THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD

SUNDAY 9TH JANUARY 2022

Sermons | Epworth United Methodist Church

OPENING SENTENCE OF SCRIPTURE
The voice of the Lord is upon the mighty waters

HYMN

GREETING

Grace and peace to you from God our Father

and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

COLLECT FOR PURITY

Almighty God,

to whom all hearts are open,

all desires known,

and from whom no secrets are hidden:

cleanse the thoughts of our hearts

by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,

that we may perfectly love you,

and worthily magnify your holy name;

through Christ our Lord. Amen.

SUMMARY OF THE LAW

Our Lord Jesus Christ said: The first commandment is this:

Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.” The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these. Amen. Lord, have mercy.

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CONFESSION AND ABSOLUTION

God is love and we are God’s children. There is no room for fear in love. We love because God loved us first.

Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith.

SILENCE

God our Father,

we confess to you

and to our fellow members in the Body of Christ

that we have sinned in thought, word and deed,

and in what we have failed to do.

We are truly sorry.

Forgive us our sins,

and deliver us from the power of evil,

for the sake of your Son who died for us, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

ABSOLUTION

God, who is both power and love,

forgive you and free you from your sins,

heal and strengthen you by the Holy Spirit,

and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen.

GLORIA sung by Billy Dewar Riddick

COLLECT

Eternal God, who at the baptism of Jesus

revealed him to be your Son,

anointing him with the Holy Spirit:

grant that we, being born again,

and made your children by adoption and grace,

may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit;

through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord

who lives and reigns with you

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, world without end. Amen.

PROCLAIMING & RECEIVING GOD’S WORD

FIRST READING
Isaiah 43 1-7 read by Ron Beagrie

Restoration and Protection Promised

But 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.
When 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.

For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you.
Because you are precious in my sight,
and honoured, and I love you,
I give people in return for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
Do not fear, for I am with you;
I will bring your offspring from the east,
and from the west I will gather you;
I 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—
everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.”

SILENCE

SECOND READING
ACTS 8:14-17 read by Gill Swales

Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. The two went down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit (for as yet the Spirit had not come] upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus). Then Peter and John[b] laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

GRADUAL HYMN

GOSPEL READING
Luke 3:15-17, 21-22 read by Rev Janice Aiton

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St Luke chapter 3 beginning at verse 15

Glory to Christ our Saviour

3 Powerful Lessons from Jesus' Baptism

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

The Baptism of Jesus

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

Matthew 3:17 Inspirational Image

Give thanks to the Lord for his glorious Gospel

Praise to Christ our Lord.

SERMON

Remember Your Baptism | The Foothills District of the West Ohio Conference  of the United Methodist Church

Martin Luther used to say “Remember your baptism!” Now he was not speaking as a visiting preacher at a Baptist church or Church of Christ congregation, where everyone was baptized as an adult and actually had any cognitive memory of their baptism whatsoever. The people he was speaking to had no memory of their baptism. So how do you remember your baptism? What does that mean? It doesn’t mean remember the physical, embodied moment in which you were baptized in water. It means remember who your baptism says you are.

I want you to imagine God, the Creator of all, who holds all things together by his mighty power, sits with you, looks directly into your eyes, and says, “I am proud of you. I see you for all that you are, for all that you have, for all that you’ve done, and for all that you ever will do. I’m so glad you’re my child. And I am proud of you.” That is what Baptism is all about. It is an affirmation of who we are in Christ. We are his beloved, and he delights in us.

You Are God's Beloved - YouTube

What’s it like to hear it? You are God’s beloved. Just so you are sure where you stand that word “beloved” means every inch of what it sounds like. It means loved with a love that is deep, active, self-sacrificing and absolutely unconditional. This is a love that doesn’t have to be earned. This is a deep love that just is. It’s about being loved unconditionally and without having to earn it. God looks at each and all of us and says the same thing. You are my beloved.

At the baptism of Jesus these precious words are spoken: This is my Son whom I love and with whom I am well pleased. Or some versions say ‘This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.’ What they are both saying is how great you are! How proud I am of you. How much I take delight in you being a member of my family. I could not be happier or more blessed to have you as my Son. To hear these words uttered must have meant much to Jesus.

These words spoken to Jesus would be precious, life- giving, full of encouragement and affirmation. And what a time to hear these words and be reminded of his rich identity as God’s beloved for this was a time of great change and challenge for Jesus- it was the beginning of a new ministry for him. Who knows what will lie round the corner, what twists and turns lay ahead of him? But whatever lay ahead he could be reassured that his Father loved him and believed in him- he was his beloved. Being his beloved- reminded Jesus of the depth of love, intimacy, tenderness and gentleness that existed between him and his Father.

