17 January 2021_Sunday Worship Service_Epiphany 2

14 Jan 2021 by Seungjae Yeon in: Worship Online



Preparing for worship


Welcome to our online worship service today with the People of Boronia Park Uniting Church! The season of Epiphany is where we, Christians are now journeying through. In other Christian tradition, this season is known as 주현절in Korean translation or 显现节,主显节 in Chinese which begins from 6 January, 12 nights after Christmas Day. Churches may worship the incarnate Christ who is also king, celebrating the Light of Christ. We also remember who we really are in Jesus who continues revealing the meaning of Life in Him to us especially in challenging and changing time.



Acknowledgement for the First Peoples


We would like to acknowledge and pay respect to the traditional owners of the land on which we meet; the Wallumettagal people of the Eora Nation. It is upon their ancestral lands that the Boronia Park Uniting Church is built. As we share our own knowledge, teaching, learning and Christian practice within this congregation may we also pay respect to the knowledge embedded forever within the Aboriginal Custodianship of Country.



[Click to download pdf version of worship resources]



Call to worship (inspired by Psalm 139: 1-6, 13-18)


Creating God,

we gather in your name to worship you.

We give thanks that there is a small spark of God within us.

Kindle that small spark into a flame

of love and service.


Sustaining God,

we gather in your name to worship you.

We celebrate the loving presence of God in our life.

May God’s loving presence

be a strong influence in our life.


Nurturing God,

we gather in your name to worship you.

We rejoice that God teaches us about love and forgiveness.

As we grow in faith, trust and love for God,

may our worship, witness and service

bring honour to God’s Holy Name.




Let us worship God.


© 2012 Joan Stott – "The Timeless Psalms" RCL Psalm Year B, used with permission.



Hymn – Angels from the realms of glory (TiS 309)



Angels, from the realms of glory,

wing your flight o’er all the earth;

heralds of creation’s story,

now proclaim Messiah’s birth:


come and worship

Christ, the new-born King,

come and worship

worship Christ,

the new-born King,


Shepherds, in the fields abiding,

watching over flocks by night,

God with us is now residing;

yonder shines the infant Light:

come and worship …


Wise men, leave your contemplations,

brighter visions beam afar;

seek the great Desire of nations,

you have seen his natal star:

come and worship …


Though an infant now we view him,

he shall fill his Father’s throne,

gather all the nations to him:

every knee shall then bow down:

come and worship …


James Montgomery



Prayer of the Day - Epiphany Prayer


Lord God, you call your people to tasks we would not ourselves choose. Give us the grace to love you enough to follow when you call. You know our weakness and have promised to give resources for that which you ask of us. We praise you for your generous care.


Like Samuel, let us say "Here I am."


God of surprising light,

here we are. 


We are surrounded, O God, with people who need to hear the story, people who need to meet the one from Nazareth, Jesus our Lord.  Make our places of worship places of hospitality and welcome.  Make our words and actions, words and actions of invitation.


Like Philip, let us say, "Come and see."


God of surprising light,

here we are.


— from Lift Up Your Hearts: Worship and Spirituality Site of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC).



The Peace


The peace of the Lord be with you.

And also with you.



Bible Reading 1 – 1 Samuel 3:1-20 (New Living Translation)

Carmen, Michelle and Jayden Lam


[Click to read Chinese and Korean translation]

The Lord Speaks to Samuel

Meanwhile, the boy Samuel served the Lord by assisting Eli. Now in those days messages from the Lord were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon.

One night Eli, who was almost blind by now, had gone to bed. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was sleeping in the Tabernacle near the Ark of God.Suddenly the Lord called out, “Samuel!”

“Yes?” Samuel replied. “What is it?”He got up and ran to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”

“I didn’t call you,” Eli replied. “Go back to bed.” So he did.

Then the Lord called out again, “Samuel!”

Again Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”

“I didn’t call you, my son,” Eli said. “Go back to bed.”

Samuel did not yet know the Lord because he had never had a message from the Lord before. So the Lord called a third time, and once more Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”

Then Eli realized it was the Lord who was calling the boy.So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, ‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went back to bed.

10 And the Lord came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!”

And Samuel replied, “Speak, your servant is listening.”

11 Then the Lord said to Samuel, “I am about to do a shocking thing in Israel. 12 I am going to carry out all my threats against Eli and his family, from beginning to end. 13 I have warned him that judgment is coming upon his family forever, because his sons are blaspheming God and he hasn’t disciplined them.14 So I have vowed that the sins of Eli and his sons will never be forgiven by sacrifices or offerings.”


Samuel Speaks for the Lord

15 Samuel stayed in bed until morning, then got up and opened the doors of the Tabernacle as usual. He was afraid to tell Eli what the Lord had said to him. 16 But Eli called out to him, “Samuel, my son.”

“Here I am,” Samuel replied.

17 “What did the Lord say to you? Tell me everything. And may God strike you and even kill you if you hide anything from me!” 18 So Samuel told Eli everything; he didn’t hold anything back. “It is the Lord’s will,” Eli replied. “Let him do what he thinks best.”

