Worship on the Lord’s Day
We gather to worship God
L: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you
P: and also with you
Lighting of the Christ candle
Welcome and announcements
Silent preparation for worship
L: From you, Lord, and through You,
and to You, are all things
P: To Christ be the glory forever
L: Lift up your hearts!
P: We lift them up to the Lord!
Opening praise: Everlasting God
Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord,
we will wait upon the Lord
Our God, You reign forever
Our hope, our strong deliverer
You are the everlasting God, the everlasting God
You do not faint, You won’t grow weary
You’re the defender of the weak,
You comfort those in need You lift us up on wings like eagles
Songwriters: Brenton Brown/ Ken Riley
©2005 Thankyou Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)
License #3095377. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from CCLI
Call to worship:
L: Before we were born, God knew us.
P: God knit us together in the womb.
L: God searches out our paths,
and tracks us along our way.
P: So we praise God,
because we are fearfully
and wonderfully made.
L: There is nowhere we can go
where God is not with us.
P: How wonderful are all God’s works!
Let us worship God together.
Prayers of approach and confession
God ever creating, ever loving, ever leading, You are stillness when we are frantic; You are truth when we are confused and perplexed. You give us freedom when we are paralyzed by fear; You send us light when we stumble in the darkness. You are love when we feel lonely and empty. For all that you are, all that you have been, and all that You will be for us, we praise You, Creator, Christ, Spirit. We turn to You in worship, to listen for your voice and seek your way for us.
Desiring to be transformed people, we bring to You our prayers of confession:
Merciful God, You call us to fullness of life but we have settled for much less. We have wandered from your ways and wasted your gifts. We ignore the pain of others and turn our faces from injustice. At times we have hidden from the truth, especially when it calls us to do what we are afraid to do. We have given up in despair when problems around us seem overwhelming. Forgive us our small faith. Give us courage to listen and respond when You call. Hear our silent prayers of confession to You in these following moments…
Response: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God
Assurance of God’s forgiveness
Believe the good news! In Christ, God has offered us forgiveness for all our sins and shortcomings. Trust that this forgiveness is for us and know that God’s steadfast love and grace endure forever.
Response: Be still and know
Prayers for God’s help and guidance
Dear Lord, where would we be without the knowledge that You are here in our midst? How could we even breathe, think or move? We need You Lord; we can’t even fathom how there are many in this world who prefer to go without You. We ask for your presence and your active healing power in the many instances either known or unknown to us.
You know who is in the hospital, would You touch each person in their various difficulties. We are aware that many are under financial pressure, emotional stress, would You also journey along in those instances. Spirit of truth and life speak to us in the rich and ancient words of the scriptures. Let us hear your call so that we may leave behind our old ways, and follow in the footsteps of Christ, the Living Word. Amen.
We listen for the voice of God
Song: Will you come and follow me
Will you come and follow me if I but call your name? Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same? Will you let my love be shown; will you let my name be known;
will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?
Will you leave yourself behind if I but call your name? Will you care for cruel and kind and never be the same? Will you risk the hostile stare
should your life attract or scare? Will you let me answer prayer in you and you in me?
Will you let the blinded see if I but call your name? Will you set the prisoners free and never be the same? Will you kiss the leper clean, and do such as this unseen, and admit to what I mean in you and you in me?
Will you love the “you” you hide if I but call your name? Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same? Will you use the faith you’ve found
to reshape the world around, through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?
Lord, your summons echoes true when you but call my name. Let me turn and follow you and never be the same. In your company I’ll go
where your love and footsteps show. Thus I’ll move and live and grow in you and you in me.
Words: Iona Community; © 1987, WGRG, c/o Iona Community, GIA Publications, Inc., agent
Music: John Bell; © GIA Publications, 1987
License #A735555. All rights reserved, Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE
John 1:29-51 – New Testament (New Revised Standard Version)
The Lamb of God
29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.”
The First Disciples of Jesus
35 The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38 When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39 He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon. 40 One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Anointed). 42 He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).
Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael
43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” 46 Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47 When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” 48 Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” 49 Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 50 Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”
Response: Behold the Lamb of God
Message: “Come and see”
Many of us have had unpleasant experiences of people “witnessing to us” in ways that were self-righteous, aggressive, or downright arrogant. It seems that such negative experiences often discourage Christians from talking about their faith at all, “Evangelism” becomes a troubling and scary word for many Christians, writes Gary Klingsporn on the website Theology of Work.[i]
That’s why, when we listen to the reading from John 1, we might hear something that reminds us of this type of compelling message being shared from one to another.
However, I think a lot of the focus needs to fall on the simple fact that God uses ordinary people like us to find people and to share with one another. It really isn’t all that hard. To make it even more friendly is that we see particularly in John’s gospel, that believing isn’t about knowledge. It’s merely about relationship.
Klingsporn continues, “Philip in our reading, after having met Jesus, became excited and found his friend Nathanael to tell him about Jesus. This is where Nathanael’s response was skeptical. ‘Can anything good ever come out of Nazareth?’ Nazareth was an insignificant village never mentioned anywhere in the Hebrew Scriptures. Nathanael’s response likely carried with it some longstanding prejudice.”
Philip responded to Nathanael, not by arguing with Nathanael or trying to convince him otherwise about Jesus or Nazareth. Philip responded with just three words “Come and see.” “Come and see for yourself, Nathanael. Come check it out. Don’t take my word for it. I’m not here to force you or convince you or shove my truth or belief down your throat. Just come, see for yourself, make up your own mind.”
In a world where it’s so hard to talk about faith, Philip is a simple example of what it means to bear witness to our faith. Philip goes and invites others to “come and see.” To see and experience for themselves what has been meaningful and life-changing for him. Philip’s example suggests that ours is not to coax or convert, but simply to invite others to experience God’s love. If they’re not interested, or they dismiss our invitation, that’s okay. We’ll invite them again sometime. Our job is to invite. The rest is up to God.
Maybe you’d want to consider how you can invite other people to experience Christ. Perhaps you might want to ask: Who around you are hurting and needs your love, along with a word about what your faith has meant to you? When recently have you invited a friend or family member to come to church with you or to attend a concert, dinner, or Bible study? Who around you might be open to reading and studying the Bible with you one-on-one in a Starbucks or Tim Hortons or some other setting? How can you invite someone to “come and see” who Jesus is and what the Bible and the Christian faith are really about?
An important aspect of bearing witness to our faith is by living the good news in daily life. The way we live our lives is an integral element in that process. There is a real power of living the good news of Jesus as a witness to others. By doing this we often have an opportunity to invite others to experience the good news that has transformed how we live our daily lives.
The most powerful witness we can bear to the gospel is when others see us “doing justice, loving kindness and walking humbly with our God” (as Micah 6:8 puts it). There is so much to be said for living our faith and thereby slowly earning the trust to talk about our faith.
Henry French[ii] says, “True evangelism is simply sharing in one way or another what’s real for you. Evangelism is speaking and living the good news of God’s love, God’s justice, God’s forgiveness, God’s compassion, and God’s salvation. Usually living the good news will come before speaking the good news.” There’s no threat at all. It’s just a simple invitation. “Come and see for yourself. Experience it first-hand.”
To top it all, is what I have often found, is the person I get to chat with, in an informal way, turns out to already know quite a bit of the things I thought I would have to share, but that they open up, and they surprise me, and I hear more from them than I am able to share.
Sometimes we don’t even need to take the lead. It could be that the person we encounter, is someone in whom we find an example. Someone whom we can follow.
There’s the story of a young woman who wanted to go to college, but her heart sank when she read the question on the application blank that asked, “Are you a leader?” Being both honest and conscientious, she wrote, “No,” and returned the application, expecting the worst. To her surprise, she received this letter from the college: “Dear Applicant: A study of the application forms reveals that this year our college will have 1,452 new leaders. We are accepting you because we feel it is imperative that they have at least one follower.” [iii]
Nathanael was impressed by encountering Jesus and felt strongly drawn to follow.
