Due to copyright limitations, we are unable to print the words to the songs.  However, our musicians have chosen music to fit the scriptures.  We invite you to look up the words in your worship book and ponder them.  If you do not have a worship book, ponder the words to one of your favourite hymns and listen for God’s voice. Those who have internet may find the songs on YouTube.


We as may be lampstands, but all of the light is Christ Himself. We exist in order that He might shine through us.

– Alistair Begg


     The longest night of the year has passed, but while the light is increasing, it remains so incremental it appears as though the darkness outside is triumphing. By the third day of January, the hangovers have arrived. Not just the self-inflicted suffering of many on New Year’s Eve, but also the financial hangovers of the irrational exuberance of Christmas. Only a few more days and the darkness of January bills will be casting a pall over many homes. Add to all this the darkness of illness and injury, sorrow and loss, and even in this season there is plenty of pain and anxiety to go around.

     Still, the promise of hope comes to us this day, not in the form of an infant as on Christmas Eve but in the form of light. We celebrate the pure radiant light that cuts through the darkness of this world and shines into shadow-filled lives. It is the light that shines through the love broken and poured in bread and wine. It is the light of the holy presence of Christ in times of confusion and despair. It is the light of grace and truth shining into lives young and old, rich and poor, broken and whole.

     It is the light of Christ that sends people like John the Baptist into this world, people who dedicate their lives to pointing others toward Jesus. Some days we are privileged to play this role for others, reminding them of Jesus. Other days we need John the Baptist to tell us the story one more time. We need people like John to point our eyes toward the light, undiminished by time, so that we can see clearly the promise of Jesus in our lives, our communities and our world.

CHILDREN’S SONG   VU 69   Away In A Manger


O God our redeemer, you created light that we might live, and you illumine our world with your beloved Son. By your Spirit comfort us in all darkness, and turn us toward the light of Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.



We are not alone; we live in God’s world.

We believe in God:  who has created and is creating, who has come in Jesus, the Word made flesh, to reconcile and make new, who works in us and others by the Spirit.

We trust in God.

We are called to be the Church:  to celebrate God’s presence, to live with respect in Creation, to love and serve others, to seek justice and resist evil, to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen, our judge and our hope.

In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us.  We are not alone.  Thanks be to God.


     I love camping!  My favourite trip, out of all of our family camping trips, was to the east coast of Canada in 1977.  I was 14!  I felt really close to God during that trip.  The scenery was beautiful, and I felt the presence of God very strongly.  The people we met were friendly, kind and helpful.  I felt the presence of God very strongly.  My sisters got along for most of the trip!  I was saying prayers of thanks every night and prayers of hope in the morning!  My parents were relaxed and enjoying themselves.  Again, my prayers of thanks to God that they were able to unwind. 

     I want to be clear that I felt the presence of God very strongly outside of our camping trips.  It’s just that the beauty of the land, the friendliness of the people, the call of the ocean all combined to help me really focus on God.  I was on holiday.  There were no other distractions. 

     Hmmm…what is that telling me?  What does that tell all of us?  It doesn’t matter how young, or how old, you are.  We all need to make time for God; to listen for God’s voice, to look for the light of Christ in other people, to sit quietly and feel God’s arms around us saying, “I love you!”

     Perhaps that is why I loved camping so much!  I was seeing new places, meeting new people, experiencing new things – it was fresh and exciting to see God in all of that!  When we get busy with life and our routines, it can be easy to forget to take time for God, or look for God’s presence.  Thankfully, we can take “mini moments” throughout our day to notice God in action through others and say, “Thank you.”  We can take “mini moments” and pray for someone.  We can take “mini moments” and show a friend that we care.  We don’t need a camping trip to have God be exciting in our lives!  God is exciting no matter what!  Keep your eyes and ears open and you will be surprised, every day, at the light God shines in your world!



     Gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These are the gifts the magi presented to baby Jesus in Matthew’s Christmas story. Each of these gifts was highly symbolic.

     In Jesus’ day, gold was typically a gift given to kings or people of high social class. Frankincense was burned during sacrifice offerings and worship services. Myrrh was used to embalm the bodies of those who died.

     The magi recognized who Jesus was―important, worthy of worship, and someone who would pay the ultimate sacrifice. Their gifts were given to honour him. Their gifts were thoughtful and intentional.

