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Do you know what day it is? As I type, it’s Tuesday, 29 December 2020. If you’re in the southern hemisphere, enjoy the fresh foods of the season. If you’re in the northern hemisphere, remember to get your Vitamin D and drink plenty of water. We are in the season wherein many pastors lose track of days and times. The approaching Sunday is 3 January 2021(!). You may be observing Christmas 2 or moving up your Epiphany celebration. 

We have here some gifts from members of our community for your inspiration, adaptation, or use. This paragraph constitutes your permission to use these resources with attribution to the original author. You are also welcome to share your resources for this week in the comments or email for future weeks to be used in an upcoming service.

An Adaptation of John 1 by Cathy Kowley

In the beginning was the Word
And the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.
All knowledge came into being through him and without him no knowledge was understood.
What has come into being was life, and the life was the true enlightenment of all people.

The enlightenment illumines in the dimness, and the ignorance and misery did not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
He came as a witness to testify to the enlightenment, so that all might be illumined through him.
He himself was not the illuminator, but he came to testify to the enlightenment.

The illumined Word, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and the world came into knowledge through him; yet the world did not understand him.
He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him.
But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he enlightened to become children of God,
who were born not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have been enlightened by his glory,
that of a father’s only son, shining with grace and truth.
(c) 2020. CMK.

An Epiphany Prayer by Cathy Kowley

We cannot say goodbye to the darkest of years, Holy God,
unless we acknowledge that the light has come.  
Amidst the stories of painful birth, fleeing families and tyrannical leaders,
we focus all of our wonder onto the Star that guides us
and leads us back into Your Light.
Guide us, O God, into this new time – a time that leaves the darkness behind us
and once again centers us in your hope and peace.
As we find our way to the Epiphany light, the joy of our hearts sings
like the angels that celebrate our Prince of Peace.
For once again, the Light of the World has come. Amen. 

Opening Litany based on Jeremiah 31:13b by Julia Seymour
God of life, you are the creator of the new year and every year. 
You have promised to turn our mourning into joy, our sorrow into gladness. 

God of hope, you cause new days to dawn and, in your presence, righteousness and justice are at home.
You have promised to turn our mourning into joy, our sorrow into gladness. 

God of healing, to whom else can we go? You have the words of eternal life.
You have promised to turn our mourning into joy, our sorrow into gladness. 

God of truth, our hearts turn to you with expectation of your mercy in our own time. 
You have promised to turn our mourning into joy, our sorrow into gladness. 

God of epiphanies, reveal yourself to us in clear and tangible ways.
You have promised to turn our mourning into joy, our sorrow into gladness.

Confession and Assurance of Pardon by Julia Seymour

Blessing and honor to God,
Foundation of the Cosmos, Welcome to the Marginalized, Wisdom of the Ages, 
Revealing love to creation, now and forever. 

We speak the truth, in our hearts and with our words, 
That we have not lived in the illumination of love or the hope of reconciliation.
We have participated in actions that wound.
We have ignored work that would bring healing.
We have soothed ourselves and nursed our own desires instead of turning to you.
In humility and in the hope of a different tomorrow, beginning now, 
We turn to you in repentance and seek your mercy, forgiveness, and restoration. 

Beloved of God, receive and trust this pardon: 
Your sins are forgiven. 
Even now, Divine Love is at work in you to restore your brokenness
and to bring you back to confidence and faith in Jesus Christ, your Savior and Lord, 
who has never left you. 
Go in peace with attentiveness to the Holy Spirit, the true source of life.

The following videos are shared for inspiration. If you wish to use them, please use citations from their original sites and not this sit. 

RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back to the specific post. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com. For Worship Words, you may use or adapt what you find here, but please credit the author in printed orders of service/web publications and in public video descriptions if possible.

If you have written words for worship in this strange new world that you are willing to share, please send us an email: revgalblogpals at gmail dot com.

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