Sunday, January 3, 2021

Order of Worship: January 3, 2020, 10:30 a.m. - The Epiphany of Our Lord (Transferred)

 The livestream may be found here.

OPENING MUSIC                                O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright! 

                                                                                                                        Paul Manz


         Bright and Glorious is the Sky

                                                                                           David N. Johnson

Please meditate on the text of the hymns  as they are played:


1              O Morning Star, how fair and bright!

                You shine with God’s own truth and light,

                aglow with grace and mercy!

                Of Jacob’s race, King David’s Son,

                our Lord and master, you have won

                our hearts to serve you only!

                Lowly, holy!

                Great and glorious,

                all victorious,

                rich in blessing!

                Rule and might o’er all possessing!


2              Come, heav’nly bridegroom, light divine,

                and deep within our hearts now shine;

                there light a flame undying!

                In your one body let us be

                as living branches of a tree,

                your life our lives supplying.

                Now, though daily

                earth’s deep sadness

                may perplex us

                and distress us,

                yet with heav’nly joy you bless us.


3              Lord, when you look on us in love,

                at once there falls from God above

                a ray of purest pleasure.

                Your word and Spirit, flesh and blood

                refresh our souls with heav’nly food.

                You are our dearest treasure!

                Let your mercy

                warm and cheer us!

                Oh, draw near us!

                For you teach us

                God’s own love through you has reached us.



4             Almighty Father, in your Son

                you loved us, when not yet begun

                was this old earth’s foundation!

                Your Son has ransomed us in love

                to live in him here and above:

                this is your great salvation.


                Christ the living,

                to us giving

                life forever,

                keeps us yours and fails us never!


5              What joy to know, when life is past,

                the Lord we love is first and last,

                the end and the beginning!

                He will one day, oh, glorious grace,

                transport us to that happy place

                beyond all tears and sinning!

                Amen! Amen!

                Come, Lord Jesus!

                Crown of gladness!

                We are yearning

                for the day of your returning.


6              Oh, let the harps break forth in sound!

                Our joy be all with music crowned,

                our voices gaily blending!

                For Christ goes with us all the way--

                today, tomorrow, ev’ry day!

                His love is never ending!

                Sing out! Ring out!



                Tell the story!

                Great is he, the King of glory!


Text: Philipp Nicolai, 1556-1608; tr. Lutheran Book of Worship, 1978

© 1978 Lutheran Book of Worship, admin. Augsburg Fortress






1              Bright and glorious is the sky,

                radiant are the heavens high

                where the golden stars are shining.

                All their rays to earth inclining

                beckon us to heav’n above,


2              On that holy Christmas night

                through the darkness beamed a light;

                all the stars above were paling,

                all their luster slowly failing

                as the Christmas star drew nigh,


3              Sages from the East afar,

                when they saw this wondrous star,

                went to find the king of nations

                and to offer their oblations

                unto him as Lord and King,


4             Him they found in Bethlehem,

                yet he wore no diadem;

                they but saw a maiden lowly

                with an infant pure and holy

                resting in her loving arms,


5              Guided by the star, they found

                him whose praise the ages sound.

                We too have a star to guide us

                which forever will provide us

                with the light to find our Lord.


6              As a star, God’s holy word

                leads us to our King and Lord;

                brightly from its sacred pages

                shall this light throughout the ages

                shine upon our path of life.


Text: Nikolai F. S. Grundtvig, 1783-1872; tr. Service Book and Hymnal, 1958, alt.

© 1958 Service Book and Hymnal, admin. Augsburg Fortress












Alleluia! Unto us a child is born.

  Unto us a Son is given! Alleluia!

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,

and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

  And also with you.




In peace, let us pray to the Lord.                                 Lord, have mercy.

For the peace from above,

and for our salvation, let us pray to the Lord.       Lord, have mercy.

For the peace of the whole world,

for the well-being of the Church of God,

and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord.    Lord, have mercy.

For this holy house,

and for all who offer here their worship and praise,

let us pray to the Lord.                                                   Lord, have mercy.

Help, save, comfort and defend us, gracious Lord.              Amen


HYMN OF PRAISE Gloria in excelsis Deo


Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.         

(Luke 2:14)

Lord God, heavenly king, almighty God and Father:

                We worship you, we give you thanks,

we praise you for your glory.

                Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,

Lord God, Lamb of God:

                You take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.

                You are seated at the right hand of the Father;

receive our prayer.

                For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord,

                you alone are the Most High,

                Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit,

in the glory of God the Father. Amen





The Lord be with you.

  And also with you.


Lord God, on this day you revealed your Son to the nations by the leading of a star. Lead us now by faith to know your presence in our lives, and bring us at last to the full vision of your glory, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.




The news of the boundless riches of Christ

has been brought even to us.

  Let us hear the Word of the Lord.



First Reading                                                                     Isaiah 60:1-6


1Arise, 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.


The Word of the Lord.

  Thanks be to God.

PSALM 72:1-7, 10-14

The psalm is read responsively between the pastor and the people.


