Let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning
for in you I put my trust.
Teach me the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.
Glory be to the Creator, and to the Christ, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. Amen.
Music link: Prepare the Way of the Lord
Happy are those
who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or take the path that sinners tread,
or sit in the seat of scoffers;
but their delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on this law they meditate day and night.
They are like trees
planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season,
and their leaves do not wither.
In all that they do, they prosper.
The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
Gospel Reading: Mark 1:1-20
The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2 As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way;
3 the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight,’”
4 John the baptizer appeared[e] in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. 8 I have baptized you with[f]water; but he will baptize you with[g] the Holy Spirit.”
9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved;with you I am well pleased.”
12 And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.
14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”
16 As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.
The word of life.
Thanks be to God.
Martin Luther King, Jr., committed to the following practices as he struggled to live out his ministry of justice:
- Meditate daily on the teachings and life of Jesus.
- Remember always that the nonviolent movement . . . seeks justice and reconciliation, not victory.
- Walk and talk in the manner of love, for God is love.
- Pray daily to be used by God in order that all might be free.
- Observe with both friend and foe the ordinary rules of courtesy.
- Seek to perform regular service for others and the world.
- Refrain from violence of fist, tongue, or heart.
- Strive to be in good spiritual and bodily health.
Holy One, we cry out to you: in the morning our prayers come before you.
Along with the worldwide fellowship of churches, we pray this morning for Afghanistan and Kazakhastan.
God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Individual prayers may be spoken with the above response given.
Gentle God of might, demanding God of grace, may we be used by you today, so that all may be free. Amen.
I pray that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
may have power together with all the saints
to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
and to know this love that surpasses knowledge,
that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Amen.