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

According to Luke, after Jesus was baptized he was praying. The heavens opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove. A voice said from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” This anointing of our Lord with the Holy Spirit signals the start of his public ministry, and confirms that Jesus is God’s Son, by the Father’s own voice. Though Jesus never sinned, he identified with humanity by permitting himself to be baptized, and he launched his public ministry with anointing by the Spirit and approval from the Father.

Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Almighty God, you anointed Jesus at his baptism with the Holy Spirit, and revealed him as your beloved Son; grant that we who are baptised into his name may give up our lives to your service, and be found worthy of our calling; through Jesus Christ our Lord who is alive with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. Amen.

~ New Zealand Prayer Book, The Baptism of the Lord, p. 561
(http://liturgy.co.nz/reflection/561.html)

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: Isa. 43.1-7
Gospel: Luke 3.15-22
NT: Acts 8.14-17

(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, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ our Lord has endowed the regenerating waters with the grace which hallows unto eternal salvation; and did yourself come on him by your Spirit, in the descent of the mysterious Dove on his head; grant, we ask you, that there may come on your whole church a blessing which may keep us all continually safe, may unceasingly bless all classes of your servants, may direct the course of those who follow you and open the door of the heavenly kingdom to all who are waiting to enter; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

~ Gothic Missal, in William Bright,
Ancient Collects and Other Prayers: Selected for Devotional Use From Various Rituals.
LaVergne, TN: Kessinger Publishing, 2009. p. 29-30.

Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Lord Jesus, you are God’s beloved Son, in whom he is well pleased. We praise your great and awesome name, for you are holy!

Weekly Reflection on the Priesthood of all Believers
The baptism of Jesus provides the foundation for Christian baptism, and this foundation is deeply rooted in the Old Testament’s story of God’s People. The New Testament’s baptismal imagery draws on the waters of Noah’s flood, the waters of the Red Sea as they miraculously parted with salvation for Israel and crashed down in judgment on Pharoah’s army, and also on the water in which the priests were “baptized” at their ordinations.

~ Uche Anizor and Hank Voss. Representing Christ. Electronic Edition.
Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2016. pp. 122-23.

Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
And He Manifested His Glory, John 2.1-11

Book Reading
Carter, Guard the Good Deposit

Our Corporate Disciplines
National Day of Prayer: Monday, January 10, 2022
Book Discussion: Wednesday, January 12, 2022