Week 7: The Baptism of the Lord, First Sunday after the Epiphany

John the Baptizer appeared as the forerunner of Jesus, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus of Nazareth came to him to be baptized, and coming out of the water, the heavens were torn open, and the Spirit descended on him as a dove. A voice came from heaven, saying, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” This initiating moment at the beginning of Jesus’s ministry reveals the unique sonship he had with the Father; Jesus of Nazareth is the Spirit-anointed chosen one of God, his Servant and our Savior.

Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
O God, who opens the entrance of the kingdom of heaven to those only who are born again of water and the Holy Spirit, increase evermore on your servants the gifts of your grace, that they who have been cleansed from all sins may not be defrauded of any promises; through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

~ The Gelasian Sacramentary (Bright, p. 159)

Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, amen.

Te Deum Laudamus 
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.

The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.

Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)

Gloria Patri
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, amen.

Chronological Reading for the Day
Sunday: Exod. 35-36

Lectionary Readings
Psalm: Ps. 29
OT: Gen. 1.1-5
Gospel: Mark 1.4-11
NT: Acts 19.1-7

(Click here for all readings)
Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling

The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick 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.

*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).

Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.

Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.

Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in 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, for ever. Amen.

~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)

Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Benediction 
O God our Father, at the baptism of Jesus you proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit. Make all who are baptized into Christ faithful to their calling to be your daughters and sons, and empower us all with your Spirit, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

~ Evangelical Lutheran Worship
(Conference of Bishops, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, p. 19)

Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Beloved Son of God, who pleased the Father in all the things you said and did, help us to follow you as you followed the Father above.

Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
The Wonderful Works of God, Psalm 139.1-6, 13-18

Book Reading
Anderson, The Unfolding Drama of the Bible

Our Corporate Disciplines
National Day of Prayer: Monday, January 11, 2021