19 As Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him, and everything Samuel said proved to be reliable. 20 And all Israel, from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the Lord.


This is the Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.



Bible Reading 2- John 1:43-51 (New Living Translation)


43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Come, follow me.” 44 Philip was from Bethsaida, Andrew and Peter’s hometown.

45 Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.”

46 “Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”

“Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied.

47 As they approached, Jesus said, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity.”

48 “How do you know about me?” Nathanael asked.

Jesus replied, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.”

49 Then Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God—the King of Israel!”

50 Jesus asked him, “Do you believe this just because I told you I had seen you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.”51 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.”


This is the Gospel of the Lord

Praise to you Lord Christ.



Hymn – My God accept my heart this day (TiS 485)



My God, accept my heart this day,

and make it still your own,

that I from you no more may stray,

but follow you alone.


Before the cross of him who died

in penitence I fall;

let every sin be crucified,

and Christ be Lord of all.


Anoint us with your heavenly grace,

and seal us for your own,

that we may see your glorious face,

and worship near your throne.


Let every thought and work and word

to you be ever given;

then life shall be your service, Lord,

and death the gate of heaven.


Matthew Bridges



Reflection on the Passages

Seung Jae Yeon



You may know I love gardening. There are many reasons for me to love gardening. One of those reasons that I want to share today is this: It’s so satisfying to see something grow. I just love it. Whether it’s ornamental or food, it’s so satisfying to watch what I planted take off. Gardening can be exhausting but rewarding so I cannot stop owning this in my life.


In my garden, which I call my green friends, recently it has been flourishing all different flowers. Through seasons, Clivias, Hydrangea, Iris, Agapanthus, Beach Spider Lily, Freesia, Geranium, Sunflower, Roses and many that I don’t have their names bring important messages to my brain through hand and eye coordination. They say, “I’m here because I’m created by the image of God that makes beautiful where I am sent.” It took a while to have my green friends growing and flourishing their beauty to my life and nature surrounding. Birds, bees and butterflies have joined delighting me and my family. So I am constantly moving my body, being inspired what is next.


This summer, I have started another garden project: Growing clivias from seeds. There is a school of clivia in my garden and it shows off its beauty every cool season. I propagated once from the mother plant. I never tried to grow from seeds before so that I needed to study about that. One thing I learnt is that it will take so long to grow from a seed to adult plant that is able to flower. All educators of propagating clivia say with one voice, “It's really easy to grow clivias from the seed. All you need is patience.” Yes, it is so true. It took about nine months for clivia seed to ripen. Then I waited until the seed changed colour from green to red and they might feel a little bit soft. I harvested them early this year and spent time to get seeds ready. I took off the fleshy outer skin and inner pulp, and was able to get 21 pearly white seeds. Then I cleaned the seeds, used pot mix in tray to grow them and watered gently. I did not forget to mark with a date which was Thursday 7 January 2021. My educator said that germination will take place in 4-6 weeks. As mentioned, a lot of patience is required. Seedlings take time to mature and can stay in the initial tray for up to two years and can then be transplanted in the third year into permanent pots or the garden. Approximately, no patiently I have to wait for eighteen plus months before they are ready and then another two plus years before they flower. Maybe, in June 2025, I will be able to see my clivias flower and flourish the garden. I should load a good patience on me.


We may know how Samuel came to be part of the school of Eli. The sons of Eli are corrupt and have abused their positions as priests, therefore God will raise up another instead. But God has not been revealing self in those times and maybe God uses Samuel as the only source of His Word towards challenging times of Israel. Though Eli ignores Samuel two times, it was the Lord calling him not Eli. Samuel keeps responding to the Lord with his eagerness, “Here I am.” His willingness to be obedient to Eli and the Lord God is just the beginning of his ministry in life. Saying here I am is only moment to begin his theological and faith journey through his entire life. No one knows how long but the Lord God only chooses Samuel as His spokesperson. Samuel has just had an experience of God’s presence and this made it difficult for him to discern what was happening. When no one heard God’s message, God revealed to Samuel and then called him to be part of His ministry. The little boy, Samuel became forth teller so called prophet and then accepted by the people to speak on behalf of God. All Israel knew he was a prophet. But God only knew how long he would be prepared and formed to speak on behalf of Him. A long journey of God’s revelation in Samuel’s prophecy and suffering has just begun. And new hope and possibilities in relationship with God have been propagated from God as the Mother Plant among the Israelites when Samuel grew in the establishment of the Lord.


