PRELUDE:  Baptized in Water – Duo, Interlude and Trio on Bunessan by Joyce Jones

WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

CALL TO WORSHIP

HYMN:  Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty [Unser Herrscher]

PRAYER

SOLO:  Wild the Man and Wild the Place [John the Baptist] by Carol Doran; Desiree Flores, alto

Wild the man and wild the place, wild his dress and wild his face, wilder still his words that trace paths that lead from sin to grace.  “Knock down every proud backed hill!  Every canyon, valley fill!  Plane the soul and pray until all its raucous rumblings still.  Throw yourself in Jordan’s streams.  Plunge beneath the wave that gleams.  Wash away what only seems.  Rise and float on heaven’s dreams.  Leave on shore unneeded weight, fear and doubt, the skeptic’s freight.  Toss them off and do not wait.  Time is short.  The hour is late.  One now comes whose very name makes my words seem mild and tame.  I use water to reclaim lives that he will cleanse with flame.  You will see him soon appear: one whose steps through prayer you hear.  Christ is drawing, drawing near, Christ is coming, coming here!”  [Thomas H. Troeger, based on Mark 1:1-8]

PRAYER

HYMN:  Wild and Lone the Prophet’s Voice [Aberystwyth]

SCRIPTURE LESSON:  Mark 1:4-11

SERMON:  “Vista Openers”

ANTHEM: Down Galilee’s Slow Roadway by Michael Burkhardt

Down Galilee’s slow roadways a stranger traveled on from Nazareth to Jordan to be baptized by John.  He went down to the waters like soldier, scribe, and slave, but there within the river the sign was birth and grave.  Arising from the river he saw the heavens torn; it seemed the sky so open revealed the Spirit’s form. The holy dove descended amid the glorious voice:  “You are my own beloved, my child, my heart, my choice.”  We too have found a roadway; it led us to this place. We all have had to travel in search of hope and grace.  But now beside this water again a voice is heard.  “You are my own, my chose, beloved of your Lord.”  [Sylvia G. Dunstan]

PRAYER

HYMN:  Come! Live in the Light! [We Are Called]

BENEDICTION

RESPONSE:  Christ, When For Us You Were Baptized by William Bradley Roberts

Christ, when for us you were baptized, God’s Spirit on you came, as peaceful as a dove and yet as urgent as a flame.  God called you, “My beloved One,’ declared delight in you, anointed you to preach and heal, God’s holy will to do.  Straightway and steadfast until death, you then obeyed God’s call, freely as Son of God to serve and give your life for all.  Baptize us with your Spirit, God, your cross on us be signed, that, likewise in God’s service, we may perfect freedom find.  [F. Bland Tucker] 

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