~ SERVICE OF THE WORD ~

January 24, 2021

Third Sunday After Epiphany

PRAYER IN PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP

Holy God, you gather us together today into your radiant presence and continually reveal your Son as our Savior. As we worship in this place, bring healing to our wounds, make whole all that is broken, speak truth to all illusion, and shed light in every darkness. Help us remember that those who truly repent will see your glory and know Christ. Amen.

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PRELUDE MUSIC

 

GREETING & CALL TO WORSHIP

Good morning and welcome to St John’s Church. Today is the third Sunday after Epiphany and our worship today focuses on Jesus’ command to repent and believe the Good News. Let us begin our worship together with our gathering hymn.

 

GATHERING HYMN

“Dear Lord & Father Of Mankind”

 

1. Dear Lord and Father of mankind 

Forgive our foolish ways;

Reclothe us in our rightful mind,

In purer lives Thy service find, 

In deeper reverence, praise.

2. In simple trust like theirs, who heard 

Beside the Syrian sea

The gracious calling of the Lord,

Let us, like them, without a word 

Rise up and follow Thee.

3. Breathe through the heats of our desire

Thy coolness and thy balm;

Let sense be numb, let flesh retire;

Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,

O still, small voice of calm! 

PSALM OF THE DAY     

Psalm 62

For God alone my soul waits in silence,

for my hope is from him.

He alone is my rock and salvation, my fortress;

I shall not be shaken.

On God rests my deliverance and my honor;

my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.

Trust in him at all times, O people;

pour out your heart before him;

God is a refuge for us.

Those of low estate are but a breath,

those of high estate are a delusion;

In the balances they go up;

they are together lighter than a breath.

Put no confidence in extortion, and set no vain hopes on robbery;

if riches increase, do not set your heart on them.

Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this:

that power belongs to God,

And steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord.

For you repay to all according to their work.  

 

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. 

Holy One, what a blessing and privilege we share here in this sacred space and among this loving community. But, like Jonah, we sometimes are jealous of what we share here. We know that others are longing and thirsting for what we know and experience. Forgive us our reluctance to open our doors and our hearts to others. We repent of our hesitations and unwillingness to witness to those we have considered strangers and even enemies for fear they just might become friends. Amen.

 

ASSURANCE OF PARDON

God, who calls us to this place calls us to reconciliation through grace. God will not deny a repentant heart. Know that we are forgiven and walk in the new way this is made know to us through God’s love. 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

Jonah 3: 1-5, 10

The Conversion Of Nineveh

The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, saying, “Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.” So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly large city, a three days’ walk across. Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s walk. And he cried out, “Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth. When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.

NEW TESTAMENT READING

1 Corinthians 7: 29-31

The Life The Lord Has Assigned

I mean, brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no possessions, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.

 

GOSPEL READING

Mark 1: 14-20

Jesus Calls The First Disciples

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.”And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him. 

HYMN  

“Jesus Calls Us”

 

1. Jesus calls us, o’er the tumult of our life’s wild, restless sea;

Day by day his voice still calls us

Saying “Christian, follow me.”

2. As of old, Saint Andrew heard it by the Galilean lake,

Turned from home and toil and kindred,

Leaving all for Jesus’ sake.

3. Jesus, call us! By your mercies, Savior, may we hear your call, 

Give our hearts to your obedience,

Serve and love you best of all.

MEDITATION

AFFIRMATION OF FAITH 

“The Apostles’ Creed”

I believe in God the Father Almighty, 

     Creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,

     He was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

     Born of the Virgin Mary,

     Suffered under Pontius Pilate,

     Was crucified, died, and was buried;

     He descended to the dead.

     On the third day he rose again;

     He ascended into heaven,

     He is seated at the right hand of the Father,

     And he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

     The holy catholic Church,

     The communion of saints,

     The forgiveness of sins,

     The resurrection of the body

     And the life everlasting. Amen.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

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

     The Lord be with you.

     And with you also.

Gracious, eternal God, we thank you that Jesus’ call to his disciples came in such a common way. Contrary to the wisdom of the world he did not start with the privileged and the wealthy and the powerful. He did not begin with those who had little need and little desire for change. He began with some very average people. He began with some fishermen.

 

We pray that his call, “Come, follow me,” might again echo through our souls today. May we hear again the challenge to be disciples. May we hear again the message of this one who brings good news. May we hear again the invitation to “all who are weary and heavy laden.” May we hear again eternal words of hope which tell us that however dark the world becomes the darkness cannot ever overcome the radiant light of the holy one, Jesus. May we hear again those simple words: “Come, follow me,” and may we come, just as we are, and know again  the depth of  your grace and love for us.

 

Give us the power to bring change and transformation to the people of the world as those early fishermen did. Give us the power to provide the same kind of hope to our world as they brought to theirs. Give us the vision of a world transformed.

 

We pray for those whose health is a constant and major concern.  Be with those whose feel that they have no hope or direction. For all those in need of your love, we ask that you give courage for the frustrating obstacles of life. We ask all these things through Christ, our Lord, 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

Sometimes we find God’s call challenging. Sometimes we are too comfortable or complacent. May our act of giving be a gesture of our willingness to follow where God leads.  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

Great God of heaven and earth, we hear your call and follow you into the future. Accept these gifts in response to your call and use them to spread your Word to those most in need. Amen.

PARTING HYMN  

“The Voice Of God Is Calling”

1. The voice of God is calling, it summons to us all;

As once they heard in Zion, so now we hear the call.

“Whom shall I send to succor my people in their need?

Whom shall I send to loosen the bonds of shame & greed?”

 

2. We heed, O God, Your summons and answer “Here are we!”

Send us upon Your errand, let us Your servants be.

Our strength is dust and ashes, our years a passing hour;

But You can use our weakness to magnify Your power.

 

3. From ease and plenty save us, from pride of place absolve;

Purge us of low desire, lift us to high resolve;

Take us and make us holy, teach us Your will and way.

Speak, and behold, we answer. Command and we obey!

COMMISSION & BENEDICTION

As you leave this sacred place and go out into the world, listen for Jesus’ voice saying “Follow me”. At home, at school, and at work, listen for Jesus voice saying “Follow me”. In everything you do this week, for yourself and for others, listen for Jesus voice saying “Follow me”. And as you do, remember that the He is with us always, even to the end of the world.

     Response: Amen, Amen, Amen 

CHIMES & POSTLUDE MUSIC

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