Today’s gospel opens with further reflection on Jesus’ baptism. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world and the one anointed by the Spirit. In the liturgy we come and see Christ revealed among us in word and meal. We go forth to invite others to come and worship the Holy One and to receive the gifts of grace and peace made known among us.
PRELUDE O Rejoice, You Christians Loudly (Hammerschmidt/ Weber)
* CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS
Blessed be the holy Trinity, one God, who makes all things new,
whose mercy endures forever. Amen.
Trusting in God’s mercy, let us confess our sin.
Holy One, source of our renewal, we confess that we are wrapped up in sin, and cannot free ourselves. We have not practiced your righteousness. Our hearts have turned away from you. For the sake of the world you so love, forgive us, that we may be reconciled to one another for the glory of your holy name. Amen.
Thus says our God: “The former things have come to pass and new things I now declare.” God’s mercy makes us new. We are forgiven in the name of Christ our Savior. Amen.
* PRAYER OF THE DAY
Let us pray.
Holy God, our strength and our redeemer, by your Spirit hold us forever, that through your grace we may worship you and faithfully serve you, follow you and joyfully find you, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
* indicates please stand as you are able
GATHERING SONG O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright! (ELW 308)
FIRST READING: Isaiah 49:1-7
1Listen to me, O coastlands,
pay attention, you peoples from far away!
The LORD called me before I was born,
while I was in my mother’s womb he named me.
2He made my mouth like a sharp sword,
in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me a polished arrow,
in his quiver he hid me away.
3And he said to me, “You are my servant,
Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”
4But I said, “I have labored in vain,
I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
yet surely my cause is with the LORD,
and my reward with my God.”
5And now the LORD says,
who formed me in the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him,
and that Israel might be gathered to him,
for I am honored in the sight of the LORD,
and my God has become my strength—
“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
to raise up the tribes of Jacob
and to restore the survivors of Israel;
I will give you as a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
7Thus says the LORD,
the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,
to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations,
the slave of rulers,
“Kings shall see and stand up,
princes, and they shall prostrate themselves,
because of the LORD, who is faithful,
the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”
PSALM: Psalm 40:1-11
1I waited patiently upon the LORD,
who stooped to me and | heard my cry.
2The LORD lifted me out of the desolate pit, out of the | miry clay,
and set my feet upon a high cliff, making my | footing sure.
3The LORD put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise | to our God;
many shall see, and stand in awe, and put their trust | in the LORD.
4Happy are they who trust | in the LORD!
They do not turn to enemies or to those who | follow lies.
5Great are the wonders you have done, O LORD my God! In your plans for us, none can be compared with you!
Oh, that I could make them known and tell them! But they are more than | I can count.
6Sacrifice and offering you do | not desire;
you have opened my ears: burnt-offering and sin-offering you have | not required.
7And so I said, “Here I | am; I come.
In the scroll of the book it is writ- | ten of me:
8‘I love to do your will, | O my God;
your law is | deep within me.’”
9I proclaimed righteousness in the | great assembly;
I have not restrained my lips, O | LORD, you know.
10I have not hidden your righteousness in my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and | your deliverance;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and truth from the | great assembly.
11You are the LORD; do not withhold your compassion from me;
may your steadfast love and your truth continually | keep me safe.
SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 1:1-9.
1Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,
2To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:
3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, 5for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind—6just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you—7so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Gospel: John 1:29-42
The holy gospel according to John. Glory to you, O Lord.
29[John the Baptist] saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!30This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ 31I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33I 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.’ 34And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.”
35The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, 36and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” 37The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38When 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” 39He 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. 40One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Anointed). 42He 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).
The gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.
MEDITATION Pastor Wende Bleam
HYMN OF THE DAY Rise, Shine, You People! (ELW 665)
* APOSTLES' CREED
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
OFFERING OF TITHES AND GIFTS TO GOD
Please place your offering in the plate near the Sanctuary door any time during or following worship. Your offering and tithes may be made on line through our website: stjohnslutheranfolcroft.org or sent by mail to
St. John’s Lutheran church, 1500 Glen Avenue, Folcroft, PA 19032.
* OFFERING PRAYER
you break the bonds of injustice and let the oppressed go free. Receive these offerings in thanksgiving for all your works of merciful power,
and shape us as people of your justice and freedom. You we magnify and adore, through Jesus our Savior, Amen.
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
Called together to follow Jesus, we pray for the church, the world, and all in need.
Put a new song in the mouth of your church. Inspire the baptized to tell of your faithfulness, sharing the good news of your salvation throughout the earth. Bless the witness of missionaries. Merciful God, receive our prayer.
The waters of baptism call us into life in the Spirit. Preserve the world’s waters: protect them from pollution, support plants and animals who depend on them, and bring rain in places of drought. Guide us in protecting local waterways and in responding to devastating floods. Merciful God,
receive our prayer.
