Sunday 7 January, 2018 – First Sunday after Epiphany (Baptism of our Lord), Year B

Here are the resources you need for this Sunday. Please feel free to choose what is suitable for your congregation’s needs. You will notice that the orders of service are available in different formats: choose the “pdf” format if you want something that is ready to print and photocopy, the “doc” or “rtf” format if you wish to change the formatting yourself or the “ppt” format if you use PowerPoint.

Alternatively, you may wish to celebrate Epiphany on this day. Please see this post for Epiphany resources.

Altar colour: White

Bible readings:
FIRST READING  Genesis 1:1-5 In the beginning God creates light
PSALM Psalm 29 *For musical settings of this Psalm, please see the song suggestions below*
SECOND READING Acts 19:1-7 Paul baptises believers in Ephesus
GOSPEL Mark 1:4-11 The baptism of Jesus

Notes on the readings:
GENESIS 1: 1-5: It is good for us to be reminded in the words of this reading that there is purpose in all of the creation, that it didn’t just come about by blind chance. By his almighty word God has brought matter to be from nothing. He has ordered the universe out of chaos. Over against darkness he has brought light into being. Morning always follows evening. Our lives also make sense, despite the surrounding chaos and darkness.

ACTS 19 :1-7: St Paul spent a fruitful two and a half years preaching and teaching in Ephesus. Early in this stay a remarkable incident occurred. He came across twelve ‘disciples’, believers in Christ, who had no knowledge of the Holy Spirit. They had been baptised only with John the Baptist’s preparatory baptism for repentance. After instruction, Paul baptised them in the name of Jesus. Together with the laying on of hands by Paul, they received the Holy Spirit in a very visible way. Congregations need constantly to instruct and equip members further where there are deficiencies in faith and life.

MARK 1: 4-11: The first part of this selection deals with John (the Baptist) calling people to prepare for the long-expected Messiah. Hearts and lives are to be turned around completely in repentance. Baptism with water brought the cleansing of forgiveness. The second part of the selection describes the baptism of Jesus. He had no sin but took his place alongside sinners in this act. Immediately Jesus sees heavenly things; the witness of the Holy Spirit’s presence for his earthly ministry becomes visible (the dove). The voice of the Father attests and approves Jesus’ divine sonship. Here is a clear revelation of the Trinity; yet the Triune God is always encountered through the Christ.

Lay-readers please note: the linked sermons have not been edited for general use. As part of your preparations, keep in mind that they have been written for specific people in a specific context, and for this reason the issues they address or the examples they use may not be entirely suitable for people in your congregation. If you feel this is the case, you may need to make minor adjustments or find another sermon
Based on second reading : edited for lay reading sermon – acts 19 1-7 – year b – epiphany 1 
Based on gospel reading: Pr David Christian ; Pr Vince Gerhardy ; Pr Heath Pukallus ; Pr Tim Stringer ; edited for lay reading  sermon – mark 1 4-11 – year b – epiphany 1 ; NEW edited for lay reading sermon – mark 1 4-11 – year b – epiphany 1 new

Opening sentences:
God said, ‘Let there be light’;
and there was light.
And God saw that the light was good;
and God separated the light from the darkness. 
(Gen 1:3,4 NRSV)

John testified, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove,
and it remained on him.  (John 1:32 NRSV)

The Father’s voice bears witness to the Son.
God has shown himself to us.
The Son bows his head beneath the waters of the Jordan.
God has  shown himself to us.
The Spirit descends  upon the Son like a dove.
God has shown himself to us.
And God’s love is seen to the end of the world.
God has shown himself to us.


Orders of service:
Epiphany Sunday Word and Prayer (pdf / doc / ppt)
Service of the Word (pdf / rtf / ppt)
Morning Praise (pdf / rtf / ppt)
Service without communion (pdf / doc / ppt)
Service orders with holy communion
Service with communion (page 6) (pdf / doc / ppt )
Alternative form A (page 58) (pdf / doc/ ppt)
Sing the Feast (Chataway) (pdf / doc/ ppt)
Simplified Spoken (pdf / doc/ ppt)
Service with Five Songs of Faith (pdf / rtf/ ppt)

