2/3/19 4th Sunday after Epiphany


4th Sunday After Epiphany



The glory of God is often revealed when and where it is least expected. God uses our lips to declare that glory, inexperienced and hesitant though they may be. God uses our love to demonstrate that glory and so urges us to exercise it. God uses Jesus of Nazareth, water and the word, bread and wine, to reveal God’s glory where and when God chooses. Take heed, lest the glory of God slip through our midst unnoticed.


PRELUDE: Gathering- Jim Brickman





Alleluia. You shall go to all to whom I send you.

Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Alleluia.

Almighty and ever-living God, increase in us the gifts of faith, hope, and love; and that we may obtain what you promise, make us love what you command, through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.


*GATHERING HYMN # 177 I Will Come to You (You Are Mine)


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: Jeremiah 1:4-10

God calls Jeremiah to be a prophet and consecrates him in the womb. Jeremiah’s task is to preach God’s word in the midst of the difficult political realities of his time, before the Babylonian exile. He is to make God known not only to Judah, but also to the nations.


4Now the word of the LORD came to me saying,

5“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,

and before you were born I consecrated you;

I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

6Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.” 7But the LORD said to me,

“Do not say, ‘I am only a boy’;

for you shall go to all to whom I send you,

and you shall speak whatever I command you.

                8Do not be afraid of them,

for I am with you to deliver you,

says the LORD.”

9Then the LORD put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the LORD said to me,

“Now I have put my words in your mouth.

                10See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms,

to pluck up and to pull down,

to destroy and to overthrow,

to build and to plant.”


The mystery of the ages revealed to all.                           Eph. 3:9–10

Thanks be to God.


GOSPEL: Luke 4:21-30

People in Jesus’ hometown are initially pleased when he says that God will free the oppressed. Their pleasure turns to rage when he reminds them that God’s prophetic mission typically pushes beyond human boundaries so that mercy and healing are extended to those regarded as outsiders.


21Then [Jesus] began to say to [all in the synagogue in Nazareth,] “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” 23He said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Doctor, cure yourself!’ And you will say, ‘Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.’” 24And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown. 25But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; 26yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. 27There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” 28When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. 29They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. 30But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.


The mystery of the ages revealed to the prophets and apostles. Eph. 3:5

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. Inspire us by your Spirit as we respond to your call. When we are reluctant, strengthen us; when we are doubtful, encourage us. Above all, let your love shine through us. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.


For the earth. For mountains and prairies, cities and farms, rain forests and deserts. Awaken us to the mystery and diversity of your creation. Nurture all living things and protect your creation from harm. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.


For the nations. Kindle within us a spirit of respect for one another. Protect those fleeing their homes to escape danger or oppression. Bring peace to communities torn apart by warfare and violence. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.


For those in need. Protect those who suffer abuse and encourage those who lack hope. Guide all who provide medical care. Comfort those who grieve and bring healing to the sick (especially). Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.


For this assembly. Bless our children and our elders. Gather us into a community guided by your love. Inspire in us a spirit of hospitality and kindness. Teach us to bear one another’s burdens with compassion. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.


Here other intercessions may be offered.


We give thanks for those who have gone before us in faith, and who now see you face-to-face. We commemorate this week: Ansgar, Cornelius the Centurion, The Martyrs of Japan, Alfonso María Fusco, Martyrs of Nicomedia, Jerome Emiliani, and Marianus Scotus.* Inspire us by their example and bring us into your everlasting presence. Lord, in your mercy,

hear our prayer.

*pronunciation notes: ONS-gar; al-FOHN-so ma-REE-a FOOS-ko; nee-ko-MEH-dee-a; eh-mee-lee-AH-nee; ma-ree-AH-noos SKOH-toos.


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: Saint Flavian- 16th century English; setting by P. F. Tillen (2019)

HYMN # 500 Be Known to Us in Breaking Bread



God of all creation, all you have made is good, and your love endures forever. You bring forth bread from the earth and fruit from the vine.

Nourish us with these gifts, that we might be for the world signs of your gracious presence in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.



Come to the table.

Feast on God’s abundant life for you.

If you are hungry for the living bread,
if you are ready to trust the Lord of life,
join us on the path of discipleship

and the adventure of faith.

There is a place for you

among this community of believers.



The Spirit of God be with you all. And also with you.

Lift up your hearts. We lift them to God.

Give thanks to our God! All our thanks, all our praise!


Holy God, Holy One, Holy Three!

Before all that is, you were God.
Outside all we know, you are God.
After all is finished, you will be God.
Archangels sound the trumpets,
angels teach us their song,

saints pull us into your presence.

And this is our song:

Holy, holy, holy God,

our life, our mercy, our might.

Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Save us, we pray, you beyond all.

Blest is the One who comes in your name.
Save us, we pray, you beyond all.


