St. John the Baptist Anglican Church - Duncan St. John the Baptist Anglican Church - Duncan
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Feast of the Epiphany
Guest Speaker
Sunday, January 2, 2022

As we gather, we recognize that we live, work and play in the traditional lands of the Cowichan Tribes and Coast Salish People.  We continue to commit ourselves to the work of reconciliation and relationship-building with our First Nations neighbours.  




Call to Worship:  

We have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him. 

Matthew 2.2


O come, let us worship.


Opening Hymn: We Three Kings

Public Domain  


We three kings of Orient are,

bearing gifts we traverse afar,

field and fountain, moor and mountain,

following yonder star.  


O star of wonder, star of night,

star with royal beauty bright;

westward leading, still proceeding,

guide us to thy perfect light.  


Born a king on Bethlehem’s plain,

gold I bring to crown him again,

king forever, ceasing never,

Over us all to reign.



Frankincense to offer have I,

incense owns a Deity nigh,

prayer and praising, all men raising,

worship him, God most high.



Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume

breathes a life of gathering gloom;

sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,

sealed in the stone-cold tomb.



Glorious now behold him arise,

King, and God, and Sacrifice,

Alleluia! Alleluia!

Earth to the heavens replies.




The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.

And also, with you.  


Almighty God,

to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden.

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 Jesus Christ our Lord.



The Gloria  

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 upon 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  

Eternal God,

who by a star led wise men to the worship of your Son.

Guide, by your light, the nations of the earth, that the whole world may know your glory;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.



The Proclamation of the Word  

First Reading:  Isaiah 60.1-6   

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.    


Psalm 72.1-7, 10-14  


Endow the king with your justice, O God,     

the royal son with your righteousness.


May he judge your people in righteousness,     

your afflicted ones with justice.  


May the mountains bring prosperity to the people,     

the hills the fruit of righteousness.


May he defend the afflicted among the people     

and save the children of the needy;     

may he crush the oppressor.


May he endure as long as the sun,     

as long as the moon, through all generations.


May he be like rain falling on a mown field,     

like showers watering the earth.


In his days may the righteous flourish     

and prosperity abound till the moon is no more  


May the kings of Tarshish and of distant shores     

bring tribute to him.

May the kings of Sheba and Seba     

present him gifts.


May all kings bow down to him    

 and all nations serve him.  


For he will deliver the needy who cry out,     

the afflicted who have no one to help.


He will take pity on the weak and the needy     

and save the needy from death.


He will rescue them from oppression and violence,    

 for precious is their blood in his sight.   


O God, bring our nation and all nations to a sense of justice and equity, that poverty, oppression, and violence may vanish and all may know peace and plenty.

We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.    


2nd Reading:  Ephesians 3.1-12

The word of the Lord. 

 Thanks be to God.  


Gradual Hymn: The First Noël

Public Domain  


The first noël the angel did say

was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay,

in fields where they lay keeping their sheep

on a cold winter’s night that was so deep.  


Noël, Noël, Noël, Noël,

Born is the King of Israel.  


They looked up and saw a star

shining in the east, beyond them far;

and to the earth it gave great light,

and so, it continued both day and night.



And by the light of that same star

three wise men came from country far;

to seek for a king was their intent,

and to follow the star wherever it went.



The Lord be with you.  

The Good News of Jesus according To:  Matthew 2.1-12    

Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ.    

The Gospel of Christ,

Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ. 


This star drew nigh to the north-west;

o’er Bethlehem it took its rest

and there it did both stop and stay

right over the place where Jesus lay.



Then entered in those wise men three,

full reverently upon their knee,

and offered there in his presence,

their gold and myrrh and frankincense.



Then let us all with one accord

Sing praises to our heavenly Lord;

who has made heaven and earth of nought,

and with his blood salvation bought.



Sermon:  The Venerable Brian Evans  

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be ever acceptable to you O Lord.  Amen.




If you had followed me over the last number of years, you would be correct if you were to observe, “this title has a familiar tone to it”.  

Yes, I have often used this title, as they are words at the end of the reading of the encounter the Magi have with our Lord, so long ago.

At the same time, I can say I have never re-used a sermon from this date.  

The question for myself is, “What about this returning another way?”