All kings shall bow down before him.                                                   Psalm 72:11


1 Give the king your jus- | tice, O God,*

                and your righteousness to | the king's son;

2 that he may rule your | people righteously*

                and the | poor with justice;

3 that the mountains may bring prosperity | to the people,*

                and the little | hills bring righteousness.

4 He shall defend the needy a- | mong the people;*

                he shall rescue the poor and crush | the oppressor.

5 He shall live as long as the sun and | moon endure,*

                from one generation | to another.

6 He shall come down like rain upon | the mown field,*

                like showers that wa- | ter the earth.

7 In his time shall the | righteous flourish;*

                there shall be abundance of peace

till the moon shall | be no more.

10 The kings of Tarshish and of the isles | shall pay tribute,*

                and the kings of Arabia and Saba | offer gifts.

11 All kings shall bow | down before him,*

                and all the nations | do him service.

12 For he shall deliver the poor who cries out | in distress,*

                and the oppressed who | has no helper.

13 He shall have pity on the low- | ly and poor;*

                he shall preserve the lives | of the needy.

14 He shall redeem their lives from oppres- | sion and violence,*

                and dear shall their blood be | in his sight.


All kings shall bow down before him.                                               Psalm 72:11


Second Reading                                                                  Ephesians 3:1-12


1This is the reason that I Paul am a prisoner for Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—2for surely you have already heard of the commission of God’s grace that was given me for you, 3and how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote above in a few words, 4a reading of which will enable you to perceive my understanding of the mystery of Christ. 5In 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: 6that is, the Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
7Of 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. 8Although 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, 9and to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; 10so 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. 11This was in accordance with the eternal purpose that he has carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12in whom we have access to God in boldness and confidence through faith in him.


The Word of the Lord.

  Thanks be to God.




Alleluia.  We observed his star in the East,

  and have come to pay him homage.  Alleluia.                             Matthew 2:2


Gospel                                                                                            Matthew 2:1-12


The Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew.

  Glory to you, O Lord.


1In 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.


The Gospel of the Lord.                                  

  Praise to you, O Christ.





HYMN OF THE DAY                                                                        The First Noel


Please meditate on the text of the hymn as it is played.



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.  Refrain


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.  Refrain


4     This star drew near 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.  Refrain


5      Then entered in those wise men three,

        full rev'rently upon their knee,

        and offered there in his presence

        their gold, and myrrh, and frankincense.  Refrain


Text: English traditional





The pastor and people confess the faith of the Church in the words of the Nicene Creed.


X At the words ‘For us and for our salvation,’ and continuing through ‘and was made man,’ a solemn bow is appropriate to praise the incarnation of our Lord.


We believe in one God,

                the Father, the Almighty,            

                                maker of heaven and earth,

                                of all that is, seen and unseen.


We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

                the only Son of God,

                eternally begotten of the Father,

                God from God, Light from Light,

                true God from true God,

                begotten, not made,

                of one Being with the Father.

                Through him all things were made.

                X For us and for our salvation

                                he came down from heaven;

                                by the power of the Holy Spirit

                                he became incarnate from the virgin Mary,                                                       and was made man. X

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

                                he suffered death and was buried.

                                On the third day he rose again

                                                in accordance with the Scriptures;

                                he ascended into heaven

                                                and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

                He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,

                                and his kingdom will have no end.



We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,

                who proceeds from the Father and the Son.

                With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.

                He has spoken through the prophets.

                We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

                We acknowledge one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

                We look for the resurrection of the dead,

                                and the life of the world to come. Amen



Let us pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus, and for all people according to their needs.


A brief silence


For the Church, that living in the light of your Son’s appearing, we may come to him with joy, offering the gifts we have been given. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


For this congregation, that in service to each other and to our neighbors, we may radiate the light of Christ as witnesses to his epiphany. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


For our elders and council members: that they might know your love and that their service might be pleasing to you. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


For the leaders of our nation: that they may look to you for wisdom and strength, and exercise their offices faithfully. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


With thanksgiving for mercies given, we pray for the peoples of the world; those who are poor in body, mind or spirit; for those whose faith grows cold; for those who work in hospitals, nursing homes, and as first responders, and for all who suffer from any illness of body, mind, or spirit.


The People may offer silent or spoken intercessions and thanksgivings.



Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


May we, who have believed our Lord’s appearing, rejoice with all the saints and our departed loved ones when he appears again to judge the living and the dead. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Into your hands, Father, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your steadfast love, through Jesus Christ our Lord.    




Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given,

and his name shall be called the Prince of Peace.                                Isaiah 9:6

The peace of the Lord be with you always. 

  And also with you. 


The people exchange a sign of peace with the simple words, Peace be with you.



The Lord’s Table is prepared.




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.





The Lord be with you.                                   

  And also with you.                     

Lift up your hearts.                                         

  We lift them to the Lord.                        

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.                                  

  It is right to give him thanks and praise.





  It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times

and in all places offer thanks and praise to you, O Lord, holy Father, almighty and ever-living God.

