John R. Watkinson
Collect For Purity
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid. Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy Name through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth. Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory. Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.
Collect of the Day
Celebrant The Lord be with you.
People And also with you
Celebrant Let us pray.
O God, who wonderfully created, and yet more wonderfully restored, the dignity of human nature: Grant that we may share the divine life of him who humbled himself to share our humanity, your Son Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
A Reading from the Book of Jeremiah 31:7-14
Thus says the Lord: “Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, and raise shouts for the chief of the nations; proclaim, give praise, and say, ‘Save, O Lord, your people, the remnant of Israel’ See, I am going to bring them from the land of the north, and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth, among them the blind and the lame, those with child and those in labor, together; a great company, they shall return here. With weeping they shall come, and with consolations I will lead them back, I will let them walk by brooks of water, in a straight path in which they shall not stumble; for I have become a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn. Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, and declare it in the coastlands far away; say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd a flock.’ For the Lord has ransomed Jacob, and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him. They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion, and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord, over the grain, the wine, and the oil, and over the young of the flock and the herd; their life shall become like a watered garden, and they shall never languish again. Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy, I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. I will give the priests their fill of fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my bounty,” says the Lord.
The Word of the Lord.
People Thanks be to God
1 How dear to me is your dwelling, O Lord of hosts! *
My soul has a desire and longing for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh rejoice in the living God.
2 The sparrow has found her a house
and the swallow a nest where she may lay her young; *
by the side of your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.
3 Happy are they who dwell in your house! *
they will always be praising you.
4 Happy are the people whose strength is in you! *
whose hearts are set on the pilgrims’ way.
5 Those who go through the desolate valley will find it a place of springs, *
for the early rains have covered it with pools of water.
6 They will climb from height to height, *
and the God of gods will reveal himself in Zion.
7 Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; *
hearken, O God of Jacob.
8 Behold our defender, O God; *
and look upon the face of your Anointed.
9 For one day in your courts is better than
a thousand in my own room, *
and to stand at the threshold of the house of my God
than to dwell in the tents of the wicked.
10 For the Lord God is both sun and shield; *
he will give grace and glory;
11 No good thing will the Lord withhold *
from those who walk with integrity.
12 O Lord of hosts, *
happy are they who put their trust in you!
A Reading from the Letter of Paul to the Ephesians 1:3-6, 15-19a
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe.
The Word of the Lord.
People Thanks be to God.
Celebrant The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew 2:1-12
People Glory to you, Lord Christ.
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.
The last time I was with you was Advent Sunday, when I wished you all a Happy New Year. Today, five weeks later, I find myself wishing you a Happy New Year again. One was on the Church calendar and the other was on the secular calendar. On Christmas, we also celebrated a new relationship with God at the Birth of His Only Son. In many ways this is also a celebration of a New Year, and new relationship with God. I had never thought until now of all the new beginnings that we have in life. I am reminded of other dates we have for new beginnings, our fiscal year, the school year. On January 1st, eight days after the Holy Birth in Bethlehem of Judea, Jesus began his earthly life identified with the name of Jesus. This name was not uncommon, being a form of the Hebrew name Joshua, meaning savior. So Jesus not only shared humanity with us, but his name also. This began the act of salvation that would redeem the world, and forgive us of our sins. As we celebrate our Savior’s birth, we must become aware of the fact that salvation is the act of God. Our Lord sought us before we ever thought of seeking Him. There are many ways of saying that we love God because God first loved us. Paul reminds us in his letter to the Ephesians that God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, and that through Jesus Christ we were destined for adoption as God’s children. As we enter into this close relationship with Almighty God, it becomes a new beginning. Each day as we re-commit our lives to God, this is a new beginning. Jesus also had new beginnings in His life. Next week we will celebrate fantastic new beginning in His life, as we look to His Baptism by John the Baptist. When Jesus was a youth, Joseph, Mary, and Jesus, with many of their neighbors, had gone to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. The picture shows them on their way back to Nazareth – all but Jesus, who has stayed behind in the temple. Mary and Joseph had trained Jesus to take care of Himself, and they were