Holy God, Holy One, Holy Three!
You beyond the galaxies,

you under the oceans,
you inside the leaves,
you pouring down rain,
you opening the flowers,
you feeding the insects,

you giving us your image,

you carrying us through the waters,
you holding us in the night,

your smile on Sarah and Abraham,
your hand with Moses and Miriam,

your words through Deborah and Isaiah,
you lived as Jesus among us,

healing, teaching, dying, rising,
inviting us all to your feast.
Holy God, we remember your Son,

his life with the humble,

his death among the wretched,
his resurrection for us all;

your wisdom our guide,
your justice our strength,

your grace our path to rebirth.

And so we cry, Mercy: Mercy!

And so we cry, Glory: Glory!

And so we cry, Blessing: Blessing!

Holy God, we beg for your Spirit.
Enliven this bread,

awaken this body,

pour us out for each other.
Transfigure our minds,
ignite your church,

nourish the life of the earth.
Make us, while many, united,
make us, though broken, whole,
make us, despite death, alive.

And so we cry, Come, Holy Spirit:

Come, Holy Spirit!

And so the church shouts, Come, Holy Spirit:

Come, Holy Spirit!

And so the earth pleads, Come, Holy Spirit:

Come, Holy Spirit!


You, Holy God, Holy One, Holy Three,
our Life, our Mercy, our Might,

our Table, our Food, our Server,
our Rainbow, our Ark, our Dove,

our Sovereign, our Water, our Wine,
our Light, our Treasure, our Tree,
our Way, our Truth, our Life.

You, Holy God, Holy One, Holy Three!
Praise now,

praise tomorrow,
praise forever.

And so we cry, Amen: Amen!


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:

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.



Come to the table.

Feast on God’s abundant life for you.


We give you thanks that the Lord Jesus, on the night before he died, took bread, and after giving thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:

Take, eat. This is my body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.


In the same way Jesus took the cup, saying:

This cup is the new covenant sealed in my blood, shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this in remembrance of me.


Come to the table.

Feast on God’s abundant life for you.



All are welcome to the Lord’s Table. As a matter of hospitality, all communion bread is gluten free and the wine is non-alcoholic. Please come to the Table by the center aisle, receive a piece of bread, dip it into the cup, commune, and then return to your pew by the outer aisles. If you are not able to comfortably come forward for communion, a server will come to you.



We thank you, O God, that you have fed us at your banqueting table with bread and wine beyond compare, the very life of Christ for us. Send your Spirit with us now, that we may set the captive free, use your gifts to build one another up, and in everything reflect your glory revealed in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.


Compassionate God, as Jesus called disciples to follow him, bless those who go forth to share your word and sacrament with those who are sick, homebound, or imprisoned. May these gifts be signs of our love and prayers,

that through the sharing of the body and blood of Christ, all may know your grace and healing revealed in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The God of glory dwell in you richly, name you beloved, and shine brightly on your path; and the blessing of almighty God, the Father, the + Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you always. Amen.


*HYMN # 536 Rise, O Church, Like Christ Arisen




POSTLUDE: Winter Ballad- Dave Brubeck


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), Glory to God Hymnal on-line, 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.





3        Ansgar [Anskar] (c. 801– 865) – priest and archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen, a northern part of the Kingdom of the East Franks (now Germany). Ansgar became known as the “Apostle of the North”

4        Cornelius the Centurion (Acts 10: 1– 48) – Roman centurion, stationed in Caesarea, who is considered by Christians to be one of the first Gentiles to convert to the faith, as related in Acts 10. The reception of Cornelius sparked a conversation among the Jewish leaders of the new Christian church, culminating in the decision to allow Gentiles to become Christians without conforming to Jewish requirements for circumcision, as recounted in Acts 15.

5        The Martyrs of Japan (1597) – 26 Christian missionaries and followers who were persecuted and executed for being more loyal to Jesus than the Shogunate (the Japanese feudal government).

6        Alfonso María Fusco (1839–1910) – Italian priest and founder of the Sisters of Saint John the Baptist, also known as the Baptistine Sisters. Their mission is to evangelize and educate as well as to promote the faith amongst adolescents, with a particular emphasis on those who are poor or abandoned.

7        Martyrs of Nicomedia (303) – victims of persecution of Christians in Nicomedia, Bithynia (now Izmit, Turkey) by the Roman Emperors Diocletian and Maximian, in the early 4th century AD. Tradition holds that about 20,000 Turkish Christians were tortured and murdered over several years.

8        Jerome Emiliani (1481–1537) – Italian humanitarian, founder of the Somaschi Fathers, a charitable religious congregation of priests and brothers. The ministries of the Somascans include care of orphans, the disadvantaged and the poor; the treatment of at-risk youth; the rehabilitation of drug addicts; education; pastoral care and spiritual guidance; the pastoral care of minorities; foreign missions; and youth formation.

9        Marianus Scotus [Muirdach MacRobartaigh] (d. 1088) – Irish Benedictine monk (“Scotus” in his name indicates his Irish background), who spent most of his life in Germany, where he founded the monastery of St. Peter in Regensburg, and became its first abbot. Marianus is remembered as being a prolific scribe, and examples of his exquisite calligraphy are still in existence, in his St. Paul Epistles with glosses (interpretive notes).


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