New Covenant Community Church

Sermons

New Year’s Day 2023 – Living by the Word

by | Jan 2, 2023 | Sermons

WELCOME

PRELUDE                          The March of the Kings &                       – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
                                        Hark, The Herald Angels Sing

CALL TO WORSHIP
   Leader:   As we greet a new day, let us assemble in God’s sanctuary and praise the Lord.
   People:  As we behold the gifts of creation, let us seek God’s wisdom.
   Leader:   As we awaken to anothersunrise,may the grace of Jesus Christ inspire our actions.
   People:  As we welcome a new dawn, may the love of Jesus Christ embrace us with unity.
   Leader:   As we walk in the light, may God’s word direct our steps.
   People:  As we greet a new year, may Jesus Christ be praised!

*HYMN                                             Love Has Come                                   Glory to God, #110

PRAYERS OF CONFESSION              (Unison)
   Merciful God, even when we temporarily forget the true meaning of Christmas, You always
   remember us.
        In our affluence we confess that we quickly forget the simple and humble surroundings
        of Bethlehem when confronted with holiday sales and spending sprees,
             and we acknowledge that while You have blessed us with a new year, we often remain
            imprisoned to old patterns.
   Forgive us, Lord, and redeem us from our sin.
        Fill us with the newness associated with the wonder and joy of the birth of Christ,
             so that with Christ-centered lives we may sing to You a new song that can be shared
             with all humanity,
                 for we ask it in the name of the One who makes all things new, Jesus Christ our
                 Lord.        (Silent)

ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS   (adapted from Hebrews 2:17-18)
    Leader:  Christ has become like His brothers and sisters in every respect, so that He might
                   be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice
of atonement for the sins of the people.
    People: Because Christ himself was tested, He is able to help those of us who are being tested.
    Leader:  Friends, believe the good news of the gospel.
    People: Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven!

MUSICAL INTERLUDE                                  Sing of God Made Manifest                       Glory to God, #156
    [During the interlude, you are invited to reflect on where you might have missed God this week, or
    where you might have turned against another human being. You are also invited to turn to this hymn
    and read the textual notes about the ways in which Jesus manifested God’s presence in the world.]

SCRIPTURE                                                                                                                     Sirach 24:1-12
  1   Wisdom praises herself, and tells of her glory in the midst of her people.
  2   In the assembly of the Most High she opens her mouth,
       and in the presence of his hosts she tells of her glory:
  3   “I came forth from the mouth of the Most High, and covered the earth like a mist.
  4   I dwelt in the highest heavens, and my throne was in a pillar of cloud.
  5    Alone I compassed the vault of heaven and traversed the depths of the abyss.
  6   Over waves of the sea, over all the earth, and over every people and nation I have held sway.
  7    Among all these I sought a resting-place; in whose territory should I abide?
  8   “Then theCreator of all things gave me a command, and my Creator chose the place for my tent.
       He said, “Make your dwelling in Jacob, and in Israel receive your inheritance.”
  9   Before the ages, in the beginning, he created me, and for all the ages I shall not cease to be.
10   In the holy tent I ministered before him, and so I was established in Zion.
11   Thus in the beloved city he gave me a resting-place, and in Jerusalem was my domain.
12   I took root in an honored people, in the portion of the Lord, his heritage.

MUSICAL INTERLUDE                                    O Sing a Song of Bethlehem                  Glory to God, #159
    [During the interlude, you are invited to consider what God may be saying to you in these
     passages of Scripture. You are encouraged to turn to this selection and read how the lyrics
     of the hymn articulate particular events of Christ’s life.]

SCRIPTURE                                                                                                              John 1:1-14
   1  In the beginning wasthe Word, and theWord was with God, and theWord was God.  2 He was in the beginning with God.  3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being  4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.  5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
   6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.  8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
  10 He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
14 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.

MEDITATION

ANTHEM                                                       Auld Lang Syne                             – Mannheim Steamroller

*AFFIRMATION OF FAITH                                                                    from A Declaration of Faith, 2.4
    God created human beings with a need for community and with freedom to enter into it
        by responding to their Maker with grateful obedience
        and to one another with love and helpfulness.
    We believe that we have been created to relate to God and each other in freedom and
        responsibility.
    We may misuse our freedom and deny our responsibility
        by trying to live without God and without other people
        or against God and against other people.
    Yet we are still bound to them for our life and well-being, and intended for free and
        responsible fellowship with them.
    Since every human being is made for communion with God and others, we must treat no one
        with contempt.
    We are to respect and love all other people and ourselves as well.

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.

INVITATION TO GIVE

MUSICAL INTERLUDE                   I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light             Glory to God, #377
    [During the interlude, recall two or three things that happened this week for which you are grateful.
    Savor them, and then thank God for these gifts. You are also encouraged to turn to the hymn and
    read how the theme of light is employed in the text of this selection.]

PRAYER OF DEDICATION (Unison)
    Almighty God, through Your infinite grace,
        You have poured upon us the new light of Your incarnate Word.
            As You guide our steps, grant that Your light would shine through the gifts we share,
                so that Your work of love and justice, goodness and mercy, and kindness and
                compassion would touch the hearts of all humankind,
                    for the glory of Jesus Christ our Lord, in whose name we pray. Amen.

*HYMN                                      As with Gladness, Men of Old                                    Glory to God, #150

*BENEDICTION

*CHORAL RESPONSE                          Surely, the Presence of the Lord                   – see screens

POSTLUDE                                                We Three Kings                                          – Hopkins

Announcements for 1/22/23

Learn how to help the family of a pregnant mom, killed two days before Christmas, in this week’s announcements.

Who in the World Cares?

Rev. Ulrich shows how much God cares, through the story of Jonah.

From Obstacle to Opportunity

Rev. Tom Ulrich teaches how God can take an obstacle and turn it into an opportunity.

More Than A Meal

Read how an upcoming event will be more than a meal in this week’s announcements.

Upcoming Events at NCCC

This week’s announcements have information about several upcoming events.