1/13/2019 Baptism of Our Lord Sunday


From the Book of Common Worship (2018)



The Baptism of Our Lord cannot help but recall our own and all baptismal blessings. We recall and celebrate our adoption as daughters and sons, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the promised company of almighty God when we “pass through the waters . . . the rivers . . . fire.” On this day the heavens open again, for this assembly, and we receive the gift of the beloved Son of God through the sacraments.







In the beginning, darkness covered the deep,
and God said: Let there be light.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters!

Through the words of the prophet, the Lord said:
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.
The voice of the Lord is over the waters!

Do not fear, says the Lord; I am with you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
The voice of the Lord is over the waters!

When Jesus was baptized by John,
suddenly the heavens were opened.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters!

And as Jesus was coming out of the water,
the Spirit of God rested on him like a dove.
The voice of the Lord is over the waters!

And a voice said: You are my beloved Son;
with you I am well pleased.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters!

 (a brief silence)

Almighty God,

you anointed Jesus at his baptism with the Holy Spirit,
and revealed him as your beloved Son.

Keep us, your children born of water and the Spirit,
faithful in your service,

that we may rejoice to be called children of God;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever. Amen.


*GATHERING HYMN #482             Baptized in Water


WELCOME OF NEW MEMBERS                                           Eph. 2:19–20

N. [and N.] are presented by the session

as new members of Southminster.

_________ was received by letter of transfer from ________

_________ by reaffirmation of the baptismal covenant, and

_________ welcomed as an associate members.

They now will join us inprofessing their faith publicly
and to accept greater responsibility

in the life of the church and God’s mission in the world

through this particular Christian community.


N. [and N.], as you join your voice with the community

you profess your faith publicly,
and express your intention

to grow in the covenant God made with you in your baptism.



Hear these words from holy scripture:

Just as the body is one

and has many members,

and all the members of the body, though many,
are one body,

so it is with Christ.

For in the one Spirit

we were all baptized into one body—
Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—

and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.


Beloved people of God,

our baptism is the sign and seal
of our cleansing from sin,

and of our being grafted into Christ.

Through the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Christ,
the power of sin was broken

and God’s kingdom entered our world.

Through our baptism we were made citizens of God’s kingdom,
and freed from the bondage of sin.

Let us celebrate that freedom and redemption

through the renewal of the promises made at our baptism.

I ask you, therefore,
once again to reject sin,

to profess your faith in Christ Jesus,
and to confess the faith of the church,
the faith in which we were baptized.


Trusting in the gracious mercy of God,
do you turn from the ways of sin

and renounce evil and its power in the world?

I renounce them.

Who is your Lord and Savior?

Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior.

Will you be Christ’s faithful disciple,
obeying his word and showing his love?
I will, with God’s help.


With the whole church, let us sing the faith we have inherited and live.

HYMN #481 I Believe in God the Father



The Lord be with you. And also with you.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.


Glory to you, O God—

your voice is over the waters,
full of power and majesty.

Your word shakes the wilderness

and blesses us with peace.

We give you thanks and praise
for the new thing you have done
in Jesus Christ our Savior.

Baptized by John in the Jordan,

you anointed him with your Holy Spirit
and claimed him as your beloved Son.

We give you thanks and praise
that by the grace of our baptism,
you have claimed us as well

and poured out the gifts of your Spirit
so that we might be dead to sin

and alive to you in Christ Jesus.

Continue to pour out your Spirit upon us.

Empower us to love and serve you
and live as your faithful people,
bearing witness to the good news
of Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever. Amen.


Remember your baptism and be thankful.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.



The presider and/or others may move through the congregation, sprinkling water over the worshipers.


May the Spirit continue to strengthen and sustain you

in the worship and mission of the church. Amen. Alleluia!



The peace of Christ be with you. And also with you.



Saving God, source of our calling, your Word is full of power and glory. Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us so that we may receive your grace and live as your beloved children; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


FIRST READING: Isaiah 43:1-7

Near the end of Israel’s exile in Babylon, God promises to bring them home. They need no longer be afraid, because the one who formed, created, and called them by name now redeems them from all their enemies. God declares them precious and honored, and God loves them.


1But now thus says the LORD,

he who created you, O Jacob,

he who formed you, O Israel:

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;

I have called you by name, you are mine.

2When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;

when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,

and the flame shall not consume you.

3For I am the LORD your God,

the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

I give Egypt as your ransom,

Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you.

4Because you are precious in my sight,

and honored, and I love you,

I give people in return for you,

nations in exchange for your life.

5Do not fear, for I am with you;

I will bring your offspring from the east,

and from the west I will gather you;

6I will say to the north, “Give them up,”

and to the south, “Do not withhold;

bring my sons from far away

and my daughters from the end of the earth—

7everyone who is called by my name,

whom I created for my glory,

whom I formed and made.”


The voice of the Lord is over the waters,                                   Ps. 29:3

the God of glory thunders.

Thanks be to God.


