Epiphany 2 Sunday 14th January

Hymn Morning Has Broken

Preparation

The night has passed, and the day lies open before us; let us pray with one heart and mind.

Grace mercy and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you

All: And also with you.

This is the day that the Lord has made.

All:  Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

We have come together in the name of Christ to offer our praise and thanksgiving  to hear and receive God’s holy word, to pray for the needs of the world, and to seek the forgiveness of our sins, that by the power of the Holy Spirit, we may give ourselves to the service of God.

All: We say Sorry

Jesus says, ‘Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is close at hand.’

So let us turn away from our sins and turn to Christ, confessing our sins in penitence and faith.

All: Lord God, we have sinned against you;

We have done evil in your sight.

We are sorry and repent.

Have mercy on us according to your love.

Wash away our wrongdoing and cleanse us from our sin.

Renew a right spirit within us and restore to us the joy of your salvation;

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

May the Father of all mercies cleanse us from our sins, and restore us in His image to the praise and glory of His name through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

All: Amen.

Blessed is the Lord,

All: For He has heard the voice of our prayer;

Therefore shall our hearts dance for joy

All: And in our song will we praise our God. 

Blessed are you, Lord our God, creator and redeemer of all;

to you be glory and praise for ever.

From the waters of chaos you drew forth the world, and in your great love fashioned us in your image. Now, through the deep waters of death, you have brought your people to new birth by raising your Son to life in triumph.

May Christ your light ever dawn in our hearts as we offer you our sacrifice of thanks and praise.

Blessed be God, Father Son and Holy Spirit.

All: Blessed be God for ever. 

 

Hymn – All for Jesus I Surrender

1 All to Jesus I surrender,
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.

Refrain:
I surrender all, I surrender all;
All to Thee, my blessed Saviour,
I surrender all.

2 All to Jesus I surrender,
Make me, Saviour, wholly Thine;
Let me feel Thy Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.

Refrain:
I surrender all, I surrender all;
All to Thee, my blessed Saviour,
I surrender all.

3 All to Jesus I surrender,
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power,
Let Thy blessing fall on me.

Refrain:
I surrender all, I surrender all;
All to Thee, my blessed Saviour,
I surrender all. 
 (by Judson W. Van De Venter – 1896)

Collect for the Second Sunday of Epiphany

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.

All: Amen

Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead.

All: And Christ shall give you light.

You have died and your life is hid with Christ in God.

All: Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead.

Set your minds on things that are above,

not on things that are on the earth.

All: And Christ shall give you light.

When Christ our life appears

you will appear with him in glory.

All: Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light. 

Hymn – Jesus calls us; o’er the tumult 

  1. Jesus calls us; o’er the tumult
    of our life’s wild, restless sea,
    day by day his clear voice soundeth,
    saying, “Christian, follow me;”
     
  1. As, of old, Saint Andrew heart it
    by the Galilean lake,
    turned from home and toil and kindred,
    leaving all for his dear sake.
     
  1. Jesus calls us from the worship
    of the vain world’s golden store;
    from each idol that would keep us,
    saying, “Christian, love me more.”
     
  1. In our joys and in our sorrows,
    days of toil and hours of ease,
    still he calls, in cares and pleasures,
    “Christian, love me more than these.”
     

5.     Jesus calls us! By thy mercies,
Saviour, may we hear thy call,
give our hearts to thine obedience,
serve and love the best of all.     
(by Cecil Frances Alexander 1818 to 1895)

Our First Reading is taken from – Revelation Chap: 5

6 Then I saw a Lamb standing in the centre of the throne, surrounded by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb appeared to have been killed. It had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God that have been sent through the whole earth.

7 The Lamb went and took the scroll from the right hand of the one who sits on the throne.

8 As he did so, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each had a harp and gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.

9 They sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to break open its seals. For you were killed, and by your sacrificial death you bought for God people from every tribe, language, nation, and race.

10 You have made them a kingdom of priests to serve our God, and they shall rule on earth.”

This is the Word of the Lord

All: Thanks be to God

Here the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to – John Chap: 1

43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Come with me!