How were the Magi affected in this encounter?” AND, “What happens to US in this encounter?”  


Let me repeat some words of prophecy we have just heard:  Isaiah 60:1-6

60:1 Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.

60:2 For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you.

60:3 Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

60:4 Lift up your eyes and look around; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from far away, and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses' arms.

60:5 Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice, because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you.

60:6 A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense and shall proclaim the praise of the LORD.          

Darius, the King of Persia has allowed the people to return to Jerusalem.

As they gather for their return, the prophet, Isaiah, speaks to them.

They hear this prophesy. He instructs them to arise, or to come out from their places of fear, to go to Jerusalem, for there they will discover joy, prosperity, and salvation has come to the people.  

This is like a forerunner to the visit of the Magi to Bethlehem, or the aftermath.  

Today we mark a significant moment in the life of our Christian faith.  

The Magi have come from the east, bringing gifts to the infant Jesus. In the midst of presenting these gifts, the Magi in turn receive a gift.          

I have wondered about this often.

What, or why were they advised to return to their homes by another road?

What is this other road?

Could it be this ‘other road’ is a metaphor for something greater, or some greater meaning, in the life of the child: Jesus, wrapped in swaddling clothes, in the warmth of a manger?  

What would it mean to us, how are we affected, when we observe the iconic scene from so long ago: of Mary and Joseph standing guard over the manger in which their child lay?  

Are we re-directed? Are we changed?

Is there a sense, each year, as we stand—as the world stands—in the midst of this iconic scene, a change happens within?  

I believe we are all re-directed, in one way or another.

This may not be a direct change. At the same time though, we will be re-directed in ways of service, sacrifice, and surrender.  

This new direction will involve finding the holy in the least-expected places. Often these spaces are the least expected, or even in the most uncomfortable of circumstances.  


Years ago, in my early years of ordained ministry, a wise centenarian in our first parish queried, as I shared in the Collect for Epiphany with her: Vicar, do you know what the Epiphany means?  To which Mrs. Wilson immediately gave the answer, “You know it is about change.?   

This was followed by one of the briefest homilies on the Epiphany I have ever had the opportunity to hear. I just wish I would have returned home to write it down—for, I was on a different road, metaphorically speaking.  

A few days before Christmas, as Flo and I were exiting a local food establishmen, at the exit door was a man with little more than a t-shirt, pants, one hospital slipper, and the other foot bare, sitting in a wheelchair. The man was so cold he could not even ask for help. As we walked to the car Flo said, “Get the blanket out of the car and give it to him.” I took the blanket and wrapped it around him—his tears stopped for a moment.  


We returned home on a different “road”.  


Remember the moment Peter makes the great confession that Jesus is the Christ, the Saviour, the Son of God?

This is followed by Jesus saying to Peter, “right, and I will be opposed by the religious leaders and will be killed”.  

At this moment, Peter takes Jesus aside and “REBUKES” him, saying don’t be ridiculous, this will never happen to you.  

Jesus responds: 23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” (Mt. 16:23)   With this, Jesus turns and sets his face towards Jerusalem.  

From this, we learn one of the most important lessons on our faith, and in living our faith in light of the Epiphany.

Our joy does not come from avoiding pain and evil, rather it comes from meeting it head on.  

On this day, we celebrate the light of Christ being spread across the globe, as is figuratively represented in the visit of the Magi from the East.  

This day, following the celebrations of New Years, is a great opportunity for making friends with the challenges for the days which lie ahead; a day to face the challenges of finding new ways to live out this light, which we celebrated only 12 days past, Christ’s Mass.          

Two lessons from stories of the past:  

The first, comes from Mother Teresa.  

It is reported that when she went to visit her bishop with this idea of creating what would later become the Order of the Sisters of Mercy, the Bishop asked her how much money she had.

She pulled out 2 cents. Of course, the Bishop said she could not build an order on 2 cents.

Her reply: “With God and 2 cents, you can do anything.”  

Permission was granted, and we know the rest of the story.  


The second, possibly more legend that actual: the story of the star-thrower.  

The star-thrower, like Mother Teresa, knows the power of small victories.  

The scene: the star-thrower is on the beach, surrounded by thousands of starfish washed ashore. They lay there dying, and he begins throwing dozens back into the sea.

