~ SERVICE OF THE WORD ~

January 10, 2021

First Sunday After Epiphany

Baptism Of Christ

PRAYER IN PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP

God of grace and glory, you call us together with your voice of fire to be your people, faithful and courageous. As your beloved Son embraced his mission in the waters of baptism, inspire us with the fire of your Spirit to join in his transforming work. We ask this in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

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GATHERING MUSIC 

GREETING & CALL TO WORSHIP

Good morning and welcome to St John’s Church. Today we commemorate the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan by John the Baptist. Let us begin our worship together.

 

GATHERING HYMN  

“Joys Are Flowing Like A River”

1. Joys are flowing like a river since the Comforter has come;

    He abides with us forever, makes the trusting heart his home.

    Blessed quietness, holy quietness, what assurance in my soul.

    On the stormy sea Jesus speaks to me, and the billows cease to roll.

 

2. Like the rain that falls from heaven, like the sunlight in the sky,

    So the Spirit now is given, coming to us from on high.

    Blessed quietness, holy quietness, what assurance in my soul.

    On the stormy sea Jesus speaks to me, and the billows cease to roll.

 

3. What a wonderful salvation, where we always see Christ’s face,

    What a perfect habitation, what a quiet resting place.

    Blessed quietness, holy quietness, what assurance in my soul.

    On the stormy sea Jesus speaks to me, and the billows cease to roll.

(arrangement ©1984 Abington Press)

PSALM OF THE DAY

Psalm 29

Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and  strength.

Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name; worship the Lord in holy splendor.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders over mighty waters. 

The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.

The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.

The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl, and strips the forest bare;

and in his temple all say “Glory!”

The Lord sits enthroned as king forever. May the Lord give strength to his people!

May the Lord bless his people with peace!

 

CONFESSION OF SIN

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us, but if we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Let us confess our sins before God and one another. 

Loving Lord, we confess we have not always heeded your prophets’ voices. We admit we have not thought much about John the Baptist, who proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. We acknowledge that John’s declaration about the greater One who was coming often gets lost in our lives filled with daily woes and distractions. God, we gather before you today needing grace and the gift of forgiveness granted through your Son. Hear our prayer and grant us your peace and forgiveness. Amen.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON

God hears the confession of our hearts and lips. Through Jesus Christ we are forgiven all our sins, and by the Holy Spirit we are empowered through new life. Thanks be to God! Amen.

SHARING GOD'S PEACE

     God’s peace is yours!

     And yours also!

ACT OF PRAISE

     Let us praise the Lord!

     The Lord’s name be praised!

     Response: “Glory Be To The Father”  

Glory be to the Father,

and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be.

World without end! Amen. Amen.

 OLD TESTAMENT READING   

Genesis 1: 1-5

The First Day Of Creation

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

 

NEW TESTAMENT READING

Acts 19: 1-7

Paul In Ephesus

While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the interior regions and came to Ephesus, where he found some disciples. He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?” They replied, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” Then he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They answered, “Into John’s baptism.” Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied - altogether there were about twelve of them.

 

GOSPEL READING

Mark 1: 4-11

The Baptism Of Jesus

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved;  with you I am well pleased.”

HYMN  

“Spirit Of God, Descend Upon My Heart”

 

1. Spirit of God, descend upon my heart;

     Wean it from earth, through all its pulses move;

     Stoop to my weakness, mighty as You are, 

     And make me love You as I ought to love.

 

2. Teach me to feel that You are always nigh;

     Teach me the struggles of the soul to bear;

     To check the rising doubt the rebel sigh;

     Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.

 

3. Teach me to love You, as Your angels love,

     One holy passion filling all my frame, 

     The baptism of the heav’n-descended Dove.

     My heart an altar and Your love the flame.

MEDITATION

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH 

“A Litany For The Baptism Of Christ”

The voice of God came from heaven.

And the voice of God said, “You are my son, the beloved, with you I am well pleased!” 