GOSPEL: Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

The reading opens with questions about the identity of the Messiah. John the Baptist insists that he is not the Messiah; instead he points ahead to one who is coming. And whether the voice of God was heard by all or only by Jesus, God settles the matter: Jesus is God’s beloved Son.


15As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, 16John 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. 17His 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.”

21Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, 22and 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.”


The voice of the Lord, powerful and full of majesty.                  Ps. 29:4

Thanks be to God.





United as one body in Christ, let us pray for the church, the world, and all those in need.

 A brief silence.


We pray for the church. Pour out your Spirit upon us and enliven us for mission. Draw us together in love that we may be one. Lead us in the way of your beloved Son. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.


For the earth. Sustain oceans and seas, rivers and lakes, marshes and wetlands. Watch over dormant plants and hibernating animals as they rest in your care. Renew your creation and protect all creatures from harm. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.


For the nations. Inspire leaders to work for the common good. Grant courage to those who put themselves at risk to protect others. Turn us away from violence and teach us to live in peace. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.


For those in need. Protect children and vulnerable adults who depend on others to provide for their daily care. Uphold those who struggle with depression. Console the grieving and heal the sick (especially). Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.


For this assembly. Bless the newly baptized. Renew your children in the covenant of baptism. Empower us by your loving Spirit to serve our neighbors. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.


Here other intercessions may be offered.


With thanksgiving, we remember those who have died. We commemorate this week: Berka Zdislava; Gregory of Nazianzus; Geneviève; T. S. Eliot; Elizabeth Ann Seton; Simeon Stylites the Elder; Schotin; Felipe and Mary Barreda; Giotto di Bondone; Philip of Moscow; Lyman Beecher; Michael of Klopsk; and Marguerite of Bourgeoys. Hold us safe in your arms of mercy and bring us with them into your promise of life eternal. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.


Receive our prayers and fill us with the radiance of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. as we pray:

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 debts,

as we forgive our debtors;

and lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom

and the power

and the glory, forever.



All who thirst, come to the waters.

Jesus said: Those who drink of the water that I give will never be thirsty. The water that I give will be a spring for them, gushing up to eternal life.

The God of grace calls us into covenant relationship with Jesus Christ, in the communion of the Holy Spirit. Everyone who is baptized is a kind of minister — called to live like Jesus, to love others, and to serve God. Each one of us is given special gifts from the Holy Spirit to help us do these things. When we remember our baptism, we give thanks for these gifts and this calling, and we promise again to follow Jesus in everything we do.


During this time of offering you are encouraged to take a moment to be in prayer with God and reflect on what is means to be a student or disciple of Jesus Christ. The Gospel understanding of discipleship is a way of being in the world that affects every relationship. Disciples shape one another according to the action of the Spirit in their lives. The energy of the disciples flows from faith in what is unseen yet believed. At its very core, discipleship is a call to a love so radical that it never gives up on God, one’s neighbor, or one’s self. How is God calling you to use your gifts, talents, time and resources to love radically, especially as a part of this worshipping community?


Offerings and tithes will be collected by the ushers in the Narthex (the great entrance hall) following worship. If you would like to make an offering using your smart phone or tablet, go to www.SouthminsterChurch.org and click on the Donate link.


HYMN # 648 Thankful Hearts and Voices Raise (note that this will be the Offertory song throughout January and February)



The Lord be with you. And also with you.

Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.

God of heaven and earth,

you call us to come in humility before you,
bringing the offering of our very selves.

As you revealed Jesus to be your Son
in his baptism at the hand of John,

so you claimed our lives in baptism,
that we might die to sin

and be raised with him to new life.

By your Spirit, confirm in our hearts the witness
that Christ is Savior of the world and our Lord.
Accept all we have and are, O God,

in the service of Jesus Christ,

and strengthen us with your Spirit’s power,
now and forever, Amen.


*HYMN # 490 Wash, O God, Your Sons and Daughters






NOTES: Order of service and content is in accord with the Presbyterian Church’s Directory for Worship. Prayers are from the Sundays and Seasons (Year C) and the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship (2018).


All may make the sign of the cross, the sign marked at baptism, wherever the “+” appears within the liturgy. The sign of the cross, as explained and demonstrated in the 2018 edition of the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship, is an ancient silent form of prayer which dates to the early 1st century church. A typical pattern for making the sign of the cross involves holding your thumb and first two fingers together (as a sign of the Trinity) and touching your forehead, lower chest, and both shoulders.



1        Berka Zdislava (d. 1252)

2        Gregory of Nazianzus (c. 330– c. 389)

3        Geneviève (c. 422– 500)

4        T. S. Eliot (1888– 1965)

Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774– 1821)

5        Simeon Stylites the Elder (c. 390– 459)

6        The Epiphany of the Lord (Matt. 2: 1– 11)

Schotin [Scarthin] (6th century)

7        Felipe and Mary Barreda (d. 1983)

8        Giotto di Bondone (c. 1267– 1337)

9        Philip of Moscow (1507– 1569)

10      Lyman Beecher (1775– 1863)

11      Michael of Klopsk (d. c. 1453)

12      Marguerite of Bourgeoys (1620– 1700)


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