  In the incarnation of your Son, a new light has dawned upon the world, that all the nations may be brought out of darkness to see the radiance of your glory.

  And so, with the Church on earth and the hosts 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!                                                    (Isaiah 6:3, Matthew 21:9)


The pastor leads the people in praying the Eucharistic canon:


You are indeed holy, O God.


You surround us with your glory and mercy,

and in the splendor of your heavenly light

you lead us through the darkness of this world.

You led your people Israel by a pillar of fire,

as you delivered them from bondage

and brought them to the promised land.

By the light of Bethlehem's star

you led the sages to your beloved Son,

revealing him to the nations as King of kings and Lord of lords.


In words, signs and wonders

your Son gave the light of hope to the disappointed

and healing to the disenchanted.

Then, at the appointed time,

he stretched out his hands on the cross,

showing forth the brilliance of a life freely given,

that all may have life in him.

In the night in which He was betrayed

                our Lord Jesus took bread and gave thanks,

                broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying:

                Take and eat; this is my Body, given for you. 

Do this for the remembrance of me.


Again, after supper, He took the cup, gave thanks,

                and gave it for all to drink, saying:

                This cup is the new covenant in my Blood,

                shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. 

Do this for the remembrance of me.


In joy we proclaim the mystery of our faith:

                Christ has died.

                Christ is risen. 

                Christ will come again.


Gracious Father, we give you our thanks

for the light of our Lord's passion

and his victory over the grave.

We rejoice that you have made us your people,

objects of Christ's redeeming love.


We pray that by your Holy Spirit

you will bless and sanctify this Holy Communion,

that we may be illumined in faith

as we partake of Christ's body and blood,

renewed in the forgiveness of sins.

and joyous in our hope for your eternal kingdom.


Through him, with him, in him,

                in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

                all honor and glory is yours, almighty Father,

                now and forever. Amen


The One who was born in Bethlehem is now here in our midst.

By the power of his Spirit, we pray to his Father, saying:


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 and ever. Amen



We have found him who gives light to the nations,

and have come to do him homage.

  Thanks be to God.


We adore Christ with the words of the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God).


Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world;           

   have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world;

  have mercy on us.        

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world;

  Grant us peace.                                                    John 1:29, see also Luke 17:13




Admission to the Sacrament is by invitation of the Lord, presented through the Church to those who are baptized.


They may receive the Lord’s Body and Blood who are baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, who commune in their home churches, and who believe that Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, is truly present in, with, and under the forms of bread and wine for the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation.


The communicants will be invited forward one family unit at a time. Please do not come forward until the pastor directs you to come forward, do not approach all the way to the table until the pastor has retreated, and please do not remove your mask until you have reached the table with the elements on it.


 When the pastor says ‘The body of Christ, given for you,’ eat the bread. When the pastor says, ‘The blood of Christ, shed for you,’ drink the wine.  Please take the plate and the glass(es) and place them on the table that is indicated. Please put your mask on before returning to your seat.

Please meditate on the text of the hymn as it is played.


We Three Kings of Orient Are


1              We three kings of Orient are;

                bearing gifts we traverse afar,

                field and fountain, moor and mountain,

                following yonder star.


Refrain   Oh, star of wonder, star of night,

                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.  Refrain


3              Frankincense to offer have I;

                incense owns a deity nigh;

                prayer and praising, gladly raising,

                worshiping God Most High.  Refrain


4             Myrrh is mine; its bitter perfume

                breathes a life of gathering gloom;

                sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,

                sealed in the stone-cold tomb.  Refrain


5              Glorious now behold him arise,

                King and God and Sacrifice;

                heav’n sings alleluia:

                alleluia the earth replies.  Refrain


Text: John Henry Hopkins Jr., 1820-1891, alt.


When all have received, the congregation stands at the direction of the pastor.


The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you and keep you in his grace.



Lord, now you let your servant go in peace;

your word has been fulfilled.

My own eyes have seen the salvation

which you have prepared in the sight of every people:

A light to reveal you to the nations

and the glory of your people Israel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning, is now,

and will be forever. Amen                         

             Song of Simeon (Luke 2:29-32)






Lord God,

the bright splendor whom the nations seek:

may we who with the wise men have been drawn by your light

discern the glory of your presence in your Son,

the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ our Lord.





God the Father,

who led the wise men by the shining of a star

to find the Christ, the Light from light,

lead you also in your pilgrimage to find the Lord.



God the Son,

who turned water into wine at the wedding feast at Cana,

transform your lives and make glad your hearts.



God the Holy Spirit,

who came upon the beloved Son

at his baptism in the river Jordan,

pour out his gifts on you

who have come to the waters of new birth.



Almighty God, Father, X Son, and Holy Spirit,

bless you now and forever.




Go in peace. Serve the Lord.          

Thanks be to God!


CLOSING MUSIC                                         O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright


Please maintain social distance and remain masked while exiting the building. Please sanitize your hands before leaving the building.