Human Trafficking Awareness Sunday

So this past Sunday was the day to celebrate the baptism of Christ. But there’s another emphasis marked on the calendar. This past Sunday, Jan. 11 was designated as Human Trafficking Awareness Sunday. And that was where our focus was yesterday. Instead of a sermon, we read some victims’ stories and use a readers’ theater piece. So today’s post is the entire outline for the service yesterday – Scriptures, hymns, prayers, and readings.

*Just a note: While the hymns we sing use inclusive language, I couldn’t find recordings/videos online that included those inclusive lyrics. So while the videos and links embedded below speak of God in terms of “He,” “Him,” “Father,” etc., this isn’t an accurate representation of the language we use in our worship services.*

Human Trafficking bulletin cover

Welcome & Announcements


Letting God In: During this time, we invite you to prepare your heart and your mind for worship. We want you to be able to use this quiet time to settle your thoughts, set aside any distractions that may be troubling you, and focus your whole self on God. Open your heart, your mind, and your spirit, and let God into your life.

Centering Prayer: Hear a just cause, Holy One.
As you breathe in, pray, “Hear a just cause.”
As you breathe out, pray, “Holy One.”

* Gathering Hymn #588 (NCH) – Let Justice Flow like Streams

* Opening Praise
One: Across the Red Sea, God delivered a people from slavery into freedom.
Many: We are called to bring the message of freedom to all who are enslaved.
One: Across the River Jordan, God brought forth a people from wilderness into homeland.
Many: We are called to help others find their home in God.
One: Out of exile, God led the people from diaspora into community.
Many: We are called to lead our communities to be places of safety and welcome.
One: Out of hopelessness, God brought forth a Messiah.
Many: We are called to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the world.
ALL: Let us worship and share this Good News with all.

* Opening Hymn #314 (NCH) – Community of Christ

* Joining in Prayer
Almighty God, Author of Life, we confess that we have been silent. We confess that we have closed our eyes and shut our ears. We don’t want to hear about human trafficking – about the stories of people torn from their homes, coerced out of their very lives, and sold into slavery. It’s painful. It’s shameful, and we don’t want to talk about it. But you have called us to be people of action and people of compassion, God. You have called us to seek justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with you. And so we ask you to open our eyes to see the vulnerable and the victims among us. Open our ears so that we may hear their stories, understand where we need to speak out and act, and recognize where our inaction and silence have caused harm. And open our hearts, Great Savior, so that we can be moved to work for justice, to do our part in our communities, in our country and in our world. In the name of Jesus, the Messiah, who went to the cross innocent, but rose triumphant, we pray. Amen.

* God’s Promise of Grace: (pouring the water into the baptismal font) Friends, the waters of God bring renewal and grace to all people, refreshing the weary soul and making all things new. Through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, we are made a people loved and forgiven and freed. Alleluia! Amen.


Scripture reading – Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-9

Hearing the Voices of Those Seeking Justice

Victims’ Stories
from the 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report

The names in these stories have been changed to protect people who have already been victimized beyond anything we can imagine. But the stories themselves are real. They are stories from around the globe – every continent. And these stories are just a small sampling … but they shed some light on the world of human trafficking – a light meant to open our eyes and our hearts to the plights of our brothers and sisters around the world.

Philippines/Saudi Arabia

Maria left her home for a job as a domestic worker in Saudi Arabia – the opportunity for a fair wage and a safe workplace made the sacrifice of leaving her family and her life in the Philippines seem worth it. In reality, Marie spent her time in Saudi Arabia being sold from employer to employer – 11 in all. In the last home where she worked, she was beaten severely. After her stay in the hospital, she was sent home to the Philippines. She has never been paid for her months of work.


Trusting his recruiters, Myo believed he was leaving his home in Burma to work in a pineapple factory in Thailand. Yet, when he arrived, he was sold to a boat captain for the equivalent of approximately $430. He was held on the boat for 10 months, forced to work, and beaten regularly. On the rare occasion that the boat docked at port, the officers bribed local police to allow them to keep the fishermen on the boat rather than risking them escaping if they were allowed to set foot on shore. Myo was finally able to escape and sought refuge in a temple. He continues to struggle with deafness, having had his head and ear smashed into a block of ice on the fishing boat.

