Words for Worship – 1/10/21

We’ll be gathering for worship this Sunday as we always do. The year is off to a tragic and painful start and we’ll try to find space for healing and hope. Jesus offers both. If you’re joining us online, you can find the words for worship below. You can also download and print a copy here.

Prelude               We Three Kings of Orient Are

Call to Worship – Psalm 82

God has taken his place in the divine council;
   in the midst of the gods he holds judgement:
‘How long will you judge unjustly
   and show partiality to the wicked?’
Give justice to the weak and the orphan;
   maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
   deliver them from the hand of the wicked.’

They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
   they walk around in darkness;
   all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
I say, ‘You are gods,
   children of the Most High, all of you;
nevertheless, you shall die like mortals,
   and fall like any prince.’
Rise up, O God, judge the earth;
   for all the nations belong to you!

 Song – All Creatures of Our God and King #551

Prayer of Confession

Most High and holy God, our nation struggles to find its way out of turmoil. Some of us confess that we’d rather ignore it. Others of us confess to a growing resentment of people who disagree. We all confess to a weariness in the face of it. Still, we know that you have called us to be a light to the world and to teach the nations. Bless us with your Spirit. Grant us wisdom, grant us courage. Give us a voice to speak up for those whose are ignored and a love willing to sacrifice for your kingdom. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.

Song – As With Gladness Men of Old  #105

Words of Assurance

And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God…and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

See, the home of God is among mortal. God will dwell with them; they will be his people and, God himself will be with them; the Lord will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and the lamb.

On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

Anthem – Jesus, Light of the World (see #100)

Scripture – Luke 3:1-22

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,
‘The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
   make his paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled,
   and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall be made straight,
   and the rough ways made smooth;
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” ’

John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, ‘You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, “We have Abraham as our ancestor”; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the axe is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.’

And the crowds asked him, ‘What then should we do?’ In reply he said to them, ‘Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.’ Even tax-collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, ‘Teacher, what should we do?’ He said to them, ‘Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.’ Soldiers also asked him, ‘And we, what should we do?’ He said to them, ‘Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.’

As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, ‘I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing-fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing-floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.’

So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people. But Herod the ruler, who had been rebuked by him because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, and because of all the evil things that Herod had done, added to them all by shutting up John in prison.

Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’

Sermon

Song – Hear Our Praises #302

Prayers w/ Lord’s Prayer

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.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation

But deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen.

Offertory – Beautiful One (see #607)

Benediction

Sending Song – Jesus, Light of the World  #100

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