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Third Sunday after Epiphany

January 24, 2021

Confession and Forgiveness

Blessed be the holy Trinity,  one God,
whose voice is upon the waters,
whose mercy is poured out upon all people,
whose goodness cascades over all creation.

Let us confess our sin, trusting in the abundant grace of God.

Silence is kept for reflection.

Holy God,
you search us and know us.
You are acquainted with all our ways.
We confess that our hearts are burdened by sin—
our own sins and the broken systems that bind us.
We turn inward, failing to follow
your outward way of love.
We distrust those who are not like us.
We exploit the earth and its resources
and fail to consider generations to come.
Forgive us, gracious God,
for all we have done and left undone.
Even before the words are on our tongues,
you know them;
receive them in your divine mercy.

How vast is God’s grace!
Through the power and promise of ☩ Christ Jesus,
our sins are washed away
and we are claimed as God’s own beloved.
Indeed, we are forgiven.
In the wake of God’s forgiveness,
we are called to be the beloved community
living out Christ’s justice
and the Spirit’s reconciling peace.

Prayer of the Day

Almighty God,
by grace alone you call us and accept us in your service.
Strengthen us by your Spirit,
and make us worthy of your call,
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

Jonah 3:1-5, 10
1The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, saying, 2“Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.” 3So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly large city, a three days’ walk across. 4Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s walk. And he cried out, “Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” 5 And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth.
  10When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God had second thoughts about the calamity that God had said would be done to them; and God did not do it.
Psalm 62:5-12

 5For God alone I wait in silence;
  truly, my hope is in God.
 6God alone is my rock and my salvation,
  my stronghold, so that I shall never be shaken.
 7In God is my deliverance and my honor;
  God is my strong rock and my refuge.
 8Put your trust in God always, O people,
  pour out your hearts before the one who is our refuge.
 9Those of high degree are but a fleeting breath; those of low estate cannot be trusted.
  Placed on the scales together they weigh even less than a breath.
 10Put no trust in extortion; in robbery take no empty pride;
  though wealth increase, set not your heart upon it.
 11God has spoken once, twice have I heard it,
  that power belongs to God.
 12Steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord,
  for you repay all according to their deeds.

1 Corinthians 7:29-31

29Brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who are married be as though they were not, 30and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no possessions, 31and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.

Gospel Reading: Mark 1:14-20

14Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the dominion of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”

  16As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. 17And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for human beings.” 18And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19As Jesus went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20Immediately Jesus called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.

Prayers of Intercession

Guided by Christ made known to the nations, let us offer our prayers for the church, the world, and all people in need.

Hover your cursor over each prayer as you’re ready.

For the church throughout the world,

for pastors and teachers, for deacons and deaconesses, and for musicians and servers, that all proclaim the good news of God’s reconciling love, let us pray.

Have mercy, O God.

For skies and seas,

for birds and fish, for favorable weather and clean water, and for the well-being of creation, that God raise up advocates and scientists to guide our care for all the earth, let us pray.

Have mercy, O God.

For those who provide leadership

in our cities and around the world, for nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations, for planning commissions and homeless advocates, that God inspire all people in the just use of wealth, let us pray.

Have mercy, O God.

For those who are sick, distressed, or grieving;

for the outcast and all who await relief, that in the midst of suffering, God’s peace and mercy surround them, let us pray.

Have mercy, O God.

For our congregation and community,

for families big and small, and for the organizations that meet here during the week, that God’s steadfast love serve as a model for all relationships, let us pray.

Have mercy, O God.

In thanksgiving for our ancestors in the faith

whose lives serve as an example of gospel living, that they point us to salvation through Christ, let us pray.

Have mercy, O God.

Merciful God, hear the prayers of your people, spoken or silent, for the sake of the one who dwells among us, your Son, Jesus Christ our Savior.


Offering Prayer

O God,
receive these gifts as you receive us:
like a mother receives her child, with arms open wide.
Nourish us anew in your tender care,
and empower us in faithful service
to tend to others with this same love,
through Jesus Christ, our saving grace.


God the creator strengthen you;
Jesus the beloved fill you;
and the Holy Spirit the comforter ☩ keep you in peace.

Liturgy text and NRSV Bible Readings From Sundays and Copyright 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SAS103558
Images: Samuel Relating to Eli the Judgments of God upon Eli’s House, Copley, John Singleton, 1738-1815; King David,Rubens, Peter Paul, 1577-1640; Apostle Paul, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, 1606-1669; Nathanael Under the Fig Tree, Tissot, James, 1836-1902; from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. PD-1996