United States

When teenager Melissa ran away from home, she was quickly found by a man who promised to help, but was actually a pimp who intended to sexually exploit her. He used psychological manipulation and coercion to hold her in prostitution, and advertised her using online sales. Refusal to do what he said was met by beatings and threats. Despite her fear of being found and killed if she ran, Melissa one day managed to escape from a hotel room where he was keeping her. A patron at another hotel nearby helped her reach the police, who arrested her trafficker.


Needing to support their families, teenagers Dung and Chien dropped out of school and went to work as gold miners. The boys were forced to work underground around the clock, under constant surveillance, and controlled by threats. They were told they would not get paid until they had worked for six months. Racked with untreated malaria and malnourished, Dung and Chien organized an escape attempt with some of the other boys being held in the mines, only to be caught and beaten by the foreman. They were able to finally escape with the help of local villagers, who fed them as they hid from the bosses in the jungle. With the help of a local child support center, the boys are looking forward to being reunited with their families.

Mexico/United States

Flor Molina was a hard worker and a good seamstress, working two jobs in Mexico to support her three young children. When her sewing teacher told her about a sewing job in the United States, she thought it was a good opportunity. Once they arrived at the border, the woman who arranged their travel took Flor’s identification documents and clothes, “for safekeeping.” She and her teacher were taken to a sewing factory and immediately began working. Beaten and prohibited from leaving the factory, Flor began her days at 4:00 in the morning; she not only worked as a seamstress, but had to clean the factory after the other workers went home. After 40 days, she was allowed to leave to attend church, where she was able to get help. With the help of a local NGO, Flor was able to break free. Now, she is a leader in a U.S. national survivors’ caucus, and advocates for victims’ rights and supply chain transparency.

Readers’ Theater
from the PC(USA) Human Trafficking Liturgy

Liturgist: As we join together in this place of worship, others are enslaved, some to provide our comfort. Will we not look and listen?

Voice 1: I signed up to be a domestic worker in a foreign country where I could earn more in a year than I could in a lifetime in my country. But once there, my passport was taken. I had no time off. I was beaten almost daily, thrown down the stairs, and nearly choked to death. The hospital helped me escape when I tried to commit suicide.

All readers’ voices: Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow.

Voice 2: I was nine when my father sold me for the equivalent of 100 U.S. dollars to a lady who told me I was going to a special place to live in a big house with pretty things. I was excited. I’d never ridden on a bus or seen a car, and I was going to the big city. But when I got there, there was only a dark, dirty place. The lady told me what she wanted me to do, and I said no. Then a man came and beat me for three days. They didn’t feed me. I was hungry, and I wanted to go home. I prayed, but the lady said my parents aren’t heard. It turns out she was right. When I contracted AIDS a few years later, I was thrown out on the street. I died at 16.

All readers’ voices: Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow.

Voice 3: I was sold by my boyfriend of two years.

Voice 4: I was sold by my spouse.

Voice 5: I just went to a sleepover with a friend whose parent drugged me and sold me to be repeatedly gang raped. My parents found me before I was sold to a Texan for $300,000.

All readers’ voices: Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow.

Voice 6: The soldiers came and killed my family when I was 12. They found me shaking in a corner and gave me pills they said would make me feel better. They did, but they made me crazy, too. The soldiers took me and fed me and gave me more pills. They taught me how to kill people. I didn’t like doing this, but if I didn’t, they would kill me, like they did my friend who was hacked to death by a machete right before my eyes when he refused to rape and kill his own sister.

All readers’ voices: Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow.

Voice 7: I dig through the mud in riverbeds to find the ore for what you call smart phones and computers. Because I’m only 11, I can crawl through the tunnels to where the best ore can be found. The problem is, the tunnels collapse and kill people. But the soldiers with guns make us work and take what we find. Sometimes they pay us. Mostly, they let us live.

All readers’ voices: Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow.

