Liturgies Online

 
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About Rev Dr Moira Laidlaw and Liturgies Online

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Coming Home

Click here to play COMING HOME - A short video recorded of Moira telling her story of faith and her journey through a divine encounter into full-time ministry.

 

Liturgies Online Now Available As Digital Download - YEAR A Liturgies, YEAR B Liturgies, YEAR C Liturgies, or all 3 Years in one complete digital download. These all include complete Orders of Service based on the Common Lectionary for The Liturgical Years in one download.

 

CALL TO WORSHIP

Prayer of Approach - Hymns - Prayer of Adoration and Praise - Readings from Old Testament - Epistle - Gospel - A Word with the Young - Prayer of Confession - Sermon - Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession - Offertory Prayer - Benediction

 
 

ADVENT / EPIPHANY 1C
Baptism of Jesus
Isaiah 43:1-7; Psalm 29; Acts 8:14-17; Luke 3:15-17, 21-22..

CALL TO WORSHIP: Based on Isaiah 43: verses 1 and 4

Thus says the Lord: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;

I have called you by name, you are mine...

you are precious in my sight, and honoured, and I love you.

or
God says: Don’t be afraid,
    you are very precious to me;
I claim you as my own.
    We belong to God.
God says: You are my beloved child,….

TIS 417: “Loving Spirit, loving Spirit, you have chosen me to be”

TIS 153/AHB 93: “God is love”

PRAYER OF ADORATION AND PRAISE:

God of love, reigning over the universe and in our hearts,

we worship and praise you.

Your power and glory are so vast and so great that we could not hope to understand them were it not for your revealing them:

     in - of all places - a stable and a new born Baby;…

All used to communicate the greatness of your love.

We praise and adore you, O God, for revealing your love for us in Jesus and for renewing our lives with your Spirit. Amen….

 

SCRIPTURE IN SONG 34 : “Turn your eyes upon Jesus”

- sung as a continuation of the prayer.

If you have a children’s talk, read Psalm 29 responsively, and invite the congregation to stamp their feet every time the words “The voice of the Lord” is read.

This can sound like thunder. At the conclusion of the reading, talk about storms and how frightening they can sometimes be. Perhaps the person who wrote the psalm was moved to write it after having witnessed a storm. We know now that storms are caused by differing pressures in the atmosphere, but it is not too difficult to understand how people in ancient times believed that thunder was truly the sound of God’s voice. And yet the writer finishes the psalm with a word of peace…

Christmas is God’s word of peace to us. We all might have stormy times in our lives but we know that God is with us, in Jesus, strengthening us with his peace and love so that we can make it through to the calm beyond the storm…

SCRIPTURE IN SONG 79: “Therefore the redeemed of the Lord”

TIS 312/AHB 237: “Once in Royal David’s city”

TIS 468: “We are your people, Spirit of grace”

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

The Psalmist wrote about God’s overwhelming majesty and Isaiah wrote about God’s overwhelming love. We long to experience these aspects of God’s being, but too often we are so overwhelmed by uncertainty about the future, and feelings of powerlessness in the present, that we fail to hear God speaking to us either personally or through the forces of nature. We long to hear God’s words addressed to us: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you.”

     Forgive us for listening to - and believing - voices that call us worthless and unlovable.

Hear God’s words speak louder: “I have called you by name, you are mine.”….

     Forgive our negative feelings about ourselves and other people.

Hear the reassuring words of God: “You are precious in my sight, and honoured, and I love you.”

                                               (silent reflection)

Loving and merciful God, forgive us when we allow our fears and our worries to stifle your voice of love. Help us to hear your words of love reverberate in every corner of our being so that we know that we too are your beloved, on whom your favour rests. This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen

ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS

The good news is that God has redeemed us in and through Jesus….

     Thanks be to God!

 

OLD TESTAMENT: Isaiah 43:1-7

EPISTLE: Acts 8:14-17

GOSPEL: Luke 3:15-17, 21-22


SERMON

I don't know about you, but I find it very hard to come to terms with the quantum leap we have to make in the church calendar between Christmas and the event we read about in the gospel today - Jesus' baptism.  On our calendars, Christmas was less than three weeks ago, whereas the church's calendar misses out about 30 years of Jesus' life.   I want to shout out that famous catch phrase of the late Professor Julius Sumner Miller "Why is it so?"

 

Why is it so...what did happen to all those intervening years?  Apart from a brief reference in Luke's gospel to Jesus in the temple when he was 12 years old, the plain truth is that we don't know what he did because the gospel writers didn't think it was important enough to tell us….

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John wrote down what they believed were the most important details about Jesus.  And, in many instances, they differed over what they thought was important because the body of people to whom they were each writing differed in some degree…..

 

Mark's gospel was the first to be written and in it Mark is believed to be writing to influence Gentile Christians - Greeks and Romans and other non-Jewish people.  Throughout his gospel he demonstrates how salvation is transferred from the unbelieving Jews to the believing Gentiles and so, he writes nothing at all about the birth of Jesus - to him that is an unimportant detail.  The opening words of his gospel are "This is the good news about Jesus Christ, the Son of God."  He tells his readers of the prophecies of Isaiah about a messenger preparing the way...describes John the Baptist actually doing that and then, he tells of Jesus coming from Nazareth to be baptised in the Jordan by John the Baptist.   Nothing about Bethlehem, or angels, or shepherds, or even about Mary and Joseph.

 

In the Gospel of Matthew,…

Luke's agenda, on the other hand, was firstly to convince his readers that what he was writing about was historical fact…

 

He is therefore looking backwards from the time of the early church to the reason for its existence, Jesus Christ…

John's priorities are as strong as these other two, but, slightly different again…   In the conclusion to his gospel - he says he has written these things "...that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that, in believing you might have life in his name.",…

Their agendas all come together, however, as they each pick up the story of John the Baptist which leads to the first significant happening in the life of Jesus described by them all - the baptism of Jesus.  And why is it so significant?  Because Jesus' true identity as God's Son was revealed at that time and he was filled with the Holy Spirit…. 

And so, it doesn't matter that they all tell the story of Jesus in a different way, the fact that God so loved the world - so loved you and me - that he gave us Jesus is what's important, the details about how it happened are not. …

TIS 250: “Christ when for us you were baptised”

TIS 419: Like the murmur of the dove’s song”

TIS 116/AHB 32: “Begin, my tongue, some heavenly theme”

PRAYERS OF THANKSGIVING AND INTERCESSION:

“A Surprising Start” beginning at ‘Eternal Word’ , p288f. in Be our Freedom, Lord.

“Seizing the Opportunity” Page 90 in Jesus Our Future

Pray for events and people in your part of the world and further afield. Conclude prayer by acknowledging our enlightenment by Christ in our baptism and pray that his light will shine through us forever through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

TIS 414: “There’s a spirit in the air” An alternate tune - TIS 599(2) Nottingham

TIS 416: “Great God, your Spirit like the wind”

TIS 609/AHB 537: “ May the mind of Christ my Saviour”

BENEDICTION

The love of God claim you,

the peace of Jesus bless you,

the power of the Holy Spirit strengthen you,

today and every day.

 

THREEFOLD AMEN