Pin on something sweet

It would be this intimacy that would sustain Jesus in the difficult times of his ministry. Great things were prophesied about Jesus, right at his birth and before. These prophesies claimed that Jesus would be the appointed Leader, the Messiah and that he would be great among the peoples. Even his name Jesus indicated that he would be the Saviour of the world. No doubt Mary told Jesus some of the great things that were said about him at his birth while other prophesies she may well have kept close to her own heart. Jesus knew deep within, even at 12 years of age, that he would be about his Father’s business and that he would be destined for great things.

Being destined for great things must have seemed a remote possibility to Jesus as he grew up quietly in the shadows in Nazareth. There were no pressures. No great expectations. No hurry that is until John the Baptist appeared on the scene. John’s appearance was a moment of decision for Jesus. For thirty years he had faithfully worked as a carpenter in Nazareth and discharged his duties to the home. For ages he must have been conscious that the time for him to go out had to come. He must have waited for a sign. The emergence of John was that sign. This he saw was the moment when he had to launch his ministry.

it-is-in-your-moments-of-decision-that-your-destiny-is-shaped « Executive  and Life Coaching Courses and Information

Moments of decision or calling come in life to be accepted or rejected. To accept them is to succeed and to reject them or shrink from them is to fail. As Shakespeare said: there is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at its flood leads onto fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their lives is bound in shallows and in miseries. The undecided life, the frustrated life, the discontented life is often the tragic life.

As John Oxenham says when he wrote the Ways

To every man there openeth a way, and ways, and a way,
And the high soul climbs the high way,
And the low soul gropes the low.
And in between, on the misty flats, the rest drift to and fro.
But to every man there openeth a high way and a low;
And every man decideth the way his soul shall go.

The drifting life can never be the happy life. Jesus knew when John emerged that the moment of decision had come. It might be more comfortable for Jesus to stay put in Nazareth with his reputable carpenter business, and be surrounded by family and friends. But he knew this was the time to step out, to take the high way. It was as though the call of the John the Baptist was beckoning him on a new path. This path would be rocky, even his baptism created ripples of discontent.

Jesus’ baptism created two problems in particular. If he accepted baptism from John, didn’t that mean that he was inferior to the Baptist? Worse yet, if he had gone down to the Jordan like everyone else, confessing his sins, did that mean that he was a sinner? These were not just hypothetical questions, since some Christians were probably in touch with Baptist groups that followed John and not Jesus.

The Christians could not deny the event, but they represented it in a way that would not undermine Jesus’ worthiness. Mark the first of the gospel writers affirms that Jesus was baptised by John in the Jordan and immediately he adds that Jesus had a strange experience. He saw the Holy Spirit descending upon him, like a dove and heard a voice saying that you are my Son, the beloved. This way everyone would understand that although he had allowed John to baptise him, Jesus was the more powerful one of whom the Baptist spoke, the one who would come after me and would baptise with the Holy Spirit.

Baptism of the Lord: Revealing the Identity of Jesus | Fellow Dying Inmate

Matthew goes a step further. When Jesus comes to be baptised, the Baptist tries to prevent him, saying, I need to be baptised by you, and do you come to me? Jesus replies: it is proper for us in this way to fulfil all righteousness. This makes it clear that Jesus did not need to be baptised. He did it for some unknown compelling reason. Luke doesn’t need to explain it, for although he mentions Jesus’ baptism, he leaves out the intervention of John the Baptist. John doesn’t even mention the baptism.

Setting aside these Christian interpretations, we do know that Jesus was baptised by John. It was decisive moment for Jesus; it was a complete about face in his life. That young craftsman from a small Galilean village would never again be seen in Nazareth. From then on, he would devote body and soul to a prophetic task that would amaze his family and friends: they never imagined anything like this when he was among them. Jesus accepted baptism as a sign and commitment to a radical change. He did not return immediately to Galilee but stayed some time with the Baptist in the wilderness, in preparation for his mission and ministry.

His baptism was a source of strength for the mission and ministry that lay ahead, for it was his moment of identification. It is true that Jesus did not need to repent from sin, but here was a movement of the people back to God and with that Godward movement he was determined to identify himself. Not only does he identify himself with the Godward movement but he also shows identification with all the people that were being baptised. He stood in solidarity with them and by doing so he hears God say this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. What a moment of encouragement and support! The heavenly words of affirmation put wind in Jesus’ sails! He is thrilled and greatly uplifted!

How important are these moments of affirmation and encouragement! When the American writer Maya Angelou was growing up and she didn’t see her mother very much. She was brought up in great part by her grandmother, a wonderful and saintly woman. She tells how when she was 20 years old, she took a trip to San Francisco to visit her mother. It was a particularly important yet vulnerable moment in Maya’s life. She was struggling to make her way in life and groping her way towards becoming a writer. She had quite a good meeting with her mother. When it was time to leave her mother walked her down the hill to the waiting bus. As they parted her mother said: you know, I think you are the greatest woman I have ever met. Years later Maya can recall that moment vividly. She said: waiting for the bus, I sat there thinking. Just suppose she’s right. Suppose I really am somebody. It was one of those moments when the sky rolled back. At times like it’s almost as if the whole earth holds its breath! Maya went on to become a highly successful and respected writer and poet-she composed and delivered an inspiring poem for the inauguration if President Clinton. Who are the people we will bless this year with a moment of encouragement and affirmation?

