4th Sunday of Epiphany A
Scripture (from the Revised Common Lectionary, with links provided by TextWeek.com – a source for thoughtful worship and preaching throughout the year):
Click on Scripture Lessons below for
Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal
The Oremus Hymnal offers many good choices for the lectionary (although this 2010 version will have incorrect calendar dates). Not all are available in Chalice Hymnal, but some may be helpful in congregations where there is not a Chalice Hymnal available. Visit the Oremus Hymnal.
91 – All hail the power of Jesus’ name!
683 – O for a world
425 – Let us break bread together
More hymn suggestions, as well as helpful references for use of the arts in worship, are available from the United Church of Christ website.
Dealing with the Psalm of the Day:
Since Chalice Hymnal does not provide a complete Psalter, there will be occasions when suggestions may be made for alternate Psalm use (or hymn equivalent). A metrical version of the Psalter, for those Psalms not provided in Chalice Hymnal, is being prepared by Rev. David Chafin. Where practical, these may be offered here as well. You may also want to visit http://www.modernpsalter.com/ or
This week: Psalm 15 is on p. 729
Call to Worship (from the United Church of Christ)
L: Be still and know that God is.
P: God was, also, in the beginning.
L: And when all human striving has ceased, God will still be.
P: From everlasting to everlasting, God is God, and alone is worthy to be worshiped.
Prayer of Approach (adapted by the editor)
L: The Lord be with you.
P: And also with you.
L: Let us pray. O God, source of all beauty and goodness, your grace comes fresh every morning. In each new day you give us light. We praise your for your never‑failing love that satisfies our needs and shows us the way to follow. We rejoice in your constant care, for you are faithful in love for all people, offering the world salvation through Jesus Christ. (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
Intercessions (adapted by the editor)
Lord God, we give you thanks for all your gifts to us—for daily food, for health, for each breath we take, for freedom to choose, and for the gifts of your word, your power and your love. Our hearts are truly overwhelmed, O God, when we consider how you have entrusted so much to us. May we be worthy of that trust—may we be a people who are unafraid to live as fully and as richly as you want us to live.
Help us, O God, as followers of Jesus, to multiply all that you have given us, to risk spreading your word and perhaps see it misunderstood, to gamble by loving those whom others think worthy only of hate, to take chances by doing good to those who have not done good to us. Help us be faith filled and desire to increase your glory and your goodness in this world. Make us people who share in both word and deed that which you have given to us.
We pray for the church gathered today, both here and around the world, that it may encourage all of its members to discover, develop and use all their gifts, those of nature and those of grace.
We pray for those who are poor in body or in spirit, for those oppressed and heavy laden, for those sick or in despair. Minister by your Spirit and by us, to all those for whom we have prayed, and help us walk faithfully in the path of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Prayers from Common Worship
Almighty and ever-living God,
clothed in majesty,
whose beloved Son was this day presented in the Temple,
in substance of our flesh:
grant that we may be presented to you
with pure and clean hearts,
by your Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Lord, you fulfilled the hope of Simeon and Anna,
who lived to welcome the Messiah:
may we, who have received these gifts beyond words,
prepare to meet Christ Jesus when he comes
to bring us to eternal life;
for he is alive and reigns, now and for ever.
Lord Jesus Christ,
light of the nations and glory of Israel:
make your home among us,
and present us pure and holy
to your heavenly Father,
your God, and our God.
Collect of the Day (Book of Common Prayer, 1979)
Almighty and everliving God, we humbly beseech thy Majesty, that, as thy only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple in substance of our flesh, so we may be presented unto thee with pure and clean hearts, by the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
Collect of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2013, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
On Matthew 5:1-12
With shocking clarity, O God, thy blessing comes
upon the strangers in our land –
the meek and lowly,
the mourning and the merciful.
Open our wary ways, O God, to discover afresh
this humble thread of your delight,
the life that thrives upon your heart
in Jesus Christ.
Service of Table (by the editor using traditional responses)
As Christ calls for us to see the blessedness of life lived in simplicity, we are also called to serve those who are most vulnerable in this world. A feast has been prepared for those who need it most. Let us rejoice in the opportunity to participate in that feast by sharing from the wealth of God’s provisions with thanksgiving and hope.
[If the offering has not yet been received, add: “Let us prepare the Table of the Lord with the fruits of our lives and our labors”]
(The following may be offered as one prayer, or broken between two Elders, if that is the tradition to be followed)
1. Loving God, you bless your children in times of sorrow and of joy with your abundant and generous Spirit. As we break this bread, we pray that you would help us to more clearly see those of our world who are in need, and share your gifts with them as Christ has shared his very life with us. Bless the bread, we pray, that we who receive it might be strengthened to just such a life.
2. Pour out your Holy Spirit, O God, upon this cup which we bless and receive in memory of your Son, who poured out his very life for us. May we be emboldened as we drink to trust you more fully and to venture where you lead us as faithful disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Conclusion: Through him, with him, and in him, in the power of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor be to you, O God, now and forever. Amen.
[if not previously offered: “And now with the confidence of your children, we offer the prayer our Savior taught us, ‘Our Father…’”]
Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails, archived here at the Disciples Center for Faith and Giving Site, for each Sunday’s service.
You may also want to visit Worship Connection at MinistryMatters.com, which offers numerous helps, including electronic versions of print resources for worship and preaching planning.
Intercessions and other helpful planning materials geared to the Lectionary (using Roman Catholic version, but normally quite useful for all traditions) for preaching and worship are supplied for several weeks in advance at The Sunday Website of St. Louis University.
Liturgies created by Moira Laidlaw (Uniting Church in Australia) as a part of her doctoral dissertation are often helpful. Read more here.
Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2012. Compiled by Simon Kershaw October 2012 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2012; Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010. The Revised Common Lectionary is copyright © the Consultation on Common Texts 1992. The Daily Eucharistic Lectionary is adapted from the Ordo Lectionum Missae of the Roman Catholic Church reproduced by permission of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. Adaptations and additions to the RCL and the DEL, together with Second and Third Service lectionaries and the Weekday Lectionary for Morning and Evening Prayer are copyright © the Archbishops’ Council 1997-2010. http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary
Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.
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