WORSHIP TOGETHER | Sunday 1-2-2022

Dec 27, 2021 | General Presbyter & Stated Clerk, Resources, Worship Together, Worship Together Front Page

Sunday, January 2, 2022
2nd Sunday After Christmas or Epiphany of the Lord

The Revised Common Lectionary passages for the Lord’s Day are:
– First Reading: Jeremiah 31:7-14
– Psalm 147:12-20
– Second Reading: Ephesians 1:3-14
– Gospel Reading: John 1: (1-9) 10-18

The Revised Common Lectionary passages for the Epiphany of the Lord are:
– First Reading: Isaiah 60:1-6
– Psalm: 72:1-7, 10-14
– Second Reading: Ephesians 3:1-12
– Gospel Reading: Matthew 2:1-12

The liturgical color for the day is: White

On this Sunday one could preach either on the texts for the Lord’s Day or on the Epiphany of the Lord texts.  Since most Presbyterian Churches do not hold an Epiphany worship service, the Lord’s Day previous to the festival day makes a good day to proclaim the Word based on those texts.  A creative approach might include using both the John 1 and the Matthew 2 texts together with an approach that it is the Word that appears.  Epiphany means appearance.

No appearances (we might think of them more as influences), no epiphanies are neutral.  The Wise Ones—they are an outside influence.  Their influence makes it clearer who this Jesus is.  This is a remarkable child and an extraordinary event.  Herod—he is an outside influence with a threat.

All the epiphanies, all the appearances, all the influences are not merely outside ones—there are internal influences too.  The Magi have one—“and having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod they returned to their own country by another way.”  “In a dream…”  It isn’t about paying attention to dreams, but it is about listening to the inside voice—to that discerning spirit that is within us—that IS the Holy Spirit.

It is that same influence that caused Mary and Joseph to get up and flee to Egypt in the night: “Take the child and flee into Egypt.”  They trusted that influence.  They followed that influence.

That influence/appearance/epiphany/wisdom is in us.  But to heed it we are called to pay attention.  We are called to see/discern and be attentive to that presence that is God-Within-Us, the Word (John 1).

Rev. Dr. Daris Bultena
General Presbyter and Stated Clerk

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