Event – Epiphany

Giving Thanks for Every Epiphany

God of grace, giver of great gifts of insight and hope,
thank you for every epiphany that will happen today.
For every one following a sign from heaven,
for every one taking long journeys when they don’t know the way,
for every one falling on their knees before a baby,
for every one giving gifts from their heart,
for every one being bowled over by love,

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Sermon: Epiphany in the Ordinary and Everyday – Matthew 2:1-15, Genesis 28:10-16, John 1:51

The story of Jacob’s ladder, and the story of the magi, are two very different stories of epiphany, from very different parts of the Bible.  But they both teach us that epiphanies are gifts.  And in some epiphanies there is choice involved.  You can choose to do the work of unpacking the epiphany. You can take the journey it calls you to.  You can embrace the epiphany, tell your family about it, and be forever changed. Or you can walk by the revelation, you can refuse to believe it’s happening in your ordinary, everyday time.  

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Sermon: Praying for Hope in Gaza – Matthew 2:1-23, Ecclesiastes 4:1-3

Jesus was a child refugee in Gaza. We can see Jesus’ face in the many children in Gaza today. And the weeping of the parents in Bethlehem described in our scripture resonates with so many images we’ve seen in the last few weeks of Israeli and Arab parents wailing. “A voice was heard in Rama, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children, she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.”

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Sermon: Epiphany–A Gift Worth Remembering – Matthew 2:1-15, John 3:16, I John 3:16-18

I saw the handwritten sign on a sheet of paper taped to one of the windows: “Closed for Epiphany.” Maybe they were closed for the Christian holiday of Epiphany. But what if they were closed because they were having an epiphany?Epiphany with a capital “E” is the name of the Christian holiday celebrating the arrival of the wise men at the birth of Jesus. Epiphany with a small “e” is a word meaning a revelation from God, an encounter with God, or an insight.

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Strange Epiphany Prayer

It has been a strange epiphany this year, God.
We’ve had sudden insight into how fragile democracy can be.
Many of us are disturbed and shocked by the violence and mayhem
that filled the halls of power in Washington DC this week.
Spaces sacred to government were violated by intruders
carrying weapons and symbols of racism.
We see the injustice of how government responds to protests;
when black people marched peacefully last year
they were met with a massive show of force.
We worry about a president who both refuses to concede
and fans flames of violent protest,

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Epiphany Congregational Prayer

God of seekers:
Thank you for all who are on a journey this year:
a journey to give birth to a child,
a journey to lay a loved one to rest,
a journey to complete a school program,
a journey to pay big bills,
a journey to find a job,
a journey to find themselves.
Thank you that you are the Sender,
sending us to places we would rather not go
to meet people we would rather not meet.
Forgive us when we are too comfortable to get up,

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Pointed Epiphany Prayer

God of grace, thank you for every epiphany that will happen today
for every one who drops a weapon because there are no enemies
for every one who breathes in the scent of cedar and is cleansed
for every one who drops that heavy bundle of resentment
for every one who is guided by generations yet unborn
for every one who is contented at the end of a journey
for every one who falls on their knees before a baby
for every one who senses the webs that connect us
for every one who follows a sign from heaven 
for every one who remembers to give gifts 
for every one who is bowled over by love 
for every one who recognizes the holy 
for every one who dances with joy
for every one who says a prayer
for all with stars in their eyes
For Jesus’ sake
We pray

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Darkness and Light: An Epiphany Responsive Prayer

In the darkness before creation,
you made all that lives and breathes.
In the darkness of Mary’s womb,
you formed Jesus, bringer of light.
In the darkness of our world your spirit sustains us.
O God, you are with us in darkness and in light.
Under the cover of darkness,
Magi followed the star to the Christ-child.
We come from the East and we come from the West,
following you on our different roads,

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The Innkeeper: An Epiphany Poem

They were grateful lodgers,

considering the humble accommodations.

We did the best we could,

the place full up,

our stable the last corner we had.

Mary, who had a baby coming,

wanting only peace and privacy,

was happy with anything.

It was a birth like any other,

the mother spent, the baby crying,

the father bewildered.

I gave her swaddling clothes,

the ones my Daniel used.

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About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner www.leadinginworship.com” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at carol@leadinginworship.com

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