January 2, 2022

Organ PreludeWhat Child Is This? (UMH 219) Setting by John Rasley

Call to Worship                    WSL 9
L: Sing! Sing to the Lord a new song!
P: for “new every morning” mercies, for “what the Lord has done for you!”
L: Sing! Sing to the Lord a new song!
P: For forgiving the sin that only you and God know about, for grace that is more than sufficient.
L: Sing! Sing to the Lord a new song!
ALL: For every mountain you brought us over, for hardship you saw us through, our souls sing, “Hallelujah, yes, and Amen.”

Opening Prayer         WSL 10
God of Advent, of waiting and hoping, keep our hearts expectant, ready for your coming among us. God of Christmas, of celebration and rejoicing, make our hearts glad with the joy nothing can take from us. God of Epiphany, of hiding and making known, fill our hearts with wonder at the revelation of your glory that we have seen in Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Hymn             We Three Kings          UMH   254
1. We three kings of Orient are; bearing gifts we traverse afar, field and fountain, moor and mountain, following yonder star. O star of wonder, star of light, star with royal beauty bright, westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light.

2. Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain, gold I bring to crown him again, King forever, ceasing never, over us all to reign. O star of wonder, star of light, star with royal beauty bright, westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light.

3. Frankincense to offer have I; incense owns a Deity nigh; prayer and praising, voices raising, worshiping God on high. O star of wonder, star of light, star with royal beauty bright, westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light.

4. Myrrh is mine; its bitter perfume breathes a life of gathering gloom; sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying, sealed in the stone-cold tomb. O star of wonder, star of light, star with royal beauty bright, westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light.

5. Glorious now behold him arise; King and God and sacrifice: Alleluia, Alleluia, sounds through the earth and skies. O star of wonder, star of light, star with royal beauty bright, westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light.

First Reading – Isaiah 60:1-6                                               
Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. 2For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you. 3Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. 4Lift up your eyes and look around; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from far away, and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses’ arms. 5Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice, because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you. 6A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.

Tithes & Offerings – Can be sent to 329 N. 5th Street; Reading, PA 19601  Or online HERE

Offertory:  A Star Shone Bright, Setting by Dean McIntyre & F. Richard Garland
     A star shone bright across the plain and calmed the earth so Love could reign,
     “Twas in a child that hope was born, a dream fulfilled!  O happy morn!
     O Son of God, Incarnate Word, O Wisdom’s Light, whom angels heard,
     Come forth again, our hearts console.  O heal our hurts and make us whole.
     From Bethlehem come to our day;  reveal to us your holy way,
     Be born again, Eternal Fire.  O Spirit come, our souls inspire.
     O star shine forth once more this night and flood our streets with heavenly Light
     Till every heart in Christ shall see the glory of eternity! 

Offertory Prayer       WSL 128
O God, we recognize that we have been blessed with great abundance. In offering these gifts, may we be strengthened to proclaim your faithfulness and your salvation this day and always. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.

Prayers of the People  Send Prayer requests to office@holycrossumc.com

Second Reading – Matthew 2:1-12
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” 3When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: 6‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.’” 7Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” 9When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

Message                                      Rev. Mandy Miller

Communion                           THE GREAT THANKSGIVING FOR EPIPHANY
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks to you, almighty God, creator of heaven and earth. Before the mountains were brought forth, or you had formed the earth, from everlasting to everlasting, you alone are God. You created light out of darkness and brought forth life on the earth. You formed us in your image and breathed into us the breath of life. When we turned away, and our love failed, your love remained steadfast. You delivered us from captivity, made covenant to be our sovereign God, and spoke to us through your prophets. And so, with your people on earth and all the company of heaven we praise your name and join their unending hymn:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

Holy are you, and blessed is your Son Jesus Christ, in whom you have revealed yourself, our light and our salvation. You sent a star to guide wise men to where the Christ was born; and in your signs and witnesses, in every age and through all the world, you have led your people from far places to his light by the baptism of his suffering, death, and resurrection you gave birth to your Church, delivered us from slavery to sin and death, and made with us a new covenant by water and the Spirit.

On the night in which he gave himself up for us, he took bread, gave thanks to you, broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said:

“Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

When the supper was over, he took the cup, gave thanks to you, gave it to his disciples, and said:

“Drink from this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant, poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

And so, in remembrance of these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ, we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving as a holy and living sacrifice, in union with Christ’s offering for us, as we proclaim the mystery of faith.

Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again.

Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here, and on these gifts of bread and wine. Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ, that we may be for the world the body of Christ, redeemed by his blood. By your Spirit make us one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world, until Christ comes in final victory, and we feast at his heavenly banquet. Through your Son Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit in your holy Church, all honor and glory is yours, almighty God, now and forever.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer
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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Hymn             The First Noel             UMH   245
1. The first Noel the angel did say was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay; in fields where they lay keeping their sheep, on a cold winter’s night that was so deep. Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, born is the King of Israel.

2. They looked up and saw a star shining in the east, beyond them far; and to the earth it gave great light, and so it continued both day and night. Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, born is the King of Israel.

3. And by the light of that same star three Wise Men came from country far; to seek for a king was their intent, and to follow the star wherever it went. Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, born is the King of Israel.

4. This star drew nigh to the northwest, o’er Bethlehem it took its rest; and there it did both stop and stay, right over the place where Jesus lay. Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, born is the King of Israel.

5. Then entered in those Wise Men three, full reverently upon the knee, and offered there, in his presence, their gold and myrrh and frankincense. Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, born is the King of Israel.

Benediction     

Organ Postlude:  God Rest You Merry Christians, All, Setting by Robert Elmore

Hymns and Prayers used under CCLS# 2049575 / Hymns and Prayers for Streaming CCSL #20468685/ Bible readings from New Revised Standard Version.