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Intercesssions for Epiphany Year B: 4 January 2015


Adoration of the Magi by Abraham Bloemart c. 1624

The Collect

O God, who by the leading of a star manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth: mercifully grant that we, who know you now by faith, may at last behold your glory face to face; 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 Liturgy of the Word

First Reading: Isaiah 60.1-6

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the arm. Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come.
Herds of camels will cover your land, young camels of Midian and Ephah. And all from Sheba will come, bearing gold and incense and proclaiming the praise of the Lord.”

Psalm 72.(1-9)10-15

Give the king your judgements, O God, * and your righteousness to the son of a king.
Then shall he judge your people righteously * and your poor with justice.
May the mountains bring forth peace, * and the little hills righteousness for the people.
May he defend the poor among the people, * deliver the children of the needy and crush the oppressor.
May he live as long as the sun and moon endure, * from one generation to another.
May he come down like rain upon the mown grass, * like the showers that water the earth.
In his time shall righteousness flourish, * and abundance of peace till the moon shall be no more.
May his dominion extend from sea to sea * and from the River to the ends of the earth.
May his foes kneel before him * and his enemies lick the dust.
The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall pay tribute; * the kings of Sheba and Seba shall bring gifts.
All kings shall fall down before him; * all nations shall do him service.
For he shall deliver the poor that cry out, * the needy and those who have no helper.
He shall have pity on the weak and poor; * he shall preserve the lives of the needy.
He shall redeem their lives from oppression and violence, * and dear shall their blood be in his sight.
Long may he live; unto him may be given gold from Sheba; * may prayer be made for him continually and may they bless him all the day long.

Second Reading: Ephesians 3.1-12

I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles – Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 2.1-12

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’” Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

Prayers of Intercession

Let us pray in the glorious light of Christ, who leads his people in all their worship and adoration.

¶The Church of Christ

Lord, we have celebrated the incarnation of the Christ child as a helpless baby, locked in that moment when time met eternity. But today we see Him through the eyes of the Magi, as the King of glory and Lord of all worlds. May we, like them, have the trust and perseverance to continue in our faith, despite manoeuvring by those who are discomfited by the message of the star that hung over Bethlehem.  May we have the confidence to set him free to turn from baby into man. And let us, too, bow our heads in adoration.

Lord, may all that we do be to your greater glory: in your mercy, hear our prayer


¶Creation, human society, the Sovereign and those in authority

Lord of wisdom and justice, hearing the cry of our prayer and knowing the reality of our politics, renew in all of us a thirst for justice. May we cherish the earth and the oceans; teach us the wisdom of restraint in our use of human industry, which threatens to spoil their pristine perfection. And yet, your creation is never spent; although the world seems smudged by overuse, it remains, deep down, radiant with your unquenchable glory, made manifest to those with eyes to see.

Lord, may all that we do be to your greater glory: in your mercy, hear our prayer


¶The local community

Lord, make us witnesses to your truth through the quiet offering of our lives. Help those we live amongst and with whom we work to offer their talents and possessions for all, and help us to receive these offers with gratitude and grace. Help us to find Christ at the inn in the fellow-guest, who shares our joy and sorrow, God with us.

Lord, may all that we do be to your greater glory: in your mercy, hear our prayer


¶Those who suffer

Lord,  with the strange gift of myrrh you share in our sorrows and enter into our darkness. Help those, we pray, whose pain is the dull ache of a daily bleakness. The echo of the angels’ song lifts our spirits, the stillness in our hearts reminds us that we were there, just for a moment, at that birth, catching a glimpse of glory. Help us to ponder in our hearts, like Mary, and let the Child grow with us through the year.

Lord, may all that we do be to your greater glory: in your mercy, hear our prayer


¶The communion of saints

Lord, as we rejoice in the coming of Christ, the light of the world, we know that the darkness is conquered. We pray for those whom we love who have passed through the darkness to eternal light and when, for us too, the darkness of this world is past, may we come into your presence with love and adoration.

Lord, may all that we do be to your greater glory: in your mercy, hear our prayer



Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above): Some material included in this service is copyright: © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Pub. Hodder & Stoughton Some material included in this service is copyright: © The Archbishops’ Council 2000 Some material included in this service is copyright: © The Crown/Cambridge University Press: The Book of Common Prayer (1662)

1 comment on this post:

UKViewer said...

Thank Laura

01 January 2015 17:25

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