In the gospel reading today, there is a favourite biblical saying – “Come and see.” This was said by Philip when he explained Nathanael about his encounter with the Lord Jesus on a way to Galilee. He seemed to have knowledge about the Law and prophets not Jesus. But Jesus already knew him. In comparison to Nathanael’s response to Philip’s encounter, Jesus said to him that he already saw him sitting probably studying the Law under the fig tree. Jesus already found him, preparing him in His mind and maybe in His sacred plan. Jesus’ purpose fell on him. His purpose is shared with him, beginning to grow God’s kingdom in Nathanael. He was willing to change his mind too. Being found by Jesus when he was sitting under the fig tree is not a miracle. But Being part of doing what Jesus was sent to do is truly a miracle for Nathanael’s life. In his confession saying “You are the son of God, you are the king of Israel” he seems to be born anew like those who believed in His name. Jesus explains him that he will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth. What Jesus explains is not bigger or better miracles but the true future event that people might see especially at his death. The passage has Jesus speak himself as Son of Man when he announces his future exaltation, glorification, ascension and return to the Father. These all refer to the One, Jesus Christ and in the event of his life, death and resurrection. As both Nathanael and Samuel became part of God’s words and works in the encounter with Him, this moment we are again invited and called by God to check in where we are as believers and seekers! It is not an easy task to be honest. All we need is patience. It may take longer than we expect. Maybe one’s whole life is needed.


Our life seems to be wrinkled by Covid-19. In the second year of the pandemic our lifestyle, the witness of the community of faith and its actions are very limited and diminished. Masks may avoid spreading virus but cannot cover our agony and challenges. I do not expect a miracle to end the pandemic and our sufferings. But I do patiently wait a time that God may bring us back flourishing our life both neighbourhood and the church. I would rather teach how to choose values in life during the challenging times than fix problems and areas damaged by the cause of pandemic. Like my garden and pots, I would give them life by working with my eye-hand coordination. Or like my long-term project of growing clivias from the seeds, I do plant hope in life where Jesus abides, wanting to see the whole picture of God’s plan from the Creation to the life everlasting. I do not think that Jesus does want the big crowds running after him all the time or lead without taking care of their own circumstances. The life He offered has made available for all, you, I and for many. The Life given to whole creation grows now. That is where we are this moment. We live in the Life of Jesus Christ. In His calling and revealing, we may be propagating His life with many in this time being threatened by tons of reasons. We today choose to live and be part of the Life in Him. Then be patient. This is what we may live this life and beyond.


Thanks be to God.  




Prayers of the People - The Light of Christ


On this day, when peoples from afar came to worship Jesus the Lord,

let our prayer be as wide as the world.


Let us say to the Father:

Let the light of Christ shine on all people.


That the light of Christ may shine on all nations far and near

and that the Church may welcome them

with the diversity of their cultures,

let us pray to the Lord:

Let the light of Christ shine on all people.


That in our day justice may flourish and peace

come to all of the world,

let us pray:

Let the light of Christ shine on all people.


That God's people may hear the poor when they cry,

have pity on the weak and open their hearts and hands to the needy,

let us pray:

Let the light of Christ shine on all people.


That those who persecute the Lord in those

who try to follow him may see his light and be converted,

let us pray:

Let the light of Christ shine on all people.


That all who look for a star to guide them

may discover the goodness of the Lord in people full of faith and love,

let us pray:

Let the light of Christ shine on all people.


That in our Christian communities we may learn,

like the wise men,

to share the treasures of our goods and hearts,

let us pray:

Let the light of Christ shine on all people.


Lord our God,

we rejoice that you have become near to us in Jesus your Son.

Let him be the light of life now and for ever.




— posted on Liturgy Alive: Models of Celebration.



Lord’s Prayer


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.


Save us from the time of trial

       and deliver us from evil.


For the kingdom, the power,

       and the glory are yours

       now and forever.







The offering will be used for the congregation’s continuing mission and ministry including young people and youth ministry in these changing times. Please make your offering through a Bank Deposit or a personal cheque whichever is convenient to you.


Account Name: Boronia Park Uniting Church

BSB: 634-634

Account: 100023784

Reference: Offering


Please contact Robyn Harvey, Treasurer on 0418 783 290 or robyn.49@bigpond.net.au for more information about how to make Direct Debit.



Song – Like a candle



Like a candle burning wildly,

raging soft against the night,

spark that leaps to clear the shadows

sending warm disturbing light.

We are called to live the passion,

hope stands strong against all  pain.

For it’s only in the burning

that the candle shows its flame.


Like a river running freely,

rapids swirl beside our feet,

swiftly flowing from the high land

comes to rest, still waters meet.

All our journeys rising, falling,

making turns we least expect,

when the Spirit churns within us,

know God’s power through the test.


Like an angel walking lightly

on this fragile earth of clay,

touching folk with raw compassion,

laughing, playing on the way.

Freely living ev’ry moment

in the mystery of grace.

Giving, dying, living, rising,

see the beauty of God’s face.


See the hope that burns in darkness,

show compassion, strong and kind,

bind the hurt and broken-hearted,

be God’s hands and voice and eyes.

Sing a new song ev’ry sunrise,

climb to places out of reach,

walk in freedom of God’s Spirit,

as we die so we shall live.


CCLI Song # 206394

Words: Craig Mitchell

Music: Tim Beale, Roger Imms





Blessing – Epiphany Benediction


We have celebrated together

that Jesus Christ came not only for Christians,

but to be known by every person,

every country, every culture on earth.

For he is the Saviour of all.

May we come to know him better

and then make him known to others,

especially by the way we live.


And may almighty God bless you,

the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.



Go in peace of Christ

and walk in his light.

Thanks be to God.


— posted on Liturgy Alive: Models of Celebration