SERVICE for THE LORD’S DAY
6th 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.
Blessings and curses abound on the sixth Sunday after Epiphany. We would do well to listen closely to whom the “blessed ares” and the “woe tos” are directed and to find our place in the crowd among those who desire to touch Jesus. The risen Christ stands among us in the mystery of the holy supper with an invitation to live in him and the power to heal us all.
PRELUDE: I’ll Fly Away- Albert E. Brumley
GREETING AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
*CALL TO WORSHIP & PRAYER OF THE DAY (Luke 6:23)
Alleluia. Rejoice, and leap for joy,
for surely your reward is great in heaven. Alleluia.
Living God, in Christ you make all things new. Transform the poverty of our nature by the riches of your grace, and in the renewal of our lives make known your glory, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
*GATHERING HYMN # 172 Blest Are They
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 the God Has Spoken
FIRST READING: Jeremiah 17:5-10
These verses compose a poem that is part of a larger collection of wisdom sayings (17:5-11) that contrast two ways of life. Life with God brings blessing; the power and vitality of God is active in our life. Life without God brings a curse, the power of death.
5Thus says the LORD:
Cursed are those who trust in mere mortals
and make mere flesh their strength,
whose hearts turn away from the LORD.
6They shall be like a shrub in the desert,
and shall not see when relief comes.
They shall live in the parched places of the wilderness,
in an uninhabited salt land.
7Blessed are those who trust in the LORD,
whose trust is the LORD.
8They shall be like a tree planted by water,
sending out its roots by the stream.
It shall not fear when heat comes,
and its leaves shall stay green;
in the year of drought it is not anxious,
and it does not cease to bear fruit.
9The heart is devious above all else;
it is perverse—
who can understand it?
10I the LORD test the mind
and search the heart,
to give to all according to their ways,
according to the fruit of their doings.
The mystery of the ages revealed to all. Eph. 3:9–10
Thanks be to God.
1 That one is blest who, fearing God, from sin restrains their feet,
who will not stand with wicked ones, who shuns the scorner’s seat.
2 Yes, blest are they who make God’s law their portion and delight,
and meditate upon that law with gladness day and night.
3 That one is nourished like a tree set by the river’s side;
its leaf is green, its fruit is sure, and thus, their works abide.
4 The wicked, like the driven chaff, are swept from off the land;
they shall not gather with the just, nor in the judgment stand.
5 The Lord will guard the righteous well, their way to God is known;
the way of sinners, far from God, shall surely be o’erthrown.
GLORIA PATRI (Hymn #581)
SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 15:12-20
For Paul, the resurrection of Christ is the basis for Christian hope. Because Christ has been raised, those who are in Christ know that they too will be raised to a new life beyond death.
12Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? 13If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; 14and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. 15We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ—whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. 17If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. 19If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died.
This is the word of faith that we proclaim. Rom. 10:8
Thanks be to God.
GOSPEL: Luke 6:17-26
After choosing his twelve apostles, Jesus teaches a crowd of followers about the nature and demands of discipleship. He begins his great sermon with surprising statements about who is truly blessed in the eyes of God.
17[Jesus] came down with [the twelve] and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. 18They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. 19And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them.
20Then he looked up at his disciples and said:
“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
21“Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled.
“Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
22“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. 23Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.
24“But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.
25“Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry.
“Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep.
26“Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.”
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. Raise up faithful leaders to proclaim the gospel. Guide us in the ways of love. Empower us in ministry and service. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
For the earth. Bless deserts and canyons, farmlands and vineyards. Bring sufficient rainfall to lands parched by drought, and restore places scorched by wildfire. Protect fragile environments from harm. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
For the nations. Grant wisdom to our elected leaders for the sake of the common good. Give courage to those who suffer persecution. Give patience and perseverance to those who work to bring an end to injustice. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
For those in need. For those who do not have enough food; for those who lack money; for those who are estranged from their families; for those who worry about many things. Comfort those who mourn. Heal and strengthen those who are sick (especially). Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
For this assembly. For newcomers, visitors, longtime members, and those who are absent from us today. Root us deeply in your word and increase our faith. 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: Horace Bushnell; Finan of Lindisfarne; Fra Angelico; Martin Luther; Michelangelo Buonarroti; Conrad of Piacenza; Blessed Lucy of China; Eleutherius of Tournai; Frederick Douglass; Peter Damian; Martyrs of Arabia; and Polycarp of Smyrna.* Encourage us by their example and lead us in faith until we are united at your unending feast. 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: Blessings- Jim Brickman
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.
God of all mercies,
we give you humble thanks
for all your goodness and loving-kindness
to us and to all living things.
We bless you for our creation, preservation,
and all the blessings of this life;
but above all for your boundless love
in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ;
for the means of grace,
and for the hope of glory.
Give us such an awareness of your mercies,
that with truly thankful hearts
we may show forth your praise,
not only with our lips but in our lives,
by giving up ourselves to your service,
and by walking before you
in holiness and righteousness all our days;
through Jesus Christ our redeemer,
to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,
be all honor and glory 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 # 852 When the Lord Redeems the Very Least
POSTLUDE: Blest Are They- music by David Haas; setting by Mark Hayes
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:
17 Horace Bushnell (1802– 1876)
Finan of Lindisfarne (d. 661)
18 Fra Angelico (c. 1387– 1455)
Martin Luther (1483– 1546)
Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475– 1564)
19 Conrad of Piacenza (1290– 1354)
Blessed Lucy of China (d. 1862)
20 Eleutherius of Tournai (d. 532)
Frederick Douglass (c. 1818– 1895)
21 Peter Damian (1007– 1072)
22 Martyrs of Arabia (4th century)
23 Polycarp of Smyrna (c. 69– c. 155)
Presbyterian Church. Book of Common Worship. Presbyterian Publishing. Kindle Edition.