Worship Sunday Epiphany 1
January 10, 2021
Baptism of our Lord
Service of the Word
 
Introduction & Invocation
 
Our re-creation in baptism is an image of the Genesis creation, where the Spirit of God moved over the waters. Both Mark’s gospel and the story in Acts make clear that it is the Spirit’s movement that distinguishes Jesus’ baptism from John’s. The Spirit has come upon us as upon Jesus and the Ephesians, calling us God’s beloved children and setting us on Jesus’ mission to re-create the world in the image of God’s vision of justice and peace.
 
Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God,
who was in the beginning,
who makes a dwelling among us,
who covers us with justice and mercy.
Amen.
 
Prayer of the Day
 
Holy God, creator of light and giver of goodness, your voice moves over the waters. Immerse us in your grace, and transform us by your Spirit, that we may follow after your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
 
First Reading: Genesis 1:1-5
Out of chaos, God brings order. Out of the formless void, God brings light. This familiar story was good news for the Israelites, who experienced much chaos in their history. It remains good news for us. God created and continues to create new life.
 
1In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2the 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. 3Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
 
Word of God. Word of Life.
 
Second Reading: Acts 19:1-7
 
In Ephsus, Paul encounters people who had received John’s baptism of repentance but had never heard of the Holy Spirit or of baptism in the name of Jesus. After Paul baptizes them, the Holy Spirit comes upon them and empowers them with gifts of the Spirit.
 
1While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the interior regions and came to Ephesus, where he found some disciples. 2He 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.” 3Then he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They answered, “Into John’s baptism.” 4Paul 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.” 5On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied—7altogether there were about twelve of them.
 
Word of God. Word of Life.
 
Gospel: Mark 1:4-11
 
Mark’s gospel reports the story of Jesus’ baptism with some irony: the one on whom the Spirit descends is himself the one who will baptize others with the Holy Spirit.
 
4John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5And 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. 6Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7He 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. 8I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
 
9In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10And 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. 11And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
 
Sermon
 
John baptized Jesus. You and I today become baptized in Jesus’ name. Actually, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.          
 
When we stand for baptism, the pastor asks us: “Do you renounce the devil and all the forces that defy God?” Then we answer: “Yes, I renounce them.”          
 
If we are an infant when getting baptized, then our parents and God-parents do the renouncing on our behalf. Later, at confirmation, we re-affirm our baptism.            
 
Can we override our baptism? Can we nullify our baptism? It’s not easy, but it can be done. How? By inviting the devil back into your life.What!? Who would ever want to invite such evil into one’s life? There is an answer to this question. We open ourselves to possession by holding a grudge, by fixating on getting even with someone who previously wronged us. For some reason or another, the devil is attracted to us when we hunger and thirst for revenge. Revenge is the devil’s delicacy. Holding a grudge is like opening a big front door to say, “Come on in, Satan.”Jesus tried to warn us. Jesus emphasized that we ought to forgive our enemies rather than try to get even.
 
Matthew 5:43-44:  "You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'  But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” When you and I forgive our enemies, the devil high tails it as far away as he can get. When you and I forgive our enemies, it’s like walking wet with the water of our baptism.        
 
Prayers of Intercession
 
Keeping awake as we watch for Christ, let us pray for the church, the world, and all in need.
 
Holy God, we rejoice that your promises take on flesh in Jesus. Great patience in your church awaiting the fulfillment of your reign of justice and peace. Restore in us the hope that we are called to proclaim to the world the gospel of Jesus Christ.
 
O God, you are our promise and hope. In your mercy,
hear our prayer.
 
For all who share the gospel and proclaim freedom in Christ throughout the world: prophets, teachers, pastors, deacons, and lay leaders; for the church and its ministries, let us pray.
 
O God, you are our rainbow of care: in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
 
We thank you, O delivering God, for the progressive advance of the Coronavirus vaccine. We pray that it bring relief of anxiety and preventive cure for this generation. We pray for physicians, nurses, and home health aides; medical researchers; and the World Health Organization. Fill the aching in our hearts with your merciful power.
 
O God, you provide our everlasting home: in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
 
We pray, O God, for all in need:
for those suffering for the faith;
for those who are poor, hungry, and homeless;
for those who are sick and those awaiting death;
and for those in the Cross and Crown family...
 
·Healing
Trice (former CCLC member)
RJ (former CCLC member)
Jan and Terry (sister and BIL of Lynne BS)
Linda (friend of Joanne B.)
Scott (brother of Lynne BS)
Richard (friend of Sue M.)
Dutch A.
Charles (son of Jackie N.)
 
Long Term Healing
Joanne (friend of Kim B.)
Carole B.
Gabe B.
Chris (BIL of Mandy Mc)
Mark (friend of Curtis S.)
Sawyer (friend of Michelle S.)
 
·Homebound Members
·Dick and Dorothy N.                                                
·Ruth M.                                                                      
·Pastor Leon H.                                                        
·Norma C.
 
·Personal
·Martin P. (friend of Barbara S.)
·Barbara S.
·Newzell family
 
Grief
Geri W. (MIL of Jean B.)
 
O God, you are the Healer of our every ill: in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
 
Receive our thanks for all who died in the faith and bring us at the final resurrection into your everlasting life, where sorrows will be no more. Into your gracious and mighty hands, O God, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy, through your Son Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Amen
 
Lord’s Prayer
 
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread,
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil,
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and forever.
Amen.
 
 
Benediction
 
Almighty God, Father, + Son, and Holy Spirit, bless us now and forever.
Amen.
 
Go in peace. Serve the Lord.