“The darkness is past, and the true light now shineth..” (1 John 2,8b)
Introit Psalm 100
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.. Glory be 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.
God’s holy Word
The Old Testament lesson: Isaiah 49,13-16
Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto t The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the Lord.
The holy Epistle: Ephesians 3, 2-6
If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel
The holy Gospel according to the evangelist St. Matthew chapter 2:1-12
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.
Sermon text from Colossians 1:24-27
Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church: Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
The liturgical colour is white.
Collect for Epiphanyp
Together with the holy Christian Church we pray with this collect: O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the Peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Hymn for this Holiday:
- “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!
- “Come, heavenly 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 heavenly joy You bless us.
- “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 heavenly food. You are our dearest treasure! Let Your mercy Warm and cheer us! O draw near us! For You teach us God’s own love through You has reached us.
- “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. Alleluia! Christ the living, To us giving Life forever, Keeps us Yours and fails us never!
- “O let the harps break forth in sound! Our joy be all with music crowned, Our voices gladly blending! For Christ goes with us all the way— Today, tomorrow, every day! His love is never ending! Sing out! Ring out! Jubilation! Exultation! Tell the story! Great is He, the King of Glory!
- “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!”
Philipp Nicolai (1556-1608)
If you are called to preach this weekend, may the triune God give you joy and strength, wisdom, knowledge and insight – and the true words and pictures to preach his holy will faithfully according to his most precious revelation of his will and promises in both the Old and New Testament! However if you are not preaching, but listening – then listen as if God is talking to you + His precious gospel is “the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” (Rom 1:16 NIV)