Born into another world

The Celebration of the Gospel
January 7, 2018 —The Baptism of Jesus

 “You are my beloved child, with whom I am well pleased.”
 —Mark 1.11

    _________We Gather as the Body of Christ_____


PRELUDE  Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light    Johan Schop, arr: Mark Hayes

Leader:  Light of the world, you have come to us in human form.
All:  We rejoice in gratitude.
Light of Bethlehem’s star, you led magi to the holy child.
We worship in awe.
God of light, you baptized Jesus in your love.
We immerse ourselves in your grace.  Alleluia!

* SONG   Of the Father’s Love Begotten     Blue hymnal #184, v. 1, 3


_____________We Attend to the Word_________

(10:30) THE WORD IN SONG    The Coventry Carol   Arr. Victor C. Johnson

God of love, in the birth of Jesus you poured yourself out into the world.  In his baptism you poured out your Spirit upon him. In our worship now pour out yourself into us, that in love we may pour ourselves into the world in love, in the name and Spirit of Christ.  Amen.

OLD TESTAMENT    Genesis 1.1-5
[God ‘s Spirit broods over the waters of Creation and God brings forth light.]

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while the Spirit of God brooded over the face of the waters.  Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness God called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

GOSPEL          Mark 1.9-12
[ Jesus is baptized in the Jordan river.  The heavens are “torn open,” the Holy Spirit comes to Jesus as a dove, and he hears the promise of God’s love and blessing. “You are my son, my Beloved” quotes Psalm 2, referring to the Messiah.  “With whom I am well pleased” quotes Isaiah 42, referring to God’s suffering servant. Until Jesus’ followers thought about it no one had ever imagined that one person might fulfill both roles; but the realized Jesus was a suffering Messiah!]

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And 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. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.


SONG      When Jesus Was Baptized   Steve G-H

When Jesus was baptized, John said to repent,
and follow the Righteous One whom God had sent.
So wash us, dear God, and create us anew,
born fresh from your grace, living wholly in you.

When Jesus was baptized in waters that flow,
he sank in the Source of what makes all things grow.
So, held in Creation, renewed and made one,
we swim in the grace of your  life-giving Son.

When Jesus was baptized in light, like a dove
your Spirit came down and you filled him with love.
So give us your Spirit: let all that we do
be you living in us, as we live in you.

When Jesus was baptized you spoke from above,
saying “This is my servant, my son, whom I love.”
So help us to hear you speak love when you call,
and as your Beloved, share freely with all.

Pastor: Beloved in Christ:
through the sacrament of baptism
God brings us into Christ’s holy church,
makes us part of the salvation of the world,
and gives us new birth through water and the Spirit.

So we come to the water.
Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters:
water of new birth,  poured out and flowing freely
for all who will receive it;
water of justice rolling down,
water of righteousness like an everflowing stream;
a spring of water in us gushing up to eternal life;
the river of God for the healing of the world.

We come to this water
because our souls thirst for you, O God,
as in a dry and weary land.

All: We come to this water
to renew our love as siblings in your love,
and to renew our baptism
in the death and resurrection of Christ.

The Baptismal Vows
Pastor: As we behold the mystery of God’s grace,
I invite you to profess your faith,
and to confirm the baptismal covenant made in your name:
Do you hunger and thirst for righteousness?
All: We confess our need for the saving, life-giving grace of God!
Will you turn away from the powers of sin and death?
We renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness,
reject the evil powers of this world,
and repent of our sin!
Will you let the Spirit use you as prophets to the powers that be?
We accept the freedom and power God gives us
to resist evil, injustice, and oppression
in whatever forms they present themselves!

Will you receive God’s grace, give yourselves wholly to God,
and live as disciples of Jesus, Christ’s body on earth?
We confess Jesus Christ as our Savior,
put our whole trust in his grace,
and promise to serve him as our Lord,
in union with the church which Christ has opened
to people of all ages, nations, and races!

Will you be living witnesses to the gospel,
individually and together, wherever you are, and in all that you do?
We will remain faithful members of Christ’s holy church
and serve as Christ’s representatives in the world.

