Comment

Center City December 17, 2017

PAGE 2

REFLECTIONS

We who must die demand a miracle.
How could the Eternal do a temporal act?
The Infinite become a finite fact?
Nothing can save us that is possible:
We who must die demand a miracle.

W.H. Auden, from “Advent, Pt. III” in For the Time Being: A Christmas Oratorio

In the Christian story God descends to reascend. He comes down; down from the heights of absolute being into time and space, down into humanity; down further still, if embryologists are right, to recapitulate in the womb ancient and pre-human phases of life; down to the very roots and seabed of the Nature He has created. But He goes down to come up again and bring the whole ruined world up with Him. One has a picture of a strong man stooping lower and lower to get himself underneath some great complicated burden. He must stoop in order to lift, he must almost disappear under the load before he incredibly straightens his back and marches off with the whole mass swaying on his shoulders.

—C.S. Lewis, from Miracles

 

PAGE 3

GATHERING BEFORE GOD
December 17, 2017
3rd Sunday of Advent

Center City Campus

OPENING SENTENCES

Leader:  

The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together!

—Isaiah 40:5

COME THOU LONG EXPECTED JESUS


Come Thou long-expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
Hope of all the saints Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Come to earth to taste our sadness,
He whose glories knew no end;
By His life he brings us gladness,
Our Redeemer, Shepherd, Friend.
Leaving riches without number,
Born within a cattle stall;
This the everlasting wonder,
Christ was born the Lord of all.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

 

PAGE 4

GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader: The Lord be with you.

People: And also with you!

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: My soul magnifies the Lord; 

People: my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. 

Leader: The Mighty One has done great things; 

People: Holy is God's name! 

Leader: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; 

People: my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!

PRAYER OF INVOCATION

 

PAGE 5

WE THREE KINGS OF ORIENT ARE

We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar
Field and fountain, moor and mountain
Following yonder star

CHORUS
O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to thy Perfect Light

Born a King on Bethlehem's plain
Gold I bring to crown Him again
King forever, ceasing never
Over us all to reign

CHORUS

Frankincense to offer have I
Incense owns a Deity nigh
Prayer and praising, all men raising
Worship Him, God most high

CHORUS

Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes of life of gathering gloom
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb

CHORUS

Glorious now behold Him arise
King and God and Sacrifice
Alleluia, Alleluia
Earth to heav'n replies

CHORUS

Lyrics by John H. Hopkins and Martha Lynn Thompson. 2009 Agape.

 

PAGE 6

HARK THE HERALD

Hark, the herald angels sing, 
"Glory to the newborn King.
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled." 
Joyful all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies,
With th'angelic host proclaim,
"Christ is born in Bethlehem."
Hark, the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Christ by highest heav'n adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
Late in time behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin's womb.
Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see;
 Hail, th'incarnate Deity;
Pleased as man with men to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel.
Hark, the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Hail, the heav'n-born Prince of Peace,
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris'n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give us second birth.
Hark, the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King!" 

Lyrics by Charles Wesley

PAGE 7

SILENT NIGHT

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, All is bright
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child
Holy Infant so Tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night
Shepherds quake at the sight,
Glories stream from heaven afar,
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia
Christ the Savior is born!
Christ the savior is born.

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
with the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus Lord at thy birth,
Jesus Lord at thy birth.

Music by Franz Gruber, 1818. Lyrics by Joseph Mohr, 1816; 

 

PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

PAGE 8

THE WORD OF GOD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
SCRIPTURE READING
Isaiah 9:2-7, NRSV

2 The people who walked in darkness
   have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness—
   on them light has shined. 
3 You have multiplied the nation,
   you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
   as with joy at the harvest,
   as people exult when dividing plunder. 
4 For the yoke of their burden,
   and the bar across their shoulders,
   the rod of their oppressor,
   you have broken as on the day of Midian. 
5 For all the boots of the tramping warriors
   and all the garments rolled in blood
   shall be burned as fuel for the fire. 
6 For a child has been born for us,
   a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
   and he is named
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
   Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 
7 His authority shall grow continually,
   and there shall be endless peace
for the throne of David and his kingdom.
   He will establish and uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
   from this time onwards and for evermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. 

Minister: This is the word of the Lord.
People:   Thanks be to God.

