Created, saved and gifted by God, we seek, serve and share Jesus Christ.
Baptism of Our Lord
January 8, 2023, 10:30 AM
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
901 East Stroop Road Kettering, Ohio 45429
In the waters of the Jordan, Jesus is revealed as the beloved Son of God. Through this great epiphany, Jesus fulfills all righteousness and becomes the servant of God who will bring forth justice and be a light to the nations. In the waters of baptism we too are washed by the Word, anointed by the Spirit, and named God’s beloved children. Our baptismal mission is to proclaim good news to all who are oppressed or in need of God’s healing.
Baptized and Beloved
It was a relatively common scene: a first-century Palestinian man waiting on the banks of the Jordan River for his turn to be baptized. And yet there was something different about this time, this place, this man. This time God would enter into the waters of God’s own creation.
This story gives us a glimpse of how God enters fully into this life with us. God enters into our earthbound, created existence of river banks and dusty earth, rushing water and cloud-spotted skies. Jesus enters into our time-bound realities of life and death too, not shying away from the hard parts of being human. In these mysterious waters of baptism, Jesus immerses himself in pain and sin, sickness and death. And then Jesus emerges from the depths into new life—a life rooted in his identity as the Beloved One, the one sent by God to bring all of creation into renewed relationship with God and one another.
Jesus’ baptism is just the beginning of his earthly ministry. From here, he will enter the wilderness, call his disciples, preach and teach and heal. He will disrupt the status quo, scandalize the authorities, and challenge his most loyal followers in his mission to offer the world a glimpse of the kingdom of God.
At its core, this is an Epiphany story. It reveals to us who Jesus is: Beloved. Sent by God. The one in whom God is pleased from the very beginning. The one in whom God is made known to the world. And this story reveals to us something else as well. It has the power to remind us who we are, as we too are swept up in these life-giving waters. We too emerge as a new creation made whole in Christ. May we hear God’s words to us too: “This is my child the beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”
The Holy Spirit calls us together as the people of God.
WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
CALL TO WORSHIP “Our God Saves”
In the name of the Father, in the name of the Son,
In the name of the Spirit, Lord, we come.
We’re gathered together to lift up your name,
To call on our Savior, to fall on your grace.
Hear the joyful sound of our offering,
As your saints bow down, as your people sing;
We will rise with you, lifted on your wings,
And the world will see that:
Our God saves, our God saves.
There is hope in your name
Mourning turns to songs of praise:
Our God saves, our God saves!
OPENING LITANY Psalm 29
Ascribe to our God, O heavenly beings! Ascribe to our God glory and strength.
Ascribe to our God a glorious name; worship our God in holy splendor.
The voice of our God is over the waters!
The God of glory thunders: the Lord, over mighty waters!
The voice of our God is powerful and full of majesty.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
God makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young, wild ox.
The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness.
The voice of our God causes the oaks to whirl and strips the forest bare. In God’s temple all cry, “Glory!”
The Lord sits enthroned over the flood and rules until the end of time.
May our God give strength to the people! May the Lord bless us with peace!
GATHERING HYMN – “”
CONFESSION & FORGIVENESS
All may make the sign of the cross, the sign that is marked at baptism, as the presiding minister begins.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: 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 Jesus Christ our Lord.
Let us confess our sin in the presence of God and of one another.
Most merciful God,
we confess that we are captive to sin and cannot free ourselves. We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name. Amen.
In the mercy of almighty God, Jesus Christ was given to die for us, and for his sake God forgives us all our sins. As a called and ordained minister of the church of Christ, and by his authority, I therefore declare to you the entire forgiveness of all your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
PRAYER OF THE DAY
O God our Father,
at the baptism of Jesus you proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit. Make all who are baptized into Christ faithful to their calling to be your daughters and sons, and empower us all with your Spirit, through Je- sus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets,
Jesus interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.
FIRST READING Isaiah 42:1-9
God’s servant is endowed with God’s spirit in order to bring justice to the nations. The servant will not exercise authority boisterously or with violence, nor will weariness ever prevent the fulfilling of the servant’s task. God’s old promises have been fulfilled; the servant’s new assignment is to bring light to the nations.
