A Service for Epiphany 2


A Service for The Second Sunday of the Epiphany, 17th January, 2021

 

Preparation:

Before beginning to read this short service, you may wish to find a space for prayer in front of a cross or a candle.  

 

O Lord, open our lips

and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

 

By the mercies of God,

let us confess our sins and present our bodies as a living sacrifice,

holy and acceptable to him,

which is our spiritual worship.

 

Lord Jesus, illuminate the darkness in our hearts:

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

 

Lord Jesus, open our eyes to your saving love:

Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

 

Lord Jesus, unstop our ears to hear your living word:

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

 

May God who loved the world so much

that he sent his Son to be our Saviour

forgive us our sins

and make us holy to serve him in the world,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

The Collect

 

Silence is kept.

 

Almighty God,

in Christ you make all things new:

transform the poverty of our nature

   by the riches of your grace,

and in the renewal of our lives

make known your heavenly glory;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Amen.

 

The First Hymn

Awake, my soul, and with the sun :   please access Simon’s accompaniment here: 

 https://youtu.be/6Ql9miKmrnM

 

Awake, my soul, and with the sun 
Thy daily stage of duty run; 
Shake off dull sloth, and joyful rise 
To pay thy morning sacrifice. 

Redeem thy misspent time that’s past, , 

And live each day as if thy last; 
Improve thy talent with due care, 
For the great day thyself prepare. 

Let all thy converse be sincere, 
Thy conscience as the noon-day clear : 
Think how all-seing God thy ways 
And all thy secret thoughts surveys. 

Wake, and lift up thyself, my heart, 
And with the angels bear thy part, 
Who all night long unwearied sing 
High praise to the eternal King. 

 

The First Reading:

1 Samuel 3.1-10

Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread.

At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ and he said, ‘Here I am!’ and ran to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ But he said, ‘I did not call; lie down again.’ So he went and lay down. The Lord called again, ‘Samuel!’ Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ But he said, ‘I did not call, my son; lie down again.’ Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, ‘Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” ’ So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ And Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening.’

This is the Word of the Lord

Thanks be to God

 

Psalm 139: 1-9

 

Refrain:    Search me out, O God, and know my heart.

 

1    O Lord, you have searched me out and known me;  

you know my sitting down and my rising up;

you discern my thoughts from afar.

2    You mark out my journeys and my resting place  

and are acquainted with all my ways.

3    For there is not a word on my tongue,  

but you, O Lord, know it altogether.

4    You encompass me behind and before  

and lay your hand upon me.

5    Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,  

so high that I cannot attain it. [R]

6    Where can I go then from your spirit?  

Or where can I flee from your presence?

7    If I climb up to heaven, you are there;  

if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.

8    If I take the wings of the morning  

and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

9    Even there your hand shall lead me,  

your right hand hold me fast.

 

Refrain:    Search me out, O God, and know my heart.

 

Creator God,

may every breath we take be for your glory,

may every footstep show you as our way,

that, trusting in your presence in this world,

we may, beyond this life, still be with you

where you are alive and reign

for ever and ever.

 

The Second Reading:

Revelation 5:1-10

Then I saw in the right hand of the one seated on the throne a scroll written on the inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals; and I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?’ And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it. And I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. Then one of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep. See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.’

Then I saw between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders a Lamb standing as if it had been slaughtered, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He went and took the scroll from the right hand of the one who was seated on the throne. When he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell before the Lamb, each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. They sing a new song:
‘You are worthy to take the scroll
   and to open its seals,
for you were slaughtered and by your blood you ransomed for God
   saints from every tribe and language and people and nation;
you have made them to be a kingdom and priests serving our God,
   and they will reign on earth.’

This is the Word of the Lord

Thanks be to God

 

The Gospel:

John 1:43-end

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.

Glory to you, O Lord.

The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, ‘Follow me.’ Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.’ Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.’ When Jesus saw Nathanael coming towards him, he said of him, ‘Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!’ Nathanael asked him, ‘Where did you come to know me?’ Jesus answered, ‘I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.’ Nathanael replied, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!’ Jesus answered, ‘Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.’ And he said to him, ‘Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.’

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, O Christ.

 

Homily on the Old Testament Reading - 1 Samuel 3.1-10

The stories that come in the Bible that witness to the weak, the young and the outcast being drawn into the centre of attention are a constant lesson to those who consider themselves to be worldly wise and confident.  There is a naive young boy in today’s lesson from the 1st Book of Samuel, whose trust in the aged Eli is complete, but it took time for the experienced Eli to recognise and acknowledge that it was the boy Samuel who was being called by God, not him.

