SERVICE for THE LORD’S DAY
5th Sunday After Epiphany
We gather to worship God on the Lord’s Day (Sunday) because the Gospels testify that Jesus rose from the dead early on the first day of the week. The Lord’s Day is also called the “eighth day” of creation, a sign of the new creation that has begun with Christ’s resurrection. While we may worship God on any day and at any time, the Sunday service in particular is a celebration of Christ’s resurrection and an anticipation of the fullness of God’s coming reign.
The fifth Sunday after Epiphany continues to highlight unlikely instruments and circumstances appointed to reveal the glory of the Lord. “Who will go for us?” queries the voice of the Lord. A man of unclean lips, a former persecutor of the church of God, and three fishermen who couldn’t catch a thing. More surprising still, perhaps, is the fact that we are also called.
PRELUDE: Nicea- John Bacchus Dykes, setting by Charles Callahan
GREETING AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
*CALL TO WORSHIP & PRAYER OF THE DAY (Matt. 4:19)
Alleluia. Jesus says, Follow me,
and I will make you fish for people. Alleluia.
Most holy God, the earth is filled with your glory, and before you angels and saints stand in awe. Enlarge our vision to see your power at work in the world, and by your grace make us heralds of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
*GATHERING HYMN # 1 Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!
PRAYER OF RECONCILIATION
Blessed be the holy Trinity, + one God, who creates us and forms us, who redeems us and calls us, who unites us and sends us. Amen.
Gathered in God’s presence, let us confess our sin.
Silence is kept for reflection.
Mighty and loving God,
we confess that we are captive to sin
and cannot free ourselves.
We seek our own way.
We divide the body of Christ.
In your mercy, cleanse us and heal us.
Let the words of our mouths,
the thoughts of our hearts,
and everything that we do
be filled with faith, hope, and love.
Hear the voice of Jesus:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me to proclaim release to the captives.”
In the name of + Jesus Christ, I proclaim to you that our sins are forgiven, and we are released. The joy of the Lord is your strength, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit are yours forever. Amen.
Since God has embraced us in, with and through Jesus the Christ, let us then forgive and embrace one another in the love and peace of God. The Peace of Christ be with you all. And also with you.
ALL SING # 487 These Treasured Children (verses 1, 4)
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION # 455 Listen to the Word that God Has Spoken
FIRST READING: Isaiah 6:1-13
Through a vision in the temple, the eighth-century prophet Isaiah is called by God to announce judgment against Israel. Like other prophets, Isaiah is initially hesitant because of his awareness of his sin and his shortcomings, but when the Lord calls, Isaiah responds, “Here am I; send me!”
1In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the LORD sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. 2Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
4The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke. 5And I said: “Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”
6Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.” 8Then I heard the voice of the LORD saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!” 9And he said, “Go and say to this people:
‘Keep listening, but do not comprehend;
keep looking, but do not understand.’
10Make the mind of this people dull,
and stop their ears,
and shut their eyes,
so that they may not look with their eyes,
and listen with their ears,
and comprehend with their minds,
and turn and be healed.”
11Then I said, “How long, O LORD?” And he said:
“Until cities lie waste
and houses without people,
and the land is utterly desolate;
12until the LORD sends everyone far away,
and vast is the emptiness in the midst of the land.
13Even if a tenth part remain in it,
it will be burned again,
like a terebinth or an oak
whose stump remains standing
when it is felled.”
The holy seed is its stump.
The mystery of the ages revealed to all. Eph. 3:9–10
Thanks be to God.
PSALM: Psalm 138, Hymn # 334 With Grateful Heart My Thanks I Bring
SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Paul delivers in a nutshell the story of the gospel that was given to him. In the lineage of the Christian faith, we have received the good news of God’s love from generations of believers before us, and we continue to tell this story to the world.
1Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, 2through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you—unless you have come to believe in vain.
3For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them—though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you have come to believe.
This is the word of faith that we proclaim. Rom. 10:8
Thanks be to God.
GOSPEL: Luke 5:1-11
Jesus’ teaching of God’s word has begun to draw great crowds. For Simon, James, and John, Jesus’ teaching inspires hospitality, then obedience, and then risk. After Jesus’ creative power is revealed, fear and amazement lead these three fishermen to leave everything behind in order to become apostles.
1Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, 2he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. 4When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” 5Simon answered, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.” 6When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. 7So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. 8But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” 9For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; 10and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” 11When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.
The mystery of the ages Eph. 3:5
revealed to the prophets and apostles.
Thanks be to God.
A BRIEF TEACHING
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
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. Give us courage to answer your call and keep us faithful to your life-giving word. Send us out to be the good news of your love for all people. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
For the earth. For tundra and forests, grasslands and deserts; for those who fish and those who farm. For ranchers, gardeners, and all whose work brings food to our tables. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
For the nations. Grant wisdom to those in authority. Strengthen peacekeepers, ambassadors, military personnel, and disaster relief workers. Protect families who have to leave their homes because of war, natural disasters, or rejection by their communities. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
For those in need. For those whose lives are in turmoil; for those who wrestle with addiction; for those burdened by anxiety and self-doubt. For those who grieve, and those who are ill (especially). Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
For this assembly. For those who prepare this space for worship and those who mentor others in the faith; for those who nurture fellowship within this congregation and those who reach out in service to our community. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Here other intercessions may be offered.