Voice 3: I was only eight years old when my family sent me to work in a brick kiln. After ten years of hard labor, I moved to another kiln, accepting an advance of $150 to meet my immediate needs. But the owner inflated my debt through fraudulent fees and forced me into servitude to pay off an insurmountable debt, and I worked for fifteen more years before local officials intervened to obtain my freedom.

All readers’ voices: Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow.

Voice 1: I work 20 hours a day in Beverly Hills sewing clothes with labels that say “Made in the USA.” Sometimes I get a day off, and I can see my children.

Voice 2: I work 200 hours a week in a restaurant in Detroit in exchange for a cot I the basement. I don’t speak your language well, but I can’t talk to you if you try to engage me in friendly conversation because my boss is always watching. If I try to escape, I don’t know what will happen to me. So I don’t try.

Voice 3: I don’t go to school so I can pick cotton.

Voice 4: I’m forced to make bricks.

Voice 5: Weave rugs.

Voice 6: Work on farms.

Voice 7: Catch fish.

All readers’ voices: Don’t you see us? We’re everywhere. Don’t you care?

The following are to be said quickly by the different voices without pauses between voices:

Voice 1: We make your beds in hotels.

2: We serve your food in restaurants.

3: We sew your clothes.

4: We make your shoes.

5: We harvest your food.

6: We provide materials for your electronics.

7: We mine your diamonds,

3: your gold,

4: your silver,

5: your copper.

All readers’ voices: We’re everywhere. Don’t you see us? Don’t you care?

All readers’ voices: Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow.


Friends, I know these words are hard to hear. But things like these are not nearly as far removed from our lives as we’d like them to be. Do you enjoy shopping trips up to the Mall of America? Because that’s a prime spot for traffickers to pick up, sell, and swap victims. Rochester’s no better. These things are going on right in our backyard. But the good news is we are not helpless. There are things that we can do. In your bulletin this morning are 2 sheets. One is a human trafficking fact sheet. The other is a list of 20 ways you can help fight human trafficking.

Scripture reading – Matthew 5:1-16

Litany for Those Enslaved (based on the United Methodist Women’s Litany: An Affirmation of Faith)

One: We believe in God the Creator who hovered in love over the primal chaos and uttered creation into existence.

ALL: We believe that the magnificent signature of God can be seen in the diversity of life – every color, every race, every face.

One: We also believe in the revelatory signature of God in Jesus Christ who came to restore the image of God in every human being.

ALL: We believe that God offers peace to a broken humanity, and calls us to be God’s peacemakers, justice-seekers, and healers for a world in need.

One: We believe in Jesus the Christ who came to open our ears so that we may hear each other into community.

ALL: We believe in the Holy Spirit who leads us on into ever-new margins, as children of God.

Sing Kyrie Eleison

One: We believe in the Holy Spirit who opens our ears to the groaning of all God’s beautiful children who suffer – those who are oppressed and exploited and enslaved.

ALL: We believe in God who continually sends us out as living reminders of God’s grace, compassion, and heart for justice.

One: We believe in God’s yearning for shalom and God’s care for all God’s children across this wide, wide earth – all ages and races, all classes and creeds, all genders and sexual orientations.

ALL: We believe that God’s shalom is a call for the care of the whole, and God us calling us to be messengers of shalom.

One: For the sake of justice on earth,

ALL: For the sake of justice on earth.

Sing Kyrie Eleison

One: We believe in the life-giving streams flowing from the heart of God for the healing of our communities, the human family, and creation as a whole.

ALL: We believe in God’s vision of cosmic redemption – freedom for the captives, hope for the hopeless, compassion for those who have been victimized.

One We believe that today we can start living a shalom-filled life, and stand by God’s vision for all people.

ALL: We believe that today we can start living for the new heaven and the new earth that God envisions for us.

One: We believe that today we can start being peacemakers and justice-bringers for all God’s children, shining a light so that all may see the image of God in themselves and in the people around them.

ALL: We believe that today we can become caretakers of God’s beloved people – all God’s beloved people – because that is what God has called us to do: to love as God has loved us.

Sing Kyrie Eleison

ALL: In the name of the One who says, “Behold, I make all things new,” even Jesus the Christ. Amen.

