Worship Outline and Sermon

Worship Outline:


Second Sunday after Epiphany

Holy Communion

Sunday, January 16, 2022


Introduction to the day

The Sundays after Epiphany continue to celebrate the revelation of God’s glory to us as it was made known to the magi and to those on Jordan’s banks at Jesus’ baptism—today using wedding imagery. Our God rejoices over God’s people as those being married rejoice over one another. By the power of the Spirit there are gifts galore for everyone. In Christ Jesus the best wine is saved for last. Taste and see.

Quiet Time for Reflection and Prayer

Prelude

Welcome and Announcements

Confession and Forgiveness

Blessed be the holy Trinity, one God, who creates us, redeems us, and calls us by name.

Amen.

Let us confess our sin in the presence of God and of one another.

Silence is kept for reflection.

Most merciful God,

we confess that we have sinned against you and your beloved children.

We have turned our faces away from your glory when it did not appear as we expected. We have rejected your word when it made us confront ourselves. We have failed to show hospitality to those you called us to welcome. Accept our repentance for the things we have done and the things we have left undone. For the sake of Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.

Forgive us and lead us, that we may bathe in the glory of your Son born among us, and reflect your love for all creation. Amen.

Rejoice in this good news: In Christ Jesus, your sins are forgiven. You are descendants of the Most High, adopted into the household of Christ, and inheritors of eternal life. Live as freed and forgiven children of God.

Amen.

Gathering Song Songs of Thankfulness and Praise (ELW 310)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmjYACSrvt0

Songs of thankfulness and praise,

Jesus, Lord, to thee we raise;

Manifested by the star

To the sages from afar,

Branch of royal David’s stem

In thy birth at Bethlehem;

Praises [Anthems] be to thee addressed,

God in flesh made manifest.


Manifest at Jordan’s stream,

Prophet, priest, and king supreme,

And at Cana wedding guest

In thy Godhead manifest;

Manifest in pow’r divine,

Changing water into wine;

Praises [Anthems] be to thee addressed,

God in flesh made manifest.


(St. 1-2. Text: Christopher Wordsworth, alt. Music: Jakob Hintze; arr. Johann Sebastian Bach. Text and music: public domain.)

Greeting

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. And also with you.

Prayer of the Day

Let us pray. Lord God, source of every blessing, you showed forth your glory and led many to faith by the works of your Son, who brought gladness and salvation to his people. Transform us by the Spirit of his love, that we may find our life together in him, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

First Reading: Isaiah 62:1-5

A reading from Isaiah.

The people’s return to Judah after the exile was marred by economic and political troubles. Nevertheless, the prophet declares, Jerusalem and Judah will be restored. God will rejoice over Jerusalem as a bridegroom rejoices over the bride, and the people are called to the celebration.

1For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,

  and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,

 until her vindication shines out like the dawn,

  and her salvation like a burning torch.

2The nations shall see your vindication,

  and all the kings your glory;

 and you shall be called by a new name

  that the mouth of the Lord will give.

3You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord,

  and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

4You shall no more be termed Forsaken,

  and your land shall no more be termed Desolate;

 but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her,

  and your land Married;

 for the Lord delights in you,

  and your land shall be married.

5For as a young man marries a young woman,

  so shall your builder marry you,

 and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,

  so shall your God rejoice over you.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.


Hymn Love Divine, All Loves Excelling (ELW 631)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyhXI2sflqw

Love divine, all loves excelling,

Joy of heav’n, to earth come down!

Fix in us thy humble dwelling,

All thy faithful mercies crown.

Jesus, thou art all compassion,

Pure, unbounded love thou art;

Visit us with thy salvation,

Enter ev’ry trembling heart.

Breathe, o breathe thy loving Spirit

Into ev’ry troubled breast;

Let us all in thee inherit;

Let us find thy promised rest.

Take away the love of sinning;

Alpha and Omega be;

End of faith, as its beginning,

Set our hearts at liberty.


(St. 1-2. Text: Charles Wesley. Music: Rowland H. Prichard. Text and music: public domain.)

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11

A reading from 1 Corinthians.

The congregation at Corinth experienced division as people were comparing their spiritual gifts, thinking some to be superior to others. Paul invites this fractured community to trust that God’s Holy Spirit has gifted them all perfectly for their mission together.

1Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2You know that when you were pagans, you were enticed and led astray to idols that could not speak. 3Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says “Let Jesus be cursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit.

4Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; 6and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. 7To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia. Jesus revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him. Alleluia. (John 2:11)


Gospel: John 2:1-11

The holy gospel according to John.

Glory to you, O Lord.

