January 8, 2023 (ALT)

Worship Resources for 
the Center for Faith and Giving

Baptism of Jesus

Isaiah 42:1-9

Psalm 29

Acts 10:34-43

 Matthew 3:13-17

If you’re going to focus on baptism today, consider which CH hymns you might use throughout the service (check out #363-378)

Consider asking some of your oldest members to share a remembrance from their baptisms.  Perhaps ask someone who was baptized just this last year to add to the commentary.

Call to Worship  

One: God’s gifts continue to build up covenant communities.
Many:  We come together today to remember Jesus’ baptism,
One: and call to mind our own.
Many: For some have been baptized.  Some are being called today.
One: New life comes to all through the waters of baptism,
Many: so let us worship the Lord, the Giver of Life!

Opening Prayer  

Holy God, we give you thanks today for the gift of baptism.  As we remember Jesus, baptized by John in the river Jordan, so may we also call to mind our own baptism, and look forward to the baptism of those ready to be plunged beneath the cleansing flood.  Renew in us the blessing of new life which comes each time a believer is immersed.  AMEN

Moment for Stewardship  

In the book of Acts, Peter meets up with Cornelius, shares the Gospel with him, and sees how God pours out the Spirit on Cornelius.  Changed lives for BOTH Cornelius and Peter!

Not everyone has such a monumental story of coming into faith in Jesus as the Christ, but we all have been given opportunities to receive God’s loving kindness, forgiveness, and invitation to follow Jesus.  For all of us who are baptized, today is a reminder of the power of dying with Christ and being raised up to new life.

As we begin this new calendar year, today is a great day to respond to this Good News with a firm commitment to share our time, our talent and our treasure.  In grateful answer to God’s love-poured-out, let’s present our gifts.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

God of all good gifts, 
thank you for the gift of baptism which marks us for life here and life eternal.  Please accept our offerings as signs of our love for you and our desire to share Good News with all who are eager to claim new life.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion  

At this table, we hear again the story of Peter and Cornelius.  Neither one could imagine how they could cross the barriers between them, until God’s Spirit spoke to each one in a unique dream.

Their story becomes part of ours, however, as we come to this Table week by week.  
Here, barriers are broken down. 
Here, you do not have to have a token of approval by some authority.  
Here, there is a place for all who would be fed by the bread of life,
        and restored by the cup of salvation.

Come!  Whether you have been here for decades or today is your first day, there is a place for you at this Table of love.