Call to Worship
Blessed is the One who spoke and the world came into being.
Blessed is the One who creates the world.
Blessed is the One who was there in the beginning:
Blessed is the life that was the light of all people.
Blessed is the Word, who was made into flesh, to dwell among us.
From his fullness we have all received: grace upon grace.
Hymn: “Joy to the World” (brown hymnal #533)
God of new beginnings: we celebrate a new year, full of hope and possibilities. We claim that this will be a year of gifts and blessings, of ways in which we will honor you and the Word. Be with us, bringing about your Spirit of newness; refresh us; renew us. We glorify your name on high. Amen.
We can declare loudly that we are ready for new life; for change; for renewal-and yet, want so desperately to cling to all that we have known. Help us to accept in our hearts that there are things ready to be left behind; hold us in the grief as we mourn the things we let go of; guide our eyes to search for the promise and reward that you so freely give.
Assurance of Pardon
The law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. We have been forgiven and embraced with love. Amen.
Response of Praise:“Gloria” refrain from “Angels we have heard on high”.
Scripture Lesson and Hymn Sing Sunday
Reading one: John 1:1-9
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.
There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.
Hymn: “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” #537 brown hymnal
Reading two: John 1:10-14
He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Hymn: “What Child Is This?” #540 brown hymnal
Reading three: John 1:15-18
(John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and[a] is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
Hymn: “God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen” #544 brown hymnal
the Lord’s Prayer
An Invitation to Give
Prayer of Dedication:
Everlasting One, you came before us, giving us more than enough to fulfill our needs. You are ever-green, always providing, in the moments where we need it most. In that spirit, we come before you bearing gifts-a portion of all that you have given to us. Multiply them, and use them to forward your work on Earth. In Jesus’ name we give, and we pray, Amen.
Hymn: “Go Tell It on the Mountain” #550 brown hymnal