A reading from the book of Isaiah.
Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not grow faint or be crushed until he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his teaching.
Thus says God, the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it: I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. I am the LORD, that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to idols. See, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth, I tell you of them.
Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.
SECOND READING Acts 10:34-43
Peter crosses the sharp religious boundary separating Jews from Gentiles and proclaims the good news of God’s inclusive forgiveness in Jesus’ name to Cornelius, a Roman centurion. As a result of Peter’s preaching, Cornelius and his family become the first Gentiles to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.
A reading from the book of Acts.
Peter began to speak to [Cornelius and his household]: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all. That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.
GOSPEL READING Matthew 3:13-17
Before Jesus begins his ministry, he is baptized by John, touched by the Spirit, and identified publicly as God’s child.
The holy gospel according to Matthew.
Glory to you, O Lord.
Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”
The gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, O Christ.
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended into hell.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
PRAYERS OF THE COMMUNITY
GATHERING OF GIFTS
God feeds us with the presence of Jesus Christ.
Lift up your heads.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Lift up your voices.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
WORDS OF INSTITUTION
And so we gather at the table. We come from many different places in life. And as we come to- gether around the table we discover that our differences are not something we just tolerate, but that our differences are indeed a blessing. So come, children of God, just as you are. Wherever you are on this journey of life and faith, you are welcome here – here in this place, here in this community, here at this table.
Come, children of God, come and remember.
Remember the stories that Jesus’ friends tell: Stories of bread broken and shared to feed a multitude; stories of gathering both enemy and friend together around a common table; stories of unlikely guests revealing the face of the sacred.
On a night of both celebration and betrayal Jesus took bread, blessed it and broke it; gave it to his disciples and said, “Take and eat, this is my body given for you. Do this for the remem- brance of me.” Then Jesus took the cup, blessed it, and gave it to his disciples saying,
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.”
And so we pray: Lord, bless this bread and bless this fruit of the vine. Bless all of us in our eat- ing and drinking that our eyes might be open, and that we might recognize the risen Christ in our midst, indeed in one another.
Gathered into one by the Holy Spirit, let us pray as Jesus taught us.
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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
INVITATION TO COMMUNION
Come and taste the joy of God.
HOLY COMMUNION – Receiving the Lord’s tangible presence.
The body of Christ, given for you.
The blood of Christ, shed for you.
Each person may respond: Amen.
If you believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is your Savior and Redeemer and would like to receive Holy Communion, then come forward to receive the elements. If you would just like to come forward and receive a blessing, then you may do that also.
NOTE: We invite everyone to come forward for Holy Communion. If you have a gluten allergy, gluten-free wafers are available upon request when receiving Communion. Also, if you prefer not to receive wine at Communion, apple juice is available upon request.
REFLECTION DURING COMMUNION
As we prepare to receive the sacrament today, may we quietly take this time to center our- selves on Christ, and the amazing gifts of grace and forgiveness that we have been given. As we receive the body and the blood of our Lord, let us reflect upon His sacrifice. Finally, may we take this time to ask the Holy Spirit to enter our hearts, and then to work in us and through us in the coming days.
The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you and always keep you in God’s grace.
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
Holy One, we thank you for the healing that springs forth abundantly from this table. Renew our strength to do justice, love kindness, and journey humbly with you. Amen.
God blesses us and sends us in mission to the world.
The God who faithfully brings forth justice and breaks the oppressor’s rod bless, strengthen, and uphold you, today and always.
SENDING HYMN – “”
Go in peace. Follow the way of Jesus.
Created, saved and gifted by God, we seek, serve and share Jesus Christ. Hallelujah, thanks be to God.
“W + 2” = Worship Plus Two
Make a commitment not only to worship each week,
but also try to find a way to serve in the congregation and seek out a way to serve our community.
YOU ARE NOW ENTERING THE MISSION FIELD.
From Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright 2014 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #22920.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Curches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.