God says: Look! See my chosen servant, the One in whom I utterly delight; I have placed my Spirit on Him, He will bring true justice to the nations.
Most wonderful God, foolish and flawed though we are, we too delight in Your beloved Son. As in His name we gather in the house of many praises, may the heavens be opened for us, that we may catch a glimpse of that Light and Love that transforms our common days with a beauty not of our making. Through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen!
Confession & Words of Assurance
God of all the saints, God of all the sinners, hear our prayer.
We would be saintlike – holy, good, patient, loving.
But we end up feeling more like sinners – full of failures of morality, selfish, mean.
Perhaps You see us simply as human – as beloved, and flawed, and trying, and failing, and succeeding.
In all of this, forgive the wrong that we have done, and the bless the good we have accomplished.
Keep on loving us, and helping us, and molding us more and more into the image of Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.
Friends, hear this Good News: the love of God is beyond measure, and you are
included in that love. Know that you are forgiven and thus freed to love and serve.
4 John the Baptist was in the wilderness calling for people to be baptized to show that they were changing their hearts and lives and wanted God to forgive their sins. 5 Everyone in Judea and all the people of Jerusalem went out to the Jordan River and were being baptized by John as they confessed their sins. 6 John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey. 7 He announced, “One stronger than I am is coming after me. I’m not even worthy to bend over and loosen the strap of his sandals. 8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus is baptized and tempted
9 About that time, Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. 10 While he was coming up out of the water, Jesus saw heaven splitting open and the Spirit, like a dove, coming down on him.11 And there was a voice from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I dearly love; in you I find happiness.”
God who makes and keeps covenant with Your people,
You called us to be a light to the nations,
to open the eyes that are blind,
to set the prisoners free,
Help us to answer Your call that these things come to pass. Empower us to preach and testify to Your great love and mercy.
God of grace and glory,
We pray for those who suffer from pains and sorrows.
We pray for those whose hearts are broken.
We pray for those whose families are fractured.
We pray for those whose lives are ravaged by war.
We pray for those who struggle with poverty, and starvation
We pray for our siblings in Christ who are being beaten and killed for their beliefs.
Thank You for hearing our prayers.
Thank You for pouring out Your Spirit on Your child
and pouring Your spirit out on us too.
May we also hear You say to us this day that “This is my child, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”
Go in peace; love and care for one another in the name of Christ; and may the Spirit of God which filled John and Jesus, fill your hearts, souls and minds; may the power of God which upheld them, strengthen you for each day; and may the love of God which directed their every action be your guiding light and your shining star, both now and forevermore. Amen