God's Open House

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Call to Worship

One: We come together to know the joy of God’s presence.
All: The Lord is good to all, and has compassion on all God has made.
One: We come to be reminded of God’s grace.
All: The Lord is good to all, and has compassion on all God has made.
One: We come in faith and hope, to share in God’s work of love.
All: The Lord is good to all, and has compassion on all God has made.
One: Gracious God, fill us with your spirit, give us rest from our burdens and our weariness, renew our strength so that we may faithfully serve you,
and remind us of your grace today, that we may go forth knowing that we are truly loved. Amen.

Prayer of Confession

God of love,
we have hidden all our worries, anxieties, and fears
from each other
and from you.
We do not want pity,
so we cut off compassion.
We cling to our burdens,
and wonder why we are tired and afraid.
Forgive us, Lord.
for thinking there is nothing to be done.
Give us the courage to reach out to you,
and to each other
to help and be helped.
Restore us to you
and teach us how to live in grace.

Scripture Matthew 2:1-12

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “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.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

‘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.’”

Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then 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.” When 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. 10 When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11 On 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. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.