Mark How the Lamb of God's Self-Offering

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Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

Stanza 1 – for the references to Jesus’ Baptism see Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; and John 1:31-34.

Stanza 2 – the narratives for the temptation of Jesus are found in Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; and Luke 4:1-15. Paul will reflect on the “mazes of adversity” in his own experience in II Corinthians 11:16-33; 112:1-10; II Timothy 2:8-13, and Peter does the same in II Peter 4:12-19.

Stanza 3 – see Romans 12:1-2 for the call to be transformed.

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 25 testifies that when we are set right with God, we are “given new life, and called to walk with him in freedom from sin’s dominion.”


Stanza 3 refers to the “royal priesthood,” a calling that all of God’s children share, because we “share in his anointing…to confess his name, to present myself to him as a living sacrifice of thanks, and to strive with a free conscience against sin and the devil in this life, and afterward to reign with Christ over all creation for eternity” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 12, Question and Answer 32).


Mark How the Lamb of God's Self-Offering

Call to Worship

God anointed Christ to console the afflicted.
Come, let us worship the Lord our Comforter!
God anointed Christ to emancipate the enslaved.
Come, let us worship the Lord our liberator!
God anointed Christ to bind up the wounded.
Come, let us worship the Lord our healer!
God anointed Christ to deliver the troubled.
Come, let us worship the Lord our Savior!
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

God said, “This is my Son, with whom I am pleased.”
But this one has no splendor, no beauty we would fancy.
“This is my child, in whom I take delight.”
But this one carries the load of a servant,
not the scepter of a king.
“This is my child, whom I have called.”
But this one demands justice from all earth’s nations;
his words shall judge our own.
“This is my child, whom I uphold.”
But this one would release the dungeon’s prisoners;
he would set the captives free.
“This is my child, whose hand I hold.”
But this one is a man of sorrows; he is no stranger to grief.
“This is my child; I give him to you.”
Surely this child will bear our suffering on his shoulders
and carry our rejection in his heart.
Wounded for our transgressions,
he will be cut off from the land of the living.
Like sheep we have gone astray;
like a lamb he shall be led to the slaughter.
And still our God declares it:
“This is my beloved child, with whom I am well pleased.
Listen to him.”
—based on Isaiah 53; Matthew 3:17; 17:5
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two


Optional prayer of confession
God of our salvation,
we marvel that you sent your Son in the world,
that we might become your children.
Yet we confess
that we often rebel against you and your ways.
We fall back into a spirit of fear.
We turn toward false saviors.
Forgive and heal us, we pray.
Help us, once again,
to turn away from all that is false,
and to turn toward you.
Help us to hear and embrace
the identity, the promise and the calling
you give to us in our baptism
as your dearly loved children. Amen.
— Lift Up Your Hearts (http://www.liftupyourheartshymnal.org)


You did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear,
but you have received a spirit of adoption.
When we cry, “Abba! Father!”
it is that very Spirit bearing witness
with our spirit that we are children of God,
and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.
Praise God that in the power of the Spirit
we are joint heirs with Christ!
We see the love of God at Christ’s baptism.
—based on Romans 8:15-17, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Friends, hear the good news!
Though we are unworthy,
we are granted God’s favor in Jesus Christ
and are baptized into the church of his beloved Son.
Friends, believe the good news!
In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two


Spirit of God, you who joined with Mary
to send Jesus into the world,
send us forward into the hours and days ahead,
equip us with power to love what is right and want it,
to know what is right and do it,
to see what is already right and join it.
Make us good citizens of the kingdom,
longing for justice, doing justice, joining hands with the just. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Do not live by bread alone, but by the will of God.
May God give the angels charge over you;
may their hands bear you up and keep you from falling. Amen.
—based on Matthew 4:4, 6, 11
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Additional Prayers

