Worship Elements: January 22, 2017 (Option 2)

December 24th, 2016

Third Sunday After the Epiphany

COLOR: Green
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Isaiah 9:1-4; Psalm 27:1, 4-9; 1 Corinthians 1:10-18; Matthew 4:12-23


In the darkness of winter, these scriptures shine forth with the light of grace. Isaiah speaks of light coming to those in the deep darkness of anguish; Psalm 27 calls the Lord “my light”; and Jesus fulfills the promise of Isaiah as he begins his ministry. The light of God calls people to rejoice and to follow Jesus into a ministry of teaching, preaching, and healing. The light of God calls us to remember our essential unity and our need for one another. By the light of love, we find that the foolishness of the world is the power of God.


Call to Worship (Isaiah 9)

We walk in darkness.
We live in a land of deep darkness.
We have seen a great light!
Light shines upon us!
God brings us joy!
Rejoice before our God!


Call to Worship (Psalm 27)

The Lord is our light and our salvation!
Why should we be afraid?
The Lord is the stronghold of our life!
What have we to fear?
Let us shout with joy to God!
Let us sing and make music before our God.

Opening Prayer (Psalm 27)

O God, our light and our salvation,
shelter us in your love.
O God, our stronghold,
protect us from danger.
We come with shouts of joy
to worship you this day.
We come with song and music
to celebrate your love.
We come with longing
to seek your presence.
Be with us now, O God,
as we sing your praises. Amen.


Prayer of Confession (Isaiah 9, Psalm 27, 1 Corinthians, Matthew 9)

God of light,
we live in the darkness of despair:
worried about our lives,
concerned for our health,
fearful that we are lost from you.
The yoke of our burdens lies heavy upon us:
our unwillingness to forgive,
our fears of one another,
our reluctance to share what we have,
our divisions and quarrels.
We long to turn from the dark
and live in the light.
We yearn to leave what is evil
and follow the paths of righteousness.
Shine the light of your love upon us
and transform us with your love,
that your promised realm may draw near. Amen.

Words of Assurance (Psalm 27)

The light of God’s love
shines into the dark places of our world,
healing its brokenness,
and bringing hope to places of despair.
The light of God’s love
makes us a forgiven people.
Thanks be to God!

Passing the Peace of Christ (Matthew 4)

The light of Christ shines brightly in the darkened places of our lives, bringing healing and hope. The light of Christ shines brightly in the faces of our neighbors. Look for that light as we share Christ’s peace.

Response to the Word (1 Corinthians 1, Matthew 4)

God of love,
we hear your call to follow.
May we see that the foolishness of your word
is more powerful than the wisdom of this world.
May we lay aside our differences
for the sake of the gospel.
Your realm of light and life has drawn near;
we hear your word of truth.
Turn our hearts toward you
and give us the wisdom to walk in your ways. Amen.


Invitation to the Offering (Matthew 4)

Beside the lakeshore, long ago, Jesus called to his disciples: “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people!” Jesus calls to us today: “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” The ministry begun by the Sea of Galilee continues in our day when we proclaim the good news of God’s love. Let us give with joy as we follow Jesus.

Offering Prayer (Isaiah 9, Matthew 4)

O God,
we have seen your glory,
felt the touch of your love,
and felt your presence with us.
With joyful hearts,
we offer you our gifts.
Having heard your call,
we offer you our lives and our service. Amen.

Great Thanksgiving (Isaiah 9, Matthew 4)

Almighty God, we rejoice in the light of your love
as we praise you at all times and in all places.
In the beginning, as you created the world,
you said, “Let there be light.”
You looked and saw that the light was good.
You made the sun, moon, and stars,
that they might mark the seasons of the earth.
You created us in your image,
that we might live in the light
and care for your world.
When anguish and despair darkened the earth,
you sent your prophets to call the people
to faithfulness and to proclaim your promises.
To those in darkness, you sent a great light,
that they might see your ways
and rejoice before you.
And so, with your people on earth,
and all the company of heaven,
we praise your name
and join their unending hymn.
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is the one
who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.
In the fullness of time, you sent your Son, Jesus Christ,
the light of the world, to claim us as your own.
He taught your ways, proclaimed the good news,
and healed the sick.
In him we see the light of your love.
Through him, you have gathered us
into the body of Christ and made us one,
that we too might reflect your light to the world.

(Words of Institution)


Benediction (Matthew 4)

Jesus, the light of the world, calls us to follow.
Go and tell the news of God’s love.
Cast the nets of grace wide,
that all may see the glory of God.
Go forth and shine with God’s light!
May God—Source, Word, and Spirit—
bless you with the radiance of love.


Gathering Words (Matthew 4)

Jesus calls, “Follow me!”
We will follow Jesus.
Jesus calls, “Follow me!”
We will leave the past to follow Jesus.
Jesus calls, “Follow me!”
We will walk in the present to follow Jesus.
Jesus calls, “Follow me!”
We will follow Jesus.

Praise Sentences (Isaiah 9, Matthew 4)

Jesus is the light of the world!
The light shines in the darkness.
We rejoice with joy!

From The Abingdon Worship Annual edited by Mary J. Scifres and B.J. Beu, Copyright © Abingdon Press. The Abingdon Worship Annual 2017 is now available.

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