A digital version of this week’s worship bulletin and sermon.







Gathering Song          “Songs of Thankfulness and Praise”         red book # 310


KYRIE                              red book p. 203 (set 10)

CANTICLE OF PRAISE                          red book p. 204 (set 10)



GENESIS 1:1-5                                                          


ACTS 19:1-7

MARK 1:4-11

SERMON                                    Pastor Chris Halverson

Baptism of Our Lord


Something happens out there in the wilderness!

Out there in the stark loneliness

—it fills up with sinners, turning their life around with the baptism of John

—confessing their wrongs, that their whole society is in some strange way still on the wrong side of the Jordon, waiting to cross back over into the promised land, into the land flowing with milk and honey. And so they cross over with John, they are washed in water.

Washed by this man who appears, John.
Washed by a wild man who is forever humble

—it ain’t about me, it isn’t about this washing, it is about the one who comes after me

—he points to Jesus.

And there he comes, this Jesus the Christ, anointed, tasked with, the salvation of the world.

This Jesus who is immersed, this baptism the beginning of his ministry, the description of who he is.

Jesus—the one for whom heaven splits, the division of sacred and secular sealed up, Creator and Creation reconciled.

Jesus—to whom the Spirit comes, to whom the Spirit stays—God’s agent in the world.

Jesus—declared Son of God. Declared beloved of God. Declared pleasing to God.

Thanks be to God.



Thanks be to God for the Baptism of Jesus Christ.

Thanks be to God as well, for all the Baptized and all who wish to be Baptized, in this congregation and throughout the world.


Thanks be to God—we’ve been called into community, to “live among God’s faithful people.” Sure, it might be easier to do it alone,

in fact, for the desert fathers and mothers, the Churches first monks and nuns, believed they ought to struggle with the high calling of being Sons of and Daughters of God, in solitude atop a pillar out in the desert… this didn’t last too long—soon enough those lonely pillars were replaced by communities and convents.

And that’s because we are meant to live out our baptism together. Yes, being part of a community can be tough, people can rub you the wrong way

—but that’s the point.

I can easily believe my own hype, but you all keep me humble.

I can see myself as the kindest gentlest person alive… in my head—but a community ensures I’m actually living that way.

Even Jesus… especially Jesus… gathered disciples, had friends, lived in community.


Thanks be to God—He gives us His Word and His Meal—how are we formed to be who we are—God pleasing, loved, children of God?

-The stories of God’s faithfulness to God’s people shape our minds… kindle our imagination into the image of Christ.

-The gracious gift of Holy Communion—all the sacred actions we do here in worship—it is cultivating Holy Habits, making our very movement reflect the mercy of God.

Jesus is found at worship in the synagogues and with scripture constantly upon his lips.


Thanks be to God—that story we learn here, that story that inhabits our bodies in worship—isn’t for worship alone, isn’t confined to this building… we are called to live those stories out in the world—to live with eyes and ears interested in our neighbors and neighborhoods—so we are ready for those little glimmers of good news, so we can point them out and rejoice with those around us—proclaiming the good news of Jesus in our words and deeds.

Christ too constantly making the Good News known—from Parables to healing paraplegics.


Thanks be to God—our words and deeds here in worship spill out into the world—these holy habits practiced on Sunday continue the entire week. They not only bear witness to Good News, but create some of their own. With no regard to race, religion, party, or zip code—we serve, like Jesus served. We do Holy work, because we are God’s Holy people.

Jesus doesn’t stop with people of his own race and religion, he scandalizes us with Samaritans and Centurions.


Thanks be to God—together, as baptized people with voices stronger together then on our own and encouraging any allies of good will, we can work to tackle larger problems facing this world—transform systems—powers and principalities—where there is war, we can point to peace, where there is prejudice and unfairness, we can strive for justice.

Jesus frees people from powers too big for any one person to control, and also empowers 70 of his disciples to go out and do likewise.


Yes. Thanks be to God, we’ve promised, or had others promise for us, or are yearning to promise—to continue along the path of Baptism—the path plotted for us by Jesus—God’s Son, the Beloved, He who pleases God.

HYMN of the DAY             “When Jesus Came to Jordan”           red book # 305






OFFERTORY ANTHEM              “We Three Kings of Orient Are”





COMMUNION SONGS                “Lamb of God”

Also, blue book # 800, red book # 471




SENDING SONG             “Go, My Children, with My Blessing”          red book # 543