Liturgy: Baptism of the Lord Sunday

Call To Worship:

L: In the beginning, God’s Spirit swept over the waters and spoke into existence all that is.

P: Move over the deep voids of our hearts, O God, and speak life into us.

L: Through the terrifying waters of the Red Sea, Moses lead your people.

P: Our hearts tremble in the presence of your might, O God, but we will follow.

L: From the water of the womb you brought forth your Son for the Salvation of the world.

P: We stand in awe of your mystery, O God, and praise you for your mercy and unfailing love.

L: Over the waters of the river Jordan your Spirit descended as a dove and you declared your endless love for your Son.

P: Our hearts are hungry to hear those words, O God. Speak your love and acceptance of us.

L: From the blood and water rushing from his pierced side, you washed us clean.

P: We praise you, O God, because you have extended your hand to us and you have saved us.

All: Praise be the name of God forever and ever. Alleluia!

 A Litany of Confession:

L: Have you successfully lived into the vows of your baptism?

P: We have tried, but we have not always been successful. The spiritual forces of wickedness can be tricky and sometimes we are easily deceived. The evil powers of this world are sometimes very convincing, persuading us to put our faith in them. Sometimes we don’t want to acknowledge our sin. Sometimes we are unaware of our sin. Forgive us, O God, but sometimes we fall short.

L: God has given you what you need. Will you make use of it?

P: We will. And we will be grateful, for God has given us the freedom and the power to resist all sorts of evil. Where injustice rises from the ashes of despair, we will resist it. We will speak of God’s perfect justice. Where oppression crushes the lives of God’s creations, we will resist it. We will speak of God’s freedom. With God’s help, we will resist evil in whatever form they present themselves.

L: Will you confess Jesus Christ as your Savior and Savior of the world?

P: We will confess Jesus Christ as Savior. We trust in his endless grace and we promise to serve him. We will proclaim the Good News of salvation wherever we may be because Christ has opened his holy Church to all the world. No one is beyond Christ’s grace. No one is beyond the power of Christ’s salvation. May we be wise enough to speak that truth always. Amen.

(Adapted from United Methodist Church Baptismal Vows)

Prayer of Thanksgiving:

More abundant than the waters of seas is your mercy and grace. Though we did not deserve it, you gave us the greatest gift we could hope for: salvation. We humbly offer these gifts to you, now. We know it is little more than a drop in that vast ocean of your generosity, but we offer it with hearts filled with joy and gratitude. Amen.

Blessing:

Like cool waters flowing through the hot desert, may God guide you to fruitful places. May the grace of Jesus Christ wash over you like a waterfall. Like a boat on the water, may the Holy Spirit carry you to new and exciting places in your faith.  Amen.

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