Happy New Year! Many of us have a tradition of watching movies during the New Year, which reminds us that the stories we tell ourselves are so important. The movies, tv shows, children’s stories, and even the news provide us with a story, a worldview, that structures our lives. This has been the case from the first story humans ever told. And throughout our history, we have told stories about the creation of the world.
This Sunday during our worship service we will hear another story about the creation of the world, this time from the Gospel of John chapter 1:1-18. John starts with the phrase, “In the beginning,” which is a direct reference to the creation story in Genesis 1. The creation stories in Genesis and in the Gospel of John are not scientific accounts of creation that tell us how the world was made. They are Stories meant to provide us with a worldview about the meaning behind the creation of the world.
The Bible tells radical stories about the beginning of creation. But these stories are radical not because of violence that runs throughout them like so many of our stories, but they are radical because of their revelation into God’s radical nonviolent love and all-inclusive love.
Prelude – Precious Lord, Take My Hand – Jean Herrera
Adam: God be with you.
All: And also with you.
Welcome and Announcements – Adam Ericksen
Lighting of the Peace Candle – Amira Stanley and Adam
Adam: Our tradition at CUCC is to light a peace candle at the beginning of each worship service to center ourselves around the Peace of God. Amira will lead us in the liturgy as Gavin lights the candle…
Amira: I invite you to join us in lighting the peace candle…
All: We pray for peace
in our hearts,
in our homes,
in our communities,
in our nations,
and in our worlds.
John 1:1-18 – Adam
*Call to Worship – Amira
Amira: Please join us in the call to worship…
Amira: Friends, we made it through Advent and Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
All: We bring hope for new beginnings.
Amira: And yet the year 2021 makes no promises to an of us.
All: We bring anxiety about the future.
Amira: We bring our hopes and our anxiety, because we know that God loves us as we are.
All: We know that God is present with us. May we continue to be present with one another. Amen.
*Passing of the Peace – Amira
Amira: Friends, although we are physically separated as we practice social distance, in reality we are all connected. And so we come to the point in our service where we pass the peace with one another. I invite you to open your palms up like this and imagine yourself connected to everyone watching this livestream as we pass the peace to one another.
Amira: Beloved of God, may the peace of Christ be with you.
All: And also with you.
Invitation to the Offering Adam Ericksen
Song: Do You Hear What I Hear? Christine Fogh
Prayers of the People – Adam
(After each prayer, Adam will say, “God in your love” and you are invited to respond with “hear our prayers.”)
Community Prayer and Lord’s Prayer – Amira
Who art in Heaven,
Hallowed by 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 and ever. Amen.
Sermon – The Fundamental Reality of All Things
Communion – Amira and Adam
*Unison Benediction – Amira Stanley
May God bless you and keep you.
May God’s face shine upon you and be gracious unto you.
May God look upon you with kindness and bring you peace.
This day and forever more. Amen