Sunday 3 January

O God,
who by the leading of a star
manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth:
mercifully grant that we,
who know you now by faith,
may at last behold your glory face to face;
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.  Amen.

Matthew 2.1–12
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.’ When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:
 “And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
   are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
   who is to shepherd my people Israel.” ’
 Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.’ When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

Psalm 72
   Give the king your judgements, O God,
   and your righteousness to the son of a king.
    Then shall he judge your people righteously
   and your poor with justice.
    May the mountains bring forth peace,
   and the little hills righteousness for the people.
    May he defend the poor among the people,
   deliver the children of the needy and crush the oppressor.
    May he live as long as the sun and moon endure,
   from one generation to another.
    May he come down like rain upon the mown grass,
   like the showers that water the earth.
    In his time shall righteousness flourish,
   and abundance of peace
      till the moon shall be no more.
    May his dominion extend from sea to sea
   and from the River to the ends of the earth.
    May his foes kneel before him
   and his enemies lick the dust.
    The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall pay tribute;
   the kings of Sheba and Seba shall bring gifts.
      All kings shall fall down before him;
   all nations shall do him service.
      For he shall deliver the poor that cry out,
   the needy and those who have no helper.
      He shall have pity on the weak and poor;
   he shall preserve the lives of the needy.
      He shall redeem their lives from oppression and violence,
   and dear shall their blood be in his sight.
      Long may he live;
      unto him may be given gold from Sheba;
   may prayer be made for him continually
      and may they bless him all the day long.