If you’re viewing this page as a group, pick someone to be the reader to read the normal print, while everyone else can respond with the words in bold.
As we come before God today, let us pray that he might be at work within us
God our Father, we pray that the message of your Son will dwell richly among us we hear from your word and sing with thankfulness in our hearts to you.
And whatever we do, in word or deed, may it be done in the name of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and for his glory. Amen.
Hebrews 13:15 encourages us with these words:
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.
We will now be led in praise by our musicians!
Let us pray as we turn to the Bible
Gracious Lord, you have caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: help us to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that, encouraged and supported by your Holy Word, we may embrace and always hold fast the joyful hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
John the Baptist Prepares the Way
1The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah,[a] the Son of God,[b] 2 as it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way”[c]—3 “a voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”[d]
4 And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. 6 John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I baptize you with[e] water, but he will baptize you with[f] the Holy Spirit.”
The Baptism and Testing of Jesus
9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, 13 and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted[g] by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.
Jesus Announces the Good News
14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
We’ll now encourage one another with the words of the Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth;
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten not made, of one being with the Father; through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy, catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Our Minister, Martin Kemp, will now preach his sermon entitled “Why Jesus?”
Confession and Prayers
After our prayers we will share in Holy Communion. When we share the cup of the Lord and break bread together, we express our common participation in the benefits of Jesus’ death for us. We should examine ourselves before we eat the bread and drink the cup, confessing our sins to God, acknowledging the need to care for one another, and renewing our trust in the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus.
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, you are merciful and kind, but we have gone our own way, not loving you as we ought, nor loving our neighbours as ourselves. We have sinned against you in thought, word and deed and in what we have failed to do. We deserve your condemnation. Father, forgive us.
Help us to love you and our neighbour, and to live for your honour and glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
In Titus 2:14 we read of Jesus, our saviour and redeemer…
…who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
Jesus has purified us from our sins! Amen!
Anne Trouncer will now continue leading us in prayer.
Let’s conclude our time of prayer with the Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done on earth as in heaven
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever. Amen.
Martin will now lead us in Holy Communion
Our musicians will lead us in responding to God’s mercy with a song of praise
Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the Throne, and to the Lamb.
Praise and Glory, wisdom and thanks, honour, power and strength, be to our God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ. Amen.
Thanks for sharing with us! See you next Sunday as we continue our series in Mark’s Gospel.