Passing of the Peace

* Song of Peace: Let There Be Peace on Earth (back of NCH hymnal)

Prayers of the People – Around the sanctuary, you will find facts about human trafficking. Connecting these posters are chains representing the unjust captivity faced by our brothers and sisters around the world, around this country, even in our own backyards. Today, we will have an extended period of silent prayer before we move into our responsive prayer. I encourage you to move around the sanctuary, tearing off loops of the chains as your prayer for all those whose lives are and have been affected by human trafficking because prayer is truly one of the most powerful ways that we can help to break these chains of bondage and injustice.



Responsive Prayer (also from the PCUSA Human Trafficking Liturgy)

One: God of grace, break all the chains that hold your children in bondage, whether these be political, social, economic, ethnic, cultural, religious, familial, or personal. Lord, in your mercy,
ALL: Liberate.
One: Almighty God, you have shared your power for good with us. Judge those who abuse power. Grant your wisdom to all who have authority over others that they may lead in accord with your Way of shalom for all people. Lord, in your mercy,
ALL: Empower.
One: Holy God, you have called your people to embody Christ’s ministry here on earth. Help us, your church, be vigilant for those in need of your freedom and give us the courage to act as your agents of liberation. Lord, in your mercy,
ALL: Encourage.
One: God of compassion, there are others in bondage in so many other ways – suffering illness and pain in body, mind, and spirit – so we pray for your healing for those who are also on our hearts this day. {During the silence, lift up your prayer requests either silently or aloud.} Lord, in your mercy,
ALL: Heal.
One: God of grace, hear all of our prayers – those uttered and those that remain unspoken in the silent corners of our hearts. We lift them up to you in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, who taught us to pray, saying, Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin 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.”



                * Hymn of Response #780 (NCH)
* Prayer of Dedication

* Hymn #332 (PH) – Live Into Hope


* Charge & Benediction: Friends, the prophet Micah instructs us to seek justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God. Justice … kindness … humility … grace … These are all things that God desires for each and every one of God’s children, and as God’s messengers, it is our challenge and our blessing to work for this in the world. **SO MAY THE GOD OF HOPE FILL YOU WITH ALL JOY AND PEACE IN BELIEVING, SO THAT YOU MAY ABOUND IN HOPE BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. AMEN.**

* Sending Hymn #2172 (Sing the Faith) – We Are Called (refrain only)

Sunday’s Sermon: Of Rabbits, Magi, & Revelations

Texts for this sermon: Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14 and Matthew 2:1-12

