The Twelve Days of Christmas, Day 12: Twelfth Night Worship

We have now come to the twelfth day of Christmas.  Tomorrow marks the celebration in the church, known as the Epiphany.  On this day the church finds itself in the midst of praise, confession and witness to the gospel going to the whole world.  Below is an order of devotion that can be used this evening, perhaps at the time of family devotions.  If you use it with your children, take time to talk about the story that is being told in scripture, prayer and song.  Enjoy this final night of Christmas!

SONG OF PRAISE

Of the Father's love begotten, ere the worlds began to be, he is Alpha and Omega, he the source, the ending he, of the things that are, that have been, and that future years shall see, evermore and evermore!

O that birth for ever blessed, when the Virgin, full of grace, by the Holy Ghost conceiving, bore the Savior of our race; and the Babe, the world's Redeemer, first revealed his sacred face, evermore and evermore!

Let the heights of heaven adore him; angel hosts, his praises sing; powers, dominions, bow before him, and extol our God and King; let no tongue on earth be silent, every voice in concert ring, evermore and evermore!

Christ, to thee with God most blessed, and, O Holy Ghost, to thee, hymn and chant and high thanksgiving, and unwearied praises be; honor, glory and dominion, and eternal victory, evermore and evermore!

PRAYER:  Fill this place with your spirit, O God, and illumine the Word we read with your presence, that we may hear and heed with joyful obedience what you have to say to us today.  Amen.-Dwight M. Vogel  

SCRIPTURE:  Isaiah 40:1-8; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Zechariah 9:9-10; Ephesians 3:1-12

PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING:  (Invite your family and yourself to remember and celebrate the blessings of God in this Christmas season.  Take turns naming them, or write them out as a reminder of God's faithfulness)

CONCLUDING PRAYER:  Almighty and everlasting God, you have made your Word known in the flesh by the testimony of the star which guided the magi who worshipped your majesty with gifts:    Grant that the star of righteousness may always appear in our hearts, and our treasure always be in giving thanks to you.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. 

CLOSING SONG (Sung to the tune of For the Beauty of the Earth)

s with gladness those of old did the guiding star behold; as with joy they nailed its light, leading onward, beaming bright; so most gracious Lord, may we evermore be led to thee.

As with joyful steps they sped to that lowly manger bed, there to bend the knee before him who heaven and earth adore; so may we with willing feet ever seek the mercy seat.  

As they offered gifts most rare at that manger rude and bare; so may we with holy joy, pure and free from sin's alloy, all our costliest treasures bring, Christ, to thee, our heav'nly King.

Holy Jesus, every day keep us in the narrow way; and when earthly things are past, bring our ransomed souls at last where they need no star to guide, where no clouds thy glory hide.  

n the heavenly country bright, need they no created light; thou its light, its joy, its crown, thou its sun which goes now down:  there forever may we sing alleluias to our King.-William D. Dix

CLOSING BLESSING:  Lord, you have now set your servant free to go in peace as you have promised; for these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, Whom you have prepared for all the world to see.  A Light to enlighten the nations, And the glory of your people Israel.  Thanks be to God!  Alleluia!