While we may round up our tab at the cash register to give to a charity, our Christian faith also calls us to think deeply about giving. God calls us to discipleship, which means carving out time to reflect spiritually on what we are able to give. When we reflect on generosity as part of our spiritual practice, our giving becomes even more deeply intentional and meaningful.

     And while it may be true that the people we support through Mission & Service need our generosity, we give as a way of honouring them. By working in partnership with trusted Mission & Service partners, we pay homage to, learn, and benefit from the resourcefulness, resilience, and giftedness of those receiving our financial support.

     As the old adage goes, “Giving is a two-way street.”

     How will you commit yourself to give generously, thoughtfully, and intentionally in this new year?

After the wisemen encountered Jesus and laid their gifts before him, they weren’t the same. The story goes that they went home by another road. In other words, their life took a new path.

     May we too be changed by our connection with the spirit of Jesus, and in 2022 may generosity set us on an even deeper, more meaningful path.

     As always, thank you for your Mission & Service support.


Guide us, O God, by your Word, and Holy Spirit, that in your light we may see light, in your truth find freedom, and in your will discover peace; through Christ our Lord.  Amen.


Readings and Psalm

First Reading: Jeremiah 31:7-14

God promises to bring Israel back to its land from the most remote parts of exile. In Zion Israel will rejoice over God’s gift of food and livestock. Young women will express their joy in dancing; God will give gladness instead of sorrow.

7Thus says the Lord:  Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, and raise shouts for the chief of the nations; proclaim, give praise, and say, “Save, O Lord, your people, the remnant of Israel.”

8See, I am going to bring them from the land of the north, and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth, among them the blind and the lame, those with child and those in labor, together; a great company, they shall return here.

9With weeping they shall come, and with consolations I will lead them back, I will let them walk by brooks of water, in a straight path in which they shall not stumble; for I have become a father to Israel,
and Ephraim is my firstborn.

10Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, and declare it in the coastlands far away; say, “He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd a flock.”

11For the Lord has ransomed Jacob, and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him.
12They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion, and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord, over the grain, the wine, and the oil, and over the young of the flock and the herd;
their life shall become like a watered garden, and they shall never languish again.

13Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry.
I will turn their mourning into joy, I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.
14I will give the priests their fill of fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my bounty,
says the Lord.

Psalm 147:12-20

R:  Worship the Lord, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion. (Ps. 147:12)

12Worship the Lord, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion,
13who has strengthened the bars of your gates and has blessed your children within you.
14God has established peace on your borders and satisfies you with the finest wheat.
15God sends out a command to the earth, a word that runs very swiftly. R
16God gives snow like wool, scattering frost like ashes.
17God scatters hail like bread crumbs.  Who can stand against God’s cold?
18The Lord sends forth the word and melts them; the wind blows, and the waters flow.
19God declares the word to Jacob, statutes and judgments to Israel.
20The Lord has not done so to any other nation; they do not know God’s judgments. Hallelujah! R

Second Reading: Ephesians 1:3-14

In Jesus, all of God’s plans and purposes have been made know as heaven and earth are united in Christ. Through Jesus, we have been chosen as God’s children and have been promised eternal salvation.

     3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. 5He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight 9he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, 10as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, 12so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. 13In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; 14this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.

Gospel: John 1:1-18

John begins his gospel with this prologue: a hymn to the Word through whom all things were created. This Word became flesh and brought grace and truth to the world.

     1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

  6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

  10He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

  14And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. 15(John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ ”) 16From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

SONG  VU 87   I Am The Light Of The World


I am curious as to how many of you write out New Year’s resolutions. I gave it up years ago. It seems that no matter how much I promised myself I would change, improve, strive for perfection, ultimately, it just seemed like too much work. Actually, what usually happened was that while my spirit was willing, my flesh was very weak, and I would fail to live up to the standards I had set for myself. As a result, I would submit myself to self-inflicted verbal abuse, and feel horrible that I could not even fulfill the smallest of goals. Ultimately, I beat myself up so well that it was easier not to make goals in the first place.

Yet I wonder how many of our new year’s resolutions, either written or mentally notated, stem from the innermost belief that people will not deem us loveable or acceptable unless we somehow raise our standards and strive for that elusive state of perfection. Rather sad that our motivation to improve comes from a drivenness, almost despair, for love and acceptance. I realize I generalize, but then, the more I look at the situation, the more it seems that I am not far off the mark.