Then Jesus’ clinching words were intriguing: “You will see heaven opened, and angels ascending and descending”. Can we sing “We are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder” in worship? Clearly alluding to Genesis 28, when Jacob was not praying or seeking God. He was on the run, anxious, exhausted, trying to sleep with a rock for his pillow. He dreams of traffic between heaven and earth, and when he wakes up stunned, he says, “Surely the Lord was in this place, but I did not know it” (Genesis 28:16). Maybe Nathanael and Philip thought the same thing. This is the spiritual life: not eyes closed in prayer, Bible open, worshipping in the sanctuary or singing a hymn. It is being out and about—and God was and is there, although you might realize it only in retrospect.
Here are two ladder nuggets that James Howell mentions: Stephen Covey said you can spend your life climbing the ladder of success, “only to discover it’s leaning against the wrong wall.” St. Catherine of Siena thought of Jesus’ cross as a wooden ladder to heaven, and even of his crucified body as that ladder on which we climb toward God. The first rung is the nailed feet: we humbly shed our selfish will. The next rung is his open, pierced side: we press in to glimpse the abyss of divine love. Finally, we scale to his face: we are moved by love to obedient holiness.[iv] Amen
Song: At the name of Jesus
At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow,
every tongue confess him King of glory now;
’tis our God’s good pleasure we should call him Lord,
who from the beginning was the mighty Word.
Humbled for a season to receive a name
from the lips of sinners unto whom he came.
Faithful, Jesus bore it spotless to the last,
brought it back victorious when from death he passed.
Name him, Christians, name him, with love strong as death,
name with awe and wonder, and with bated breath;
this is God the Saviour; this is Christ the Lord,
ever to be worshipped, trusted and adored.
In your hearts enthrone him; there let him subdue all that is not holy,
all that is not true.
Crown him as your captain in temptation’s hour;
let his will enfold you in its light and power.
Christians, this Lord Jesus shall return again,
with his Father’s glory and an angel train,
for all wreaths of empire meet up on his brow,
and our hearts confess him King of glory now.
Words: Caroline Noel; public domain
Music Ralph Williams: © Oxford University Press
License #A735555. All rights reserved, Permission
to stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE
We respond to serve God
Prayer of gratitude
Response: Now thank we all our God
Reflection on giving
Song: There is a redeemer
There is a redeemer, Jesus, God’s own Son,
Precious Lamb of God, Messiah, Holy One
Refrain: Thank you oh my father, For giving us Your Son,
And leaving Your Spirit, ‘Til the work on Earth is done.
Jesus my redeemer, Name above all names,
Precious Lamb of God, Messiah, Oh, for sinners slain. Refrain
When I stand in Glory, I will see His face,
And there I’ll serve my King forever, In that Holy Place. Refrain
Words: Melody Green © BMG Music Publishing Co 1982
Music: Melody Green © BMG Music Publishing Co 1982
License #3095377. All rights reserved. Permission to stream the music in this service obtained from CCLI
The Zoom team will now momentarily assign everyone (randomly) to Breakout Rooms. I encourage as many of you as possible to participate. This is a way of continuing to build community and care for each other.
Sending out with God’s blessing
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.
Response: God to enfold you
(Zoom breakout rooms)
[i] Klingsporn, G. (2021, January 16). Come and see: John 1 sermon notes. Theology of Work. https://www.theologyofwork.org/the-high-calling/sermon-notes/come-and-see-john-1-sermon-notes
[ii] French, H. (2009). Book of faith lenten journey: 40 days with the Lord’s Prayer. Augsburg, p. 61
[iii] McMillen, S.I. (2021, January 16). Follower. Sermon Illustrations. http://www.sermonillustrations.com/a-z/f/follower.htm
[iv] Howell, J. (2021, January 16). Second Sunday after epiphany: one of the ways God finds people is through God’s people. Working Preacher. https://www.workingpreacher.org/commentaries/revised-common-lectionary/second-sunday-after-epiphany-2/commentary-on-john-143-51-5
2nd Sunday of Epiphany
10:00 am January 17, 2021
led by Rev. Heinrich Grosskopf
Elder: Iris Routledge
children’s time: Peter Eerkes
vocalist: Glynnis McCrostie
Copyright 2021 – Heinrich Grosskopf, Minister of Dayspring Presbyterian Church
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