In Jesus you are the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Show your mercy to all nations. Direct leaders to do your will; fill governing bodies with righteousness; equip judges with discernment and compassion. Merciful God, receive our prayer.
You incline your ear to all who cry to you. Draw near to individuals and communities suffering violence, injustice, illness, or poverty. Hide them in the shadow of your hand and make us signs of your faithfulness to all in need. We pray especially for the family of Dajauna, Kathy and Rich McLaughlin, Carol, Connor, Ana, Helen, Arlene, Jose, Hoon, Connie, Pat, Hazel, Deb, Joe, Ruth, Lisa, Bill, Rick, Dick, Alisia, Jacklyn, Lillian, Alexis, Jim and those we now raise before you in our hearts. We pray for those affected by the Covid virus in mind, body or spirit. Grant them healing and wholeness. Merciful God, receive our prayer.
You are glorified in the servants you have called. With Martin Luther King Jr., give us bold trust in you. Even when it feels like a sharp sword or polished arrow, give us courage to receive your call to repentance and racial justice. Merciful God, receive our prayer.
In every place and time, you have sanctified your people. We praise you for the testimony of those who have died in the faith. Strengthen us as we wait for the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. Merciful God, receive our prayer.
We bring to you our needs and hopes, O God, trusting your wisdom and power revealed in Christ crucified.
* 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.
* THE GREAT THANKSGIVING
The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts. We lift the 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. With all the choirs of angels, with the church on earth and the hosts of heaven, we praise your holy name.
* HOLY, HOLY, HOLY
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.
* INVITATION TO COMMUNION
Come and taste the joy of God!
CHOIR ANTHEM Come and See (Hobby)
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
we thank you for the healing that springs forth abundantly from this table.
Renew our strength to do justice, love kindness, and journey humbly with you. Amen.
The God who faithfully brings forth justice and breaks the oppressor’s rod
bless, strengthen, and uphold you, today and always.
* SENDING SONG O God of Light (ELW 507)
DISMISSAL - Go in peace. Follow the way of Jesus. Thanks be to God.
POSTLUDE: Allegro alla Gigue (Clarke)
We hope that this service was meaningful for you and brought God’s peace and comfort into your homes. Continue to wear a mask and wash your hands frequently and to love others as yourself. Pray, trust, believe and wait. See you next week.
You are welcome to watch the live service at 10:15 am at https://www.facebook.com/stjohnslutheranfolcroft
Or you can watch live streaming on the St. John's website: https://stjohnslutheranfolcroft.org
If you are having trouble accessing, please let us know.
The ETERNAL CANDLE is sponsored for the month of January by the Modge family with thanks for blessings received.
A sign-up sheet is available on the hallway bulletin board. Sign up for the Eternal Candle is available for the year 2023. The cost is now $20.
What a wonderful gift our church has received from the GUTTER BROTHERS, who cleaned our gutters and installed gutter guards at the back of the church in the area most prone to leaf gathering. The gutter cleaning and installation were free of charge (a $900 value). If you need gutter work done or someone asks you who you would recommend for gutter work, I hope you will mention GUTTER BROTHERS.
YOU CAN HELP! You can be a good steward AND get your grocery shopping done. Did you know that if you purchase a grocery food gift card from St. John’s, our congregation will receive 5% of all sales of gift cards. Please see Ruth Weaver if you wish to purchase and gift cards. Thank you for helping us raise that 5% for helping to continue our ministry.
Each week, we collect food for our hungry neighbors in need in our SHARING GOD'S BOUNTY WAGON. Hunger doesn’t take a vacation. Please consider making a donation of a food item each week.
We are registered as Saint Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church for Amazon Smile. Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of eligible smile.amazon.com purchases to the charities selected by customers. To register your charity designation, you will need to go to Smile.amazon.com. Then you select our name as your charity. Again, the name is registered as Saint Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church. You will only have to register once. Next time you plan to shop online, go first to smile.amazon.com and you will be redirected to your own Amazon account. Your charity designation will be listed on the top left. So far, we have received over $206, just by doing your shopping through Smile.amazon.
REPORTS FROM COMMITTEES AND ORGANIZATIONS FOR THE ANNUAL REPORT and TREASURERS’ BOOKS for church organizations are due in the Church Office by January 8. We need some time to prepare the Annual Report for your review prior to the congregational meeting on January 29, 2023.
Our Financial Response (December)
Budgeted costs per month $ 9,048.05
Offering last month $ 6,156.04
Budget required to date (12 months) $ 99,528.55
Total received to date $ 65,615.79
Budget required to date (12 months) $ 6,000.00
Total received to date $ 6,000.00
Please continue to support St. John's. Our expenses continue each month even if we are not all worshipping together inside our building.
Your offering and tithes may be made on line through our website: stjohnslutheranfolcroft.org or sent by mail to
St. John’s Lutheran church, 1500 Glen Avenue, Folcroft, PA 19032.