Leccionario en Español, Leccionario Común Revisado: Consulta Sobre Textos Comunes.
Lectionnaire en français, Le Lectionnaire Œcuménique Révisé
A Servant Song of Isaiah — "I will give you as a light to the nations that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth."
Psalm 40:1-11 (UMH 774)
Sing the response and the psalm to Tone 1 in C major.
1 Corinthians 1:1-9
(first of 6 Sundays in 1 Corinthians) Paul's greeting to the Corinthian community.
John the Baptist tells of the baptism of Jesus and points out the Lamb of God. He invites them to come and see, and they tell others they have found the Messiah.
“Come and See”
We’re now into the evangelistic work of the season proper. Today we see Jesus inviting potential disciples to come and see, and they do likewise for others.
Today is also Human Relations Day on the UM Program Calendar. The special offering taken today supports neighborhood outreach efforts by local churches and ministries with at-risk youth in the US and Puerto Rico.
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins on Wednesday of this week. Consider how you may partner with other congregations and denominations in your area to observe this week together. On Ecumenical Sunday (two weeks from today, January 23), consider holding a special ecumenical service of evening prayer in which all Christian bodies in your area (including Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians) may participate.
In the Series: Week 2 AND Week 1
If you’ve followed our guidance about focusing your marketing and personal invitation to newcomers for today as the series launch rather than last week, keep in mind the kind of overture work you began with last week needs to be offered again this week — at least! Last week was about opening yourself to the Spirit to be energized for the work of evangelism throughout the coming season, and then start it! This week may mark the “first contact” in worship, at least, for those who have responded so far.
Once again, overtures are more about showing than telling. They point where you’re going, rather than trying to explain it all. Art and music may be more powerful channels for conveying this that just words on a screen, on a wall, or in a bulletin. Be sure to include the words, too! But focus more on the movement.
Every series needs to begin strong, with plenty of positive energy. And the second service in a series needs to pick up the energy at least one level from the week before. Keep that in mind as you plan for today. Yes, this is a beginning for your newcomer guests. But it’s also a continuation for those who were with you last week.
Today: “Come and See”
Perhaps response to the word today is twofold, just as the responses from Jesus to the seekers were twofold. During worship, we have placed Preparation for Prayer immediately after the sermon in the worship order as a way to give time to invite all of those who have come, newcomer and regular alike, to identify and write down what they are seeking. After worship, plan for a good reception or “coffee hour” after worship that launches people into a shared meal or meals at homes or local restaurants where “What are you seeking?” may be asked and answered by all who wish to reply and where church members may share their own stories about what they have sought and found as part of the fellowship with Jesus in your congregation.
But don’t stop there. Encourage church members to contact newcomers, and vice versa, for at least one other church event (Bible Study, mission activity, or other event sponsored through the church) or an informal get together over coffee or dessert as a means to continue the process of “come and see” beyond Sunday morning. Send out an email or other social media prompt at least twice during the week (Monday and Thursday) to help remind folks of the opportunity to do so.
Ecumenical Prayer Cycle: Cyprus, Greece, Turkey