O Christ of glory, you humbled yourself to be baptized, showing us the way of humility. Strengthen us to serve you in humility all the days of our life. 

Lord, hear our prayer. 

O Christ, by your baptism you cleansed us from our sin, making us children of your Father. Give the grace of being a child of God to all who seek you. 

Lord, hear our prayer. 

O Christ, by your baptism you sanctified creation and opened the door of repentance to all who are baptized. Make us servants of your Gospel in the world. 

Lord, hear our prayer. 

Today, we remember Christ’s baptism and ours. While the power of our baptism does not fade, our spirits can become dry. Refresh our spirits and remind us of your power to fill us with new life! 

Almighty God, you anointed Jesus at his baptism with the Holy Spirit, and revealed him as your beloved Son. Keep us, your children born of water and the Spirit, faithful in your service, that we may rejoice to be called children of God; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. 

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

MORNING PRAYERS & LORD’S PRAYER (using debts/debtors)

     The Lord be with you.

     And with you also.

Gracious Father, you are Lord of our beginnings and our endings and all that lies between.  We praise you: for pouring out blessing after blessing upon us; for reaching out to us; for coming to us, for speaking your Word to us.  Help us to live the faith you have given us.

 

Loving God, we thank you that Jesus came among us - going so far as to take upon himself our sin, our suffering, and our death. May we be united with him so that we might share in his glorious resurrection.  Help us to commit ourselves to be the family he has called us to be – members of his body here in this place - his disciples and apostles - his evangelists and teachers - his feet and hands - his eyes and ears - his light and salt - every day.

 

Send your Spirit to all the people of your church, O God, that your will may be done and your name be glorified.  Make us one as you are one, both those who are near and those who are far away. 

 

Anoint the grieving with your comfort, so that they may know your light even in the time of their deepest darkness. Especially do we pray for those we silently name in our hearts …(pause)… May they know that you are always with them.

 

Heal the broken in body and spirit, so that they may know you are Lord of all their days and so that they may praise you each day no matter what it may bring.

 

O God of infinite mercy, pour your love out upon us each day as you poured your Spirit upon us through our baptism. We ask all these things through 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 debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

OFFERING

Jesus, our light, has come! His light shines brightly in our humble lives. Let us bring our gifts that they may be a light to others through our ministries. Please stand as we join together in singing God’s praise…

     Response: "Doxology"

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

      Praise Him, all creatures here below.

Praise Him above ye heav’nly host.

      Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost! Amen.

PRAYER OF DEDICATION

God of Power and Might, you created light from the darkened void. Today, this light continues to fill the shapeless recesses of our lives. Multiply these gifts so your beacon of light shines in every corner of the Earth. May people everywhere receive your light with praise and thanksgiving. We pray in the name of the one who proclaimed transforming redemption, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

PARTING HYMN  

“Let There Be Light”

1. Let there be light, Lord God of hosts!

     Let there be wisdom on the earth!

     Let broad humanity have birth!

     Let there be deeds instead of boasts!

2. Within our passioned hearts instill

     The calm that ends all strain and strife.

     Make us your ministers of life.

     Drive out the urge to curse and kill.

 

3. Let woe and wasteful warfare cease,

     That useful labor yet may build

      Its homes with love and laughter filled!

     God, give your wayward children peace!

COMMISSION & BENEDICTION

Go in peace. Love and care for one another in the name of Christ. May the Spirit of God which filled John and Jesus, fill your hearts, souls and minds; May the power of God which upheld them, strengthen us for each day; and may the love of God which directed their every action be our guiding light and shining star, both now and forevermore. Amen.

     Response: Amen, Amen, Amen 

CHIMES & POSTLUDE MUSIC

Joys Are Flowing Like A River; Lyrics by Manie Payne Ferguson

arrangement ©1984 Abington Press, All rights reserved.

Permission to reproduce / podcast / stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE

License #A​ - 737625.​ All rights reserved.

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