Epiphany Sunday 2021
At-Home Worship Plan
First Christian Church, Grand Junction
January 10, 2021
- Communion Elements
- A computer/tablet/phone for looking up the worshipful songs. You could also use a hymnal and an instrument.
- YOUTUBE Sermon and Hymns – A video of Pastor Brad preaching will be on the First Christian Church Youtube site. Visit the First Christian Church Grand Junction Colorado YouTube Channel to find the playlists for the sermon and the hymns for the day. The playlists of the videos for each are also accessible from our website.
ORDER OF WORSHIP
(You can look up the lyrics/music in a hymnal or on hymnary.org…or watch the playlist on our YouTube channel or website.)
- “The First Noel” #151
God of Epiphany, God who made Jesus’ identity known to the magi and all the world, prepare our hearts and minds to encounter Jesus in this service of worship. Prepare us to discover Jesus’ true identity, as revealed by you instead of as revealed by the ways and people of the world. We pray for the receipt of your revelation of Jesus’ identity in the name of that same Jesus, our Lord, who taught us to pray…
Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
Lead us, not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
And the power, and the glory
Anthem – “One King” by Point of Grace – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rh_uwsN_s_0
(Share joys and concerns, then have someone pray the following prayer or one of your own.)
God of Epiphany,
Through those wise men long ago, you made Jesus’ identity known as a Savior for all the world.
As we celebrate that moment, fill our hearts with Epiphany joy, and fill our minds – our beings – with the knowledge that you love us and all the world enough to send a Savior who would reconcile us with you and who would show us the way to the best way of living. Remind us now and always that the joys we experience daily – joys like those mentioned in this service of worship – are the result of your love and your work, every bit as much as that Epiphany moment long ago was the result of your love and your work. Grant that we will respond with thankful praise.
Even as we give thanks for the joys you make possible, we know there are people who struggle to find joys you make possible – even the joy of Jesus’ wonderful identity made known – and so we ask also for your strength to entrust the needs of this world and its inhabitants to you. We entrust to your care this day:
- All who are on our congregation’s prayer list, and all who have been mentioned by name in our worship;
- All who suffer from abuse or oppression;
- All who struggle with anxiety or distress;
- All who suffer from lack of food, water, shelter, or loving relationships;
- All who suffer from injury or illness;
- All who mourn or grieve;
- All who struggle with quarantines and lockdowns, as well as those whose bodies are being ravaged by COVID-19;
- All who struggle in their efforts to follow Jesus;
- All who fear the power of your outpoured Spirit;
- All who refuse to seek you;
- For all who have need but who go unnamed;
For all who have need of your intervention, O God, grant them what you know they need; respond to these prayers in the way you see as being best, the way that will turn shouts of pain and suffering into shouts of joy, the way that will bring glory to your name.
God of Epiphany revelation, strengthen us now, in this moment, strengthen us always, to follow the example of the One made known, to truly live in the footsteps of Jesus, that we might continue Jesus’ ministry of love, grace, and peace.
We pray, as we live, through Jesus, whose birth and identity we celebrate, and by the power of your Holy Spirit…Amen.
Scripture and Message (Sermon)
Read the scripture passages from pastor Brad’s sermon and then read, listen to, or watch (on YouTube) the sermon. The text and audio of the sermon – as well as a video – can be found on our congregation’s website at gjdisciples.org under the “Sermons” tab.
Invitation to Discipleship
Three – or perhaps more – magi made considerable sacrifices to seek out and find God’s Son. Those magi followed God’s lead and found themselves in the midst of miraculous wonders and deeds. Those magi followed God’s lead and came face-to-face with the Christ child. Those magi overcame significant obstacles and kept their focus on the task God placed before them. Those magi were changed. And the whole world was changed – and is still changed thousands of years later – as a result of their search. As you watch, listen to, and sing along with our Hymn of Invitation, consider God’s call on your life to search for Jesus. Consider the impact your search can/will have on you and all the world.
Hymn of Invitation – “As With Gladness” #173
Invitation. We all remember the gifts given by the magi tot he Christ child. Even if we couldn’t remember them from the scriptures, we would remember them from popular culture: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
The magi were willing to sacrifice quite a lot in their search; they knew the identity of the One for whom they searched was worth EVERYTHING.
As you consider God’s call to you to give of some of the material things entrusted to you by God – for the purpose of continuing Jesus’ earthly ministry – imagine how your life would be – could be – different if you responded as did the magi. Let’s be in the spirit of Christian giving.
Response. If you feel called to respond by making a monetary gift to continue God’s work through FCCGJ, you can do so right now in one of three ways:
- Write a check to First Christian Church and mail it to FCCGJ, 1326 N. 1st Street, Grand Junction, CO 81501.
- On your cellphone, text GIVE2FCCGJ (plus the dollar amount you want to give) to 73256. For example, if you want to offer $50, text GIVE2FCCGJ $50 to 73256.
- Via the internet on your computer, go to our congregation’s website at gjdisciples.org, click “online giving” on the top menu bar, and then click on the link under the second bullet point to make an online contribution.
Offering Prayer. Say a prayer asking for God’s blessing upon whatever gift/commitment you made to God, as well as all the other commitments Jesus’ followers are making this morning.
Invitation to Communion: Sacrifice. I’ve used that word quite a lot today. It is fitting that sacrifice of some kind, that sacrifice of a significant nature, would be required to fully live into “following” One who laid down His life for all of us.
For some reason, sacrifice is required for us to fully encounter the One we remember at this table, to fully FOLLOW the one we encounter at this table. As you prepare to partake of the bread that is Christ’s body and the juice that is Christ’s blood, I encourage you to consider whether or not you have been sacrificing enough to “follow” Jesus. If not, seek guidance from Jesus with regard to what more you need to give.
Communion Hymn – “Be Known to Us in Breaking Bread” #398
Prayer: God who gave your Son that we might have life…bless this bread and cup, and help us by our partaking of these elements to remember and know your love for us. Help us to know and remember in a way that will lead us to follow Jesus more closely, a way that will lead to changes in us and all the world. I pray these things in the name of Jesus and by the power of your Holy Spirit, Amen.
Words of Institution: We remember that on the night Jesus was to be betrayed, he sat around a table with his disciples and shared a meal. While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread and, after giving thanks, broke it and gave it to them, saying, “Take, eat. This is my body, broken for you.” In the same way, Jesus took a cup, and after blessing it, said, “This is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in remembrance of me.”
Partake of the bread and cup in your own time.
“We Three Kings” #172
Go now as the people of God,
Searching and seeking for Jesus as best you can,
That you might discover His identity…along with His purpose for your life.
Go in the name of Jesus
And by the power of God’s Holy Spirit.