Sunday between 14 and 20 January, Year B / Second Sunday of Epiphany
(Second Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Inspired by John 1:43-51 and 1 Samuel 3: 1-10.
Opening prayers or Call to worship
Accept us into your presence, as we are,
with our hopes and fears,
our loves and loathings,
our accumulated baggage
and random fixed beliefs.
Accept us, love us
and change us.
Can anything good come from this town, this world, this life?
Can anything good come from this place, from the shuttered shops and minds?
Somewhere, or everywhere, your voice is calling, calling us to be the difference.
Your face is the harassed face at the supermarket checkout,
the old face lined with care and the young face looking for meaning and reason.
Your face is the face of those we know who are in pain
[we think of… or brief pause]
Help us to speak your healing here.
Can anything good come from this human world
with its lurching, bloody and inglorious history?
Your voice echoes from the hills and rolls down the years and compels us
to rescue the poor, to end injustice, to at least attempt to save this planet.
[our thoughts turn to today’s news of…]
Help us to find the swords we need to fight the dragons of today.
Can anything good come from this year?
We are probably not expecting too much – a bit better than last year would be good.
If it’s your will, give us the strength to continue with what we are doing
and the stamina to cope with the knocks.
But we need your inspiration, your vision or maybe just a glimpse of how you see our role.
And if you do want us to turn our own world upside down – give us the courage,
because we are not sure that we have it alone.
Can anything good come from today?
It’s sort of already planned and looks fairly ordinary.
Perhaps that is what the first disciples thought at the beginning of each day.
We need your extraordinary presence in each hour
– not necessarily miracles, just a touch, a guidance, a nudge towards the truth.
We need to ditch some of the silly distractions that eat up our time
and learn to enjoy the good things and wonderful people in our lives.
Can anything good come from us? From the hearts beating in this place?
Your church is your body but sometimes we feel like spare parts.
So make full use of all that we are – all the gifts and talents, however hidden;
all the goodness and kindness and everyday decency;
all the imagination and creativity and artistry and dreams.
Take these things and let them triumph over our fears and doubts
because you called us to serve
and we want to serve you and the needs of this world
today and always.