your living, guarding you, encouraging you. Let us walk together, a community on a journey, sustained in God’s blessing. Amen!

One:      Let us go now in peace to love and serve the Lord.

All:        Thanks be to God! Alleluia!

Postlude: Here We Come a Wassailing -  Turner Ivany