10 January 2021_Sunday Worship Service_Baptism of Jesus_Kyungtae Lee

7 Jan 2021 by Seungjae Yeon in: Worship Online


Baptism of Jesus

For this Sunday worship service, Kyungtae Lee, ministry candidate of the NSW-ACT Synod has prepared. We give thanks to God for his gifts and talents in ministry that have nourished many and continue praying for his ministry and future journey within the Uniting Church and the world.


[Click to download pdf version to print out]



We would like to acknowledge and pay respect to the traditional owners of the land on which we meet; the Wallumettagal people of the Eora Nation. It is upon their ancestral lands that the Boronia Park Uniting Church is built. As we share our own knowledge, teaching, learning and Christian practice within this congregation may we also pay respect to the knowledge embedded forever within the Aboriginal Custodianship of Country.



Call to worship (Psalm 29:1-2)


God of creation

You were in the chaos before the beginning

You embraced nothingness by your creativity

Because of who you are

Because of what you do

Honour the LORD, you heavenly beings;


God of life

You began to give lives to the world

by Your living breath

by Your living touch

You formed us and held us

Honour the LORD for his glory and strength.


God of good news

You invite us into your company again

From our agony, suffering, turmoil and sin

Into your water

Into your Spirit

Honour the LORD for the glory of his name.


God of who we are.

You are of who we are

We are of who you are

You came into our lives

We are united in the name

Because of who you are

Because of who we are

We are into one

Worship the LORD in the splendour of his holiness.


Let us worship God.



Song 1

TiS 111 Praise to the Lord, the Almighty



Verse 1

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty,

the King of creation;

O my soul, praise him,

for he is your health and salvation.

Come all who hear,

brothers and sisters draw near,

praise him in glad adoration.


Verse 2

Praise to the Lord who in all things

is wondrously reigning

and, as on wings of an eagle,

uplifting, sustaining:

have you not seen

all that is needed has been

sent by his gracious ordaining?


Verse 3

Praise to the Lord, who will prosper

our work and defend us;

surely his goodness and mercy

shall daily attend us:

ponder anew

what the Almighty can do

as with his love he befriends us.


Verse 4

Praise to the Lord, who when

darkness of sin is abounding,

who, when the godless do triumph,

our best hopes confounding,

sheds forth his light,

scatters the horrors of night,

saints with his mercy surrounding.


Verse 5

Praise to the Lord!

O let all that is in me adore him!

All that has life and breath,

come now with praises before him.

Let the Amen

sound from his people again;

gladly for ever adore him.


Joachim Neander

tr. Catherine Winkworth and others

CCLI #260394




God, what you ask for is the giving of ourselves,

the refusing to let our fear of the storms around us.

But we have failed to trust you.

We try to limit you; we confine you in our thoughts.


Lord, have mercy

Lord, have mercy


God, when you have called us to leave our places of comfort,

we have ignored your call.

We have failed to go beyond our safety zone in your trust.


Lord, have mercy

Lord, have mercy


Merciful God,

when we put our foot outside the boat,

when we sank up to our knees

We have failed to keep our sights on you,

and we have just seen the winds, waves and fears.


Lord, have mercy

Lord, have mercy





This is the Word of forgiveness given us today.


"If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and

believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,

you will be saved.

Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."

(Roman 10:9;13)


Hear then Christ’s Word of grace to us: “Your sins are forgiven.”

Thanks be to God





The peace of the Lord be with you.

And also with you.



Bible Reading 1

Isabella Lee


[Click to read Korean/Chinese translation] 



Genesis 1:1-5 (New Living Translation)

1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.

Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.”

And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day.


Bible Reading 2


Mark 1:4-11 (New Living Translation)

This messenger was John the Baptist. He was in the wilderness and preached that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven. All of Judea, including all the people of Jerusalem, went out to see and hear John. And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. His clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey.

John announced: “Someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to stoop down like a slave and untie the straps of his sandals. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit!”

One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. 10 As Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Holy Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”


This is the Gospel of the Lord

Praise to you Lord Christ.




Kyungtae Lee



What do you remember from your baptism? What is your image, impression or memory of your baptism?