44 (Philip was from Bethsaida, the town where Andrew and Peter lived.)

45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one whom Moses wrote about in the book of the Law and whom the prophets also wrote about. He is Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.”

46 “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” answered Philip.

47 When Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, he said about him, “Here is a real Israelite; there is nothing false in him!”

48 Nathanael asked him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you when you were under the fig tree before Philip called you.”

49 “Teacher,” answered Nathanael, “you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”

50 Jesus said, “Do you believe just because I told you I saw you when you were under the fig tree? You will see much greater things than this!”

51 And he said to them, “I am telling you the truth: you will see heaven open and God’s angels going up and coming down on the Son of Man.”

This is the Word of the Lord

All: Thanks be to God 

Benedicitus

Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel,

All: who has come to his people and set them free.

He has raised up for us a mighty Saviour,

All: born of the house of his servant David. 

Through his holy prophets God promised of old  

All: to save us from our enemies, from the hands of all that hate us, 

To show mercy to our ancestors,

All: and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath God swore to our father Abraham:

All: to set us free from the hands of our enemies,

Free to worship him without fear,

All: holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life. 

And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High,

All: for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,

To give his people knowledge of salvation

All: by the forgiveness of all their sins. 

In the tender compassion of our God

All: the dawn from on high shall break upon us,

To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,

All: and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

 

All: Glory to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning is now

and shall be for ever.

Amen. 

Sermon 

Today’s readings tell us about how 3 people were called to serve their Lord: Samuel, Phillip and Nathaniel.

Which made me start to think: if I was to ask you what God is calling you to do, would you know that answer?

I know that part of my calling is to be here with you today. Although when I finish this reflection in an hour’s time, you just might disagree!

  • I know that God called me to be here. How?
  • Did I hear God’s voice booming out at me?
  • Did he send me a note?
  • Did he say specifically in the Bible?

The answer is a definite no. But I know that he spoke to me through Margaret when she asked me if I could help. I had the opportunity to come here, there was a need I could fulfil, doors opened to allow me to do so, and I knew that God was behind it because it was able to happen.

Did you know that you haven’t randomly come to worship here this morning?

We were all invited by the Lord, and we all said yes. Some others will have said no for various reasons.

How do we know what God wants from us?

In fact, what is a calling?

The best definition that I have heard is:

“A calling is God’s personal, individual invitation to carry out the unique task he has for you.”

That sounds simple enough. But how do you know when God is calling you and is there any way you can be sure you’re doing the task he has assigned you?

Here are a few words from my experiences.

When I was a teenager, ten years ago! probably like most of you at the same age, I wanted to change the world, and thought that I could. But if God wanted all of us to do that, surely it would have happened by now, but the world is still muddling through, for better and for worse.

I wanted to be a Reader for a few years before I started training. But things were against me: my job and a young family primarily.

But then God spoke to me through my Parish Priest and another Reader, my son was growing up and becoming independent and my job had less stress and better hours to allow me to look to take up the role.

This taught me to ask 2 questions:

  • Are doors opening to allow me to do God’s work?
  • Are people and that can be anyone, pointing me in a certain direction?

Secondly, timing.

I wanted to be a Reader about 5 -10 years before I was put forward.

But God obviously didn’t want me then. He was sowing the seeds, but I had to wait until He actually formally called me. It’s God’s time, not my time

So how do we listen to God when we ask Him what He is calling us to do?

Again, from experience, I would answer this by saying:

Once you have asked God the question, actively look for the response.

Be open that the answer can come from:

  • Prayer
  • Listen for His still small voice
  • God could be talking through other people
  • God could be talking through what you read, particularly, but not exclusively to, the Bible
  • Might even be from watching television
  • Through a service, dare I say, in a sermon
  • Any way that may be appropriate for you
  • Are you being asked to do something that you’re good at.

You may ask:

  • Am I too old?
  • Am I too young?

If God wants you to do it, you’re the right age.