Prayer of the Day (Collect): Choose one of the following
O Lord,
mercifully receive the prayers of your people
who call on you;
and grant that they may perceive
the things they ought to do,
and may have the power
faithfully to fulfil them;
through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

OR, modernised traditional
Lord, in your mercy
listen to the prayers of your people who call on you.
Help us to see what we ought to do,
and give us the strength to do it.
We ask this through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

OR, another traditional collect (modernised)
(Let us pray that God will keep us faithful to our baptismal calling. [silence])
Father in heaven,
you proclaimed Jesus as your dear Son
at his baptism,
and anointed him with the Holy Spirit.
May all who are baptised into Christ
remain faithful in their calling to be your children
and inherit eternal life with him.
For he lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

OR, new (revised alternative)
(Let us pray that we live as God’s baptised children. [silence])
Loving Father,
you anointed Jesus at his baptism
with the Holy Spirit,
and revealed him as your dear Son.
Thank you for making us your children
by water and the Spirit.
Keep us faithful to you
throughout our lives.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

ALLELUIA VERSE (after the second reading)
Alleluia, alleluia.
A voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved;
with you I am well pleased.’ (Luke 3:22 NRSV)

Prayer after the gospel
This is the gospel of  the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ (, Light of the world).
Thank you, Lord Jesus,
for revealing yourself at your baptism as God’s dear Son.
Fill us, your baptised children, with your Spirit.


Children’s Address Epiphany 1B

Offering Prayer:
Gracious God, we thank you for Jesus
and for being made your own children.
Teach us to live as your precious people,
filled with your Holy Spirit,
doing what you want us to do.

Prayer of the Church/ General Prayer: Prayer of the Church- Epiphany 1B

Resources for services with Holy Communion

It is indeed right and good,
Lord God, holy Father,
that we should at all times and in all places
give thanks to you,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
You have sent your only Son
to appear among us as a human being,
and through him
you have fully revealed
the light of your presence to us.
And so, with angels and archangels,
and with all the company of heaven,
we adore and praise your glorious name:

Jesus says:
‘The bread that God gives
is he who comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world.’
(Thanks be to God.)
Come, everything is ready.

See the service order for a standard post-communion prayer. Alternatively, use the fourth prayer of the day (as listed above) at this point. It may be modified as follows.
Loving Father,
you anointed Jesus at his baptism
with the Holy Spirit,
and revealed him as your dear Son.
Thank you for making us your children
by water and the Spirit.
As we have received Christ’s body and blood
in this sacrament,
keep us faithful to you
throughout our lives.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

This seasonal blessing is used together with (ie before) the usual blessing in the order of service.

God the Father
show you the light of his glory
in the face of his Son,
so that you may be a light to the world; . . .

Go in peace. Live as new people, the baptised children of God.
Thanks be to God. 
OR  In the name of Christ. Amen.

Visual images for the day: His Word in Pictures

Song/Hymn suggestions: * =  Modernised version available (please click here to go to the Modernised hymns page) ;G3, G4 . . . =  Guitar chords available in the Music Package 3, 4 . . .; GS =  Guitar chords in the Supplement to LH

First reading: Genesis 1:1-5
133    O Holy Ghost, Thy people bless
222    Thou whose almighty word G6 (mod – TIS 447)
278    O Father, Thou who hast created all
429    All creatures of our God and King G6 (mod – TIS 100)
430    From all that dwell below the skies G6 (mod – TIS 72)
505    Father, who the light this day G4
810    Let all things now living G6
812    The Lord in wisdom made the earth
823    Your strong word broke through the darkness G5
864    God, who made the earth
72    From all that dwell below the skies
100    All creatures of our God and King
101    Come, you people, come adore him
138    Eternal Father, strong to save
146    God, who made the earth
156    Morning has broken
255    O laughing light
415    Praise the Spirit in creation (v 1)
425    Come, Spirit blest, our hearts inspire
447    Lord, your almighty word
123    Morning has broken
316    From the air and from the light (vv 1,2)
456    Everything we got
623   Shine on us

Second reading: Acts 19:1-7
130    O enter, Lord, Thy temple* G4
277    Baptized into Thy name most holy* G4 (mod – TIS 481)
279    He that believes and is baptized* (alt tune 106, G3) (see TIS 479)
479    They that believe and are baptized (alt tune TIS 196)
481    Baptized into Your name most holy
493    Wash, O God, our sons and daughters
222    What a gift
316    From the air and from the light (vv 3,4)
359    Holy Spirit, living water
417    Water and the Spirit

