God’s vision for your life

The Celebration of the Gospel
January 14, 2018 —2nd Sunday after the Epiphany
“Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!”
—John 1.47
________We Gather as the Body of Christ______

GREETING

PRELUDE O God, Our Help In Ages Past Tune: ST. ANNE, arr: Dwight Gustafson

* CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: Silence of God, you enfold us.
All: We are here. We are listening.
Word of God, you come to us.
All: We are here. We are listening.
Spirit of God, you live in us.
All: We are here. Speak to us, for your servants are listening.

* SONG Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah Blue hymnal # 127

(10:30) CHILDREN’S TIME

__________We Attend to the Word________

(10:30) THE WORD IN SONG Be Thou My Vision Arr. Thomas Quigley

PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Pastor: The grace of God is with you.
Congregation: And also with you.
Trusting in God’s tender mercy, we open ourselves in honesty to God.
God of love, help us to see ourselves with the eyes of love,
to see what is in us that is loving,
and what is not loving.

God, we recall when we have been in harmony with you, or with life, and we give thanks. [silent prayer…]
We recall when we have been out of harmony, and we seek your grace. [silent prayer…]
God of mercy, in Christ you have shown us your grace.
Forgive us, heal us, and perfect your love in us.

SILENT PRAYER … THE WORD OF GRACE
RESPONSE Bless the Lord Black hymnal #2013

PRAYER
God of love and Truth, many images present themselves to us, but they are not your vision for us. Be thou our vision. Many voices call to us, but they are not you. Beneath the noise of this world you are calling to us. We want to hear you, and see your vision for us. Speak, for your servants are listening. Amen.

OLD TESTAMENT 1 Samuel 3.1-10
[Yahweh calls Samuel, who at first does not realize that it is God who is speaking to him.]

Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. The word of God was rare in those days; visions were not widespread. At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple, where the ark of God was. Then God called, “Samuel! Samuel!” and Samuel said, “Here I am!” and ran to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down.

God called again, “Samuel!” Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” Now Samuel did not yet know God, and the word of God had not yet been revealed to him. God called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that God was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and if God calls you, you shall say, “Speak, Yahweh, for your servant is listening.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. Now God came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
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PSALTER Psalm 139.1-18
[God knows us intimately and perfectly, not just as if God is watching us, but from within.]

O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away.
You search out my path and my lying down,
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
O Lord, you know it completely.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is so high that I cannot attain it.
Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light around me become night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For it was you who formed my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written all the days that were formed for me,
when none of them as yet existed.
How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
I try to count them—they are more than the sand;
I come to the end—I am still with you.
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GOSPEL John 1.43-51
[Philip tells Nathaniel about Jesus. Nathaniel quotes a saying that nothing good ever comes out of Nazareth. But Jesus seems to know Nathaniel. Philip and Nathaniel both follow Jesus.]

The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”

When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the New Human.”
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SERMON

SONG Open My Eyes Blue hymnal # 454

THE PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
[Anyone who wishes may share a prayer concern at the microphone.]
THE PRAYER OF JESUS
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 PEACE OF CHRIST

_____ We Are Sent in Ministry to the World____

OFFERING OUR GIFTS Morning Song arr: C. E. Walz

* OFFERING SONG Doxology Blue hymnal #94

* PRAYER
Gracious God, we give you our lives, symbolized in these gifts. Receive them with love, bless them with grace and use them according to your will. Help us to hear your voice, to trust your vision for us, and to serve you faithfully for the sake of the healing of the world, in the name of Christ. Amen.

THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH IN THE WORLD

* SONG Whom Shall I Send? Blue hymnal #582

* THE BLESSING AND SENDING FORTH Ephesians 3.16-21
[A prayer that Christ will live in us, that we will be rooted in love, and that we will comprehend the immense depth of God’s love. God is able to do more than we ask or imagine.]

I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
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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
He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands Traditional Spiritual, arr: Emma Lou Diemer

[During the postlude there are people ready to pray with you at the candles in the corners.]

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