God has given each and every one of us, even me, gifts.

A God given gifts.

If God has given them to us, he probably wants us to use them for his will, and his glory.

Some people say they have no gifts, well it just means they haven’t discovered them yet.

What will really help in discerning God’s calling is to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus offers salvation to every person, and he wants to have an intimate   friendship with each of his followers, including all of us here today, and He reveals a calling to those who accept him as their Saviour.

Throughout your life, God’s calling for you will bring great challenges, and often distress and frustration. You can’t succeed at His task on your own. Only through the constant guidance and help of the Holy Spirit will you be able to carry out your God-appointed mission. A personal relationship with Jesus guarantees that the Holy Spirit will live within you, giving you power and direction.

Without this relationship, you’ll be guessing at what your calling is. You’ll rely on your own wisdom, and, more often than you’ll be wrong.

Now, for those still working, your job can be an instrument that helps you carry out your calling. A mechanic may have tools that help him change a set of spark plugs, but if those tools break or get stolen, he gets another set so he can get back to work. Your job may be closely wrapped up in your calling or it may not. Sometimes all your job does is put food on the table, which gives you the freedom to go about your calling in a separate area.

We often use our job or career to measure our success. If we make a lot of money, we consider ourselves successful. But God is not concerned with money. He is concerned with how you’re doing at the task he has given you.

As you’re playing your part in advancing the kingdom of heaven, you may be financially rich or poor. You may be just getting by in paying your bills, but God will give you everything, and I mean everything, you need to accomplish your calling.

Here’s the important thing to remember: Jobs and careers come and go. Your calling, your God-appointed mission in life, stays with you until the moment you are called home to heaven.

To emphasise, God equips each of us with unique spiritual gifts to help us in our calling.

A good list is found in Paul’s letter to the Romans Cap: 12 Vers: 6 to 8 (NIV):

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.”

We will not always recognize our calling overnight; rather, God reveals it to us gradually over the days, weeks, months and even years. As we use our talents and gifts to serve others, we discover certain types of works that feel right. They bring us a deep sense of fulfilment and happiness. They feel so natural and good that we know this is what we were meant to do.

Sometimes we can put God’s calling into words, or it may be as simple as saying,

“I feel led to help people.”

Jesus said,

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…” (Mark  Chap:10 Ver: 45, NIV).

If you take that attitude, you’ll not only discover your calling, but you’ll do it passionately for the rest of your life. 

A Prayer for Discovering Your Calling

Here is a prayer that you can pray to ask God to reveal your individual calling.

Heavenly Father, I know that I have been put on earth for a greater purpose. You have called me to love you first and foremost, and you have also called me to love and serve my neighbours. As your hands and feet, help me to fulfil my primary calling with all of my being

God, I ask that you reveal my individual calling to me. Show me who I need to serve, how I need to serve them, and why you need me to serve them in this way. Lord, break my heart for the things that break yours. Show me the needs of those around me. Help me to lean into the gifts and talents you have given me so that I may do my best work for your Kingdom. Holy Spirit, rise up in me so that I may have the courage, the strength, and the right words to say to love and serve my neighbours. 

I ask all of this in your most precious name. 

Amen

Hymn – O Breath of Life

1 O Breath of life, come sweeping through us,
revive your church with life and power;
O Breath of Life, come, cleanse, renew us,
and fit your church to meet this hour.

2 O Wind of God, come bend us, break us,
till humbly we confess our need;
then in your tenderness remake us,
revive, restore, for this we plead.

3 O Breath of love, come breathe within us,
renewing thought and will and heart;
come, Love of Christ, afresh to win us,
revive your church in every part.

4 O Heart of Christ, once broken for us,
’tis there we find our strength and rest;
our broken, contrite hearts now solace,
and let your waiting church be blest.

5 Revive us, Lord! Is zeal abating
while harvest fields are vast and white?
Revive us, Lord, the world is waiting,
equip your church to spread the light.
(by Bessie Porter Head – 1850 to 1936)

Time of Silence …..

