Epiphany 3C–January 23
The Year of the Lord’s Favor
Service Prayers for the Third Sunday after Epiphany
January 23, 2022
One of the key aspects of intergenerational worship is accessibility to all ages, and opportunities for each age group to learn from the others. There is no need to simplify all of the words used, as children should be exposed to the key elements of the language of our faith as they mature. However, painting vivid images with words, and incorporating as many of the five senses as possible, is helpful for all ages.
Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10 Psalm 19 I Corinthians 12:12-31a Luke 4:14-21
Provide a few sheets of plain white copier paper and a variety of colored pencils, 4 or more, for each worshipper. Have extra sheets of paper in each pew, or nearby, in case they are needed. Have children’s clay available for those who are vision impaired, so that they can create scrolls or small sculptures. After worship, provide paper towel tubes or dowels and tape or glue to allow worshippers to make scrolls from their papers. Provide markers, paints, glitter, etc. for further decoration. For those viewing worship virtually, instruct them to gather these items to have handy during the sermon and prayers.
CALL TO WORSHIP
One: This day is holy to the Lord your God.
Many: Let us come ready to see, hear, and touch the Word of God.
One: Do not mourn or weep, and do not be grieved.
Many: How can we be sad when we can experience God’s Word
and know God’s love through our worship together?
All: The joy of the Lord is our strength.
Let us come together to worship the God of joy, strength, and love.
O God, who gives us strength when we feel weak,
we gather to hear your Word,
sing your songs,
and give you praise.
We know that you are always with us, and we are grateful.
Help us to live our lives in ways that show you are near.
Thank you for your presence and constant care for us —
in worship, and in each day of our lives.
Loving God, we recall the times when your Word feels distant,
and when we forget how much you love us.
We let our egos take hold, and we treat others as threats to our sense of self.
We forget your words of comfort, love, and care.
We forget to look to your Word for guidance.
We forget that you are our ultimate source of joy.
Forgive us, O God.
ASSURANCE OF PARDON
Hold a Bible up high for all to see as these words are spoken:
One: The Holy One’s instruction is perfect, reviving one’s very being.
God’s laws are faithful, making naive people wise.
God’s regulations are right, gladdening the heart.
God’s commands are pure, giving light to the eyes.
Know that you are loved and forgiven.
Many: Thanks be to God.
SCRIPTURE: Luke 4:14-21
Before reading this scripture, describe Jesus’ use of the scroll and its place in the practices of the synagogue of Jesus’ day. If possible, bring a model or picture of the type of scroll Jesus may have used.
Invite the worshippers to write, doodle, and/or draw on their sheets of paper during the sermon.
Explain that these pages will be made into “scrolls” for them to reflect on during the week
(or in other ways specific to your faith community). Interspersed throughout the sermon, allow time for wondering (writing/doodling/drawing) about key points with questions such as:
Where in the world do I see good news for the poor?
people being able to see better than they could before?
people being “set free”?
What can I do to help those who are suffering or who need help?
What color is “good news”?
How can I bring joy to those who are sad?
Open with these words from Psalm 19:
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord,
my rock and my redeemer.
RITUAL: Colorful Prayers
During the time of prayer, invite the worshippers to draw/doodle/color their prayers. Or guide them in creating a mosaic of individual prayers on their sheets of paper. A good resource for going deeper with this practice is Sybil MacBeth’s Praying In Color. <https://prayingincolor.com>
We share from what we have and from who we are
as a sign of our desire to bring good news to the poor.
May these gifts bring light to those in need,
and put the joy of the Lord in their hearts.
O God of all gifts, we join with Jesus in proclaiming the year of your favor.
Bless our gifts and bless us as we seek to bring joy and comfort to those who are unknown to us,
and to those who are near and beloved. Amen.
BENEDICTION (attributed to St. Teresa of Avila)
Christ has no body but yours.
No hands, no feet on earth but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world.
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good.
Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.
The Year of the Lord’s Favor: Service Prayers for Epiphany 3 C was written by Debbie Gline Allen, Commissioned Minister of Christian Formation, who serves as Minister of Faith Formation for the Southern New England Conference, and as the Director of its Faith Formation Leadership Program.
Copyright 2022 Faith INFO 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.