THE SERVICE FOR THE LORD’S DAY

Fifth Sunday after Epiphany
February 7, 2021

First Presbyterian Church, Fargo
The Session and members of First Presbyterian Church, extend a sincere welcome to you! We welcome all persons regardless of race, nationality, disability, gender, or sexual orientation. This includes an open invitation to membership, the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, marriage, funerals, memorial services, and to serve as an officer of the church.

Prelude and Preparation for Worship

Prayer of the Day
Gracious God, you call us to follow Christ and spread the good news of your love for all people. Help us to become all things to all people that we might reach many with your good news. Amen.

Gathering in Christ’s Presence

Welcome and Concerns of the Church
Opening Sentences 
Have we not known? Have we not heard?
Has it not been told to us since the beginning?
Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
Let us worship God!
Hymn — Arise, Your Light Has Come
Accompanist: Dillon Swanson
1 Arise, your light is come!
The Spirit's call obey;
show forth the glory of your God,
which shines on you today.

2 Arise, your light is come!
Fling wide the prison door;
proclaim the captives' liberty,
good tidings to the poor.

3 Arise, your light is come!
All you in sorrow born,
bind up the brokenhearted ones
and comfort those who mourn.

4 Arise, your light is come!
The mountains burst in song!
Rise up like eagles on the wing;
God's power will make us strong.
Call to Confession
We fool ourselves if we think that our ways are hidden from God. Therefore let us confess our sin, trusting in the mercy of God our Maker.

Prayer of Confession
God, you are everlasting, the creator of all that is. Your understanding is beyond measure.  We confess to you that we have sinned against you and our neighbors. In your compassion, forgive us, for we place our hope in your steadfast love. Amen.


Assurance of God’s Forgiveness

Hearing God’s Word

Prayer for Illumination
Lesson  Isaiah 40:21-31
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
   Has it not been told you from the beginning?
   Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,
   and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;
who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
   and spreads them like a tent to live in;
who brings princes to naught,
   and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing.
Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,
   scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth,
when he blows upon them, and they wither,
   and the tempest carries them off like stubble.
To whom then will you compare me,
   or who is my equal? says the Holy One.
Lift up your eyes on high and see:
   Who created these?
He who brings out their host and numbers them,
   calling them all by name;
because he is great in strength,
   mighty in power,
   not one is missing.
Why do you say, O Jacob,
   and speak, O Israel,
‘My way is hidden from the Lord,
   and my right is disregarded by my God’?
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
   the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
   his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
   and strengthens the powerless.
Even youths will faint and be weary,
   and the young will fall exhausted;
but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
   they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
   they shall walk and not faint.

Lesson  Mark 1:29-39
As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.
That evening, at sunset, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.
In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. And Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him, ‘Everyone is searching for you.’ He answered, ‘Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.’ And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.

Sermon                She Served Them
Hymn — We Come to You for Healing, Lord
1 We come to you for healing, Lord,
of body, mind, and soul,
and pray that by your Spirit’s touch
we may again be whole.

2 As once you walked through ancient streets
and reached toward those in pain,
we know you come among us still
with power to heal again.

3 You touch us through physicians’ skills,
through nurses’ gifts of care,
and through the love of faithful friends
who lift our lives in prayer.

4 Through nights of pain and wakefulness,
through days when strength runs low,
grant us your gift of patience, Lord,
your calming peace to know.

5 We come to you, O loving Lord,
in our distress and pain,
in trust that through our nights and days
your grace will heal, sustain.

Responding to God’s Word

Statement of Faith       A Brief Statement of Faith
In life and in death we belong to God. Through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, we trust in the one triune God, the Holy One of Israel, whom alone we worship and serve.

We trust in God the Holy Spirit, everywhere the giver and renewer of life. The Spirit justifies us by grace through faith, sets us free to accept ourselves and to love God and neighbor, and binds us together with all believers in the one body of Christ, the Church. The same Spirit who inspired the prophets and apostles rules our faith and life in Christ through Scripture, engages us through the Word proclaimed, claims us in the waters of baptism, feeds us with the bread of life and the cup of salvation, and calls women and men to all ministries of the Church. In a broken and fearful world, the Spirit gives us courage to pray without ceasing, to witness among all peoples to Christ as Lord and Savior, to unmask idolatries in Church and culture, to hear the voices of peoples long silenced, and to work with others for justice, freedom, and peace.

In gratitude to God, empowered by the Spirit, we strive to serve Christ in our daily tasks and to live holy and joyful lives, even as we watch for God’s new heaven and new earth, praying, “Come, Lord Jesus!” With believers in every time and place, we rejoice that nothing in life or in death can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Prayers of the People and the Lord's Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.


Call for the Offering, ending with the Prayer of Dedication

Bearing the Word into the World

Hymn — From All That Dwell Below the Skies
1 From all that dwell below the skies
let the Creator's praise arise:
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Let the Redeemer's name be sung
through every land, in every tongue.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia!

2 In every land begin the song;
to every land the strains belong:
Alleluia! Alleluia!
In cheerful sound all voices raise
and fill the world with joyful praise.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia!

3 Eternal are thy mercies, Lord;
eternal truth attends thy word:
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thy praise shall sound from shore to shore,
till suns shall rise and set no more.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Charge and Benediction
Postlude
Join us for Zoom Coffee Hour on Sunday at 11:30 am! Click here for the information.