God's Light Within Us - Festival of Epiphany

January 6, 2012

Isaiah 60: 1-6  Psalm 72: 1-7; 10-14; Ephesians 3: 1-12; Matthew 2: 1-12

CALL TO WORSHIP
In the midst of unemployment, debt, illness, all the hardships of life,
why have you come to worship?
We come because Isaiah reminds us
that no suffering or pain can separate us from God.

I hear the Prophet calling, "Arise, shine for your light has come!"
I'm ready for that bright light from God to light my way.
We see that light in Jesus, God-with-Us,
and we recognize that light in our lives, too:
We are all created in God's image:
God's light was born in us as we breathed our first breath.
We come to worship to connect God's light in us to God's light in Christ,
and so illumine the world.

What a reason to worship!
How do we recognize that light?
In compassion for all,
in justice for the poor,
in welcome for the stranger
we shine God’s light into the world.

So come let us bring the joys and hardships of life to worship
and celebrate that God’s light is already with us and within us.

PRAYER OF RECONCILIATION
O Divine Light,
we confess that sometimes we look to you
to be a neon sign or even a burning bush 
offering easy answers to our problems
in the moments when our lives are most dim.
And we confess that sometimes we expect you
to do most of the work to light our way
while we sit back and watch you work.
But your Still Speaking presence reminds us
that we embody your light.
You have empowered us with spiritual "currents"
of wisdom, strength, compassion, and peace
and when we trust enough to let your life flow within us
we find our life journey well illumined.


ASSURANCE OF BLESSING
    Even in your darkness, God is there offering empowering light.
Search for glimpses of light amidst the gloom;
seek the teachings of Jesus, which will light your way in the world;
trust God, and celebrate that you are made in God’s image
this day and forevermore. Amen.


OFFERING
God's Light is most obvious
when we hold out our hands to give and receive together.
So let us give from God's Light within us
and let us receive the blessings of God's Light from others.


DEDICATION
    Like the Magi who came to offer their gifts to the baby Jesus,
we offer our gifts to you, O Compassionate One.
May our financial and spiritual gifts become expressions of our love.
With these gifts we give you the best we have to offer.
Use them to make your light of compassion and justice
shine more brightly in the world. Amen.

BENEDICTION
Invite everyone to hold hands
    And now as you leave this place, our worship of God begins in service to others.
Arise with the music of God's creation!
Recognize the Christ Light shining brightly
in the life-sermons of those around you.
Shine forth with the light of compassion, justice and gentleness,
this day and forever more! Amen!

Music
•    TNCH #66    "O Day of Radiant Gladness"          TNCH #164    "Arise, Your Light is Come"



God's Light Within Us: Prayers for the Festival of Epiphany was written by the Rev. Dr. Ginny Brown Daniel, pastor of Plymouth United Church, UCC, in Spring, Texas.

Copyright 2012 Local Church Ministries, Congregational Vitality and Discipleship Ministry Team, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH  44115-1100.  Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education.  All publishing rights reserved. 

God's Light Within Us--Festival of Epiphany--January 6 2012.rtf 

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CONTACT INFO

Rev. Susan A. Blain
Minister for Worship, Liturgy and Spiritual Formation
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland,Ohio 44115
216-736-3869
blains@ucc.org