Lord God, gracious and merciful,
you anointed your beloved Son with the Holy Spirit
at his baptism in the Jordan,
and you consecrated him prophet, priest, and king.
Pour out your Spirit on us again
that we may be faithful to our baptismal calling,
ardently desire the communion of Christ’s body and blood,
and serve the poor of your people and all who need your love,
through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
ever one God, world without end. Amen.
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

God of majesty and light,
you hold the whole world in your hand.
So we give you our great praise
that in Jesus Christ all people may see your glory.
We thank you for revealing Jesus to be your Son
and for claiming our lives in baptism to be his glad disciples.
By your Spirit, may peace descend upon us,
that we may follow him with grateful hearts.
Take us and all we have to be useful in your service,
God of all nations,
in the gracious name of Jesus Christ, your Son,
by the power of your Holy Spirit,
now and forever. Amen.
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Eternal God,
at the baptism of Jesus in the river Jordan
you proclaimed him your beloved Son
and anointed him with the Holy Spirit.
Grant that all who are baptized into his name
may keep the covenant they have made
and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior;
who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns,
one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Your voice, O God,
is powerful and majestic,
strengthening and blessing your people with peace.
By your Spirit help us to hear today
the majesty and blessing of your voice. Amen.
—based on Psalm 29:6, 11
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

The following is a guide for extemporaneous prayers for services that remember Jesus’
baptism. The pattern provides a suggested text for the opening and closing of each part of the
prayer and calls for extemporaneous prayers of thanksgiving, petition, and intercession.
Triune God,
at Jesus’ baptism, when the heavens opened and the Spirit descended,
you declared that he is your beloved Son.
Your voice continues to echo throughout the world
whenever Christ is declared the Savior and Lord of all.
Today we come, thankful for his lordship, as evidenced in
nations that . . .
government leaders who . . .
communities that . . .
the church worldwide . . .
our own church as it . . .
We also come with great thanksgiving for our own baptism, which has united us
with Christ so that we may not only be saved but also share in his mission.
But sometimes the task is disheartening. In our discouragement remind us that you
are Lord. And, as our only Lord, we pray that you hear our prayers on behalf of
the nations of the world, especially . . .
our nation and those in authority . . .
this community and those who serve it . . .
the church universal, its mission, and those who
minister, especially . . .
those with particular needs . . .
We look forward to the day when all voices will join with yours
in declaring Christ as your Son, our Savior and Lord.
For to you belong all glory, honor, and praise. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,
you emptied yourself of heaven’s riches
and came to share our lot.
You made yourself poor
so that by your poverty we might become rich.
Perfect in purity, you submitted to baptism, like any sinner in need of cleansing.
So many today need your tender care.
Tend your prisoners, lonely and abandoned.
Tend your addicts, trapped by lethal hungers.
Tend your prostitutes, hard used by the lust of strangers.
Tend your refugees, footsore, threadbare, humiliated by their loss.
Tend your unemployed and underpaid,
your lonely ones, your depressed ones, your wretched ones.
O Lord Jesus Christ, welcome our brothers and sisters
whose calling this day is to die.
Escort them by a party of angels into your radiance
and enlighten them with the rays of your love.
O Lord Jesus Christ, you who were baptized like any sinner,
love us sinners and intercede for us in the hour of our need. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Mark How the Lamb of God's Self-Offering

