Open the Eyes (extra verse by L. Muñoz)
Call to Worship
Leader: We have seen the star in the east,
People: And we’ve followed the star to this place
Leader: In the midst of suffering, war, injustice, and despair
People: We have followed the star to find you, O God, and to find each other
Leader: Send your Holy Spirit to kindle within us the fire of desire,
People: Your kin-dom come, your will be done!
Leader: Ignite our imaginations so that we may know that another way is possible
People: A path of revolutionary love, radical justice, and unending joy!
Leader: We have seen the star in the east,
People: We have come to walk in the light!
Hymn of Welcome
Jesus, the Light of the World (Zion Still Sings #62)
John 1: 1-18 (adapted from The Message)
The Word was first, the Word present to God, God present to the Word. The Word was God, in readiness for God from day one. Everything was created through God; nothing—not one thing!— came into being without the Spirit. What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by. The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out. There once was a man, his name John, sent by God to point out the way to the Life-Light. He came to show everyone where to look, who to believe in. John was not himself the Light; he was there to show the way to the Light. The Life-Light was the real thing: Every person entering Life he brings into Light. He was in the world, the world was there through him, and yet the world didn’t even notice. He came to his own people, but they didn’t want him. But whoever did want him, who believed he was who he claimed and would do what he said. He made to be their true selves, their child-of-God selves. These are the God-begotten, not blood-begotten, not flesh-begotten, not sex-begotten. The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Holy One, like the Child, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish. John pointed him out and called, “This is the One! The One I told you was coming after me but in fact was ahead of me. He has always been ahead of me, has always had the first word. We all live off his generous bounty, gift after gift after gift. We got the basics from Moses, and then this exuberant giving and receiving, This endless knowing and understanding—all this came through Jesus, the Messiah. No one has ever seen God, not so much as a glimpse This one-of-a-kind God-Expression, who exists at the very heart of the Holy One, has made him plain as day.
The Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis
Passing of the Peace
Lord, accept your people’s gifts,
not gold, frankincense or myrrh,
but hearts and voices raised in praise
of Jesus Christ, our light and our salvation. Amen.
One: May God be with you!
Many: And also with you!
One: Lift up your hearts!
Many: We lift them to God!
One: Let us give our thanks to God!
Many: It is right to give our thanks and praise!
All honor and praise be yours always and everywhere, Wonderful creator, ever-living God, through Jesus Christ, our beloved. For in this Epiphany season we celebrate your glory made present in our midst. In the coming of the magi a different kind of ruler was revealed to the nations: Loving. Vulnerable. Open. In the waters of baptism Jesus was revealed as the Christ, the Savior sent to redeem us. In the water made wine, the new creation was revealed at the wedding feast. Poverty was turned to riches, sorrow into joy.
Therefore with all the angels of heaven, with St. Mary, Jesus’ mother, and with the wise ones who followed the star, with St. Francis of Assisi, St. Dorothy Day, St. Martin Luther King, Jr., and St. Oscar Romero, with prophets, apostles, and martyrs, and with the beloved of every age, we lift our voices in a joyful hymn of praise:
On the night he was arrested, Jesus took bread, and after giving thanks broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take, eat; this is my body given for you. Whenever you do this, do it in remembrance of me.” After supper, he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant, sealed in my blood,
shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do it in remembrance of me.” Therefore we proclaim the mystery of our faith:
Many: Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.
By your Spirit bless this bread and this wine that they may become for us the presence of Christ among us. Shine your light and your love on the offering of our lives. Enlighten us that we may be your people, the body of the risen Christ, the light of the world, set apart to serve this earth that you have made. Through Christ, with Christ and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, we praise you now and forever, O Eternal Light.
Breaking of the Bread
One: We break the bread of life, and that life is the light of the world.
Many: God here among us, light in the midst of us, bring us to light and life.
Music During Communion
“A Light to Guide You Home”
Much of today’s liturgy is adapted from Worship Resources for the Season of Epiphany from the Church of England, with other parts taken from “An Epiphany Eucharistic Prayer” from St. Peter’s Episocpal Church in Port Royal, Virginia. The Call to Worship was composed by J. Terry Todd.