Sunday 10th January

      St. Michael and All Angels                    Amersham on the Hill


A warm welcome to this service

Despite it being the darkest time of the year, for forty days we will journey in light. In contrast to Christmas, when the focus is on Christ as human, as a tiny baby, the season of Epiphany reveals Christ as divine, God made manifest. 
At the Feast of the Epiphany, we celebrate the Magi – wise ones from the east – bringing gifts to the Christ child and revealing him as King of all nations, Jewish and Gentile alike.
The following Sunday, we mark Christ’s baptism, when God reveals the gift of the Holy Spirit on Jesus, empowering and enabling his ministry of healing, teaching and preaching.
Some third Sundays of Epiphany give us the story of the Wedding at Cana, when Jesus first reveals his ministry to all, when he promises, for those who share his life, a richness of incredible abundance, symbolised through water turned into wine. 

The Gathering

God is working his purpose out, as year succeeds to year, God is working his purpose out, and the day is drawing near; nearer and nearer draws the time, the time that shall surely be, when the earth shall be filled with the glory of God as the waters cover the sea.

From the east to utmost west, wherever foot has trod, through the mouths of his messengers echoes forth the voice of God, 'Listen to me, ye continents, ye islands, give ear to me, that the earth may be filled with the glory of God as the waters cover the sea.'

How can we do the work of God, how prosper and increase harmony in the human race and the reign of perfect peace? What can we do to urge the time, the time that shall surely be, when the earth shall be filled with the glory of God as the waters cover the sea?

March we forth in the strength of God, his banner is unfurled, let the light of the gospel shine in the darkness of the world: strengthen the weary, heal the sick and set ev’ry captive free, that the earth may be filled with the glory of God as the waters cover the sea.

All our efforts are nothing worth unless God bless the deed; vain our hopes for the harvest-tide till He brings to life the seed; yet ever nearer draws the time, the time that shall surely be, when the earth shall be filled with the glory of God as the waters cover the sea.
Arthur Campbell Ainger (1841-1919)

The Greeting

Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe!  All; From the rising of the sun to its setting your name is proclaimed in all the world.
The Lord of glory be with you All; The Lord bless you.

Invitation to Confession

The grace of God has dawned upon the world. Let us confess our sins. (cf Titus 2.11-14)
Lord Jesus, illuminate the darkness in our hearts: Lord, have mercy. All; Lord, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, open our eyes to your saving love: Christ, have mercy. All; Christ, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, unstop our ears to hear your living word: Lord, have mercy. All; Lord, have mercy.


May the God of love bring you back to himself, forgive you your sins, and assure you of his eternal love in Jesus Christ our Lord.  All; Amen

Gloria in Excelsis

Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.  Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,  Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer.

For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

The Collect

Eternal Father, who at the baptism of Jesus revealed him to be your Son, anointing him with the Holy Spirit: grant to us, who are born again by water and the Spirit, that we may be faithful to our calling as your adopted children; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word 

Old Testament Reading    Genesis 1.1–5 In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. For the word of the Lord;  All; Thanks be to God.

New Testament Reading  Acts 19.1–7 While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the in land regions and came to Ephesus, where he found some disciples. He said to them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?’ They replied, ‘No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.’ Then he said, ‘Into what then were you baptized?’ They answered, ‘Into John’s baptism.’ Paul said, ‘John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.’ On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied – altogether there were about twelve of them. For the word of the Lord;  All; Thanks be to God.

Gradual Hymn

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me. Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me. Melt me, mould me, fill me, use me. Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.      David Iverson (1890-1972) ©Birdwing Music/Alliance Media Ltd/Copycare Ltd

Gospel Reading 

Alleluia, alleluia.
This is my son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.
Alleluia, alleluia. (cf  Matthew 3.17)

The Lord be with you  All; and also with you.
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark.  All; Glory to you, O Lord.

Mark 1.4–11 John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, ‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’ In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’

This is the Gospel of the Lord.  All; Praise to you, O Christ.

Sermon  January 10th. 2021 Epiphany 1. Baptism of Christ. Genesis 1, 1-5, Psalm 29, Mark 1, 4-11

Affirmation of Faith 

All We believe in God the Father, God almighty, by whose plan earth and heaven sprang to being, all created things began. We believe in Christ the Saviour, Son of God in human frame, virgin-born, the child of Mary upon whom the Spirit came.

Christ, who on the cross forsaken, like a lamb to slaughter led, suffered under Pontius Pilate, he descended to the dead. We believe in Jesus risen, heaven’s king to rule and reign, to the Father’s side ascended till as judge he comes again.

We believe in God the Spirit; in one Church, below, above; saints of God in one communion, one in holiness and love. So by faith, our sins forgiven, Christ our Saviour, Lord and friend, we shall rise with him in glory to the life that knows no end.

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray:

All: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever.  Amen.

Prayers of Intercession 

As we start a New Year with the whole country once again in lockdown we pray for all those affected by the pandemic. We pray and give thanks for those working in hospitals and care homes with selfless skill and dedication, meeting the ever-growing demands that each day brings. We pray for the scientists giving daily advice to our leaders based on ever changing information and for those that have worked to produce the vaccines which give hope to so many in these difficult times. And we pray for school children no longer in school, no longer with their teachers and missing their friends and classmates.

We pray for our community at St Michaels looking after each other, being there for each other. And we remember with fondness and give thanks for our recently departed friends Barbara Whitfield and Barrie Markham now at peace. And as we pray, we think of what Peter had to say in his sermon about our baptism when we become children and friends of God. Tasked with revealing his love and presence in this world receiving the light of Christ, and walking in this light all the days of our life. Looking forward once again to being able to take our peace out into the wider community and beyond. 

Merciful Father, All;  accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.


Hail to the Lord's anointed, great David's greater son! Hail, in the time appointed, his reign on earth begun!
He comes to break oppression, to set the captive free; to take away transgression, and rule in equity.

He comes with succour speedy to those who suffer wrong; to help the poor and needy, and bid the weak be strong;
to give them songs for sighing, their darkness turn to light, whose souls, condemned and dying, were precious in his sight.

He shall come down like showers upon the fruitful earth, and love, joy, hope, like flowers, spring in his path to birth:
before him on the mountains shall peace the herald go; and righteousness in fountains from hill to valley flow.

Kings shall bow down before him, and gold and incense bring; all nations shall adore him, his praise all people sing:
to him shall prayer unceasing and daily vows ascend; his kingdom still increasing, a kingdom without end.

O'er ev'ry foe victorious, he on his throne shall rest, from age to age more glorious, all-blessing and all-blest;
the tide of time shall never his covenant remove; his name shall stand for ever, that name to us is love.
James Montgomery (1771-1854) based on Psalm 72


Christ the Son of God perfect in you the image of his glory and gladden your hearts with the good news of his kingdom; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. All; Amen.
We go into the world to walk in God’s light, to rejoice in God’s love and to reflect God’s glory. All; Amen.

Recessional hymn verse

Christ is the world’s true light, its captain of salvation, the daystar clear and bright of ev’ry race and nation; new life, new hope awakes,  where’er we own his sway: freedom her bondage breaks, and night is turned to day. George Wallace Briggs (1875-1959)

The Promise of His Glory (1991), Patterns for Worship (1995), Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England (2000), New Patterns for Worship (2002) and Times and Seasons (2006), material
from which is included in this service, is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council. CCL No 908682. SR 9.1.17