I do not have any memory from my baptism because I was an infant when I was baptised. However, something else came to mind while I was preparing this message. When I was in year 10 at school in Korea, I went to a church youth camp. As part of the camp activities, my youth pastor baptised all the participants in the river. A fully immersed baptism. It was not an official. It’s just an activity. But I could recall the moment and feeling when I came out of the water after immersion. I didn’t understand at that time, but now I know what it was like. I felt not only cleaned or washed but also felt something refreshed. Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not an anabaptist or denying my infant baptism. I’m saying the experience was precious.

In the Uniting Church, we regard baptism as one of the important Sacraments. We acknowledge that Christ incorporates people into his body by baptism. In other words, by baptism, Christ’s body initiates people into Christ’s life and mission in the world, so that they are united in one fellowship of love, service, suffering and joy, in one family of the Father of all in heaven and earth, and in the power of the one Spirit (Basis of Union 1992 #7).

What is celebrated in the baptism of Jesus is something greater than we think. Mark’s Gospel extends the meaning of baptism in describing the coming of Jesus Christ into the world’s chaos. It shares in the coming of the Lord to his creation. God’s granting of life to all creation and awakening our true identities is what God wanted to give. He has come to bring life to those who have been through the waters of baptism. Then, Jesus baptises them with the creative spirit of God. Into the formlessness and chaos of our lives will come redemption and the divine creative purpose.

When we read Genesis 1, we can see chaos before God commences the act of creation. It is described in watery terms - ‘the deep’ and ‘waters’. This not only links with the waters of baptism but specifies creation in Genesis 1 as a matter of bringing order to watery chaos. The baptism of Jesus by John and the baptism of new Christians in the name of Jesus is thereby connected back to creation. Baptism into the community of Jesus is a fulfilment of God’s intent in creation.

While some might interpret John’s baptism as occurring chiefly in service of an elevated individual spirituality whipped up by tumultuous times, its location is more meaningful with the promise of a new beginning in Israel’s history: The very place where wondrous transformation happened.

It is on the River Jordan banks - ‘the border between the wilderness and the land of milk and honey’. Its crossing played a crucial role in the formation of Israel’s identity and within its history. At the crossing of the Jabbok, a tributary of the Jordan, Israel first received its name. The miraculous crossing of the Jordan under Joshua’s leadership marked Israel’s definitive entry into the Promised Land after their period of wandering in the wilderness. At the Jordan river, the transformation was begun - old became new, wandering became settling, and chaos became an order.

Moreover, in Jesus’ baptism, the heavens are splitting apart. All creation in the moment of Jesus’ baptism is altered. Out of that, rupture comes the Holy Spirit in a form that is described as a dove. That dove does not simply descend on Jesus. It also can be translated to have come into him in Greek. It means that Jesus is infused with the Spirit from God, and the voice confirms who he is: the Son of God. The title Son of God attributes of pre-existence and equality with God. Therefore, in Mark, baptism is more like a coronation. Jesus’ special status, his special identity is revealed. A new reality has come into the world, transforming all things. The place where Jesus was baptised is where Jesus’ original identity was declared and where we are called to come back to the original identity from the first creation. God wants to restore us.

I didn’t want to use this word again in my preaching. But I cannot help using this, Covid-19. I just want to say, “you did a good job”, “you have suffered more than enough, and you’ve endured well”, “Thank you Boronia Park Uniting Church” under the difficult situation by Covid-19. Fortunately, we have heard some vaccines approved, and some countries already started inoculating. We all are hoping that the vaccines work well, and everyone has it soon. After we all are vaccinated, our lives will be back to so-called ‘normal’ as we wanted.

God declared the creation is good in the beginning. The God we serve plans and prepares good things. God has already been at work as God did things even before the creation starts. Please don’t forget. God continues to act so that plants, animals, and humans will come into real being.

There is a place in chaos on the one side, and there is a place where our identities are renewed and restored in order on the other side. We are called to come to that place. The place is where our king Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and the presence of God is. We need to continue to trust our God. We need to stay where the presence of God is. We need to cross over from where I was seized. We have to remember that baptism is a starting point that our spirituality and humanity become true and real.