An observer standing by asks, what he is doing.  

The star-thrower says the starfish will all die if they are not back in the water soon.

The observer asks if he thinks he can really make a difference.

Holding up one, throwing it in the ocean says: It makes a difference for this one.  


When Jesus came into the world, I am sure it was not with a blinding light.

At the same time, that small light radiating from the stable has prompted the world to imagine the change made possible through every-day acts of kindness—acts of kindness, most often given anonymously, in the name of our Christian faith.          


Matthew tells us today: “Having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their OWN country, by another road.” (Mt. 2:12)  

When we begin with Epiphany by taking another way home, the world will be changed, we will be changed.  

When we take time to kneel before the “creche”—the Holy—we are changed.  

We begin to face the inevitable, called life, just as Jesus, when he set his face towards Jerusalem.  

This applies not only to us as individuals, at the same time, to the body corporate.  

Who knows what God may have in store for us—if we are prepared for change, as I was so-reminded by my centenarian parishioner, Mrs. Wilson, so many years ago?  


The world will then know in deed, and understand, the wisdom of these words from the prophet so long ago: Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.  

Thanks be to God.  Amen.    


The Apostles Creed:

Let us confess the faith of our baptism, as we say:  

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.

He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.

He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.  

He descended to the dead.

On the third day he rose again.

He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again to judge the living and the dead.  

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,

the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.  Amen.    


The Prayers of the People  

All humanity is drawn to God through the light of Christ. Let us pray that our spiritual gifts will enable us to reach the fullness of light and light.

We respond:

Draw us to yourself, Living Word.  


Through the light of faith, inspire us to seek you continuously in the ordinary and common places.

We ask in faith:

Draw us to yourself, Living Word.  


Through the light of wisdom, show us the path that leads to healthier lifestyles and spiritual maturity.

We ask in faith:

Draw us to yourself, Living Word.  


Through the light of hope, renew our strength in time of illness, grief, and personal trials. In our Parish we pray for:

Roy & Gail; Daryl & Sue; Maureen; John & Diana; John; Steven; Sheila; Joseph; and Mark.

We ask in faith:

Draw us to yourself, Living Word.  


Through the light of justice, help us as a society to share our material gifts with those less fortunate.

We ask in faith:

Draw us to yourself, Living Word.  


Through the light of love, transform any ill will and hostility in us into forgiveness and kindness.

We ask in faith:

Draw us to yourself, Living Word.    


Through the light of everlasting peace, scatter the darkness of death for those whose earthly journey has ended.

We ask in faith:

Draw us to yourself, Living Word.    


God of everlasting glory, you have revealed Christ to be the light to the nations. Receive our prayers through Christ, who manifests your love for us eternally. Amen.    


Confession and Absolution

Dear friends in Christ,

God is steadfast in love and infinite in mercy;

God welcomes sinners and invites them to the table.

Let us confess our sins, confident in God’s forgiveness.  


Most merciful God:

We confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.  

We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbours as ourselves.

We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.  

For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us, that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your name.  Amen.  



Almighty God have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins, confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and keep you in eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.  


Distance-Sharing of The Peace  


The Celebration of the Eucharist. 


Offertory Hymn: O Come, All Ye Faithful

Public Domain    

O come, all ye faithful, Joyful and triumphant,

O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem; c

ome and behold Him born the king of angels:  

O come let us adore him, O come let us adore him,

O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord.  


God of God, Light of Light,

lo! he abhors not the virgin’s womb;

very God, begotten, not created

O come let us adore him, O come let us adore him,

O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord.  


Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation,

sing, all ye citizens of heaven above,

glory to God, glory in the highest.

O come let us adore him, O come let us adore him,

O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord.  


See how the shepherds, summoned to his cradle,

leaving their flocks, draw nigh with lowly fear;

we too will thither, bend our joyful footsteps.

O come let us adore him, O come let us adore him,

O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord.  


Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning;

Jesus, to thee be glory given;

Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing.

O come let us adore him, O come let us adore him,

O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord.


Prayer over the Gifts

Gracious God,

accept the offering of your Church: the hearts of your people joined in praise and thanksgiving,

in the name of Jesus Christ, the Lord.   Amen. 


