Christmas 1a – January 1

First Sunday after Christmas
January 1, 2023
“Love and Mercy”

Isaiah 63:7-9 • Psalm 148 • Hebrews 2:10-18 • Matthew 2:13-23

Call to Worship
One: Let all of creation praise the name of the Holy One!
Many: The rhythms of life praise the Everlasting God through the markings of time.
One: Let all of creation praise the name of the Holy One!
Many: The flowers, land, and trees praise the Divine Gardener through rest and renewal.
One: Let all of creation praise the name of the Holy One!
Many: Living creatures praise the Spirit of God through our breathing, living and being. Praise God!

Holy Love,
You make us a community. You gather us as your offspring and knit us together with grace and mercy. In your presence, there is fullness of love, joy, hope, and peace. Thank you for being among us this day and with us in every moment of our being. Receive our praise, dwell in our midst, and create in us a heart that yearns for you and your kindom. In the name of Emmanuel, we pray. Amen.

Prayer for Transformation and New Life
Eternal God, the dawn of a new year prompts us to reflect on our past and hope for our future. Help us live every day seeking your way and moving on your path. Help us commit to love and resolve to extend the grace and mercy we need from you and our neighbor. Make us new. Amen.

Words of Grace
The God who counts our days knows us intimately, loves us abundantly, and abides with us relentlessly. Receive the brand new mercies of this day. Hold the love of God closely, firmly, and freely. Transformation, grace, and new life is assured this day.

Invitation to Generosity
Let us put our trust in the Living God, who is faithful. Let us praise God for the abundance of creation in the sharing of our gifts of time, talent, and treasure.

Prayer of Dedication and Thanksgiving
Generous Love, bless these offerings. Stir up the gifts within for your glory, show your provision through the sharing of our resources, and empower us to steward our days as precious and holy. Amen.

May we remember the magnificent acts of the Holy One. May we proclaim the wondrous ways of our God. May love be our compass and mercy our guide.
Go into the world as kinfolk of the Christ who trust in the faithfulness of the One who calls, who comes, and who companions with us. Go in peace. Go for peace. Amen.

Love and Mercy: Service Prayers for the First Sunday after Christmas was written by The Rev. Dr. Cheryl A. Lindsay, Minister for Worship and Theology, United Church of Christ.