January 10, 2021
Baptism of Jesus, Epiphany II
Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving
Call to Worship (from Psalm 29)
One: Gathered in this place, we lift our voices and shout “Glory!”
Many: (shout it out!) “GLORY!”
One: For the voice of the Lord is over all nature and all people!
Many: May our Lord give strength and bless God’s people with peace,
One: for the Lord is enthroned forever!
Many: Together, let us pray:
In the midst of every storm, God, we lift our voices to call out your name, and offer you our praise.
Grateful for your steadfast actions, even as we face today’s challenges, help us remember Jesus’ baptism.
You claimed him.
You were pleased with him.
Today, we give thanks that we, too, are claimed by baptism,
and claimed by you.
Grant your Spirit to fill us today as we worship you,
that you will be well pleased with us. AMEN
Moment for Stewardship
(if you haven’t used this Fred Craddock story before, it fits well for the day we read of God claiming Jesus as “my Son, the Beloved”.
This is edited from https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/whos-your-daddy/ )
As we come to a time of sharing a portion of what we’ve been given by the One whom we’re taught to call “Daddy”, I want to tell you a story.
A seminary professor was vacationing with his wife in Gatlinburg, TN. One morning, they were eating breakfast at little restaurant.
A man came to their table, asked to sit down and began speaking.
“See that mountain over there”, pointing out the restaurant window. “Not far from the base of that mountain, there was a boy born to an unwed mother. He had a hard time growing up, because every place he went, he was always asked the same question, ‘Hey boy, Who’s your daddy?’ Whether he was at school, in the grocery store or drug store, people would ask the same question, ‘Who’s your daddy?’”
He would hide at recess and lunch time from other students. He would avoid going in to stores because that question hurt him so bad. “When he was about 12 years old, a new preacher came to his church. He would always go in late and slip out early to avoid hearing the question, ‘Who’s your daddy?’. But one day, the new preacher said the benediction so fast he got caught and had to walk out with the crowd.
“Just about the time he got to the back door, the new preacher, not knowing anything about him, put his hand on his shoulder and asked him, ‘Son, who’s your daddy?’” The whole church got deathly quiet. He could feel every eye in the church looking at him. Now everyone would finally know the answer to the question, ‘Who’s your daddy’. This new preacher, though, sensed the situation around him and using discernment that only the Holy Spirit could give, said the following to that boy:
“‘Wait a minute! I know who you are. I see the family resemblance now. You are a child of God.’” With that he patted the boy on his shoulder and said, ‘Boy, you’ve got a great inheritance. Go and claim it.’
With that, the boy smiled for the first time in a long time and walked out the door a changed person.
Whenever anybody asked, ‘Who’s your Daddy?’ he’d tell them, ‘I’m a Child of God’.”
The distinguished gentleman got up from the table and said, “Isn’t that a great story?”
The professor responded that it really was a great story!
As the man turned to leave, he said, “You know, if that new preacher hadn’t told me that I was one of God’s children, I probably never would have amounted to anything!” And he walked away.
The seminary professor and his wife were stunned. He called the waitress over and asked her, “Do you know who that man was who just left that was sitting at our table?”
The waitress grinned and said, “Of course. Everybody here knows him. That’s Ben Hooper. He’s the former governor of Tennessee!
As we come to this time of sharing our gifts, I invite you to focus on the way God claimed Jesus at his baptism.
Remember! Each one of us has opportunity to follow this Jesus in baptism, and to share a portion of the gifts we’ve been given.
We, too, as baptized followers, are claimed as a beloved child of God!
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Thank you, God of Love, for the promise of Jesus, baptized and claimed.
We are grateful for the generosity you birthed in us
when we were raised from the waters and filled by your Spirit.
Help us rejoice today as we recall John and his river baptism of Jesus.
Inspire us to sing out “Glory!” as we remember
and as we celebrate all Jesus gave his followers.
May our offering of these gifts represent our baptized-life spirit
of joyous generosity among us, today and each day ahead. Amen.
Invitation to Communion
In the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), we encourage individuals to be baptized one time (often as young teens or young adults). Then every Sunday, we have a simple, sometimes solemn opportunity to come to this Table and share this meal. Communion provides our weekly, common meal, revitalizing our once-in-a-life decision to follow Jesus.
In these gifts of bread and juice, we both recall Jesus with his disciples in the Upper Room and anticipate the great banquet when Jesus will gather believers from every time and place to eat with him in God’s Realm.
So come! Already named and claimed, you are welcome.
Here there is a place for all who will accept it.