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January 9

CCLI license #1913561

Lakeview Presbyterian Church
Service of the Word for January 9, 2022
The First Sunday after Epiphany

Welcome: Kitty Rawson

Questions for Reflection: "We live in a world that is divided and in which there is little room for dialogue.  Do you have "absolute" categories which prevent you from accepting someone?"

Prelude   Lo How A Rose E're Blooming TPH 48 sung by Keisha Prime

Opening Prayer (responsive)
God, you placed a star in the sky to draw wise folk to the Christ.   There you revealed the mystery of your purpose for all humanity: God made flesh, born of Mary, opening to all the world the promise you made to Abraham and Sarah.
Empower your church to be as the light of the star, that we may draw the world to the glory of Christ, our Lord, through whom we pray. Amen.

Hymn The First Nowell”        TPH # 56

Invitation to a Prayer for Peace
  The following prayer, known as the Prayer of St Francis, is a perfect one to pray when you are seeking to live in peace and joy. As Christians, the Bible encourages us to "let our light shine before others.”  The prayer of St Francis is a beautiful reminder of what that might look like in everyday life. As we celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord. Let us commit ourselves in prayer to sharing of the light of Christ in a world of darkness.

The Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;

Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Prayer for Illumination
Spirit of God, in the proclamation of your Word, reveal to us the hidden mystery of your love in Christ, and strengthen our faith that we may approach you with boldness. Amen.

Reading from the Prophet Isaiah 60: 1-6 
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.

Reading from the Gospel 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.

Hymn: (please remain seated)  “We Three Kings”             TPH # 66

Sermon  “The One Thing”        Rev. Russell Lehman

Sermon by the Rev. Russell Lehman

Affirmation of Faith (from A Declaration of Faith, pcus)
God sent the promised Deliverer to his people.
Jesus, the long-expected Savior, came into the world as a child, descended from David, conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of Mary, a virgin. He lived as a Jew among Jews. He announced to his people the coming of God's kingdom of justice and peace on earth. We affirm that Jesus was born of woman as is every child, yet born of God's power as was no other child. In the person and work of Jesus, God himself and a human life are united but not confused, distinguished but not separated. The coming of Jesus was itself the coming of God's promised rule. Through his birth, life, death, and resurrection, he brings about the relationship between God and humanity that God always intended.

Sharing of Joys and Concerns

Pastoral Prayer  a time of silent prayer

Lord’s Prayer (This is the Ecumenical Version; feel free to use the words of your choice)
    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 forever. Amen

Statement about Offering our Gifts 

God intends to unite all creation,  so that all may share in the promises of God’s new reign.  Therefore with gratitude and joy, let us render tributes and bring gifts, for we have access to God in boldness and confidence though faith in Christ.

      Donations can be mailed to Lakeview Presbyterian Church at 1310 22 nd Av S,  St Petersburg, FL, 33705 or given online through our website  lakeviewpresbyterianchurch.org

Special Music

Prayer of Dedication
Glorious God, you led those of wisdom to seek Jesus, your Holy Child, born of Mary.  Overjoyed in the presence of the child’s radiant light, they knelt down and offered precious gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  We, too, offer our gifts in gratitude, reverence, and thanksgiving. Receive and bless this offering as a joyful response to the boundless love we find in Christ. Amen.

*Hymn  “Go, Tell It on the Mountain”                  #136

Chorus
Go tell it on the mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere,
Go tell it on the mountain,
That Jesus Christ is born.

While shepards kept their watching
O'er silent flocks by night,
Behond, throughout the heavens
There shone a holy light.

Chorus

The shephards feared and trembled
When lo, above the earth
Rang out the angel chorus
That hailed the Saviour's birth!

Chorus

Down in a lonely manger
The humble Christ was born,
And God sent our salvation
That blessed Christmas morn.

Charge and Blessing
Let us go forth rejoicing in the light of God’s love. 
Thanks be to God.
May the love of Christ that shines in you shine brightly in the world wherever you go.  And the blessing of God, Divine Giver, Radiant Light, and Fountain of Life bless you and keep you always.
Amen.

Postlude