Eucharistic Prayer #3      

The Lord be with you.                     

And also, with you.  

Lift up your hearts.                     

We lift them to the Lord.  

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.                     

It is right to give our thanks and praise.  


Blessed are you, Gracious God, creator of heaven and earth; you have revealed your eternal plan of salvation, and you have shown your Son Jesus Christ to be the light of all peoples.

Therefore, with angels and archangels we raise our voices in joyful praise to proclaim the glory of your name.    

Holy, holy, holy Lord,       

God of power and might,

heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.  

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.  

We give thanks to you, Lord our God, for the goodness and love you have made known to us in creation; in calling Israel to be your people; in your Word spoken through the prophets; and above all in the Word made flesh, Jesus your Son.

For in these last days, you sent him to be incarnate from the Virgin Mary, to be the Saviour and Redeemer of the world. In him, you have delivered us from evil, and made us worthy to stand before you.

In him, you have brought us out of error into truth, out of sin into righteousness, out of death into life.  

On the night he was handed over to suffering and death, a death he freely accepted, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread; and when he had given thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, and said,

"Take, eat: this is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”  

After supper he took the cup of wine; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and said,

“Drink this, all of you: this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this in remembrance of me.”

Therefore, Father, according to his command,

we remember his death,

we proclaim his resurrection,

we await his coming in glory;  

and we offer our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to you, Lord of all; presenting to you, from your creation, this bread and this wine.  

We pray you, Gracious God, to send your Holy Spirit upon these gifts, that they may be the sacrament of the body of Christ and his blood of the new covenant.

Unite us to your Son in his sacrifice, that we, made acceptable in him, may be sanctified by the Holy Spirit.  

In the fullness of time, reconcile all things in Christ, and make them new, and bring us to that city of light where you dwell with all your sons and daughters;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, the firstborn of all creation, the had of the Church, and the author of our salvation;  

by whom, and with whom, and in whom,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

all honour and glory are yours, almighty Father,

now and forever.  Amen. 



The Lord’s Prayer  


As our Saviour taught us, let us pray,

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name,

thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  

Give us this day our daily bread;

And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those that trespass against us;

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  

For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.   Amen.    


The Breaking of the Bread

We break the bread of life, and that life is the light of the world.  

God here among us,        

light in the midst of us,        

bring us to light and life.  Amen.  

The gifts of God for the People of God.  

Thanks be to God.  


The Administration of Communion 


Communion Interlude:  What Child is This

Public Domain  

What child is this, who, laid to rest, 

on Mary’s lap is sleeping?

Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,

while shepherds watch are keeping?  



This, this is Christ the king,

whom shepherds guard, and, angels sing;

haste, haste to bring him laud,

the babe, the son of Mary.  



Why lies he in such mean estate

where ox and ass are feeding?

Good Christian, fear, for sinners here

the silent Word is pleading.



So, bring him incense, gold and myrrh;

come, peasant, king, to own him.

The King of kings, salvation brings;

let loving hearts enthrone him.



Prayer After Communion

God of all the nations of the earth, guide us with your light.

Help us to recognize Christ as he comes to us in this eucharist, and in our neighbours. May we welcome him with love, for he is Lord now and forever. Amen  


Glory to God,

whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.

Glory to God from generation to generation,

in the Church and in Christ Jesus, for ever and ever.  Amen.  


The Blessing



Closing Hymn:  Joy to the World

Public Domain  

Joy to the world!  The Lord is come;

let earth receive her King;

let every heart prepare him room,

and heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing,

and heaven, and heaven and nature sing; 


Joy to the earth! The Saviour reigns:

Let us glad songs employ;

while fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains

repeat the sounding joy, repeat the sounding joy,

repeat, repeat the sounding joy;  


No more, let wrongs and sorrows grow,

nor thorns infest the ground:

he comes to make his blessings flow

far as our sin is found, far as our sin is found

far as, far as our sin is found.  


He rules the world with truth and grace,

and makes the nations prove

the glories of his righteousness

and wonders of his love, and wonders of his love,

and wonders, wonders of his love.    



Go forth into the world, rejoicing in the power of the Spirit.

Thanks be to God.  Alleluia  


The recording ends.  


Songs/Hymns words used by permission CCLI License #2750542