Worship service, January 3, 2021

“On the Road”          Epiphany

This year’s Advent theme, “On the Road . . . ,” conveys a sense of movement, of traveling from one point to another. In the story of the magi from the East, they literally took to the road and drew closer to Jesus with each passing step. This rich imagery sets the tone for the Advent season as we seek to move our congregations closer to Jesus, wherever we might find ourselves along the road of faith.

Prelude      The Virgin Mary had a Baby Boy     HWB 202

Prayer for Peace  & Lighting of Peace Candle             

For those who seek a Savior, we lead them to the stable
to the One who was born

to bring freedom, forgiveness, liberty.
For those who seek assurance, we lead them to the Light
to the One who opens eyes to understanding

God’s word, truth.
For those who seek forgiveness, we lead them to a grace
beyond comprehension,

to wholeness, healing,
peace.                                                                                 -from Faith & Worship

– moment of silence –

Call to worship

Adapted from Isaiah 60:4-6; Psalm 72:12

Leader:            Lift up your eyes and look around:

People:            God delivers the needy when they call.

Leader:            Let your hearts thrill and rejoice:

People:            God will deliver the poor and those who have no helper.

Leader:            The nations will bring gold and frankincense before the Lord.

People:            We shall see and be radiant,

All:                  and we will proclaim the praise of the Lord!


Opening Hymn       Arise, your light is come!     STS 30

Scripture        Ephesians 3:1-12

This is the reason that I Paul am a prisoner for Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— for surely you have already heard of the commission of God’s grace that was given me for you, and how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote above in a few words, a reading of which will enable you to perceive my understanding of the mystery of Christ. In former generations this mystery was not made known to humankind, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: that is, the Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. Of this gospel I have become a servant according to the gift of God’s grace that was given me by the working of his power. Although I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given to me to bring to the Gentiles the news of the boundless riches of Christ, and to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; 10 so that through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose that he has carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have access to God in boldness and confidence through faith in him.

Sharing and Prayer (See Thursday’s email announcement)

 Offering Prayer   As with gladness men of old      HWB 218

Sermon   “Spiritual Poverty”

By Joshua with Alisha Garber, Barcelona, Spain, courtesy Mennonite Mission Network (MMN)

Hymn of response  Jesus, be the center       STS 31

Benediction    Adapted from Isaiah 60:1

People of God, people on the road: arise and shine!

Go forth in the radiance of God:

            for your light has come

            and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.

Postlude          Beautiful Star of Bethlehem   STS