Worship service – January 3, 2021 – “Living the Celebration”

We’re wrapping up Christmas this week, and looking forward to a new year. We are becoming a new community of faith that works through separation and distance. And in the new year, we are revived by our attention to the Advent and Christmas season. We celebrate what God is doing in our midst!

Follow the entire service in the video here, or go at your own pace with portions of the service provided below. Note that the video has a “Closed Caption” transcript, accessible by clicking the CC button at the bottom of the video window.

The Opening Hymn sets the mood for the service. Sing along as Denise Melroy and Steve Cole play “The First Noel” from The United Methodist Hymnal #245.

The first Noel 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.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, 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.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, born is the King of Israel.


Then entered in those Wise Men three, full reverently upon the knee,
and offered there, in his presence, their gold and myrrh and frankincense.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, born is the King of Israel.

Welcome to MHUMC
Welcome to MHUMC

Welcome from from Pastor Patrick:
As we celebrate Epiphany Sunday, when God’s light and love is revealed to all people, we’re pleased you have chosen to worship with us.  And we’re blessed to have you take part in this time of worship with us!

May the love of God, the grace of Christ, the friendship and peace of the Holy Spirit, be with you.

Our vision, as a faith community, is to create an inclusive, reconciling and progressive spiritual community that welcomes all people based on the teaching of Jesus “to love one another” (John 13:34-35).

Here, in this place, all are welcome;
Here, human diversity matters;
Here, open minds matter.

Here, prayerful hearts guided by spirit and rooted in scripture, tradition, reason and human experience matter.

Call to Worship with Trish Catalano:
The MagiThe Prophet Isaiah said: “Arise; shine, for your light has come!”
So come now, and respond to God’s call, calling us out of our darkness into light.
Lift up your eyes and look around and rejoice in the gift of light.
Come now and let us worship the God of light and joy and peace.

Come now and kneel before the manager of the Christ Child, and behold the light of God incarnate.

Please pray with me:
God of promise and light, open our eyes this morning, that we may see your light in the darkness.  Open our hearts, that we may perceive your promises of justice and righteousness fulfilled in the Christ Child of Bethlehem.

May we, like the Magi, who followed the Star of Bethlehem, be guided on our journey quest to find the one who will truly set us free.

May this time of worship bring us closer to you, that the good news of the birth of light and love, in us, transform our lives, we pray, amen.

Our Gospel hymn is “A Star Shone Bright.”  Please sing along with our pianist Denise Melroy and guitarist Steve Cole as they play this song from Worship & Song #3051.

A star shone bright across the plain and calmed the earth so Love could reign.
‘Twas in a child that hope was born, a dream fulfilled! O happy morn!


O Son of God, Incarnate Word, O Wisdom’s Light, whom angels heard,
come forth again, our hearts console. O heal our hurts and make us whole.


From Bethlehem come to our day; reveal to us your holy way.
Be born again, Eternal Fire. O Spirit come, our souls inspire.

Coloring Page: John 1
Coloring Page: John 1

Our New Testament reading by Trish Catalano  is from John 1:1-10, 12, 14 (The Message).   John, an apostle and disciple of Jesus, was writing to the early church in around 90 AD of the common era.  He explains his understanding of the incarnation, when the eternal Divine Word entered into creation as a human being in the person of Jesus as the Christ; the Messiah of God.

Our offering is given to the mission and ministry of MHUMC.

Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is the one true Church whose faith we support with our Prayers, our Presence, our Giving, our Witness and our Service. I invite you to give generously, as we worship God through sharing our gifts, tithes, and offerings.

Thank you to those of you who have been leaving some dry grocery goods on your front porch for pick up by our Church to Go Bag teams at your home each Saturday. We are happy to pick them up and deliver them to our local food bank, Reach Out, starting again Saturday, January 9. It is through this way of connectional giving that the people of The United Methodist Church make a huge difference.

Remember our gifts come from us, as the people of God, for the work of God, to the glory of God in the world.
Make a donation

Special Music: “Gesu Bambino,” an Italian Christmas Carol composed by Pietro Yon.  It is played here by our pianist Denise Melroy.

Denise Melroy
Denise Melroy

The Prayer of the People and the Lord’s Prayer includes these words of comfort:

Today, as the Magi did so long ago, we journey to the manger to offer our gifts and ourselves to the Christ child. We lay before the child the realities of our life, both good and bad. We offer our joy and love and laughter that they may be made holy. We relinquish our bitterness and hatred and worry, that we might be made whole once more.


Send Your star to shine on us and lead us afresh to the embodiment of your love in the child of Bethlehem. For you have shown us a glimpse of your kingdom of love and light. For this we give you thanks and recommit our lives to your purposes.

This we pray as Jesus taught, saying: “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is heaven, give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespasses against us and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever, Amen.”

Pastor Patrick Davis
Pastor Patrick Davis

The message today from Pastor Patrick is “Living the Celebration.” Christmastide is a time to embrace the reality of the Christ born in us as we become the beloved community God calls us
to be in Christ.  See it in the video recording above, at 21:20.

The Service of Holy Communion, led by Pastor Patrick, is included in the video following the message. To participate in your home, please have your own bread and juice or wine at hand.

Weekly Announcements:
See this week’s announcements here.

Arise, and go forth to shine for all the world to see and spread the good news of light and love, righteousness and justice. Go now and follow the star that will guide you on your journey this week and this new year.

And may the blessing of the God of light rest upon you and fill you with light. Amen.

Closing Hymn: “Go, Tell It on the Mountain” Sing along as Denise and Steve play the refrain from this Afro-American spiritual from The United Methodist Hymnal #251.

Go, tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere;
go, tell it on the mountain, that Jesus Christ is born.

Credits and copyrights

  • “The First Noel” words and music traditional English carol. © Public domain.
  • “A Star Shone Bright” words by F. Richard Garland, with English folk melody harm. by Dean McIntyre. © 2006 F. Richard Garland, harm. copyright © 2005 The United Methodist General Board of Discipleship; PO Box 340003; Nashville TN 37203-0003. Telephone 877-899-2780, ext 7070
  • “Go, Tell It on the Mountain” Afro-American spiritual, words adapted by John W. Work, Jr, and music adapted and arranged by William Farley Smith. © Public domain.
  • All other text on this page © The United Methodist Church of Morgan Hill.

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