Give glory and honour and power and authority
to the name of the LORD,
all you children of God!
Worship the LORD in holy awe;
bow down in the overwhelming presence of our God.
Listen to the presence of the LORD over the waters;
hear the majesty of the name of the LORD;
its power and authority above the roar of the flood.
Cedar panels in the Temple splinter at the voice of the LORD,
lightning flashes rip open the sky;
animals give birth before their time, and the earth trembles.
A shout of “Glory!” rises to the LORD enthroned in splendour.
May the LORD give protection and blessing and life for ever
PRAYER OF INVOCATION AND CONFESSION
Gracious and eternal God,
whose voice comes to us
in the storms and wilderness of daily living;
in the rustling leaves,
in the sound of the rain
soaking the dry land,
in the cry of a new-born child;
speak you word of truth to us,
that we may hear it deep within us.
Forgive us O God, for what is past,
and call us again to new life.
The good news in Jesus
is that we may celebrate the year that is past
and enter the new year unburdened.
A new day is ours
and we may claim it with hope and courage.
Amen. Thanks be to God.
Gracious God, we bring our gifts,
an offering of thanksgiving;
bless these gifts and our lives
that they may be an offering to the world
and all that we do give you praise. Amen.
A CREATIVE MOMENT – Either Genesis 1:1-5 or Mark 1:4-11
(a) Shallow trays or dishes of water set out at or near the communion table;
(b) a supply of small candles, suitable for floating on the water, sufficient for the whole congregation;
(c) a large central candle from which the floating candles may be lit.
(d) as a precaution, it may be appropriate to have a fire-blanket on hand.
During of immediately following the reading of either lection, each member of the congregation is invited to come forward light a candle, and float it in the dish of water, and then return to their seat.
If the lighting in the church can be reduced for this reading, so much the better; the increasing “candle-power” symbolising either the separation of light and dark (Genesis), or the revelatory tearing open of the heavens (Mark) and the dramatic beginning to the relationship between God and the one who is “the light of the world” (to borrow an image from John’s gospel). The water on which the candles float has connection with the waters of the Jordan and of baptism.
THE PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
(A prayer to gather the spoken and silent concerns/joys/thanks expressed by the congregation and lead into a more structured Intercession with connection to the lections for the day. Sometimes this prayer will borrow lightly from other sources e.g. Uniting in Worship 2 or publications of the Iona Community.)
In the one Spirit we were all baptised into one body,
a body which is one
but which has many members;
some who today grieve,
others who are thankful,
and yet others who experience joy.
By your living Word be a sustaining presence to each
and by the one Spirit in which we were baptised into one body
comfort those whom we name on our lips
and in the silence of our hearts,
those whose trouble is known only to you,
and those who have no-one…
Looking for contemporary music and song resources?
Try David MacGregor’s Together to Celebrate
|HYMN SUGGESTIONS: BAPTISM OF THE LORD
|Be thou my vision
|Breathe on me,breath of God
|Christ be my leader by night as by day
|Christ whose glory fills the skies
|Far beyond the mind’s grasp and our tongue’s
|God has spoken by his prophets
|God of mercy, God of grace
|Let him to whom we know belong
|This is the day the Lord has made
|At the dawning of salvation
|Colourful Creator, God of mystery
|Come, Spirit blest, our hearts inspire
|Give to our God immortal praise
|God, who stretched the spangled heavens
|Hail, gladdening light, of his pure glory
|Holy Spirit, ever dwelling
|Morning has broken
|O Laughing Light, O first born of creation
|O breath of life, come sweeping through
|Praise our God, the great creator
|Praise the Spirit in creation
|Pull back the veil on the dawn of creation
|Sing a new song, sing a new song
|Thanks to God whose word was spoken
|I greet you, my Redeemer sure, who lives
|O give the Lord, you children of God
|Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness
|You are holy, you are whole
|Breathe on me, breath of God
|Come gracious Spirit, heavenly dove
|O breath of life, come sweeping through us
|Praise and thanksgiving let everyone bring
|Christ, when for us you were baptised
|Christians, lift up your hearts
|Forty days and forty nights
|Like the murmur of the dove’s song
|Lord, your almighty word
|O Lord Jesus Marrkapmirr
|O bless the God of Israel
|O let the Son of God enfold you
|O love, how deep, how broad, how high
|On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry
|When he was baptized in Jordan