Year ABC
Epiphany
January 6



Eucharistic Preface

Let us lift up our hearts.
    We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
    It is right to give our thanks and praise.

It is indeed right to give you our thanks and praise, O God,
for you are the fulfilment of all our searching.

Since the time you created all things
you have had a plan
— hidden in mystery through the ages —
to draw all the world into one body,
and to share with all peoples your promises of glory.

And now the light has risen,
the mystery is made known:
your beloved child, Jesus, is revealed to the whole world
as Saviour and Redeemer,
and as the King who reigns in justice and peace.
You made him known first
to the magi from the east,
who came to pay him homage,
though they knew of him only what the silent stars could tell.

And now, you draw us again to the feet of Jesus
— the crucified and risen Christ —
to offer our gifts of praise to the light of the world.

Therefore with .....

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




Short Preface
(for insertion into Eucharistic prayers with fixed prefaces)

We give you thanks for your beloved child, Jesus,
who you made known to the magi from the east,
who knew of him only what the silent stars could tell.
You have drawn us again to his feet
and in him we have found the fulfilment of all our searching.

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




General Prayer of Thanksgiving
(Preface reformatted for use apart from communion)

Gracious God, our hearts rejoice in your presence,
as we give you our thanks and praise,
for you are the fulfilment of all our searching.

Since the time you created all things
you have had a plan
— hidden in mystery through the ages —
to draw all the world into one body,
and to share with all peoples your promises of glory.

And now the light has risen,
the mystery is made known:
your beloved child, Jesus, is revealed to the whole world
as Saviour and Redeemer,
and as the King who reigns in justice and peace.
You made him known first
to the magi from the east,
who came to pay him homage,
though they knew of him only what the silent stars could tell.

And now, you draw us again to the feet of Jesus
— the crucified and risen Christ —
to offer our gifts of praise to the light of the world.

Therefore, with our hearts lifted high,
we offer you thanks and praise at all times
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




Declaration of Grace / Absolution

God has declared that through our union with Christ
and through our faith in him
we may enter God’s presence with all confidence.
Our sins are no longer held against us,
God’s grace has been given to us.

Sisters and Brothers,
    your sins are forgiven;
        be at peace.

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net




Commission & Benediction

Go now, seek out the Christ wherever he may be found,
and share the good news with all who bear him no ill will.
Bring light to those in thick darkness,
a voice to those no one speaks for,
and hope to those no one cares for.

And may God make you a sharer in the promised light.
May Christ Jesus fill you with his sense of what is right.
And may the Holy Spirit be to you like rain
that gives life to the fertile earth.

We go in peace to love and serve the Lord,
    In the name of Christ. Amen.

©2000 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net






Paraphrases of the Scripture Lections
for Epiphany - January 6
Lections from The Revised Common Lectionary.
Copyright 1992 by the Consultation on Common Texts (CCT)
P. O. Box 340003, Room 381, Nashville, TN 37203-0003, USA. Used with Permission.




* Isaiah 60:1-6

On your feet, people of God! Let everyone see you!
    The glory of the LORD
        has set you aglow with light
            like the sunrise on the rock.

Darkness overpowers the earth and its peoples,
    blinding them, weighing them down;
but for you the sun always shines,
    because the LORD has lit up your lives with glory.

As the brightness of your light intensifies,
    nations and their rulers will be drawn to you
        like moths to a flame.

Open your eyes! Look around you!
    The crowds are streaming towards you.
Everyone is coming,
    even the children you thought had gone forever.

What a sight for sore eyes!
    You’ll be elated and proud – positively aglow.
You’ll be showered with gifts by those who arrive,
    priceless gifts from overseas and around the world.

They’ll arrive by the truckload from everywhere,
    from places rich and exotic and mysterious.
People will bring gold and frankincense,
    and lavish their praise on the LORD.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14

Send us a wise ruler, O God,
........one who takes after you in justice and honesty;
one who does the right thing by everybody,
........and is vigilant in ensuring justice for the poor;
one who will stand up for the disadvantaged,
........provide a way out of the poverty trap,
................and stomp on those who exploit the vulnerable.

Then the whole land will know prosperity and integrity;
........the mountains, the valleys, the hills, the plains.

Send us a wise ruler, O God,
........who will outlive the sun and moon,
................who will rule forever, generation after generation.

