Worship Elements: January 7, 2024

December 1st, 2020

Color: White
Scripture Readings: Genesis 1:1-5; Psalm 29; Acts 19:1-7; Mark 1:4-11

Theme Ideas

In the waters of baptism, we die to ourselves and are recreated through the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ. Water can be threatening (a flood or a powerful current), refreshing (a cool drink on a hot summer day), or invigorating (a morning shower or a swim in cool water). The various experiences of water in our own life allude to the diversity of perspectives in the texts today and in baptism itself. It would be appropriate to invite people to experience and encounter water in some way as a reminder of their baptism or as an invitation for baptism.

Call to Worship (Psalm 29)

The voice of the Lord—Strong and Mighty,
powerful and full of majesty.
It calls to us, calling across the water.
The voice of the Lord breaks forth.
It gives us strength and blessing, causing us to shout
“Glory to the name of the Lord!”

Call to Worship (Mark 1)

Lost . . .
wandering without purpose, meaning, value,
acceptance, or place.

We wander lost. But the Spirit of God descends
like a dove upon us. We hear the ancient words
that name and claim us as children of God.
We are cleansed, refreshed, and made new
in the love of those words.

Contemporary Gathering Words

Water. Refreshing, cleansing, nourishing,
life-giving . . .
Water. Dangerous, life-threatening, powerful . . .
The waters rush over us in our baptism.
And we are filled with the Holy Spirit. Alleluia!

Praise Sentences

Proclaim the glory and strength of God!
The Spirit of creation has recreated us.
Rejoice in the Holy Spirit who gives us life.
We remember our baptism and are thankful.
 God has blessed us.

Opening Prayer (Mark 1)

Almighty God,
parent of all who call upon your name,
in the waters of baptism you have transformed us,
marking us as your children,
and recreating us through the work of your Son
and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Shower us once more with your grace
that we might be renewed in your spirit,
through Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen

Opening Prayer (Genesis 1)

God of creation, who brought forth light from darkness,
we are your creation.
May your Spirit be with us today
to sing your praises and tell of your wonders. Amen.
Opening Prayer (Mark 1)
O spirit dove,
who flew over the chaotic water of creation,
and alighted upon Jesus in his baptism,
grace us with your presence.
May we feel the brush of your wings,
and know that your gift of life is upon us.

Unison Prayer

Holy God, source of all that is good,
we gather before you seeking your grace and love.
Be present in our lives.
Fill us with your light.
Be generous with your love.
Count us among your children.
Be compassionate toward our mistakes.
Forgive our failings.
Be gracious with your power.
Strengthen us for your service.

We ask these things through the name of Jesus Christ
our Savior, who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


God has laid claim to your life.
By your baptism you have been marked
as God’s own forever.
In grace may God watch over you.
In strength may you go forth in service.

Benediction (Psalm 29)

God is lord over the waters and rules forever.
May the God who reigns over all creation
give us strength and bless us with peace.

From “The Abingdon Worship Annual 2006,” edited by Mary J. Scifres and B.J. Beu, Copyright © 2005 by Abingdon Press.

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