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11:00am – 29th January 4th Sunday of Epiphany

United Benefice of Altham and Clayton-le-Moors

Forth Sunday of Epiphany 

This service is live in church, but it will be streamed so if you are unable to attend you can view it online. Now most of the words will also appear when you view the service on line so it will be easier to follow the service.

However, below are the day’s readings as there will not appear on screen.

First  Reading: Malachi 3: 1- 5

I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.

But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can standwhen he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver;he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver.Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former years.

“So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the Lord Almighty.

 

Second Reading: Luke 2: 22 – 40

When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”[a]), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”[b]

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required,28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
    you may now dismiss[c] your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31     which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and the glory of your people Israel.”

33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against,35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four.[d] She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.

Almighty God as we celebrate the feast of Candlemas today we give thanks for your son Jesus who is the Light of the World and for your call to us to share in that light. We pray that our Church may be a light to those who live in the darkness of unbelief, and reveal to them his love.

Intercessions

Light of Christ, Shine upon us.

Thank you for sending Jesus as a rescuer.
For bringing light and truth and love to the world in the way he lived and in the things he taught. We ask that you would help our world today in the same way that you helped Simeon and Annas.

Light of Christ, Shine upon us.

Thank you for all the people who bring light to our lives, for those who help and care for us. Help us to be lights to others, to be friendly, to care and to take the time to listen.

Light of Christ, Shine upon us.

We pray in the quietness of our minds for all who we know have need of You. Especially we pray for…….

Bless them, give them comfort and assurance, and give us courage to do what we can to help.

Light of Christ, Shine upon us.

Be with those who grieve and open their minds that they may find hope and the will to carry on despite the heaviness of heart they are now experiencing.

We know your everlasting light shines with us, in moments of great sadness and great joy.

Light of Christ, Shine upon us.

 Creator God, we thank you for  the gift of the life of Alice Grace baptised this morning. May your blessing of peace and joy be with Alice, her parents and godparents and and protect them all of their days. 

Light of Christ, Shine upon us.

Gracious God, we thank you for this time together in prayer, as we look forward to the week to come, help us to be lights to those around us by the way in which we live and how we treat others, and show us the practical steps we need to take to develop consistency and integrity in all that we do in our lives.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.  Amen.