Second Sunday after Christmas
January 3, 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
God of every blessing, we rejoice
that you have chosen us from long ago,
adopted us as your beloved children,
and gathered us into your presence.
Now make known in our hearts and lives
your eternal purpose for heaven and earth
so that we may live, this day and always,
for the glory of Christ our Lord. Amen.

Gathering in Christ’s Presence

Welcome and Concerns of the Church
Opening Sentences 
Sing praise to God, who gathers us here;
from the ends of the earth we come.
With a word of promise, a spring of water, a loaf of bread, and a cup of wine,
God turns our mourning into dancing,
our sorrow into joy.
Let us worship God!
Hymn — Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise
Singers: Penny Andrist, Kayla Bones, Pam Burns, Tori Hughes, Jack Lawrence, Dillon Swanson and Shelley Zietz
Accompanist: Sally Harmon
1 Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
in light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
almighty, victorious, thy great name we praise.

2 Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might:
thy justice, like mountains high soaring above;
thy clouds, which are fountains of goodness and love.

3 To all, life thou givest, to both great and small.
In all life thou livest, the true life of all.
We blossom and flourish like leaves on the tree,
then wither and perish; but naught changeth thee.

4 Thou reignest in glory; thou dwellest in light.
Thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight.
All praise we would render; O help us to see
'tis only the splendor of light hideth thee!
Call to Confession
The gift of God’s grace is lavished upon us— poured out like water— through the life and death of the risen Lord.
Trusting in the love and goodness of God, let us confess our sin.

Prayer of Confession
Holy God, you have given us everything;  we have failed to respond with gratitude. In Jesus Christ, you have given us your Word; we answer with empty promises and lies. In Jesus Christ, you have given us your light; we try to hide ourselves from your glory. In Jesus Christ, you have given us your life; even this precious gift we have not received. Have mercy on us, O God; forgive us. In Jesus Christ, give us the faith and power to become what you created us to be: beloved children, full of grace and truth. Amen.

Assurance of God’s Forgiveness

Gift of Music

Hearing God’s Word

Prayer for Illumination
Lesson   John 1:1-18
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.”’) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

Sermon                 And the Word Became Flesh
Hymn — O Morning Star
1 O Morning Star, how fair and bright!
You shine with God's own truth and light,
aglow with grace and mercy!
Of Jacob's line, King David's son, our Lord and Savior,
you have won our hearts to serve you only!
Lowly, holy!
Great and glorious, all victorious, rich in blessing!
Rule and might o'er all possessing!

2 Lord, when you look on us in love,
at once there falls from God above
a ray of purest pleasure.
Your word and spirit, flesh and blood refresh our souls
with heavenly food. You  are our dearest treasure!
Let your mercy warm and cheer us!
O draw near us!
For you teach us God's own love through you has reached us.

3 What joy to know, when life is past,
the Lord we love is first and last,
the end and the beginning!
He will one day, O glorious grace,
transport us to that happy place
beyond all tears and sinning! Amen! Amen!
Come, Lord Jesus! Crown of gladness!
We are yearning for the day of your returning.

Responding to God’s Word

Statement of Faith      Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Call for the Offering, ending with the Prayer of Dedication
Invitation to the Lord's Table
Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
It is truly right and our greatest joy....

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. 

Bearing the Word into the World

Hymn — Jesus, Light of Joy
1 Jesus, light of joy, surround us;
let your splendid glory shine:
source of every earthly blessing,
heaven's everlasting sign.
Alleluia, alleluia, we adore you, light divine.

2 Now the shadows fall around us;
now the evening has begun:
still your gracious light is with us,
brighter than the morning sun.
Alleluia, alleluia, God of glory, Three in One.

3 With the saints we lift our voices,
God of power, God of might.
All creation shines with glory,
singing praises day and night:
Alleluia, alleluia, holy, holy, holy, light.

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