Tonight we will celebrate the Ephipany (Manifestation) of the Lord. This is always celebrated on January 6th. The United Methodist Book of Worship says it’s an even more ancient celebration among Christians than Christmas, originally focused on the nativity, incarnation, and baptism of Christ. Today we celebrate the coming of the three wise men (magi), who brought gifts to the Christ child.
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed. You will do well to be attentive to this, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Amen.
Song – Holy Spirit
We started going through the Psalms one by one at Evensong. We’re on Psalm 29 tonight.
1 Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name;
worship the Lord in holy splendour.
3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord, over mighty waters.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
and Sirion like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
8 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl,*
and strips the forest bare;
and in his temple all say, ‘Glory!’
10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord sits enthroned as king for ever.
11 May the Lord give strength to his people!
May the Lord bless his people with peace!
Song – Finally Free
I’ve printed out the three scriptures the lectionary gives us to begin the new year (hold up the lectionary book and explain the lectionary). I thought it appropriate during this Epiphany service to give you a quiet prayer time during this busy time of year of getting books and meeting with professors about changing class schedules and learning a new rhythm of life as you figure out where your classes are or when you will break for lunch. Our hope is to create an atmosphere of Holy manifestations. I’ve asked Erin to set out crayons, colored pencils and paint so that you can prayerfully draw or if you’re not into drawing, perhaps circle and underline and pray these scriptures while reading them. Make this time be between you and God. If somethings comes into your mind to distract you, pray for it. If you have a burden on your heart that needs the community to pray, I invite you to share that during prayers and praises. If you don’t want to do the prayer stations, you can reflect and pray. Let nothing come between your time with your Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 (NRSV)
3For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: 2a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; 7a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. 9What gain have the workers from their toil? 10I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with.
11He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 12I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; 13moreover, it is God’s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil.
Psalm 8 (NRSV)
O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established;
what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?
Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor.
You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet,
all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Revelation 21:1-6 (NRSV)
The New Heaven and the New Earth
21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
“See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
4 he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.”
5 And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.”6 Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life.
Communion Song – Ever Be
Prayer after Receiving
Song – It Is Well
Call to Prayer and Request for Presence (Liturgy Reader)
May the Lord Almighty grant me and those I love a peaceful night and a perfect end.
Our help is in the Name of the Lord; the maker of heaven and earth.
Nunc Dimittis (Song of Simeon) (Liturgy Reader)
Lord, you now have set your servants free to go in peace as you have promised;
for these eyes of mine have seen the Savior,
whom you have prepared for all the world to see:
a Light to enlighten the nations, and the glory of your people.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.
Song – Gracious Tempest