FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Wappinger Falls, New York
January 3, 2021 * Epiphany B
PRELUDE Bring We the Frankincense of Our Love (H. Kenn Carmichael)
Andrzej Lisiecki, organ; Linda Rapp, flute
Have bread & juice/wine ready for communion, and if you’d like to light your Advent candles one more time, have them ready as well.
There is good news of great joy for all!
Our Savior is born: the Messiah, the Lord.
Tell the good news throughout the earth:
the saving grace of Jesus Christ is for all!
Come, let us worship our saving God.
*HYMN #68 What Star Is This With Beams So Bright
LIGHTING OF THE CANDLES
The candle we light today celebrates the birth of our savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Christ is the light of the world;
the light that shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
For the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory,
glory as of a parent for a child, full of grace and truth.
God of light, shining in darkness, through a little child, born in Bethlehem,
you open to us the treasure of your grace.
Help us to search diligently for him,
so that we may offer our lives to you with thanksgiving, joy, and praise.
We watched and waited
in hope. (The first candle is lit)
for peace. (The second candle is lit.)
in joy. (The third candle is lit.)
with love. (The fourth candle is lit.)
And now, light shines in the darkness. (The Christ Candle is lit.)
Let us walk in the light of the Lord.
Glory to God in the highest! Alleluia! Amen!
HYMN #602 Song of Zechariah, Verse 3
On those who sit in darkness the sun begins to rise,
The dawning of forgiveness upon the sinner’s eyes.
God guides the feet of pilgrims along the paths of peace.
O bless our God and Savior with songs that never cease!
CALL TO CONFESSION
Like a great light in a land of deep darkness, the mercy of the Lord shines upon us.
Trusting in God’s grace, let us confess our sin.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION (in unison)
God our Savior, we confess that we fail to live in your light.
You have searched for us and yet we hide from you.
You have lavished us with every blessing, and yet we treasure earthly things.
Forgive us, God of grace.
Let the mystery of your saving love be revealed, even in our lives, according to your eternal purpose;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS
Hear the promise of the Lord: See, your salvation has come!
You are a holy people, redeemed by God, sought out, not forsaken.
In the name of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven! Thanks be to God.
*SHARING OF THE PEACE
The peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. And also with you.
Glory be to God, creator, redeemer and Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be. Amen.
HEARING THE WORD
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
Holy One, giver of all light,
lift up our hearts and minds to Christ, the morning star that never fades.
By the light of your Holy Spirit, reveal to us your saving Word and lead us to offer our lives to you
in service and in love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
FIRST LESSON Isaiah 60:1-6
*HYMN #411 Arise, Your Light Is Come!
SECOND LESSON Matthew 2:1-12
The Word of the LORD. Thanks be to God!
SERMON Let Us Light Candles… Candles That Will Burn All Year Long
RESPONDING TO THE WORD
OFFERING OF OUR GIFTS AND OURSELVES
Each of us is a fragile miracle, evidence of God’s creative hands, and amazing grace.
We are each unique, unrepeatable gifts to the world. We are proof of God’s love.
And so, we who are the gifts of creation now give gifts to our Creator; gifts brought in love.
We offer our lives to the Lord. Amen.
Doxology Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Praise Christ, all people here below.
Praise Holy Spirit evermore,
Praise Triune God, whom we adore. Amen.
THE LORD’S SUPPER
INVITATION Jeremiah 31:14
God has satisfied us with goodness; let us share the blessing of the Lord.
Come now to the table where gifts of grace abound.
THE GREAT PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts in praise. We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. It is right to give God thanks and praise.
Blessed are you, O God.
We look to you and we are radiant;
we thrill and rejoice as nations come to your light and leaders welcome your dawning.
You call us to arise, and shine, for your glory has risen upon us.
So we praise you, joining the saints throughout all time and space;
along with the heavenly choir, saying,
Holy, holy, holy, Lord, God of power and might.
Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is Jesus, our Savior.
With the ancient Magi, we come to pay him homage;
we give him the treasures of our hearts and our lives.
As his star shines down upon us, we are overwhelmed with joy.
WORDS OF INSTITUTION
On the night he was betrayed, this same Savior, Jesus,
took a loaf of bread, gave thanks, broke it and said,
‘This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’
In the same way, he took the cup after supper, saying,
‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
As often as you drink it, do this in remembrance of me.’
And so we eat this bread and drink this cup; we proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
Let us declare the mystery of our faith:
Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.
As we pay him homage, let us pray the prayer that Jesus taught us:
THE LORD’S PRAYER
By your Holy Spirit, make us bold and confident in our faith,
as you reveal to us the mystery of ages, your plan for the world
– to bring all peoples to the knowledge of your grace in Jesus Christ.
Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, all glory and honor are yours, almighty God,
with the Holy Spirit in the holy church, now and forever. Amen.
The gifts of God, for the people of God.
Please share Communion with members of your household as you listen to the hymn.
Hymn #67 Brightest and Best of the Stars of the Morning
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
We give you thanks, O God, for the gifts of this table – precious, prayerful, and poignant – like gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Lead us forth by your light to share the gifts of your grace with all people everywhere, giving glory, honor, and praise to Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
If you would like to share your joys and concerns with the congregation, please call or email the church office.
Almighty God, you have promised to hear when we pray in the name of your Son.
Therefore in confidence and trust we pray:
Enliven the church for its mission that we may be salt of the earth and light to the world.
Breathe fresh life into your people. Give us power to reveal Christ in word and action.
We pray for the world.
Lead us and every people into ways of justice and peace, that we may respect one another in freedom and truth.
Awaken in us a sense of wonder for the earth and all that is in it. Teach s to care creatively for its resources.
We pray for the community.
God of truth, inspire with your wisdom those whose decisions affect the lives of others,
that all may act with integrity and courage. Give grace to all whose lives are linked with ours.
May we serve Christ in one another, and love as he loves us.
We pray for those in need.
God of hope, comfort and restore all who suffer in body, mind, or spirit. May they know the power of your
healing love. Make us willing agents of your compassion. Strengthen us as we share in making people whole.
We remember those who have died and those who mourn.
We remember with thanksgiving those who have died in the faith of Christ,
and those whose faith is known to you alone.
Give comfort to those who mourn. Fill the emptiness of their loss with your never-ending peace.
We pray for ourselves and our ministries.
Lord, you have called us to serve you.
Grant that we may minister in your name, with your love in our hearts, your truth in our minds,
your strength in our wills; until, at the end of our journey,
we know the joy of our homecoming and the welcome of your embrace.
Faithful God, your promises stand unshaken through all generations.
Renew us in hope, that we may see your light shining in darkness,
and that we may welcome Christ to rule our thoughts and claim our love,
as Lord of lords and King of kings, to whom be glory always. Amen.
*HYMN #66 We Three Kings
*CHARGE AND BENEDICTION Titus 3:4-7
The loving kindness of the Lord our God,
the grace of Jesus Christ our Savior,
and the renewing power of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Alleluia!
Go and tell this good news of great joy: Luke 2:10-11
to us a Savior is born. AMEN!
POSTLUDE Gigue (Samuel Arnold) Andrzej Lisiecki, organ; Linda Rapp, flute
Advent–Christmas–Epiphany Devotional & Discussion: Our final discussion, by way of Zoom meeting, will take place on Tuesday night, January 5, 2021 at 7 PM.
The resource, published by Presbyterians Today, called “Let Us Light Candles” can be accessed at this link: https://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/today/advent2020/
Please contact Pastor Margery with questions or if you would like the Zoom link.
Covid-19 Update: Sunday services will be held virtually ONLY at 10 AM for the foreseeable future, until it is safer to gather. Contact the office for further information.
Food Pantry – As of January 1, 2021, the Food Pantry has suspended operations.
Alternate arrangements have been made for all recipients to transfer to another pantry.
Please contact Kathy Sorce or Pastor Margery for more information.
Annual Congregational Meeting: Our annual congregational meeting is scheduled to take place immediately after 10 AM worship on Sunday, February 15, 2021. We will send out further instructions on how to participate by way of Zoom as the date draws closer. Please put this date in your calendar.
Committee chairs and others responsible for reports: please submit your reports to email@example.com by January 20, 2021.
The Free Community Dinner provides take-out meals on the 1st & 3rd Saturday of each month.
Our next Free Community Dinner To-Go is on Saturday, January 16th. Please note change of distribution time: you may pick up meals between 4-5:30 PM.
You may email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a voicemail message at (845)297-2800.
We will send out an email list during the week.
If you would like to receive pastoral care, please call the church office at (845)297-2800 or call Pastor Margery directly at (914)539-5323. Pastor Laurie is available 3-5 PM on weekdays. You can reach her at (845)632-1124 or by calling the church office.
Pastoral care will be offered by appointment only, either outdoors or in the church dining room, fellowship hall or sanctuary, to accommodate for social distancing.
Please let us know how else we can support your spiritual needs.
Offering of Our Gifts and Ourselves:
Thank you for continuing to honor your pledges during this time. Whether you bring it to worship, send a check to the church office by mail or make your contribution using online banking, it is important that we maintain our ability to pay our bills as we continue to navigate this disruptive time as a church community. Thank you for your generosity!