With thanksgiving, we remember those who have died and now rest in your presence. We commemorate this week: Scholastica; Caedmon; Ethelwald of Lindisfarne; Cotton Mather; Cyril and Methodius; Valentine; Lew Wallace; Jovita and Faustinus; Onesimus; and Juliana of Nicomedia.* Sustain us in hope of the resurrection and bring us into the joy of unending life in you. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Receive our prayers and fill us with the radiance of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
INVITATION TO DISCIPLESHIP & STEWARDSHIP
God of majesty and light, you hold the world in your hand. We praise you that in Jesus Christ all people may see your glory. We thank you for revealing Jesus to be your Son, and for claiming our lives in baptism
to be his glad disciples. By your Spirit, may peace descend upon us that we may follow him with grateful hearts. Take us and all we have to be useful in your service, God of all nations, in the gracious name of Jesus Christ, your Son, by the power of your Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.
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.
OFFERTORY: Prelude in E Major (“Valentine”)- Joe Harris
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
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.
Almighty and merciful God,
from whom comes all that is good,
we praise you for your mercies,
for your goodness that has created us,
your grace that has sustained us,
your discipline that has corrected us,
your patience that has borne with us,
and your love that has redeemed us.
Help us to love you,
and to be thankful for all your gifts
by serving you and delighting to do your will,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honor are yours, almighty God,
now and forever, as we pray:
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.
*HYMN # 170 You Walk Along Our Shoreline
POSTLUDE: March in Eb Major- Anonymous, from the Anna Magdalena Bach notebook (1725)
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.
COMMEMORATIONS THIS WEEK:
10 Scholastica (c. 480– c. 543) – Italian nun and abbess, sister (perhaps twin) of Benedict of Nursia; founder of the women’s branch of Benedictine Monasticism.
11 Caedmon (658– 680) - “Father of English sacred song”, a Northumbrian monk and the first English poet who is known by name.
12 Ethelwald of Lindisfarne (d. c. 740) – priest and Bishop of Lindisfarne (northern England) from 721 until 740. Contributed to the production of the Lindisfarne Gospels, an illuminated manuscript gospel book, probably produced around the years 715-720 in the monastery at Lindisfarne, which is now in the British Library in London.
13 Cotton Mather (1663– 1728) – a socially and politically influential New England Puritan minister, prolific author, and pamphleteer. He left a scientific legacy due to his hybridization experiments and his promotion of inoculation for disease prevention, though he is most frequently remembered today for his involvement in the Salem witch trials.
14 Cyril (c. 825– 869) and Methodius (c. 826– 884) – brothers who were Byzantine Christian theologians and Christian missionaries. Through their work they influenced the cultural development of all Slavs, for which they received the title “Apostles to the Slavs”.
Valentine – priest in Rome who ministered to Christians who were persecuted there. He was martyred and buried at a Christian cemetery in Rome, on February 14, which has been observed as the Feast of Saint Valentine since 496 AD. Before his execution, Valentine, corresponding with the daughter of a Roman official, signed his notes “from your Valentine”, which is said to have inspired today’s romantic missives.
15 Lew Wallace (1827– 1905) – American lawyer, Union general in the American Civil War, governor of the New Mexico Territory, politician, diplomat, and author. Wallace is best known for his historical adventure story, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1880), which has been called “the most influential Christian book of the nineteenth century.”
Jovita and Faustinus (c. 120) – tradition states that these brothers were members of a noble family of Brescia, Lombardy (northern Italy). Jovina, the older brother, was a preacher; Faustinus, a deacon. For their fearless preaching of the Gospel, they were executed under the Roman Emperor Hadrian. (They may not have really existed; their story might be the product of legend.)
16 Onesimus (Philemon 10– 18; Col. 4: 7– 9) – a runaway slave belonging to Philemon, Onesimus (the name means useful) found his way to the site of Paul’s imprisonment (probably Rome or Caesarea), to escape punishment for a theft of which he was accused. After hearing the Gospel from Paul, Onesimus converted to Christianity. Paul, having earlier converted Philemon to Christianity, sought to reconcile the two by writing the letter to Philemon which today exists in the New Testament.
Juliana of Nicomedia (c. 340) – According to legend, Juliana, daughter of an illustrious pagan named Africanus, was born in Nicomedia (now in Turkey); and as a child was betrothed to the Senator Eleusius, one of the emperor’s advisors. Although her father was hostile to the Christians, Juliana was secretly baptized. When the time of her wedding approached, Juliana refused to be married. She was turned over to her former fiancé, now governor, at whose hands she was tortured and executed.