In this period of global uncertainty and anxiety, we continue to live through, wondering and fearing what may come next. However,

if we see the way Jesus has revealed in his baptism,

if we see the truth God is already working for us even before creation,

if we see the life God wanted to restore and give to us,

it will be good news for us and others for a new identity and a new world.



Song 2

TiS 270 On Jordan's bank the Baptist's cry


Sung by the Grosse Pointe Memorial Church (Michigan) Virtual Choir with James Biery, organist.


Verse 1

On Jordan's bank the Baptist' cry

announces that the Lord is nigh;

come then and hearken, for he brings

glad tidings from the King of kings.


Verse 2

Then cleansed be every heart from sin;

make straight the way for God within;

prepare we in our hearts a home

where such a mighty guest may come.


Verse 3

For you are our salvation, Lord,

our refuge and our great reward;

without your grace we waste away

like flowers that wither and decay.


Verse 4

To heal the sick stretch out your hand,

and bid the fallen sinner stand;

shine forth, and let your light restore

earth's own true loveliness once more.


Verse 5

To him who left the throne of heaven

to free us all, let praise be given;

and praise be to the Father done,

and Holy Spirit, Three in One.


Charles Coffin

tr. John Chandler

CCLI #260394



Prayers of the People

Joshua Yeon



Dear heavenly Father, 

I thank You for the all the wonderful things You have done in the past year of 2020. As we head into a new year, I pray that You do the same, to help the people around us and the people around the world. 

Lord, we have loved ones around us and there are always difficult times. We pray that You will provide us with the love, care and support for our loved ones around us.

Going into the new year, covid-19 has grown once again. We pray that you will bring health and safety to our country and heal the ones who have been diagnosed with it.

Lord God, we pray for our congregation that we will always we protected by You and share only good memories together. We pray for our minister Seungjae and his family that they continue to grow our faith and lead us to You even in these troubling times. Please bless him as the workload is not easy, and is difficult to manage. Bring peace upon him so that he can minister Your Word to the fullest.

In the Inter-Church Council prayer, we pray for Glades Hill Presbyterian Church and Kalos Church. Lord, all of Your churches are undergoing the same difficulties, and as we progress through the year please give us an easier road ahead and pour out Your blessings upon their minister and their congregation.

In the World Cycle of Prayer, we pray for Iran, Iraq and Syria. We pray for their peace, safety, health and well-being. Please give them Your protection especially the ones who are affected for no particular reason. 

Lord, we pray all these things in your name,






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.

Save us from the time of trial

            and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

            and the glory are yours

            now and forever.






The offering will be used for the congregation’s continuing mission and ministry including young people and youth ministry in these changing times. Please make your offering through a Bank Deposit or a personal cheque whichever is convenient to you.

Account Name: Boronia Park Uniting Church

BSB: 634-634

Account: 100023784

Reference: Offering    



Song 3

TiS 569 Guide me, O thou great Redeemer


The accompaniment originally comes from Meester David Gitaar, Youtube and then is edited.


Verse 1

Guide me, O thou great Redeemer,

pilgrim through this barren land;

I am week, but thou art mighty;

hold me with thy powerful hand:

Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,

feed me now and evermore,

feed me now and evermore.


Verse 2

Open now the crystal fountain

whence the living waters flow:

let the fiery, cloudy pillar

lead me all my journey through:

strong deliverer, strong deliverer,

be thou still my strength and shield,

be thou still my strength and shield.


Verse 3

When I tread the verge of Jordan

bid my anxious fears subside;

death of death, and hell’s destruction,

land me safe on Canaan’s side:

songs of praises, songs of praises

I will ever give to thee,

I will ever give to thee.


William Williams

CCLI #260394





May God give you more strength physically and spiritually

May God bring more care and cure into this chaotic world

May God bless you with peace


The blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit

Be upon you and remain with you always. Amen


Our service has ended. But our mission has started.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord

In the name of Christ. Amen.



Sung blessing

TiS 778 Shalom to You Now


Shalom to you now, shalom, my friends.

May God's fun mercies bless you, my friends.

In all your living and through your loving,

Christ be your shalom, Christ be your shalom.


Elise Shoemaker Eslinger

CCLI #260394