January 13, 2021
INVITATION and READING
We come to you now, O Lord, in troubled and lonely times. We come for guidance.
We come to free ourselves from the darkness of sin that we may find the light of your truth and love.
Ephesians 4: 1-6 (Unity in the Body of Christ)
1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Thank you, God, for the guidance and hope of your Holy Word.
It has been inspirational to me being reminded of the many ways we are connected during these isolating times, and the Baptism of the Lord is certainly one of them. As Jesus came to live among us in the world, offering us freely his spotless life, passion, death and resurrection in atonement for our sins, he brought us all to the family of God through baptism. His own baptism in the River Jordan claimed for us the loving, healing, and forgiving powers of God. We became God’s adopted children through the work of the Holy Spirit – living eternally as brothers and sisters in Christ. Thus, we are all one family in this world and beyond. We are never alone if we believe this. And if we believe this, we are commanded to live and love accordingly. Praise God!
The African-American Spiritual “I’ve Just Come from the Fountain” (TFWS #2250) sums it up wonderfully – a profession of faith if you will. The verses in this version are styled in a call and response fashion asking the questions: Sister, Brother, do you love Jesus? And responding: Yes! I do love my Jesus!
Here is a great High School choir using the same verse style in an arrangement by André J. Thomas:
God of all righteousness, we need the life and grace that you alone can give. Open the heavens to us and pour out your Holy Spirit so that we may live as your beloved children; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Office of Theology and Worship, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Offered by Joche Wilmot, Director of Music Ministries