Tune Information

G Major
Meter D

Mark How the Lamb of God's Self-Offering

Hymn Story/Background

GENEVAN 98/118 was first published in the 1551 Genevan Psalter as a setting for Psalm 118; in the 1562 edition it was also set to Psalm 98 (hence both numbers in the tune name). The tune is also often named RENDEZ À DIEU, the French incipit for Psalm 118.
This beloved tune is one of the finest and most widely sung of the Genevan psalm tunes (next to GENEVAN 134). Its clear melodic structure and vibrant rhythm call for firm accompaniment with bright organ registration, though some congregations may want to try unaccompanied singing on a stanza or two in the tradition of the sixteenth-century Reformers.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Carl P. Daw, Jr. (b. Louisville, KY, 1944) is the son of a Baptist minister. He holds a PhD degree in English (University of Virginia) and taught English from 1970-1979 at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia. As an Episcopal priest (MDiv, 1981, University of the South, Sewanee, Tennesee) he served several congregations in Virginia, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. From 1996-2009 he served as the Executive Director of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada. Carl Daw began to write hymns as a consultant member of the Text committee for The Hymnal 1982, and his many texts often appeared first in several small collections, including A Year of Grace: Hymns for the Church Year (1990); To Sing God’s Praise (1992), New Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1996), Gathered for Worship (2006). Other publications include A Hymntune Psalter (2 volumes, 1988-1989) and Breaking the Word: Essays on the Liturgical Dimensions of Preaching (1994, for which he served as editor and contributed two essays. In 2002 a collection of 25 of his hymns in Japanese was published by the United Church of Christ in Japan. His current project is preparing a companion volume to Glory to God, the 2013 hymnal of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).  
— Emily Brink

Composer Information

The Genevan Psalter is the major gift of the Reformed branch of the Reformation to the song of the church. John Calvin (1509-1564) first experienced congregational singing of the psalms in Strasbourg when serving as a pastor of French exiles there, and when returning to Geneva in 1541 he finally persuaded the city council to permit congregational singing, which they had banned entirely under the influence of Ulrich Zwingli. Just two months after returning to Geneva, Calvin wrote in his Ecclesiastical Ordinances: "It will be good to introduce ecclesiastical songs, the better to incite the people to pray to and praise God. For a beginning the little children are to be taught; then with time all the church will be able to follow." Calvin set about overseeing the development of several metrical psalms with melodies, rather than the hymns, or chorales, of the Lutheran tradition, and also in contrast to the published psalters with texts only that followed in England and Scotland. The emerging Genevan Psalter was published in instalments until completed in 1562, including the 150 psalms, the Ten Commandments and the Song of Simeon. He employed the best French poets and composers to prepare metrical settings rather than continuing to chant the psalms, since poetry in meter was the popular form of the day—and also the choice for the Lutheran chorale. 
The publication event was the largest in publishing history until then; twenty-four printers in Geneva alone, plus presses in Paris, Lyons, and elsewhere produced more than 27,000 copies in the first two years; more than 100,000 copies were available in over thirty editions. The Genevan Psalter was extremely popular, and almost immediately translated into Dutch, Hungarian, and German. Due to the intense persecution of the French Huguenots in the 16th century, the center of activity of the Reformed branch of the Reformation moved away from France and especially to the Netherlands, and from there to Indonesia, South Africa, and North America. The most recent translation (2004) of the entire psalter is into Japanese. The most recent English translation of the entire Genevan Psalter is available with melodies from the Canadian Reformed Book of Praise, available at http://www.canrc.org/?page=23.

Calvin’s goal was to provide a distinct tune for every psalm, so that each psalm would have its own identity. Every tune would then bring to mind a particular psalm. The psalter didn’t quite reach this goal: it contains 125 different tunes. Today, only a few of those Genevan tunes are in wide use, among them the psalm tune most widely known around the world, often identified as OLD HUNDRETH, or simply, “The Doxology.” 
— Emily Brink

Dale Grotenhuis (b. Cedar Grove, WI, 1931; d. Jenison, Mi, August 17, 2012) was a member of the Psalter Hymnal 1987 Revision Committee, and was professor of music and director of choral music at Dordt College, Sioux Center, Iowa, from 1960 until he retired in 1994 to concentrate on composition. Educated at Calvin College; Michigan State University, Lansing; and Ohio State University, Columbus; he combined teaching with composition throughout his career and was a widely published composer of choral music. He also directed the Dordt choir in a large number of recordings, including many psalm arrangements found in the 1959 edition of the Psalter Hymnal.
— Bert Polman
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