Gospel: Mark 1:4-11
47    Songs of thankfulness and praise *G4
748    When Christ our Lord to Jordan came (vv 1-4)* G7 (See D Schütz version below)
749    When Christ’s appearing was made known G6
250    Christ when for us you were baptised
252    When he was baptized
253    O Lord Jesus
118    Baptism song

When Christ our Lord to Jordan came (LHS 748)
This excellent Luther hymn is not easy to sing. Congregations may find the following version easier. It has been adapted by David Schütz from the text in the Supplement by Henry Proeve, and is sung to the tune of Greensleeves (LHS 746).

When Christ our Lord to Jordan came,
his Father’s will obeying,
John baptised him beneath the waves,
his mission thus portraying.
This was his holy sign
to cleanse us from transgression,
and by his holy death
he frees us from oppression.

Hear then and mark the message well,
God’s own clear declaration,
what we must learn baptism is
to keep from aberration.
With water we baptise –
this is God’s will and pleasure –
connected with his word
and Spirit without measure.

To us this truth with ample proof
through words and signs is given.
From Jordan’s banks we clearly hear
the Father’s voice from heaven:
This is my own dear Son,
with whom I am delighted;
listen and follow him,
all you by him invited.

Now God’s own Son himself is here
in youthful manhood standing;
we see the Holy Spirit too,
in form of dove descending.
Here Father, Spirit, Son,
makes promises compelling:
in those who are baptised
our God will make his dwelling.

The Lord to his disciples says:
Go out, teach every nation
that lost in sin, they must repent,
to flee from condemnation;
believe and be baptised –
you shall be saved forever;
the kingdom now is yours –
newborn and dying never.

If lacking faith, we still reject
this grace so freely given,
we stay in sin, condemned to death,
and to despair are driven.
Good works will count for naught;
whatever holy things we do,
sin dwells in everyone;
ourselves we cannot rescue.

Our mortal eyes can only see
mere water as we pour it,
but faith in spirit sees the power
of Jesus’ blood and merit.
Here flows the crimson flood,
dyed with the blood of Jesus;
this washes Adam’s heirs
from all our sin and frees us.

The following metrical paraphrase of Psalm 29 by David Schütz may be sung to the tune Kremser (LHS 887, TIS 107). If reproducing this version, please put ‘Words (c) David Schütz’ at the beginning or the end of the psalm.

Now honour the Lord, all you angels in heaven,
now honour the Lord with all glory and power,
now honour the name of the Lord with all due glory,
and worship in his temple of splendour with awe.

The voice of the Lord thunders over the waters;
the voice of the Lord is majestic and strong;
the voice of the Lord makes the cedars crack and splinter,
and Lebanon and Sirion dance to his song.

The voice of the Lord flames out lightning in flashes;
the voice of the Lord shakes the desert with storms;
the voice of the Lord rips up trees and flattens forests,
while all within his temple cry ‘Glory!’ to God.

The Lord was enthroned on the flood and the waters;
the Lord sits enthroned as our King and our God;
the Lord will give strength to his people in their trouble,
the Lord will give his people the peace of his word.

Music Resources Vol 3– Psalm settings- Psalm 29 p48 , Psalm 29 p49 , Psalm 29 p50

While the LCA does not necessarily endorse the content of these websites, you may find them helpful in your worship planning.
Small Church Music: You can download mp3 and midi files of popular hymn tunes from this site.
Together to Celebrate: lectionary based song and hymn suggestions from a variety of sources.
Singing from the Lectionary: has song and hymn suggestions based on the RCL from other hymnals.
Song Select: you can search for more contemporary songs by theme. If your congregation has a paid subscription you can also download sheet music.
Hymns Without Words: mp3 downloads of hymn tunes.
Song and Hymn Index. Contains all the indexes of the LHS and AT books in one Excel file. Download the file (zip file) here.
Metrical Psalms by Dale Schoening : Psalms set to well known hymn tunes.
Keyboard Accompaniments for Together in Song – CDs are available for purchase through ACR. CD 1 & 2 ; CD 3 & 4.

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