Order of Worship
Sunday, January 24, 2021
Third Sunday after Epiphany
In Thee Is Gladness
Now Thank We All Our God
Introduction to the day
As we continue through the time after Epiphany, stories of the call to discipleship show us the implications of our baptismal calling to show Christ to the world. Jesus begins proclaiming the good news and calling people to repentance right after John the Baptist is arrested for preaching in a similar way. Knowing that John was later executed, we see at the very outset the cost of discipleship. Still, the two sets of brothers leave everything they have known and worked for all their lives to follow Jesus and fish for people.
In the Name of the Father and + of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Hymn How Clear Is Our Vocation, Lord ELW 580
How clear is our vocation, Lord,
when once we heed your call
to live according to your word
and daily learn, refreshed, restored,
that you are Lord of all,
and will not let us fall.
But if, forgetful, we should find
your yoke is hard to bear;
if worldly pressures fray the mind
and life itself cannot unwind
its tangled skein of care:
our inward life repair.
We marvel how your saints become
in hindrances more sure;
whose joyful virtues put to shame
the casual way we wear your name,
and by our faults obscure
your pow'r to cleanse and cure.
In what you give us, Lord, to do,
together or alone,
in old routines or ventures new,
may we not cease to look to you,
the cross you hung upon,
all you endeavored done.
Confession and Forgiveness
Blessed be the holy Trinity, + one God, whose voice is upon the waters, and whose mercy is poured out upon all people, whose goodness cascades over all creation.
Let us confess our sin, trusting in the abundant grace of God.
Silence is kept for reflection.
you search us and know us. You are acquainted with all our ways.
We confess that our hearts are burdened by sin –
our own sins and the broken systems that bind us.
We turn inward, failing to follow your outward way of love.
We distrust those who are not like us.
We exploit the earth and its resources
and fail to consider generations to come.
Forgive us, gracious God,
for all we have done and left undone.
Even before the words are on our tongues, you know them;
receive them in your divine mercy.
How vast is God’s grace!
Through the power and promise of + Christ Jesus, our sins are washed away and we are claimed as God’s own beloved.
Indeed, we are forgiven.
In the wake of God’s forgiveness,
we are called to be the beloved community
living out Christ’s justice and the Spirit’s reconciling peace.
Prayer of the Day
Almighty God, by grace alone you call us and accept us in your service. Strengthen us by your Spirit, and make us worthy of your call, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
First Reading Jonah 3:1-5, 10
The book of Jonah is a comedy starring a reluctant prophet who is given a one-sentence message: Nineveh will be destroyed in forty days. Much to Jonah’s dismay, the people of Nineveh repent. The point of the story is to get the reader to wrestle with the question “On whom should God have mercy?”
The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
God alone is my rock and my salvation. (Ps. 62:6)
Second Reading 1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Paul does not disapprove of marriage or other human social institutions. He does, however, want Christians to live in the present in fervent anticipation of God’s future, which even now has dawned through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Gospel Mark 1:14-20
Before Jesus calls his first disciples, he proclaims a message that becomes known as “the gospel” or good news from God. God is ready to rule our lives. Those who realize this will respond with repentance and faith.
The gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living 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.
Prayers of the People
Guided by Christ made known to the nations, let us offer our prayers for the church, the world, and all people in need.
A brief silence.
For the church throughout the world, for pastors and teachers, for deacons and deaconesses, and for musicians and servers, that all proclaim the good news of God’s reconciling love, let us pray. Have mercy, O God.
For skies and seas, for birds and fish, for favorable weather and clean water, and for the well-being of creation, that God raise up advocates and scientists to guide our care for all the earth, let us pray. Have mercy, O God.
For those who provide leadership in our cities and around the world, for nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations, for planning commissions and homeless advocates, that God inspire all people in the just use of wealth, let us pray. Have mercy, O God.
For those who are sick, distressed, or grieving; for the outcast and all who await relief particularly Alena, Jenna, Marilyn, Jerod & Julia, Julie, Nick, Jean, Marcella, Dennis, Michael, JoAnn, Sandy, Beth, Johnny, Lorry & Allen, Betty, Dione, Theresa, Tim, Henry, Mary, Ann Joyce, Greg, & Shelby, that in the midst of suffering, God’s peace and mercy surround them, let us pray. Have mercy, O God.
For our congregation and community, for families big and small, and for the organizations that meet here during the week, that God’s steadfast love serve as a model for all relationships, let us pray. Have mercy, O God.
In thanksgiving for the saints who have gone before us, that their lives give us a vision of the gospel in action, let us pray. Have mercy, O God.
Merciful God, hear the prayers of your people, spoken and silent, for the sake of the one who dwells among us, your Son, Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
Good and loving God, we rejoice in the birth of Jesus, who came among the poor to bring the riches of your grace. As you have blessed us with your gifts, let them be blessing for others. With the trees of the field, with all earth and heaven, we shout for joy at the coming of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
May the God of second chances renew our sense of call and inspire us to go out and share the good news of forgiveness and hope!
And may the blessing of God, who is Father, + Son and Holy Spirit be upon you beloved of the Lord, now and forever.
Postlude Voluntary on "The Church's One Foundation" (Jack Upton, Jr.)
In Thee Is Gladness Text: Johann Lindemann,(1549-1631; tr. Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878), alt; Music: Giovanni Giacomo Gastoldi (1556-1622), Public Domain
Now Thank We All Our God Text: Martin Rinkhart (1586-1649), tr. Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878); Music: Johann Crüger (1598-1662), Public Domain
Voluntary on "The Church's One Foundation". Jack Upton, Jr. Used with permission. The Church's One Foundation Text: Samuel J. Stone (1839-1900); Music: Samuel S. Wesley (181-1876), Public Domain