So, ok, we stick to our resolutions, lose the large number of excess kilograms, join a fitness club, buy a home exercise machine, turn away from the sugar, give up the cigarettes, the booze, stop swearing, try to be more understanding…and where do we end up? True, our physical health, and, hopefully, our emotional health improves, but the desire for love and acceptance is conditional upon whether or not we stick with this regime. Spiritually, then, we are still a mess.

What I admire about the passages chosen for today is the overwhelming message that God loves us, unconditionally, and that when we but choose to believe this, wonderful, miraculous, radical changes are in store!

God’s love is constant — we trust that the four seasons will carry on as usual from year to year; trust that the flowers will bloom, the seeds we plant will grow. Even when the weather and the crops do not materialize, still, we trust in the cycle of life. Trust then, the constant, gracious love of God. Even when it seems that God’s love has disappeared, trust anyway. You will not be disappointed.

We have been given a new name. Names are very important. For the Hebrew people, names were, and still are, chosen with great care. For in the name was summarized the interior character and being of the person. That is why Abram went from ‘exalted ancestor’ to Abraham, ‘ancestor of a multitude’, why Jacob went from ‘one who undermines or grabs’ to Israel, ‘a prince who prevails with God.’ With a change in name came a change in status, an enrichment of an existing relationship. Before, our name was ‘creation’. Now we are called ‘children.’ Before, we were given breath. Now we are given new life through God’s embrace.

Ponder the wonder of this news, the beauty of the imagery the writers of these scriptures use to show the richness of God’s love and mercy. Embrace in your heart all those who are dear to you, through whom Christ shines. Reflect on the blessings God has given you through these people.

The writer of the letter to the Ephesians praises God’s grace in Jesus Christ giving thanks for the faithfulness of Christ’s followers, holding them up in prayer in order that they may discern the will and grace of God for themselves.

Perhaps this is a healthier option than writing out resolutions and goals which are impossible to keep. If we would focus our energy into our prayers for others, I believe our lives would be a lot healthier. If I had to rely on my own will to get through life, I probably would have given up years ago. But entering into a difficult situation, knowing that others are praying for me, gives me amazing calm and courage. Rather than beating ourselves up with words, why not empower each other in prayer. For when we are praying for another and for God’s purpose and direction for that individual, we slowly begin to dissolve the wall of conditions we have set up around our hearts that the other person must meet before we will love them. We also realize that we do not need our walls either, and to accept grace for ourselves.

May you know what is the hope to which you have been called, what the riches of God’s glorious inheritance in the saints are, however God will make them known in your life.  Amen.

HYMN OF THE MONTH: MV 172   God Says


Joining our voices with the heavenly host and Christians throughout time and space, let us pray for the church, the world, and all in need.

You make yourself known in the gift of language in diverse forms. Draw our attention to those who communicate through sign, braille, and technology. Make your church a place where all methods of communication are celebrated.

Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Creating God, the sun greets us anew each morning. Thank you for waking us up today to witness and share your abundance. Awaken us always to your wisdom and deepen our care for your natural world. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Emmanuel, in your name we are assured that you are with us. Train nations and peoples to honor and respect one another, especially those whose names and identities have been mistreated, neglected, or oppressed.

Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

You adopt us as your beloved ones. Accompany parents and children navigating the adoption process, especially those in the foster system. Sustain those struggling with infertility or pregnancy loss. Tenderly embrace all in need:  Douglas Pearson, Tracy Skoglund, Mike Fraese, Dwayne, Brooke Alexiuk, Kathryn Janke Schmidt.

Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

You journey with us through change. Guide those assuming new roles in this parish or making transitions in their families, workplaces, or communities. As the seasons and the calendar change, equip us for unexpected challenges.

Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

We give you thanks for all who modeled lives of loving service. Lead us in your grace until, with all your saints, we enter the fullness of your glory.

Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Rejoicing in your Word made flesh among us, we commend these prayers to you, confident of your grace and love made known to us in Jesus Christ, our Savior.



SENDING SONG  VU 7   Hope Is A Star  


The God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing, so that we may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit, through Christ Jesus, the Word made flesh.



Go with Christ into a weary world.  Share the good news.

Thanks be to God.





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