May your chosen one give life to the land
........like the spring rains in the wheat country.
May the people yield a bumper crop of honesty,
........and may peace be as dependable
................as the southern cross in the night sky.

Give your chosen one the top ranking in all the world,
........deferred to and revered
................by every other monarch, president and governor.
May they all feel compelled to pay homage,
........to come bearing gifts, priceless and exotic,
and to put themselves and their nations
........at the service of your chosen one.

All this is only right for the one who rescues those in need,
........and has compassion for the homeless and the refugees;
who champions the cause of the forgotten and the spurned,
........and guarantees the lives of the powerless;
who rescues those subjected to violence and oppression,
........and treasures their lives, each and every one.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Ephesians 3:1-12

........I, Paul, am in jail for my commitment to Jesus Christ, or more particularly, for my efforts on Christ’s behalf to break down the walls that kept you Gentiles separated from his people. No doubt you have heard about how God, in an amazing act of generosity, assigned me to this job. You’ve also heard - since I just told you a page or so back - about how God let me in on this mystery directly. If you go back and read over what I said about this earlier, you too will be able to understand what God has shown me concerning the mystery of Christ. No previous generation was ever given the opportunity to begin unravelling this mystery. The whole human race was in the dark about it until now. Now though, the Holy Spirit is bringing it all out into the open through Christ’s chosen leaders and messengers. And, in a nutshell, this is what it is all about: the Gentiles are God’s chosen people too! Those who have had no previous contact with God’s people have exactly the same right of access to God as those who can trace their bloodline back to Abraham. There is only one body of people who will inherit all that God has promised, and Jesus Christ has opened it up to everybody, regardless of their origins. No more segregation - Christ has put the welcome mat out for everyone.
........I’ve taken on the job of getting this message out into the public arena. I still can’t get over how generous God was in trusting me with the job and equipping me for it. Of the available candidates, you wouldn’t have thought I’d have even made the short list, but in an act of reckless good will, God gave me the tap on the shoulder. So now I have the privilege of letting the Gentiles know that they too can share in the inexhaustible riches and extravagant generosity of Christ. God, who created everything, had always had this plan in mind, but now I have the privilege of giving everyone else their first look at it! The wisdom of God has more angles and aspects than the finest diamond, and more than any one person or group could every comprehend, but through the church it is all being opened up. Through ordinary congregations of believers like you, the powers of the universe and the authorities of the spiritual world are being schooled in God’s ways! God had always planned for it to be this way, and the plan was put into effect through the actions of Jesus Christ our Lord. It is because we trust him that we now have the confidence to deal directly with God and the courage to live accordingly.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net



* Matthew 2:1-12

    Jesus was born in Bethlehem, in the territory of Judea, during the reign of King Herod. Some time after his birth, a group of eastern mystics turned up in Jerusalem looking for him. “Where can we find the child who has been born to be the king of the Jews?” they asked. “We observed the appearance of the star that heralds his birth, and so we have come all this way to pay our respects.”
    When King Herod heard this, he went berserk, and when Herod was agitated, everybody in Jerusalem was on edge. Pulling himself together, he called in the city’s top priests and religious scholars and asked them whereabouts the Messiah was supposed to be born. They were in no doubt: “Bethlehem in Judea,” they said. “The prophet Micah spelt it out quite clearly:

    ‘Bethlehem in Judea, you’re it!
        I’m going to put you on the map!
    You will be the home town of my chosen ruler,
        the one who will lead my people on the right track.’”

    Having sorted that out, Herod met behind closed doors with the visiting mystics and pumped them for information about exactly when the star had first appeared. He then gave them directions to Bethlehem and sent them on their way, saying, “Go, and leave no stone unturned until you find the child. When you’ve found him, drop me a line so that I can come down and pay my respects too.”
    So, having gained this information from the king, they hit the road. As they did, they spotted the star again, the same one they had first seen appear. Taking a line from the star, they were able to track down the exact place where the child was. Their search was finally at an end, and they were over the moon! They were allowed into the house and there they saw him, a little child in the arms of his mother, Mary. Overcome with awe, they fell to their knees in reverent wonder before the child. From their luggage, they gave him exotic gifts of gold, aromatic frankincense, and myrrh.
    They were warned in a dream to avoid contacting Herod, so they kept a low profile and took the back roads out of Judea as they began their journey home to their own country.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net