They are a beautifully written few verses of Scripture too, bringing us to imagine the scene.  The opening sentences build the atmosphere of the story and create an evocative hold on us: ”the word of the Lord was rare”; “there was no frequent vision”; Eli’s “eyesight had begun to grow dim”; “the lamp of God had not yet gone out”.  The words carry us from the universal to the closeness of beside the light of a dying lamp, and into this “going down”, this “darkening” of the call of God there comes the beginning of something new, with the simple words from God to the boy: “Samuel, Samuel “.  Just his name, no more.

The story unfolds in all its richness, and Eli, once woken from the daze into which he had sunk, recognised that God does call the young and the inexperienced, as Christ called not the overtly religious, but fishermen and a tax collector; the innocent; those not sure of themselves; and even one Judas Iscariot, with whom he took a risk.  There is a beautiful song by Sydney Carter that is rarely sung now, The Lord of the Dance, which depicts Christ’s drawing others into his way as into a rhythm; a kind of picture of new life encompassing not those whom we expect, but those whose lives are to be filled with the vision of what new thing God has in store for them.

John Mann

 

Second Hymn 

Blest are the Pure in Heart: 

https://youtu.be/z0I9e9rlx0Y

 

1 Blest are the pure in heart,
for they shall see our God;
the secret of the Lord is theirs,
their soul is Christ's abode.

2 The Lord, who left the heavens

our life and peace to bring,
to dwell in lowliness with men,
their pattern and their King;

3 Still to the lowly soul
he doth himself impart,
and for his dwelling and his throne
chooseth the pure in heart.

4 Lord, we thy presence seek;
may ours this blessing be;
give us a pure and lowly heart,
a temple meet for thee.

 

Prayers 

 

We pray for the Church and for the World

Heavenly Father we bring before you the world of which we are a part.  Especially today we pray for the United State of America, as this week it receives its new President.  May those who pray for peace and restitution and reconciliation in that land be heard, and may your merciful blessing rest on those whose lives are desperate for renewal and hope.  

Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer.

Almighty God, as we hear the call and recognise it for what it is, help us to live out our lives in the spirit of faithful service.  Grant to the nations, and to the faith communities of which millions belong, a fresh vision of a world of common concern: for the environment, for the health of all peoples, for the prosperity of the poor and afflicted, and for the end of strife.  May your Church play its part in the call to unity, as tomorrow the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins with the theme, “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit”.

Lord in your mercy.

Hear our prayer.

Father, we pray for those whose lives are blighted by anxiety, fear and exhaustion.  We remember especially those who are at the forefront of the treatment of those who are ill.  Bless the NHS and all who work in it, that their efforts may be rewarded and many be saved from isolation and the worst effects of the virus infection.

Lord, in your mercy.

Hear our prayer.

Awaken our hearts to your presence in all people; and be with us as we struggle with issues and attitudes that we find difficult and challenging.  In a moment of silence let us bring our own issues to your throne of grace:

silence

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

 

We thank you for the gift of life with its blessings and its sorrows.  Shield

the joyous, comfort and strengthen those in any need or trouble,

especially those who seek healing and support in the Church in this place.

 

Bless those who will be born today and those who will die,

joining in the company of all your saints,

that we may rejoice in one unending song of praise.

 

Lord, in your mercy.

Hear our prayer.

 

Through Jesus Christ our Lord

we offer these our prayers and thanksgivings to you, Lord God,

source of all that is true and holy, now and for ever. 

Amen.

 

 

The Peace

 

Our Saviour Christ is the Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and of peace

there shall be no end.

 

The Lord’s Prayer

 

A few moments of silence before we pray:

 

God of glory,

you nourish us with your Word

who is the bread of life:

fill us with your Holy Spirit

that through us the light of your glory

may shine in all the world.

We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen

 

Conclusion

 

Christ the Son of God perfect in you the image of his glory

and gladden your hearts with the good news of his kingdom;

and the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always.

Amen.

 

Sarabande - Karg-Elert: https://youtu.be/9j9YOclmpSE

 

Common Worship: Times and Seasons, material from which is included here,

is copyright © The Archbishops' Council 2006 and published by Church House Publishing.

 

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