Sunday, 24th January

Together in Prayer
3rd Sunday of Epiphany

O Lord open our lips.
And our mouth shall declare your praise!
Reveal among us the light of your presence.
that we may behold your power and glory.

The night has passed, and the day lies open before us;
let us pray with one heart and mind.
As we rejoice in the gift of this new day,
so may the light of your presence, O God,
set our hearts on fire with love for you;
now and for ever.

Preparing our hearts
Holy Father, Creator of all things,
whose blessed Son turned water into wine,
grant that he may come to us and change us,
and so transform our lives that in us your glory may be revealed;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom with you and the Holy Spirit be praise
and glory forever and ever.

Reading 1: Genesis 14 :17-20
Abram Blessed by Melchizedek
After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). And King Melchizedek of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was priest of God Most High. He blessed him and said,
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
maker of heaven and earth;
and blessed be God Most High,
who has delivered your enemies into your hand!”
And Abram gave him one-tenth of everything.

This is the Word of our Lord
Thanks be to God

Reading 2: John 2:1-11
The Wedding at Cana
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the
guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

Thought for the week: Rev Sarah Hobbs
We all understand that the very thought of an invitation to a party can only linger in the annals of our memories just now. Parties so often mark an important life event of a birthday, a wedding or just the fun of getting family and friends together. And it’s important to maintain the confidence that these days will return before too long, and until then we can indulge our minds and go to the wedding in Cana of Galilee with Jesus.

We might not imagine that Jesus would choose a wedding party, in a small provincial town, for his first miracle rather than somewhere more prestigious and the fact that he was replenishing the wine stocks seems even more mysterious, especially when so few people realised what was happening on that day. It’s good to see that our season of Epiphany is still throwing up new and startling revelations concerning Jesus.

So far, we’ve witnessed Jesus welcoming the wise men, Gentiles by all accounts from far countries, with a mind to follow the destiny of this new star and discovering something much more awesome. We have heard Jesus ask John for his Baptism, recognising his Jewish calling and now Jesus is demonstrating his generosity and great love for all mankind and the revelation of his God-given power. We recognise Jesus’ phrase yet to be uttered that ‘I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.’

Anyone might imagine that a few bottles of some inferior wine might help the party along, with the thought that no one was going to notice but God clearly doesn’t work like that, he is generous beyond our wildest dreams filling six huge jars firstly with water; and water tells of life, the spirit, and new birth. But Jesus goes on to transform that joy into the best wine; with the generosity of his divine bounty, always giving us far beyond what we need or deserve.

This whole occasion must have posed a lot of questions in the minds of the disciples and Mary, let alone the servants. For Mary it must have confirmed her motherly instinct that Jesus possessed some extraordinary capacity for God’s power within him as well as concern for his fellow humans.
As for the disciples, they could have come away with a rather false impression, congratulating themselves for ‘throwing in their lot’ with someone who was going to give them such a good time! And the servants must have just been mesmerised and thankful. Which only makes us wonder how often Jesus performs his miracles in our lives without our noticing.

John does help us answer one of our questions telling us that this miracle was a revelation and a confirmation of faith for the disciples. Even at this early stage they had been able to experience the exuberant, creative power of God at work bringing uncomplicated human enjoyment to this wedding feast.

God has sent Jesus into the world to truly express his love for us bringing life and his love to us all in full measure, transforming the world.

Collect – 3rd Sunday of Epiphany.
Almighty God,
whose Son revealed in signs and miracles
the wonder of your saving presence:
renew your people with your heavenly grace,
and in all our weakness
sustain us by your mighty power;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.


Lord you transformed common water into wine,
may our common lives share in you who are divine:
as you dear Lord have taken on our humanity
may we now partake of your divinity.
Lord, let your church reveal your glory in the world.
We pray today for all who strive to do your work.
Good Lord, transform us,
that we may reveal your glory.

Lord, we pray that your presence may continue to transform
our community.
That your presence will transform our homes,
and that they may be the centre of love, joy, and peace.
We pray for friends and loved ones and all who have
Transformed our lives by their goodness.
We pray for those who may be struggling with feelings
of darkness and hopelessness in our communities.
Good Lord, transform us,
that we may reveal your glory.

Lord, we pray for all who are continuing to work so hard to
keep us safe and provided for throughout these trying times.
We pray for all those doctors, nurses who feel exhausted and
overwhelmed at the sheer volume of work they face.
We ask Lord that you give them and all who are struggling the strength to go on.
We give thanks for the scientists who continue to work on the vaccines.
We pray for the Service personnel who have been deployed
to assist wherever they can.
Good Lord, transform us,
that we may reveal your glory.

We rejoice that in you the best is yet to come.
We give thanks for all who have been changed into the glory of your kingdom.
We pray for loved ones who are ill or who have departed
from our sight, especially …………
Good Lord, transform us,
that we may reveal your glory.

As our Saviour taught us, so we 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.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.

The Peace
Blessed are those who are called to share in the supper of
the Lamb.
The peace of the Lord be always with you
and also with you

The Blessing
God in his grace and goodness grant you a glimpse of glory;
And may the blessing of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us today
and forever more.