Liturgy – January 2, 2022

January 1st, 2022 | Josh Williams

Call To Worship

Welcome to the Liturgy of Austin Mustard Seed.

The word liturgy means the work of the people. Today is the second Sunday after Christmas. We celebrate the coming of Jesus into the world, incarnate as a human baby, to show us what God is like.

Whether friend or strangers, passionate believer or hopeful skeptics, for this short moment, we are all participants and hosts. Let us wait together for a moment of quiet.

All hail! let there be joy!
Hail to the King, hail to the King.
Blessed is He, blessed is He.
The peace of earth to Him;
The joy of heaven to Him.
The homage of a King be His,
King of all victory;
the welcome of a Lamb be His,
Lamb of all glory:
the Son of glory down from on high.
All hail, let there be joy. 

Deep in the night
the voice of the waves on the shore
announced to us: Christ is born!
Son of the King of kings
from the land of salvation,
the mountains glowed to Him,
the plains glowed to Him,
then shone the sun on the mountains high to Him.
All hail, let there be joy!

God the Lord has opened a Door.
Christ of hope, Door of joy!
Son of Mary, hasten Thou to help me:
In me, Lord Christ, let there be joy.  

Old Testament Reading

Isaiah 60:1-6

Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you.

Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Lift up your eyes and look around; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from far away, and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses’ arms. Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice, because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you.

A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the LORD.

Prayer of Confession

Let us cry out to God as a community. Our response will in bold.

Arise, shine: for your light has come.

O God, we live as if the light
had never defeated the darkness in the world or in us.

And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.

We confess that we ignore the Christ
you sent to be among us, to be in us.

For behold, darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord
will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you.

We’ve kept the birth of your Son
confined to the Christmas season
and do not yearn for his birth
each moment in our waiting hearts.

And nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your rising.

Lord, you came to us in the fullness of time.
Forgive us for not opening our eyes to your coming.
It’s time that we prepare for your coming.

Let the earth ring with song.
Let the light break forth.
Let all rejoice in the miracle of love.
Let Christ come into the fullness of our time.
We pray to our God in community, holy in One, amen.

Gospel Reading

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.

When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 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. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

Prayers of the People

We want to invite you now into a time of prayer. This is an opportunity for us as a community to support one another and participate by sharing our prayer requests. Please keep your prayers brief so that others will have a chance to share as well.

Please stay where you are and speak up. Begin by   introducing yourself and say:

 “Hello, my name is…”

If you have something you’re thankful for, end your prayer with…

“Let us bless the Lord” and we’ll respond together, “Thanks be to God.” 

If you have something you’d like prayer for, end your prayer with…

“Let us pray to the Lord” and we’ll respond together, “Lord, have mercy.”

“With the prayers that have been spoken and those that are unspoken, let us finish by praying the Lord’s prayer together…”

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.


Austin Mustard Seed, as we leave today:

May Christ, who by his incarnation
gathered into one, things earthly and heavenly,
fill us with peace and goodwill
and make us partakers of the divine nature;

May the joy of the angels,
the eagerness of the shepherds,
the perseverance of the wise men,
the obedience of Joseph and Mary,
and the peace of the Christ-child
be ours this Christmas and beyond.

We pray by the grace of the Father,
the empathy of the Son
and the sustaining breath of the Holy Spirit.