Will you nurture one another in living the faith through the church?
With God’s help we will embody the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We will surround each other with faith, hope and love
we all may grow in grace and faith
and learn to trust God and live in loving service in the world.

We will pray for each other and walk with one another
on our journey of discipleship together.

 Profession of Faith     
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the realm of heaven.
May it be for me according to your word.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
May it be for me according to your word.
Blessed are the gentle, for they will inherit the earth.
May it be for me according to your word.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
May it be for me according to your word.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
May it be for me according to your word.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
May it be for me according to your word.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
May it be for me according to your word.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for seeking justice, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
May it be for me according to your word.

         Thanksgiving over the Water

The Spirit of God is among us.
The blessing of the Beloved is upon us!
Loving, life-giving God, we give you thanks,
for in the beginning your Spirit brooded over the waters
and you brought forth Creation.
You brought us to freedom through the waters of the Red Sea.
You gave us new birth through baptism into Christ,
and gave us life that cannot die.
The river of God is full of water,
the river of the water of life,
bright as crystal, flowing from the heart of God.

We who are baptized into Christ Jesus
are baptized into his life,
born in the water of a womb;
we are baptized into his ministry,
giving water to the thirsty,
washing the feet and sharing the tears of all who suffer;
and we are baptized into his death,
so that just as Christ was raised by the glory of God,
we too might walk in newness of life.
Born of water and the Spirit,
may we enter into the Realm of God
as children of God,
born not of human will, but of God.

Pour out your Holy Spirit in this water
and bless us in receiving it,
that claimed by your Word, nourished in your grace,
washed from all sin and borne by your Spirit,
we may live in freedom, trust and courage,
sharing in the eternal life of Christ.
Dearly Beloved, siblings in Christ,
each of
you is God’s Beloved,
in whom God is well pleased.
All reverence and delight is yours,
Eternal Father and Mother,
Son and Holy Spirit,
in the present moment and in eternity.  Amen!

       …  Rejoicing in the waters of our baptism…

Receiving the oil of anointing…


Members of the household of God, I commend these persons to your love and care
Do all in your power to increase their faith, confirm their hope and perfect them in love.
We give thanks for all God has already given you
and we welcome you in Christian love.
As members together with you in the Body of Christ
and in this congregation of the United Methodist Church,
we renew our covenant faithfully to participate in the ministries of the church
by our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service and our witness,
that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.

The God of all grace, who has called us to eternal glory in Christ,
establish you and strengthen you by the power of the Holy Spirit,
that you may live in grace and peace.

SONG   Blest Are They   Black hymnal # 2155

[Anyone who wishes may share a prayer concern at the microphone.]

____________We Share at Christ’s Table ________

OFFERING OUR GIFTS      8:15: Sleep, Little Jesus – Polish Carol

        10:30:  There’s A Song In The Air – Karl P. Harrington, arr: Fred Bock

* COMMUNION SONG                                                                                                                

You call us, dear Jesus, to live by God’s grace,
and practice the mystery in this time and place:
to feast on God’s mercy in light from above,
receiving God’s Spirit, made one in God’s love.

With blest, grateful hearts, God, we come to this feast,
and pray that your Spirit in us be released.
This sharing, this joy and this justice you share
is ours now to bring to the word everywhere.


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 trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

SHARING THE HOLY MEAL          [Everyone is welcome at the table of Christ’s self-giving love.
The bread is wheat-, soy- and dairy free.  We dip the bread in the juice.

Gracious God, we thank you for this mystery in which you have given yourself to us.  You have immersed us in your love and fed us with your grace.  Send us into the world, empowered by your Spirit, led by your Christ, and radiant with your love.  Amen.

_______We Are Sent in Ministry to the World____


*  SONG    We Were Baptized in Christ Jesus   Black hymnal #2251

RESPONSE    We stand and sing to our neighbors:
May the grace and peace of Christ be with you my friends.
Go and share the love of God, love that never ends.

POSTLUDE    Fanfare  — George Blake









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