January 21, 2024

Worship Resources for 
the Center for Faith and Giving

3rd Sunday after Epiphany

Jonah 3:1-5, 10

Psalm 62:5-12

1 Corinthians 7:29-31

Mark 1:14-20

Call to Worship 
(inspired by Ps. 62)

L:  Come together to worship the mighty rock, our ever-present refuge.
P:  With the Psalmist, we’re ready to pour out our hearts before God.
L:  Gathered, we are not setting our hearts on riches,
P:  because we know the real power belongs to God!
L:  Not only power, but steadfast love belongs to our savior!
P:  So let’s tune our ears to hear from the One in whom we trust.


Opening Prayer  

Speak your word to us as we wait, Holy God.
We offer you our love, 
   grateful our strength comes straight from you!
Help us use that strength to prepare for all that lies before us this week.
We trust in you, and celebrate you as our refuge, our rock and our salvation!


Moment for Stewardship 

The early part of Mark’s Gospel introduces us to Jesus as an adult who tells all who will listen “God’s Realm is near”.  Folks are invited to repent – to turn away from distractions and turn toward God.  Once they’re facing the right direction, these disciples have the opportunity to follow Jesus as “fishers for people”.

Over two millennia, right up to this very day, people around the world continue to hear Jesus’ invitation: “come, follow me”.  Simon (later dubbed Peter) and his brother, Andrew were invited to join Jesus.  Soon after, Jesus invited James and John to leave their fishing nets, drawing them in to join the small band of followers.

What does that mean for you and for me?

We, too, are invited over and over to become followers/disciples.  
We may not be asked to leave our work, or our family, but we’re asked to commit our lives, our finances, and our allegiance to Jesus as the Christ.

How will you respond today?  (consider a soloist/you singing 1 verse, or have the choir or congregation all sing “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus”, CH#344)

Let us, with joy, offer signs and symbols of our lives as gifts for the Body of Christ which we know as the Church.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Steadfast lover of all, 
Thank you for the ways you reach out to challenge and to comfort each person.  Please accept the gifts we’ve offered this day – money, time, talent.  Help us use them wisely and eagerly, to share the Good News of the Gospel with a weary and wild world.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion 

When Jesus called his first disciples (Simon, Andrew, James and John), there was a once sentence job description: “follow me and I will make you fish for people.

Do you remember a “job description” when you decided to follow Jesus?  Some folks might remember a strong need to go to Bible College, or seminary.  Some might recall clarity about ways your talents could be used in the life of the church or other faith organization.  Some of you eagerly stepped into sharing time for the important work of the congregation.

For all of us, this table becomes a place of refuge, reflection and renewal in our lives as disciples.  

Here we can touch and taste the way Jesus is among us.  With these gifts of bread and cup, we once again repent, remember and are restored into our core identity.  

So come to the table!  
Be nourished.  
Once more, step into your identity as a follower of Jesus.