Sunday Worship Service: 3 January 2021

Order of Worship, January 3, 2021. Second Sunday of Christmas

Meditation

Within the gospel reading’s profound words lies the simple message that God is revealed in a human person. Though we may try to understand how the Word existed with God from the beginning of time, the wonder we celebrate at Christmas is that the Word continues to dwell among us. Christ comes among us in the gathered assembly, the scriptures, the waters of new birth, and the bread and the wine. Through these ordinary gifts we receive the fullness of God’s grace and truth.

Confession and Forgiveness

Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God, who was in the beginning, who makes a dwelling among us, who covers us with justice and mercy. Amen.

Let us confess our sin in the presence of God and of one another.

God of goodness and lovingkindness, we confess that we have sinned against you and our neighbors. We have turned away from your invitation to new life. We have turned away from the lowly and downtrodden. In your abundant mercy, forgive us our sins, those we know and those known only to you, for the sake of the one who came to live among us, Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.

Hear the good news of peace and salvation! God forgives us all our sins, not through our own work, but through ☩ Jesus Christ, made known to all people. With all who come to the manger, rejoice in this amazing gift of grace. Amen.

Opening: ELW 289- “Angels We Have Heard On High, verses 1 & 3. Vocalists: Brittany & Miriam Anderson, Pam Edwards.

Prayer of the Day

Almighty God, you have filled all the earth with the light of your incarnate Word. By your grace empower us to reflect your light in all that we do, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

First Reading: Ephesians 1:3-14

In Jesus, all of God’s plans and purposes have been made know as heaven and earth are united in Christ. Through Jesus, we have been chosen as God’s children and have been promised eternal salvation.

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. 5He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight 9he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, 10as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, 12so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. 13In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; 14this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.

Gospel: John 1:1-18

John begins his gospel with this prologue: a hymn to the Word through whom all things were created. This Word became flesh and brought grace and truth to the world.

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
10He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
14And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. 15John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ ” 16From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made God known.

Sermon: Pastor Chris Lee

Hymn of the Day: ELW 510- “Word of God, Come Down On Earth,” verses 1 & 3. Vocalists: Brittany & Miriam Anderson.

Prayers of Intercession

Joining our voices with the song of the angels, let us pray for the church, the world, and all who are in need.

Redeeming God, you gather together your people from the farthest parts of the earth. Protect your church from stumbling. Let it not be overcome by sorrow, division, or despair. Make us radiant with goodness, that we might live always to the praise of your glory. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

You bring together heaven and earth. All creation testifies to your splendor. Hold the ecosystems of this earth in delicate balance, from coastlands to farmlands, forests to wetlands, deserts to rainforests. Show us new ways to live in harmony with the world around us. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

You overflow with grace upon grace. Expand the imaginations of those who serve in positions of authority. Open their hearts to the needs of their nations and communities. Protect all those in harm’s way and those risking danger for the sake of others. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

You bring consolation to those who weep. Embrace those who feel far-off, excluded, or defeated. Accompany those living with chronic and invisible illness. Sustain the weak and weary. Refresh those who labor under the weight of pain or sickness especially Candi Wheeler; Susan Leyendecker; Bryant Crawford; Helen Schubert; Luellen and Woody Kasselman; Greg, Judy, and Kristine Mayer; Mariah Pearson; Jeanna LaRue; Louise  Larson, Dan Wolever and those we name before you in our hearts or aloud. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

You come to us in the beauty of darkness and of light. Bring justice and reconciliation to communities divided by oppressions and misuse of power. Guide us to speak holy words of advocacy and truth. Help us to honor your image in one another. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

You turn our mourning into joy. We give thanks for those who have died in faith especially Dylan McCalester. With all the saints, give us our inheritance in Christ. In the fullness of time, gather us all together in your mercy. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.

God of mercy, come quickly to us with grace upon grace as we lift these and all our prayers to you, in the name of Jesus.

Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Communion Anthem: ELW 270-, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” Handbell Choir. Director: Robin Asay.

Prayer after Communion

We give you thanks, gracious God, that you have once again fed us from your very self with the body and blood of Christ. Through this mystery, send us forth to proclaim your promise to a world in desperate need, through the same Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.

Blessing

Almighty God, who sent the Holy Spirit to Mary, proclaimed joy through the angels, sent the shepherds with good news, and led the magi by a star, bless you this day ☩ through the Word made flesh. Amen.

Sending Hymn: ELW 726- “Light Dawns On a Weary World,” all verses. Vocalists: Brittany & Miriam Anderson. Piano: Pam Edwards.

Dismissal

Go in peace. Share the gift of Jesus. Thanks be to God.

Postlude: ELW 290- “Go Tell It On the Mountain,” verse 1. Vocalists: Barit, Britta, and Miriam Anderson.

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Image credits: In the Beginning was the Word, carolinasnalc.org and In the Beginning was the Word, alittleperspective.com

Music credits:

“Angels We Have Heard On High.” Text: French carol; tr. H.F. Hemy, The Crown of Jesus Music, 1864. Public domain.

“Word of God, Come Down On Earth.” Text: James Quinn, SJ, b. 1919. Music: LIEBSTER JESU, WIR SIND HIER, Johann R. Ahle, 1625 – 1673. Text copyright James Quinn, SJ, Selah Publishing Co., Inc.. North American agent, www.selahpub.com. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.

“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” Text: Charles Wesley, 1707 – 1788, alt. Music: Felix Mendelssohn, 1809 – 1847; arr. William H. Cummings, 1831 – 1915. Public domain.

“Light Dawns On a Weary World.” Text: Mary Louise Bringle, b. 1953. Music: TEMPLE OF PEACE, William P. Rowan, b. 1951. Text copyright 2002 GIA Publications, Inc., 7404 S. Mason Avenue, Chicago, IL 60638. www.giamusic.com 800.442.3358. Music: copyright 2000 William P. Rowan, admin. GIA Publications, Inc., 7404 S. Mason Avenue, Chicago, IL 60638. www.giamusic.com 800.442.3358. All rights reserved. Permission to podcast/stream and print the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-704843.

“Go Tell It On the Mountain.” Text: African American spiritual; refrain, John W. Work Jr., 1872 – 1925, stanzas, alt.. Music: African American spiritual. Public domain.

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