Turning water to wine at the wedding at Cana is described as the first of Jesus’ signs. Through many such epiphanies, Jesus reveals that he bears God’s creative power and joyful presence into the world.

1On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” 5His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. 9When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom 10and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.

Sermon

Hymn of the Day Let Us Talents and Tongues Employ (ELW 674)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jZEfL9ZNCQ

Let us talents and tongues employ,

Reaching out with shout of joy;

Bread is broken, the wine is poured,

Christ is spoken and seen and heard.

Refrain:

Jesus lives again, earth can breathe again,

Pass the Word around; loaves abound!

Jesus lives again, earth can breathe again,

Pass the Word around; loaves abound!

Christ is able to make us one,

At the table he sets the tone,

Teaching people to live to bless,

Love in word and deed express.

Refrain:

(St. 1-2. Text: Fred Kaan. Music: Jamaican folk tune; adapt. Doreen Potter. Text and music © 1975 Hope Publishing Company. Reprinted with permission under OneLicense.net #A-714392. All rights reserved.)

Prayers of Intercession

The Spirit of the Lord is poured out upon us in abundance; so we are bold to pray for the church, the world, and all that God has made.

By your Spirit, activate within your church gifts of faith, healing, and compassion. Bless those who serve on our behalf through Canadian Lutheran World Relief. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

Your creation reflects your generosity. In the areas of the world from which we presently are receiving food, bless farmers, migrant workers, orchard-keepers, ranchers, and all who tend the abundance of the land. Protect food and water sources from destruction, that all can eat and drink and be satisfied. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

By your Spirit, grant wisdom, knowledge, and discernment to those who hold leadership positions at any level. Direct policymakers toward sensitive decisions that build up safe and just communities. Lead all authorities in seeking and serving the common good. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

As Jesus provided generously in a moment of need, provide generous gifts of healing for those in need this day. Provide abundantly for all who are hungry or thirsty, all seeking shelter, and all who seek peace. Those we remember include … God of grace,

hear our prayer.

You come to us both in the midst of celebrations and when we are alone. Hear now our silent prayers … God of grace,

hear our prayer.

You see us for who we are and you delight in us. Embrace those struggling with self-worth, wrestling with self-identity, or facing significant life transition. Remind us that nothing can separate us from your love. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

You bless us through the spiritual gifts of the saints who have gone before us. We give thanks for all who have modeled the way of courageous faith. God of grace,

hear our prayer.

Since we have such great hope in your promises, O God, we lift these and all of our prayers to you in confidence and faith; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

Offering Prayer

Blessed are you, O God, Sovereign of the universe. You offer us new beginnings and guide us on our journey. Lead us to your table, nourish us with this heavenly food, and prepare us to carry your love to a hungry world, in the name of Christ our light. Amen.

Great Thanksgiving

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.

It is indeed right, our duty and our joy, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to you, almighty and merciful God, through our Savior Jesus Christ; who on this day overcame death and the grave, and by his glorious resurrection opened to us the way of everlasting life.

In the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.

Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.

Lord’s Prayer

Gathered into one by the Holy Spirit, let us pray as Jesus taught us.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

Invitation to Communion

Come to God’s table. There is a place for you and enough for all.

Communion

While in-person worship is suspended, when the presiding minister says, ‘The body of Christ given for you’, we welcome all to take and eat a piece of bread, remembering and giving thanks for the promises of grace, forgiveness, love, new life and community given us in the sacrament of Holy Communion.

Prayer after Communion

We give you thanks, gracious God, for we have feasted on the abundance of your house. Send us to bring good news and to proclaim your favor to all, strengthened with the richness of your grace in your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Blessing

God, who leads you in pathways of righteousness, who rejoices over you, and who calls you by name, bless your going out and your coming in, today and forever.

Amen.

Sending Song Rise Up, O Saints of God! (ELW 669)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fW9CJocY2s8

Rise Up, O saints of God!

From vain ambitions turn;

Christ rose triumphant that your hearts

With nobler zeal might burn.

Speak out, O saints of God!

Despair engulfs earth’s frame;

As heirs of God’s baptismal grace,

The word of hope proclaim.

(St. 1-2. Text: Norman O. Forness, © 1978 Augsburg Fortress. Reprinted with permission under OneLicense.net #A-714392. All rights reserved. Music: William H. Walter, public domain.)

Dismissal

Go with Christ into a weary world. Share the good news.

Thanks be to God.