Velveteen Rabbit

  • Let me introduce you to someone. [Hold up Velvie] This is Velvie – the aptly-and-very-creatively named Velveteen Rabbit that was mine when I was a kid.
    • Story of the Velveteen Rabbit = classic, beautiful story
      • Toy rabbit given to a boy for Christmas
        • Initially wasn’t played with much – spent most of his time on the shelf with the other toys → put him down because he was only made of sawdust (no mechanics, no moving parts)
        • Also meets Skin Horse, one of the oldest and wisest toys in the nursery → Skin Horse tells Velveteen Rabbit about being REAL: “What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day … “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?” “Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”[1]
      • According to the Skin Horse, being “real” is a process, a journey. It’s a journey to be something different, something new – a journey of growth and transformation and revelation.
        • Not unlike journey of the Magi
        • Not unlike our faith
      • You see, friends, faith isn’t a destination. It’s not something that we finally reach after years of searching and working and perfecting. It’s a journey that we take with other people and with God.
  • The journey itself is an ever-changing, ever-evolving thing, and one of the greatest influences on a journey is who you’re traveling with.
    • Think about a simple car trip up to the cities.
      • Picture trip with one or two people whose company you know you’d enjoy – laughing, maybe listening to the same music/radio station, talking
      • Now picture same trip with one or two people whose company you don’t enjoy – different trip?
      • What if you were taking that trip all alone in the car? See what I mean? It’s the same stretch of highway, but those are three very different journeys simply because of the people going along for the ride.
    • Velveteen Rabbit’s journey …
      • First altered by aunt who gives him to the boy for Christmas
      • Also affected by relationship with Skin Horse
      • Drastically altered by boy’s nanny – One night, when the little boy couldn’t find the china dog he usually slept with, his nanny gaves him the Velveteen Rabbit to sleep with instead. From that moment on, the Velveteen Rabbit and the boy became inseparable.
      • Most profound impact made on his journey comes from the Boy himself: The Boy used to talk to him, … and they had splendid games together…. And when the Boy dropped off to sleep, the Rabbit would snuggle down close under his little warm chin and dream, with the Boy’s hands clasped close round him all night long. And so time went on, and the little Rabbit was very happy–so happy that he never noticed how his beautiful velveteen fur was getting shabbier and shabbier, and his tail becoming unsewn, and all the pink rubbed off his nose where the Boy had kissed him.[2] → At first, only the look and feel of the Velveteen Rabbit’s days are altered by his relationship with the Boy. But before long, the look and feel of the Velveteen Rabbit himself begins to change because of that relationship.
    • Magis’ journey = constantly changing → begins as an homage trip, becomes a sort of information-gathering mission for Herod, ends up a bit of an escape mission – each alteration in magis’ path coincides with a change in the people that were a part of their journey
      • Journey initiated by in-breaking of presence of God in their lives – glimpse of the Star of Bethlehem
      • And when all they tried to do was stop and ask for directions, they end up in a secret meeting with the King – journey slightly delayed by run-in with Herod: Pretending to be as devout as they were, [Herod] got them to tell him exactly when the birth-announcement star appeared. … “Go find this child. Leave no stone unturned. As soon as you find him, send word and I’ll join you at once in your worship.” Instructed by the king, they set off.[3]
      • Journey reached another phase when they found the Christ-child: They entered the house and saw the child in the arms of Mary, his mother. Overcome, they kneeled and worshiped him.[4] → culmination of sorts because they did what they set out to do – pay homage to the newborn king
      • But their journey wasn’t over yet.: In a dream, they were warned not to report back to Herod. So they worked out another route, left the territory without being seen, and returned to their own country.[5] → After another encounter with God, their path changed yet again.
        • Scholar: Could it be Matthew is offering a tantalizing hint about life for those who have met Christ? Nothing is ever the same. You don’t take the old road any longer. You unfold a new map, and discover an alternative path.[6] → The journey continues, but the path is never the same.
    • Think of the people you encounter each and every day.
      • The obvious people: loved ones (family, friends), co-workers
      • But there are also the less-obvious people – the people we don’t see or don’t want to see.
        • Person asking for spare change at the intersection
        • Stressed-out looking single parent in the grocery store with the screaming children
        • Person struggling with mental illness
        • That person (co-worker, family, neighbor) who just gets under your skin – makes you duck away at the mailbox/water cooler/etc.
    • Friends, these are the people we journey with. Each and every one of our encounters with people affects us in some way. We rub off on each other, whether we like it or not, whether we’re a part of each other’s lives for a moment or a lifetime.
      • Scholar explains why we travel together: It is very important to seek guidance along the way. No one of us, not even any small group of us, can know it all. There are others who are seeking, [too].[7] → You see? It’s our interactions with all the people around us – the ones we love and the ones we find it hard to love – it’s these interactions that shape and inform and challenge and stretch our faith. And it’s our interactions with them that shape and inform and challenge and stretch their faith.
