February 12, 2023 - Home Worship

For the week of February 12-18 – 6th Sunday after the Epiphany

Morning prayer: God of grace and glory, You call us with Your voice of flame to be Your people, faithful and courageous. As Your beloved Son embraced His mission in the waters of baptism, inspire us with the fire of Your Spirit to join in His transforming work. We ask this in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen. (Lectionary Prayers)

Hymn #61 Come, Thou Almighty King

  1. Come, Thou almighty King, help us Thy name to sing, help us to praise!
    Father all glorious, o'er all victorious, come and reign over us, Ancient of Days!
  2. Come, Thou incarnate Word, gird on Thy mighty sword, our prayer attend!
    Come, and Thy people bless, and give Thy word success, Spirit of holiness, on us descend!
  3. Come, holy Comforter, Thy sacred witness bear in this glad hour.
    Thou who almighty art, now rule in every heart, and ne'er from us depart, Spirit of power!
  4. To Thee, great One in Three, eternal praises be, hence, evermore.
    Thy sovereign majesty may we in glory see, and to eternity love and adore!

Psalm 29:1-11

Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

Ascribe to the Lord the glory of His name; worship the Lord in holy splendor.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over mighty waters.

The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.

He 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 Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl, and strips the forest bare; and in His temple all say, “Glory!”

The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.

May the Lord give strength to His people! May the Lord bless His people with peace!

Children’s message Isaiah 42:1-9

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.

Children’s Message 

Today we are going to talk about Jesus’ baptism, but before we get there – let’s talk about the prophet’s message. Isaiah was a prophet of God and as we know, prophets bring us messages from God. They would share the messages with the Kings, Priests and the people. Isaiah is telling about what the Messiah would do and what he would be like.

There is a big word for this particular message and others like it, they are called Christological statements. They are messages we look to to affirm who Jesus is. So if we go back to Isaiah’s message, we can substitute the name Jesus for the word servant and the pronoun he. So God is telling us that Jesus will bring justice, Jesus won’t be boastful, he will be gentle and kind. Jesus will restore the sight of the blind and rescue those imprisoned and oppressed.

This was to be a sign for those at Jesus’ time to recognize Him as the Savior and for us to affirm that He is our Savior. I’m so grateful God continues to tell us about Jesus and of God’s plan for God’s Kingdom.

Prayers of Intercession:  Thank You, Lord, for hearing our prayers for those dear to our hearts.  We now pray as You have 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 sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us, not into temptation but deliver us from evil.  For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen. 

Offering spotlightDonations received last week for the Soup-er Bowl of Caring:  51 cans of food, 12 boxes of food, $16, plus your ongoing donations of instant potatoes.  Thank you for supporting the John Buck Food Bank and The Blessings Box. These are both missions with ongoing needs to feed and support our neighbors. 

Offering prayer: God of the water that cleans us, the land that feeds us, and the air that allows us to breathe Your Spirit in and out of us; You claim us in our baptism, but too few of us even remember our own baptism. And if we remember or imagine our baptism, we too rarely grasp its meaning and power. As we present our tithes and offering in worship and witness Christ’s baptism once again, may we remember that in that water we were, like Christ, commissioned to go: to teach, preach, heal, and even to take up a cross. In Christ, we pray. Amen. (Discipleship Ministries)

Hymn of Preparation #347 Spirit Song

  1. O let the Son of God enfold you with His Spirit and His love.

Let Him fill your heart and satisfy your soul.

O let Him have the things that hold you, and His Spirit like a dove

will descend upon your life and make you whole.

Refrain: Jesus, O Jesus, come and fill Your lambs.

Jesus, O Jesus, come and fill Your lambs.

  1. O come and sing this song with gladness as your hearts are filled with joy.

Lift your hands in sweet surrender to His name.

O give Him all your tears and sadness; give Him all your years of pain,

And you’ll enter into life in Jesus’ name. Refrain.

Scripture Matthew 3:13-17

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.”

Message Starting on a Journey            Pastor Becky Cuddeback

This is my Son, my Beloved… The pronouncement that starts Jesus on His journey to the cross. It’s the first pronouncement straight from the mouth of God; it isn’t mitigated through angels or prophets. God speaks in response to Jesus’s baptism. Jesus comes to John for baptism, but not as we understand baptism – for Jesus there is no need to repent of sin, yet He is turning from His life as He knew it to fully take on the path to the cross. Jesus comes as an act of submission to God’s will and of identification with His people. In His baptism, Jesus agrees to God’s plan of salvation, affirms it and ratifies the covenant between God and Himself. God’s response is audible to all who can hear and it is an acknowledgement of their relationship.

This is not a new revelation, it isn’t that Jesus’ baptism now makes Him God’s Son. It isn’t that there is now something there that wasn’t there before, God is speaking what was true from the very beginning and God is speaking with full authority, proclaiming Jesus as God’s Son.

This pronouncement, just as with all the pronouncements we have looked at leading to this one, has a meaning for us, in our present condition at this present time.

First, as an audible uttering of God, heard by John, Jesus and all gathered, marks the interaction between heaven and earth. The prophets who came before, Moses, Elijah, their interactions were reported interactions with God – that is not to diminish them, as we rely heavily on the messages and truth revealed to them by God. But this is God speaking for Godself; it is a level of intimacy we haven’t encountered until Jesus. It is the difference between hearing something directly and hearing of something by way of messengers. It is first hand and that in and of itself, changes the urgency of the message. God is claiming Jesus as God’s own.

The affirmation brings with it validation. God is with Jesus no matter what comes, even to the death of Jesus. This relationship then extends to us. As Son of God, Jesus is our Redeemer, Savior, Master, Friend… the names that we rely upon and call upon when speaking of Jesus are dependent on this relationship. Jesus invites us into this relationship with God, we claim it every time we pray as we are taught to pray, by praying Our Father – The Lord’s Prayer.

Secondly, we can have confidence in the One we are following. This should come as the best news ever for us. Currently we are in a time where we can be easily deceived and easily manipulated, so hearing from God’s own voice that Jesus is God’s Son is the truth we can stand on without hesitation. This should give us a peace, an ability to rest in God, and be centered in our faith.

God pronounced Jesus as Son as a sign to Jesus’s obedience to righteousness. Jesus is committed to God’s call to righteousness. Righteousness for Jesus isn’t just about being right, it is about justice and justice only comes by way of relationship with those being deprived of justice because relationship with Jesus isn’t exclusive, it is communal, it is about building and being in community.

I point you to John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life.” Yet… one verse further reminds us of Jesus’s work “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world but in order that the world might be saved through Him.”

The first work is salvation and that work comes by relationship. The relationship Jesus has with God and our relationship with Jesus.

Closing Hymn: #672 God Be With You till We Meet Again

  1. God be with you till we meet again; by His counsels guide, uphold you,
    with His sheep securely fold you; God be with you till we meet again.

Refrain: Till we meet, till we meet, till we meet at Jesus' feet;
till we meet, till we meet, God be with you till we meet again.

  1. God be with you till we meet again; neath His wings securely hide you,
    daily manna still provide you; God be with you till we meet again. (Refrain)
  2. God be with you till we meet again; when life's perils thick confound you,
    put His arms unfailing round you; God be with you till we meet again. (Refrain)
  3. God be with you till we meet again; keep love's banner floating o'er you,
    smite death's threatening wave before you; God be with you till we meet again. (Refrain)

Go into your week with the blessings of The Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit.