Epiphany Season – 10. January 2021

Theme: Go and search

Preparation


Opening

Opening Hymn:

An Opening Prayer
Lord of our journeys,
help us this day to have
eyes to see your leading,
ears to hear your guidance,
and a heart of courage,
that we may journey faithfully and find your way –
even when the path may seem difficult and dark.
Amen.


Readings

The Bible Reading:

Matthew 2.1-12
The account of the wise men involves searching – initially by looking in the wrong place – for the newborn king. They eventually find him by following the star to Bethlehem. God’s guidance in a dream warns them to take a different route home.

Looking for the direction God has for us is not always as easy as following a star or hearing from God in a dream. When/how have you experienced God guiding you or helping you to make decisions? Particularly at the start of a new year and a new term, we may all be called to reflect on where best we can look for and recognise signs from God that offer us guidance.

Reflection:

  • How does the idea of seeking direction make you feel?
  • When do you find yourself asking God for guidance?

Audio reflection:



Prayer

Lord of all our journeys,
we pray for those searching for warmth and safety,
for those fleeing persecution and violence,
for those in temporary accommodation because their homes have been flooded or damaged –
remembering particularly those affected by storms and the earthquake in Croatia, the landslide in Norway.

Jesus child of the crib;
bless them with the gifts of hope and courage
and may they find security in you.

Lord of all our ups and downs,
we pray for those searching for peace of mind,
for those struggling with depression, eating disorders, addictions…and for their families,
for those facing the new year with sadness of heart, or little sense of purpose,~
for those who face it alone.

Jesus child of the crib;
bless them with the gifts of hope and courage
and may they find comfort in you.

Lord of all wisdom,
we pray for those searching for clarity and stability,
for businesses adapting to reduced incomes,
for teachers and students amid uncertain term times and new ways of learning,
for those in industries unsure when they can re-open and struggling with new regulations,
for scientists challenged by new variants of the Covid-19 virus,
for those desperate to see their families again.

Jesus child of the crib;
bless them with the gifts of hope and courage
and may they find reassurance in you.

Lord of love,
we pray for those searching for work,
for those whose work is exhausting –
remembering especially those in the medical and emergency services,
for carers and those administering the new vaccines and for those who will receive it ,
for those searching for ways to feed their families and pay their bills,
and for those charities and organisations trying to help them.

Jesus child of the crib;
bless them with the gifts of hope and courage
and may they find strength in you.

Lord of us all ,
we pray for those searching for faith amid anxiety and loss,
for your church reaching out to those who are isolated, grieving, or battling with big questions,
and we pray for one another as we seek to offer our time and resources to our communities and those most in need.

Jesus child of the crib;
bless us all with the gifts of hope and courage
and may we find peace in you. Amen.

Collect for the Epiphany season:

Creator of the heavens who led the Magi by a star to worship the Christ-Child: guide and sustain us, that we may find our journey’s end in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Visual Intercessions

The ‘Our Father’
We draw all our prayers together in the words of –
Our Father who art in heaven…
…for ever and ever. Amen.

An Affirmation of Faith for Epiphany:

We believe in God,
the creator of all things,
the giver of life and breath.

We believe in Jesus Christ,
born Emmanuel, God with us,
baptized and revealed the most beloved Son of God;
he sought to heal humanity by taking our brokenness upon himself,
suffering for us,
dying for us
and being raised from the dead for our sake
and for the sake of all the world.
We believe that he will come again.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,
continually poured out refreshing our lives,
leading us into a new day,
ever-birthing the church, the body of Christ in the world.
This Spirit is our soul companion and counselor of truth
reminding us
of the gift of faith,
the ever presence of God
and the promise of eternal life.
Thanks be to God! Amen.


A sending out prayer
Lord, as we continue our journey with you this week,
as we seek to live out our faith every day,
be with us, surprise with your love,
nudge us when you want us
to see or do something new –
for Jesus’ sake.
Amen. 

Blessing:

Closing Hymn:

Organ Voluntary: