Offer Our Treasure (2020)
Epiphany of the Lord
MATTHEW 2:1-12/3:1-12 IV (A,B,C)
Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14; Ephesians 3:1-12; Doctrine and Covenants 165:2b
“Joseph, Kind Joseph” CCS 414
OR “The First Noël” CCS 424
Welcome and Call to Worship
Today we celebrate Epiphany. Epiphany is commonly defined as an experience of sudden and striking insight. In the Christian tradition, Epiphany celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ. It is the twelfth day after Christmas. Today’s scripture recognizes the journey of the Three Kings or Magi who followed a star to honor the newborn king with their treasure.
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 60:1-6
Come let us worship.
Hymn of Epiphany
“We Three Kings of Orient Are” CCS 438
OR “From a Far-off Land/De tierra lejana venimos” CCS 440/441
Suggestions on how to incorporate these hymns:
Invite three soloists to portray the three kings and sing the stanzas. Ask the congregation to sing the refrain.
Stanza 1 – all sing
Stanza 2 – King 1
Stanza 3 – King 2
Stanza 4 – King 3
Stanza 5 (CCS 438 only) – all sing
OR Kings could read the stanzas and congregation either sing or speak the refrain.
Kings could wear costumes and hold their gifts or dress in their usual clothing and hold a gift. If there is still a figure of baby Jesus in a manger present, they could lay their gifts at the manger.
Time of Reflection
We confess that sometimes we hold on to our treasures to feel safe and secure. We worry that there won’t be enough if we share our time or finances. May we feel the joy in being generous as the Magi must have felt in giving their treasure to the baby Jesus.
Dwelling in the Word: Matthew 2:1-12 Print or project the questions associated with each reading.
Preparation: Ask participants to listen for or sense a particular word, phrase or image in the scripture passage that may bring a new insight or thought as the scripture is read.
Read the scripture passage and provide a moment of silence for reflection.
Ask participants to share their reflection with someone sitting close by on the question: "What aspect of the scripture brought you a new insight or thought?"
Preparation: Before reading the scripture a second time, ask participants to reflect on the question
“How was Herod feeling about the news the wise men shared?”
Read the passage a second time; pause for a moment of silent reflection.
Ask participants to share their responses to the next question with someone close by. “Are there times when you are like Herod? Perhaps your place in your family or community or church feels threatened by a new person coming into that group.”
Preparation: Before reading scripture a third time, ask participants to reflect on the questions: “What was it like for the Magi to go beyond their normal world to seek the newborn king? What does this passage say to you about going outside your normal routine in response to the Spirit’s call?”
Read the passage a third time; pause for silent reflection. Ask people to share their responses to the preparation questions with someone close by.
Based on Matthew 2:1-12
Hymn of Reflection
“Silvery Star, Precious Star” CCS 419
OR “Wise Men Came Journeying” CCS 445
OR “Not in Grand Estate” CCS 444
Disciples’ Generous Response
In Community of Christ we can offer our treasures just as the Magi did. The church has identified four gifts: time, talent, testimony, and treasure (financial giving). The Magi were generous in giving the fine gifts they brought for the Christ child. Every day we have opportunities to share our time, testimony, talent, or treasure and to receive generously what God has graced us with. In our worship today we now take time to be generous through the spirit of tithing, which is giving generously to one’s true capacity as we share our treasure of financial contributions in response to God’s generosity.
Scripture Reading: Doctrine and Covenants 165:2b
During the Disciples’ Generous Response, we focus on aligning our heart with God’s heart. Our offerings are more than meeting budgets or funding mission. Through our offerings, we are able to tangibly express our gratitude to God who is the giver of all.
As we share our mission tithes either by placing money in the plates or through eTithing, use this time to thank God for the many gifts received in life. Our hearts grow aligned with God’s when we gratefully receive and faithfully respond by living Christ’s mission.
Blessing and Receiving of Local and Worldwide Mission Tithes
Hymn of Generosity To be sung as the offering is received.
“Can We Calculate Our Giving” CCS 617
OR “From You I Receive” Sing this through at least three times. CCS 611
Encourage participants to sing in languages other than their own.
For additional ideas, see Disciples’ Generous Response Tools at www.CofChrist.org/disciples-generous-response-tools.
Prayer for Peace
Light the Peace Candle.
Ask people to stand.
“Peace Among Earth’s Peoples” CCS 448
Sing as a congregation or read aloud in unison.
A Daily Prayer for Peace service is held at the Temple in Independence, Missouri, USA 365 days a year. Additional ideas for Prayer for Peace can be found at www.CofChrist.org/daily-prayer-for-peace.
Because the three Magi were open to new and challenging insights, they ventured beyond what they knew into the unknown, following a star toward the baby Jesus. President Steve Veazey, in his closing sermon for World Conference 2019, shared a 21st century challenge of what it means for us to journey toward Jesus. He said: “The love, message, and embrace of Jesus Christ are broad beyond measure. By their very nature they must be shared widely, or they are not being shared at all. They are not limited to just me, ‘my kind of people,’ or some preferred nation, culture, or race. If we truly are moving toward and with Jesus, then the church community constantly will venture beyond all kinds of perceived boundaries and horizons to invite others to drink deeply of Christ’s life-giving water in loving community.” Let us journey into God’s world, looking for ways to share our treasure.
“Alleluia” CCS 117