Epiphany: 6 January 2022

First Evangelical Lutheran Church, Christmas Walk 2021

Facebook link to Epiphany video:

https://fb.watch/anbTMmW52A/

Epiphany Blessings to you!

I pray this service finds you warm!Today may be a good time to write the inscription on the inside of your home… either above the door or on the door post would work well.


Twelfth Night (January 5), and Epiphany of Our Lord (January 6), offer an occasion for a blessing for the home. Following an eastern European tradition, a visual blessing may be inscribed with white chalk above the main door; for example, 20 + CMB + 22. The numbers change with each new year. The letters stand for either the ancient Latin blessing Christe mansionem benedicat, which means, “Christ, bless this house,” or the legendary names of the magi (Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar).


Prayer of the Day

Almighty and ever-living God, you revealed the incarnation of your Son by the brilliant shining of a star. Shine the light of your justice always in our hearts and over all lands, and accept our lives as the treasure we offer in your praise and for your service, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.Amen.


Gospel: Matthew 2:1-121

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2asking, “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.” 3When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: 6‘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.’ ”  7Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8Then 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.” 9When 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. 10When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11On 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. 12And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.


Prayers of Intercession

Joining our voices with the heavenly host and Christians throughout time and space, let us pray for the church, the world, and all in need.


God of wanderers, you sent the magi from afar to witness the mystery and majesty of your birth. Send us into the world with your will in our hearts and on our lips. Merciful God, receive our prayer.

You created heaven and earth. Through your Spirit send your all-encompassing love over the cosmos. Bless the stars that guide our way and the night sky that invites the earth into slumber. Merciful God, receive our prayer.

You sent the magi to follow the star into an uncertain future. May all leaders and peoples seek your face, especially when paths are not clear, conflicts rage, tyrants oppress, and fear abounds. Merciful God, receive our prayer.

You sent your Spirit to dwell with Paul in prison. Send your Spirit to those who are imprisoned and enslaved especially those who are unemployed, underemployed, or are struggling to find gainful employment. Give courage and wisdom for building roads that lead to justice and freedom. Merciful God, receive our prayer.

You sent the holy family to seek safety in a new land. Protect all who make similar journeys. Send your guiding Spirit to asylum seekers, refugees, and all who journey toward safety. Merciful God, receive our prayer.

Your glory is shown to the saints. We give thanks for those whose earthly journey has ended and now dwell with you forever. Give us signs of your continual presence until that day when we arise in you. Merciful God, receive our prayer.

Rejoicing in your Word made flesh among us, we commend these prayers to you, confident of your grace and love made known to us in Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.

Greeting

May peace be to this house and to all who enter here.”By wisdom a house is built and through understanding it is established;through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” (Proverbs 24:3-4)

Reading

As we prepare to ask God’s blessing on this home and on this house of the church, let us listen to the words of scripture.”In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.The Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” (John 1:1-4, 14, 16)

Inscription

This inscription may be made with chalk above the entrance:20 ☩ C M B ☩ 22Write the appropriate character (left) while speaking the text (right). The magi of old, known as C Caspar,M Melchior, and B Balthasar followed the star of God’s Son who came to dwell among us20 two thousand22 and twenty two years ago.☩ Christ, bless this house,☩ and remain with us throughout the new year.

Prayer of Blessing

O God, you revealed your Son to all people by the shining light of a star. We pray that you bless this home and all who live here with your gracious presence. May your love be our inspiration, your wisdom our guide, your truth our light, and your peace our benediction; through Christ our Lord.Amen.


Blessing

The God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing,so that we may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit,through Christ Jesus, the Word made flesh.Amen.


Go in peace. Rejoice in Christ our Savior.

Thanks be to God.

Image credits: Therese Guise

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