31 Thank You For Your Support and Encouragement Messages

This moment of affirmation was also for Jesus a moment of approval and a moment of equipping. Jesus had decided on his course of action and now he receives the seal of approval and power from the Holy Spirit to accomplish it. We take heart that once we have made the decision, received affirmation from God through others, then we need not fear. God will equip us for the task and adventure ahead.

So today we are encouraged to remember our baptism and our identity in God as his beloved. We are reminded to be alert to signs that might prompt a moment of decision in our lives. Whenever that moment comes, may we receive affirmation and encouragement from others, and know God’s equipping, so that one day God might say to us, not only that you are my beloved son or daughter in whom I am well pleased but also well done my good and faithful servant. Amen.

THE CREED

Christ The Savior Lutheran Church

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God,

God from God,

Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made,

of one substance with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven;

by the power of the Holy Spirit

he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary,

and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,

and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,

the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father.

With the Father and the Son,

he is worshipped and glorified.

He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

PRAYERS

Prayer Requests – Baildon Methodist Church

Come Holy Spirit

Fill our lives

Lord Jesus, in your baptism you identified with us.

In your baptism is our baptism.

In our baptism is new birth,

new beginnings and newness of life.

Keep us mindful of our baptism

and of the vows made and affirmed by us at confirmation.

Come Holy Spirit

Fill our lives

Baptism & Confirmation - Diocese in Europe

Lord Jesus, we pray for all baptised Christians,

to live out their calling in loving and holy lives.

We pray for those preparing for baptism or confirmation,

that you make your presence and love known.

We pray for parents and godparents

that they will be given the grace and perseverance

to keep faithfully the promises made.

Come Holy Spirit

Fill our lives

Lord Jesus, in baptizing all who came

John displayed the hospitality of your love,

Increase within us the same spirit of welcome

and openness to repentance.

Unlock the chain of past mistakes

and reveal the gateway to newness of life.

Come Holy Spirit

Fill our lives

in a WORD - Peace - YouTube

Lord Jesus, we pray for peace and integrity

in all our dealings as individuals.

We lift to you areas in our world where

conflict rages and peace is absent.

We pray against terrorism and lift the families

of those bereaved through terrorism to you,

seeking comfort, peace and strength for them.

Come Holy Spirit

Fill our lives

Let Jesus Heal Your Broken Heart - Patricia Holland

Lord Jesus, you bind up our wounds

make us whole and restore us in your sight.

we pray for those whose weariness or pain

makes life difficult for them.

We ask your blessing on all in sorrow, need or adversity

and name them to you in the quietness of our hearts.

Touch them with your love and grace

and comfort them with your care and healing.

Come Holy Spirit

Fill our lives

Lord Jesus, we pray for harmony and understanding

in our relationships with family and neighbours;

for the willingness both to give and to receive,

and for the generosity of forgiving love.

Come Holy Spirit

Fill our lives

Calm Sleeping Music: Calming Tranquil Delta Waves, Relaxing Meditation  Music (Spiritual Refreshment) - YouTube

Lord Jesus, in baptism you call people

to repent and seek refreshment.

Renew our lives from all that dries up faith and damages trust.

Give hope to the cynical and despairing,

and strengthen their faith and renew their vision.

Come Holy Spirit

Fill our lives

Lord Jesus, hear our prayer for all who have died in faith

and grant them perpetual rest and hope eternal.

We lift to you all who are bereaved

and who feel lost and confused,

draw close to them and carry them in these days in your arms of love.

Come Holy Spirit

Fill our lives

Accepting God's Love - Saint Edward Parish Family

Lord Jesus, your Father called you his beloved,

may we remember and rejoice in the truth

that in our baptisms we too are his beloved.

Help us to receive his love

and to remember that we are a beloved community

who is called to share his love and affirmation with others.

Come Holy Spirit

Fill our lives

Merciful Father accept these prayers for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ who taught us to pray together

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those+

who sin against us.

Do not bring us

to the time of trial+

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power

and the glory are yours,

now and forever. Amen.

Description: Description: Description: Description: Elevation Worship - The Blessing (Lyrics) ft. Kari Jobe & Cody ...

BLESSING

Christ the Son of God gladden your hearts with the good news of his kingdom; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.

HYMN

DISMISSAL

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord

In the name of Christ. Amen

Welcome

St John the Evangelist, Dumfries, is a parish of the Scottish Episcopal Church also serving Methodist parishioners locally.

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Notices

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Contemporary Service

The Contemporary Service is at 6pm, on the second and fourth Sundays of the month, followed by refreshments in the hall.

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