all in the company of neighbors and friends, so they did not immediately miss Jesus’ presence in the group. Now Jesus’ behavior did not imply that he was disobedient, thoughtless, or irresponsible. He had a burning desire to learn. His years in the synagogue school in Nazareth, and the instruction of Mary and Joseph, had kindled a fire. Now Jesus was grasping the opportunity to learn from the religious and intellectual leaders of his nation. Another door had opened for Jesus – a new beginning. So the anxious parents found him in the temple, listening and asking questions. Jesus was not disrespectful when he asked; “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” He was there because he had followed he instincts of his heart. This was a new beginning for the Holy Family, as Joseph and Mary began to receive a glimpse of their emerging roles as the parents of the Son of God. The life Jesus had was to be centered in being about the Father’s business – and not the business of the world. This means a separation from the mainstream of life. I am not of this world Jesus proclaims – and this sums up the beginning of our new relationship with Almighty God. But this new beginning, this new relationship implies leaving behind the only relationship, the old habits, the familiar ways of life. The experiences of change in our lives are uprooting and painful; yet necessary if we are to have the new beginning. In us there are many new Beginnings, but there is one we often fail to see. We must understand God as offering us a new beginning each day. We have a fresh start every morning when we wake up. New Years is a time for resolutions, which imply new patterns of life, a new start. As followers of the Christ, we must begin to be more attentive to the ways of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit calls us to leave our old lives rooted in the secular worlds, to try the unbeaten path, to forge ahead to complete the tasks God is calling us to embrace. As follows of the Christ, we must begin to be more attentive to the ways the Spirit is calling us each day to leave our old lives, and to try the unbeaten path, to forge ahead to complete the tasks God is calling us to embrace.
Nancy Plummer Faxon
The Nicene Creed
(BCP p. 358)
We believe in one God
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate
from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified
under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand
of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is
worshipped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and
We acknowledge one baptism
for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Prayers of the People
In the Anglican cycle of prayer, we pray for The Episcopal / Anglican Province of Alexandria.
In the Diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for St. Andrew’s in Cincinnati, Grace Church in Pomeroy, and St. Luke in Cincinnati.
In our Parish cycle of prayer, we pray for Ginny Tuxhorn and Jasmyne and Jennifer Phillips; Mike and Katherine Wagner; and Elizabeth Wagner and Sean Weber.
Heavenly Father, you have promised to hear when we pray in the name of Jesus your Son. Therefore in confidence and trust we offer our prayers.
Blessed are you eternal God
to be praised and glorified for ever.
Heavenly Father, hear us as we pray for the unity of the Church.
May we all be one that the world may believe.
Grant that every member of the Church may truly and humbly serve you
that the life of Christ may be revealed in us.
We remember those who have died.
Father, into your hands we commend them.
Remembering St. Mark, we praise you for all your saints who have entered your eternal glory.
May we also come to share your heavenly kingdom.
Have compassion on those on our Parish Prayer List (N), and on all who suffer from sickness, grief or trouble.
In your presence may they find strength.
Look with kindness on our homes and families.
Grant that your love may grow in our hearts.
Make us alive to the needs of our community.
Help us to share one another’s joys and burdens.
Inspire and lead those who hold authority in the nations of the world.
Guide us and all people in the way of justice and peace.
Strengthen all who minister in Christ’s name.
Give us courage to proclaim your Gospel.
Celebrant Jesus, as we travel far and fast, lead our minds back to the wise men following your star, and forward to the day when we will see your shining light. Amen.
(from A New Zealand Prayer Book, page 560)
The Lord’s Prayer
Celebrant As our Savior Christ has taught us, we now pray,
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those
who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power
and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.
Celebrant The peace of the Lord be always with you.
People And also with you
Act of Spiritual Communion
I believe that you are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love you above all things, and I desire to receive you into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace you as if you were already there and unite myself wholly to you. Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.
The congregation is dismissed.
People Thanks be to God.
“French tune on a Christmas Carol”
For today’s announcements, click HERE.
To read a copy of the December 17 Vestry Minutes, click HERE
St. Mark’s Vestry
Senior Warden: Gary Welch
Junior Warden: Katherine Wagner
Treasurer: Don Nancarrow
Secretary: Dave Reuter
Carol Nancarrow, Tracey Swartz
Kendall Rubino, Jenna Walch
St. Mark’s Staff
Transitional Priest in Charge The Rev. Dr. John Agbaje
Parish Administrator Katherine Wagner
Music Director Donna Larsen
Sexton Douglas Plummer
Webmaster Dave Reuter
Look for us…
On the web: www.StMarksDayton.org
Facebook: St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Dayton, Ohio