SERMON

Sermon Series: The Crown: Isaiah & the Arrival of King Jesus
Sermon Title: Unto Us a Child is Born
Speaker: Jared Ayers

PAGE 9

APOSTLES’ CREED

Minister: Let us say what we believe.

People: We believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. We believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand
of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic1 church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. (1that is, the true Christian church of all times and all places).

PAGE 10

THE LORD’S TABLE

THE GREAT THANKSGIVING

The Lord be with you. 
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts now!  
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our saving God.
It is right and good, always and everywhere.
To give thanks, to the Lord.

Minister:  With joy we praise you, gracious God, for you have created heaven  and earth, made us in your image, and kept covenant with us  —even when we fell into sin. We give you thanks for Jesus Christ, our Lord, who came among us as the Word made flesh to show us your glory, full of grace and truth. Therefore we join our voices with all the saints and angels and the whole creation to proclaim the  glory of your name, saying:

Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest!
Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest!

Minister:  You are holy, O God of majesty, and blessed is Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Born in humility, he came to rule over all. Helpless as an infant, he showed the power of your love. Poor in     things of  the world, he brought the wealth of your grace. Rejected by many, he welcomed all who sought him. In his dying and rising, you gave  birth to your church, delivered us from slavery to sin and death, and made with us a new covenant by water and the Spirit. Remembering your gracious acts in Jesus Christ, we take from your creation this bread and wine and joyfully celebrate his dying and rising as we await the day of his coming. With thanksgiving we  offer our very selves to you to be a living and holy sacrifice, dedicated to your service. So together we proclaim the mystery of the faith:

PAGE 11

Your death, O Christ, we proclaim.
Your rising celebrate! 
Your coming Lord we await, to make all things new
(REPEAT)

Minister:    Lord, our God, send your Holy Spirit so that this bread and cup may be for us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.  May we  and all your saints be united with Christ and remain faithful in hope  and love. Gather your whole church, O Lord, into the glory of your kingdom. Even so, come Lord Jesus!


Praise to the Father,
praise to the Son, 
praise to the Spirit, 
Our God the Three in One. 

WORDS OF INSTITUTION

Minister:    Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.

People:    Therefore, let us keep the feast. 

HOLY COMMUNION

Minister:    The gifts of God for the people of God.     

Gluten-free communion wafers are available at the welcome table in the front lobby of the church. Please pick one up prior to coming forward to take communion. Holy Communion, also called the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist, is the family meal of Christians. We invite all committed followers of Jesus Christ to partake of this sacrament: those who are baptized members of a congregation that proclaims the Gospel, who are at peace with God and their neighbor, and who seek strength to live more faithfully for Christ.

 

PAGE 12

PRAYERS FOR REFLECTION

If you are not a Christian, or if you are not prepared to share in this meal, we encourage you to spend this time in prayer. We hope that this time is helpful to you as you consider your relationship with Jesus Christ and with his people, the church. If you are unable to receive Communion, we invite you to meditate on one of the following prayers:

PRAYER FOR THOSE SEARCHING FOR TRUTH: Lord Jesus, you claim to be the way, the truth, and the life. Grant that I might be undaunted by the cost of following you as I consider the reasons for doing so. If what you claim is true, please guide me, teach me, and open to me the reality of who you are. Give me an understanding of you that is coherent, convincing, and that leads to the life that you promise. Amen.

PRAYER OF BELIEF: Lord Jesus, I admit that I am weaker and more sinful than I ever before believed, but through you I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I thank you for paying my debt, bearing my punishment on the cross, and offering forgiveness and new life. Knowing that you have been raised from the dead, I turn from my sins and receive you as Savior and Lord. Amen. 

PRAYER OF COMMITMENT: Lord Jesus, you have called us to follow you in baptism and in a life of committed discipleship in your church. Grant that I may take the necessary steps to be one with your people, and live in the fullness of your Spirit. Amen.  