We Say Together:

The Creed.

I believe in God, the Father almighty,

creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the Virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died, and was buried;

he descended to the dead.

On the third day he rose again;

he ascended into heaven,

he is seated at the right hand of the Father,

and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting. 

All: Amen.

Prayers and Intercessions

Prayers for King Charles

Through this tritium of prayer we ask God’s continuing blessing on our new King Charles

Prayer

O God, to whom every human power is subject,
grant to your servant our sovereign Charles
success in the exercise of his high office,
so that, always revering you and striving to please you,
he may constantly secure and preserve
for the people entrusted to his care
the freedom that comes from civil peace.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

All: Amen

Prayer for the Royal Fmialy

Almighty God, the fountain of all goodness,

we humbly beseech thee to bless

Queen Camilla, William Prince of Wales, the Princess of Wales, and all the

Royal Family:

Endue them with thy Holy Spirit; enrich them with thy heavenly

grace; prosper them with all happiness;

and bring them to thine everlasting

kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

We pray for God to fill us with his Spirit.

Generous God,

we thank you for the power of your Holy Spirit.

We ask that we may be strengthened to serve you better.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the wisdom of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to make us wise to understand your will.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the peace of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to keep us confident of your love wherever you call us.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the healing of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to bring reconciliation and wholeness

where there is division, sickness and sorrow.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the gifts of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to equip us for the work which you have given us.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the fruit of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to reveal in our lives the love of Jesus.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the breath of your Holy Spirit,

given us by the risen Lord.

We ask you to keep the whole Church, living and departed,

in the joy of eternal life.

Lord, come to bless us

All: and fill us with your Spirit. 

All: Generous God,

hear our prayer,

and make us one in heart and mind

to serve you with joy for ever.

Amen.

We gather our thoughts and prayers in the words our Saviour gave us 

All: 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,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

Hymn – My Jesus, My Saviour

Closing Blessings

The Lord Jesus Christ,

Son of the living God,

teach you to walk in his way more trustfully,

to accept his truth more faithfully,

and to share his life more lovingly;

that by the power of the Holy Spirit

you may come as one family to the kingdom of the Father.

and the blessing of our Lord Jesus Christ

and the Love of God

and the fellowship  of the Holy Spirit

be with us all evermore. 

All: Amen.

Hymn – O Jesus I Have Promised

  1. O Jesus, I have promised
    to serve thee to the end:
    be thou ever near me,
    my Master and my friend;
    I shall not fear the battle
    if thou art by my side,
    nor wander from the pathway
    if thou wilt be my guide.
     
  1. O let me feel thee near me!
    The world is ever near;
    I see the sights that dazzle,
    the tempting sounds I hear;
    my foes are ever near me,
    around me and within;
    but Jesus, draw thou nearer,
    and shield my soul from sin.
     
  1. O let me hear thee speaking
    in accents clear and still,
    above the storms of passion,
    the murmurs of self-will;
    O speak to reassure me,
    to hasten or control;
    O speak, and make me listen,
    thou guardian of my soul.

 O let me see thy features,

  1. the look that once could make
    so many a true disciple
    leave all things for thy sake:
    the look that beamed on Peter
    when he thy name denied;
    the look that draws thy lovers
    close to thy piercèd side.
     
  1. O Jesus, thou hast promised
    to all who follow thee,
    that where thou art in glory
    there shall thy servant be;
    and, Jesus I have promised
    to serve thee to the end;
    O give me grace to follow,
    my Master and my friend
  1. O let me see thy footmarks,
    and in them plant mine own;
    My hope to follow duly
    is in thy strength alone.
    O guide me, call me, draw me,
    uphold me to the end;
    and then in heaven receive me,
    my Saviour and my Friend.
    (by John Ernest Bode – 1819 to 1874)

The Grace 

All: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

And the love of God,

And the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,

Be with us all evermore.

Amen

Go in joy and peace to love and serve the Lord

All: In the name of Christ Amen.

© 702211