From sundaysandseasons.com. Copyright © 2022 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved


Sermon, January 16, 2022:

Pastor Matthew

Second Sunday after Epiphany Text: John 2:11 (inspired by Elizabeth Johnson, WorkingPreacher, 2022/01/16)

Commentator Elizabeth Johnson points out that ‘when we think of Jesus’ miracles, we usually think of him helping those in desperate need—feeding the hungry, healing the blind and the lame, delivering the demon-possessed, or even raising the dead…It can seem, she adds, ‘perhaps a bit surprising, then, that the first miracle of Jesus’ ministry in John’s Gospel is one that seems almost frivolous. There is no desperate, life-threatening need …, no crisis of hunger or illness. Rather, the crisis … is that the wine has run out at a wedding banquet. It is a problem which threatens to cut a … celebration short and to cause considerable embarrassment to the hosts, but certainly poses no immediate danger to anyone’s life or health.’ I would add that often in social justice literature, it would be labeled a ‘first world problem’; meaning it involves those who already have more than they need to survive. So, why then does Jesus do what he does? What does it have to say to us, especially in a time when we are not even allowed to have wedding banquets inside, and only small ones outside?

‘When Jesus’ mother tells him about the situation, Jesus himself seems to dismiss it at first as not worthy of his concern. “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come” (John 2:4). The “hour” of which Jesus speaks in John’s Gospel is the event of his death, resurrection, and ascension to the Father.’ John gives us another clue to this, by beginning this passage with, ‘On the third day’. In this Gospel, this phrase often connects the meaning of what is to follow to the Easter story.

‘Certainly, [adds Johnson,] Jesus has more important things about which to be concerned than a shortage of wine.’ However, Jesus’ ‘mother seems to know better … “Do whatever he tells you,” she tells the servants (John 2:5). She seems to know that despite Jesus’ dismissive response, he will do something to resolve the problem. What is it, [asks Johnson], that Jesus’ mother … knows about her son? Why does Jesus perform a miracle after all? And why such an extravagant one at that?’

‘John tells us that there were six stone water jars which held 20-30 gallons each. Each of these was filled with water which Jesus then turned to wine, for a total of … [over 600 bottles of wine!] Not only was this wine great in quantity, but it was also high in quality. The chief steward comments to the bridegroom, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk, but you have saved the good wine until now” (2:10). The chief steward does not know that it is Jesus who is responsible for this …, but Mary knows, the servants know, and we the readers know.’ This reflects another common image in this Gospel: the powerful will be confused by Jesus, while the lowly will get it (ELCA World Hunger).

‘Still, our question remains: why such an extravagant miracle? In fact, John doesn’t call this act a miracle, but a sign ... It is the first of seven such signs in John’s Gospel. Signs point us to something beyond themselves, as road signs alert us to something that lies ahead of us … The sign of Jesus changing the water into wine at the Cana wedding points us to something far more valuable than the wine itself, as fine as the wine may be. It points us to the source of all life and joy.’

‘The … wedding banquet is used frequently in Scripture as a picture of the restoration of Israel, and wine is frequently used as a symbol of the joy and celebration associated with salvation. Amos speaks of the day when “the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it,” … (9:13). Isaiah speaks of the feast that God will prepare for all peoples, “a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines … of well-aged wines strained clear” (25:6). The abundance of fine wine is a symbol of the abundance of joy that awaits … all peoples on the day of God’s salvation.’

In this light, ‘Jesus’ extravagant miracle of changing the water into wine is a sign that in him, life, joy, and salvation have arrived. At the beginning of John’s Gospel, the narrator told us that “in him was life, and that life was the light of all people” (1:4). And later in the Gospel, Jesus will tell us, “I have come that they might have life, and have it abundantly” (10:10). Abundant life is more than mere existence or survival, and certainly more than an abundance of material things. Abundant life is to know and be known by the One through whom all life came into being … It is to have an intimate relationship with the One who loves us so much that he doesn’t know how to stop giving. It is the kind of life depicted by the abundance of fine wine in this story.’

Johnson cautions ‘abundant life does not mean a life of ease, comfort, and luxury or an absence of sorrow and suffering. But it does mean that in Jesus we have an abundant, extravagant source of grace to sustain us, grace that is more than sufficient to provide where we fall short and to give us joy even amid sorrow and struggle. Abundant life means that in Christ we are joined to the source of true life, life that is rich and full and eternal; life that neither sorrow, nor suffering, nor death itself can destroy’.

We cannot gather now for banquets, or worship. The authorities are attempting to find new ways to slow down this continuing wave of pandemic. We continue to remain separate, even for worship. In the midst of all of this, this sign of extravagant giving continues to offer us the promises of hope, joy, and light for the world, and for our lives. God is here; God’s love continues to flow – it will never run out. Amen.