  • But no matter who we’re traveling with, sometimes the encounters we have are difficult for us; they make us feel uncomfortable.
    • Discomfort in Velveteen Rabbit’s journey:
      • Boy contracts Scarlet Fever – spends a very long time in bed with his Velveteen Rabbit to keep him company
      • When he finally gets better, doctor orders nanny to discard and burn all the things he’s been playing with during his illness including the Velveteen Rabbit
      • Nanny takes all out to the trash bins to burn the next day
      • Story: That night the Boy slept in a different bedroom … And while the Boy was asleep, dreaming of the seaside, the little Rabbit lay among the old picture-books in the corner behind the fowl-house, and he felt very lonely. … He thought of those long sunlit hours in the garden–how happy they were–and a great sadness came over him. He seemed to see them all pass before him, each more beautiful than the other … He thought of the Skin Horse, so wise and gentle, and all that he had told him. Of what use was it to be loved and lose one’s beauty and become Real if it all ended like this? And a tear, a real tear, trickled down his little shabby velvet nose and fell to the ground.[8]
    • Discomfort of the Magis’ journey
      • Remember: original reason for pilgrimage = to find the newborn king of the Jews and pay him homage
      • Herod hears about this “king of the Jews” and gets scared – co-opts the Magis’ pilgrimage as a search mission for his own purposes
        • Lie he tells to the Magi: “As soon as you find him, send word and I’ll join you at once in your worship.”[9]
        • But a few verses after what we read this morning, an angel reveals Herod’s real reason for finding Jesus as a warning in another one of Joseph’s dreams: Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.[10]
        • And when the Magi themselves are made aware of this treachery in a different dream, they are so uncomfortable with this shift in purpose that they decide to head home via a different route – one that will take them out of Herod’s reach. But it was only when they were face-to-face with the discomfort that the Magi were able to change their path.
  • And you know what? That’s one of the hardest things about journeys and about the learning and growing that we do as we go along. More often than not, our greatest growth comes not from the happy, easy parts of the path but from those challenging and uncomfortable ones.
    • Think of it in terms of light: What’s brighter? A light shining in an already sun-lit room, or a light shining in the darkness?
      • Visible in both? Yes.
      • Dazzling in both? No. → cannot dazzle without the darkness
    • Goal of our journey of faith is not necessarily what’s at the end but what happens as part of the journey itself
      • Ps gives us God’s example for how we should journey together
        • With justice: Please stand up for the poor, help the children of the needy.[11] → requires active faith, not passive faith
          • = active verbs (stand up, help, defend, save)
        • Also encouraged to travel with compassion: [God] opens a place in [God’s] heart for the down-and-out.[12] → opening our own hearts is a scary thing, a dangerous thing
          • Could be hurt
          • Could be taken advantage of
          • Could be rejected
          • Could even be forgotten like Velveteen Rabbit
          • But if these are all chances that God is willing to take for us, how can we refuse to that these chances for other people? Other beloved children of God?
        • Scholar: Jesus does not make my life more comfortable; Jesus doesn’t help me fit in and succeed. … [With Jesus], a strange, unfamiliar road is our new path – but the road is going somewhere.[13]
      • The Velveteen Rabbit doesn’t find the end of his story soaked in tears.
        • Tear he shed grew up into a flower → from the flower stepped a fairy → transforms him into a real bunny and introduces him to a whole new life (new friends, new experiences, new way of living)
          • Couldn’t have been possible without first part of the Velveteen Rabbit’s journey – the ups as well as the downs
            • Remember words of 1st scholar I quoted earlier?: Could it be Matthew is offering a tantalizing hint about life for those who have met Christ? Nothing is ever the same. You don’t take the old road any longer. You unfold a new map, and discover an alternative path.[14] → Friends, throughout our journeys of faith, we are always changing and growing. We’re always challenging those around us and being challenged ourselves. As we journey, new people join us to travel alongside for a time while others’ paths veer away from ours and they leave us. But no matter where our journey takes us, God is always there to show us the compassion, the grace, the integrity, and the love that we seek. The journey continues, but the path is never the same. Amen.

17th cent. Japanese poet Matsuo Basho: “Each day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.” Friends, journey well.

[1] Margaret Williams. The Velveteen Rabbit. (New York, NY: Doubleday & Co, Inc.), 1922. From, accessed 31 Dec. 2014.

[2] Williams.

[3] Mt 2:7b, 8-9a.

[4] Mt 2:11a.

[5] Mt 2:12.

[6] James C. Howell. “Epiphany of the Lord – Matthew 2:1-12 – Theological Perspective” in Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary – Year B, vol. 1. (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2008), 216.

[7] William V. Arnold. “Epiphany of the Lord – Matthew 2:1-12 – Pastoral Perspective” in Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary – Year B, vol. 1. (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2008), 214.

[8] Williams.

[9] Mt 2:8.

[10] Mt 2:13.

[11] Ps 72:4.

[12] Ps 72:13.

[13] Howell, 216.

[14] Howell, 216.