Matthew 3:1-17 

Psalm 2:7-8

This Sunday marks the first week of Epiphany, a season when we celebrate Jesus’ manifestation to the nations and his baptism by John in the Jordan. As such, this week’s scripture passages—Matthew 3:1-17 and Psalm 2:7-8—are especially meaningful for preachers and clergy looking to craft creative worship resources that speak to their congregation. For some inspiration on how to approach these texts, be sure to check out Working Preacher's weekly Narrative Lectionary Podcast featuring professors from Luther Seminary as well as John Yieh's blog post offering commentary on Matthew 3:1-17.

Clergy Stuff shares worship planning resources for churches, congregations, and leaders as well as daily devotions using the Narrative Lectionary. Need some visuals? Check out their FREE Narrative Lectionary 2022-2023 Poster. Looking for a way to engage children and youth in the text, consider purchasing their Kids Stuff bulletin insert.

Spill the Beans from Scotland offers great intergenerational worship resources! Their latest issue includes Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany resources for around $15 and can be downloaded for use immediately. Wondering if it's worth it? Check out the generous sample from their latest issue. by Rev. Mindi offers weekly commentary, prayers, and additional worship elements. Check out her resources for January 8, Baptism of the Lord here.

Narrative Lectionary Facebook Group is hands down worth your time. This private group of church folks using the NL is a wealth of information as well as a great place to share your questions.


   Christ, when for us you were baptized ELW 304

   Crashing waters at creation ELW 455

   Earth and all stars ELW 731

   Word to Worship offers contemporary worship songs based on Scripture

   Hymns by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette is one you are going to want to bookmark on your web browser! Carolyn takes familiar hymn tunes and creates new,     updated, relevant lyrics associated with the NL and RCL lectionaries. Looking for hymns about a particular scripture? No problem, she has a                           fantastic topical and scripture index so you can find exactly what you need easily and quickly. Check out her recommendations for this Sunday here.

Kids NL Resources

   Dollar Store Children's Sermons

   Clergy Stuff




Don't forget to join the Worship Designers and Planner community on!

I hope with these tools at hand, you'll be able to craft a creative worship that will speak deeply into your congregation's hearts!


Rev. Erica Van Brakle is a Director of MinistrElife at the American Baptist Home Mission Societies, with years of experience in ministry roles. She is passionate about connecting ministry professionals to collaborate who share a sense of call, and making ministrElife the platform that ministry professionals rely on to do the work that God has called them to.