Fifth Sunday after Epiphany Order of Service | 2-4-24

St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church

5th Sunday after Epiphany

BLACK HISTORY MONTH

02-04-2024     10:00AM Hybrid Worship

 

+   GATHERING   +

THE GREETING, CONFESSION, AND FORGIVENESS:       

L   The grace of (+) Jesus Christ, the mercy of the Holy One, and the Spirit of the living God be with you all.

Let us come before God, confessing our sin and our need.

Holy, mighty, and merciful God…

C We are sometimes like exiles afraid that we will never be renewed or restored.

We are afflicted in mind and body.

We are drowning in fear and lost in despair.

We have mistrusted you and manipulated one another.

We have acted impulsively and retreated silently.

But now we seek the tender touch of your healing.

Now we pray for the mighty power of your grace.

Now we long to be alive once more.  Amen.

L   Have we not known? Have we not heard? Has it not been told to us since the beginning?

The prophet tells us once more that those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.  God sent Jesus as the Word of life to heal, deliver, and save you. He reaches out to our broken bodies,  frayed minds, and weary spirits with his love. Now you are (+) forgiven! And always you are loved!

Hallelujah and Amen!     

OPENING SONG:    “PASS ME NOT, O GENTLE SAVIOR”             Tan #435 

THE PRAYER OF THE DAY:            

Everlasting God, you give strength to the weak and power to the faint.

In the name of Jesus, transform our suffering and pain into something better.

Make us agents of your healing and proclaimers of your good news all over this earth.

Let the world see Jesus shining through our lives!

Lord, keep me thirsty in my heart and busy in my witness. So be it, Amen!

 

+   THE HOLY WORD   +

FIRST READING:   Isaiah 40:21-31
[Waiting in our weariness – the patience of hope.]

40:21 Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?

40:22 It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to live in;

40:23 who brings princes to naught, and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing.

40:24 Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when he blows upon them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble.

40:25 To whom then will you compare me, or who is my equal? says the Holy One.

40:26 Lift up your eyes on high and see: Who created these? He who brings out their host and numbers them, calling them all by name; because he is great in strength, mighty in power, not one is missing.

40:27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God”?

40:28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.

40:29 He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless.

40:30 Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted;

40:31 but those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

SECOND READING1 CORINTHIANS 9:16-23
[Blessed to be a blessing – the urgency of responsibility.]

9:16 If I proclaim the gospel, this gives me no ground for boasting, for an obligation is laid on me, and woe to me if I do not proclaim the gospel!

9:17 For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward; but if not of my own will, I am entrusted with a commission.

9:18 What then is my reward? Just this: that in my proclamation I may make the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my rights in the gospel.

9:19 For though I am free with respect to all, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I might win more of them.

9:20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) so that I might win those under the law.

9:21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law) so that I might win those outside the law.

9:22 To the weak I became weak, so that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save some.

9:23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings.

GOSPEL VERSE:   

“Always remember Jesus, Jesus.

Always remember Jesus, Jesus.

Always keep Him on your mind.”

THE GOSPEL:    Mark 1: 29-39
[Lifted up to light up – the “get up and go” of the Gospel.]

1:29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.

1:30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once.

1:31 He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.

1:32 That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons.

1:33 And the whole city was gathered around the door.

1:34 And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.

1:35 In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.

1:36 And Simon and his companions hunted for him.

1:37 When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.”

1:38 He answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.”

1:39 And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.

SONG SELECTION: ALL SAINTS CHOIR

THE SERMON: Pastor Neil or Pastor Gwen

SONG RESPONSE: “LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING”, verse 1         Tan #540

OUR CONGREGATION’S “BLACK HISTORY MONTH” AFFIRMATION:     

In a racist society where even the Church is shamefully divided by color, St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church affirms the gifts and celebrates the achievements of African Americans. We affirm that the need for Black History Month has not diminished since the inception of Black History week in 1915.

We remember with tears the many African peoples and lands that were exploited and enslaved over several centuries. We remember with tears the many Africans who died on slave ships and slave plantations, in revolts and lynchings, in race riots and freedom marches, and as an ultimate result of continued oppression and internalized despair.

We remember and celebrate the great abolitionists, inventors, scientists, entrepreneurs, athletes, artists, entertainers, ministers, soldiers, and educators of the past. We remember and celebrate the great parents, children, grandparents, teachers, leaders, examples, freedom fighters, and achievers of the present. We remember the political achievements of African Americans who paved a way in a country where its people have not always been free, even to vote, and we celebrate the election of the first African American President of the United States.

We remember this congregation’s own journey to become a more inclusive ministry, and we celebrate how the Light of Christ has enabled us to walk together in worship and witness, in love and faith. Not only do we remember and celebrate, but we also commit ourselves to shine forth with the liberating peace and justice of God’s love this day and our entire lives. May the Lord inspire us to be faithful and courageous!    Amen.

THE PRAYERS…  We pray that we may see, accept, and bear THE LIGHT OF CHRIST in our lives!   

 

+   THE HOLY MEAL   +

OFFERING   [Changed by Christ, Saint Paul understood that he was blessed to be a blessing. The focus of his life and ministry was not his own rights, privileges, and comfort. Rather, he celebrated the privilege of serving God by freely sharing the good news with others. Let us also celebrate that joy of serving and giving!]

SONG SELECTION: ALL SAINTS CHOIR

THE OFFERTORY SONG: “THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE”                    

  • This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…  (3X)

  Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!

  • Ev’rywhere I go, I’m gonna let it shine…  (3X)
  • Jesus gave it to me, I’m gonna let it shine…  (3X)

OFFERING PRAYER by the Communion Assistant:

O Lord our God, You have anointed us to bring good news and to proclaim liberty, to bind up the brokenhearted and to liberate the oppressed. Help us to shine forth always and in all ways with the bright glory of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

THE PREFACE:

L   The Lord be with you.    C   AND ALSO WITH YOU!

L   Lift up your hearts! C   WE LIFT THEM UP IN LOVE FOR GOD!

L   Let us give thanks to the Lord our God! C   IT IS RIGHT TO GIVE GOD THANKS AND PRAISE!

THE EUCHARISTIC WORDS by the Celebrant, who recalls and re-enacts Jesus’ Holy Meal.

THE LORD’S PRAYER  (spoken)

COMMUNION AND BLESSINGSAll believers in Christ are welcome at the Lord’s Table! We will have “continuous distribution” with wafers and either wine or grape juice. CHRIST COMES TO US IN BREAD AND WINE AND BLESSING, BRINGING US PEACE, UNITY, STRENGTH, AND HOPE FOR LIVING FAITHFULLY AND LOVING FERVENTLY! 

COMMUNION SONGS: Tan #478 Tan #377

THE COMMUNION BLESSING by the Celebrant after all have communed.

POST-COMMUNION PRAYER by the Communion Assistant.

 

+   SENDING   +

BENEDICTION by the Pastor… God sends us TO SHINE with the Light of Jesus Christ in a shadowy world!

CLOSING SONG: “I’M SO GLAD”                                            Tan #238

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