PAGE 13

 

COME SEE A CHILD OF LOW ESTATE

Come, see a child of low estate, 
in manger bed reclining;
Yet on His humble dwelling place
bright stars in heav’n are shin-ing
This little babe is Christ the Lord,
whom saints have long expected,
for man He comes to live and die,
despised, betrayed, rejected

For man He comes to rend the veil
which hides death’s gloomy portal,
and make a home where where man with Him
in peace may dwell, immortal

He comes to triumph o’er the grave,
and rise on Easter morning,
and reign in heav’n at God’s right hand,
until the last Day’s dawning

So may we all His grace partake:
from Jesus, meek and lowly,
may we his faithful servants be
kept by his Spirit holy

from Songs for the Incarnation, released November 7, 2014 Words: W.D. Springett, 1899

 

PAGE 14

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE 

Minister:    Lord, in your mercy,

People:    hear our prayer.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Minister:    Let us pray as our Lord Jesus has taught us:     

People:    Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is 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. Amen.

PAGE 15

SENDING INTO GOD’S WORLD

OFFERING

O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM

O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie;
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by:
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting light;
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.

How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of his heav'n.
No ear may hear his coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him still,
The dear Christ enters in.

O holy Child of Bethlehem,
Descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in,
Be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us,
Our Lord Emmanuel.

PAGE 16

BENEDICTION

Minister:  Magnify the Lord and rejoice, for nothing is impossible with God. And the blessing of God, who creates, redeems, and restores, be with you now and always. 

—based on Luke 1:37, 46

People:   Amen.

DISMISSAL

Minister:  Let us go forth in the name of Christ.

People:   Thanks be to God!

Comment

Comment

Main Line December 17, 2017

PAGE 2

REFLECTIONS

We who must die demand a miracle.
How could the Eternal do a temporal act?
The Infinite become a finite fact?
Nothing can save us that is possible:
We who must die demand a miracle.

W.H. Auden, from “Advent, Pt. III” in For the Time Being:
A Christmas Oratorio

In the Christian story God descends to reascend. He comes down; down from the heights of absolute being into time and space, down into humanity; down further still, if embryologists are right, to recapitulate in the womb ancient and pre-human phases of life; down to the very roots and seabed of the Nature He has created. But He goes down to come up again and bring the whole ruined world up with Him. One has a picture of a strong man stooping lower and lower to get himself underneath some great complicated burden. He must stoop in order to lift, he must almost disappear under the load before he incredibly straightens his back and marches off with the whole mass swaying on his shoulders.

—C.S. Lewis, from Miracles

 

PAGE 3

GATHERING BEFORE GOD
December 17, 2017
3rd Sunday of Advent

Main Line Campus

OPENING SENTENCES

Leader:  

The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together!

—Isaiah 40:5

O, COME ALL YE FAITHFUL 

O come, all ye faithful,
joyful and triumphant;
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of angels

CHORUS
O come, let us adore Him;
O come, let us adore Him;
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!

Sing, choirs of angels,
sing in exultation;
Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above:
"Glory to God,
all glory in the highest!"

CHORUS

Yea, Lord we greet Thee,
Born that happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be all glory giv'n.
Word of the Father,
now in flesh appearing:

CHORUS

 

PAGE 4

GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader: The Lord be with you.

People: And also with you!

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: My soul magnifies the Lord; 

People: my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. 

Leader: The Mighty One has done great things; 

People: Holy is God's name! 

Leader: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; 

People: my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!

PRAYER OF INVOCATION

 

PAGE 5

JOY TO THE WORLD

Joy to the world! The Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King.
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heav'n and nature sing,
And heav'n and nature sing,
And heav'n and heav'n and nature sing.

Joy to the world! The Savior reigns;
Let men their songs employ.
While fields and floods,
rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, and wonders of His love.

 

PAGE 6

HARK THE HERALD

Hark, the herald angels sing, 
"Glory to the newborn King.
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled." 
Joyful all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies,
With th'angelic host proclaim,
"Christ is born in Bethlehem."
Hark, the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Hail, the heav'n-born Prince of Peace,
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris'n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give us second birth.
Hark, the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King!" 

Lyrics by Charles Wesley

 

PAGE 7

SILENT NIGHT

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, All is bright
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child
Holy Infant so Tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night
Shepherds quake at the sight,
Glories stream from heaven afar,
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia
Christ the Savior is born!
Christ the savior is born.

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
with the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus Lord at thy birth,
Jesus Lord at thy birth.

Music by Franz Gruber, 1818. Lyrics by Joseph Mohr, 1816;


PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

PAGE 8

THE WORD OF GOD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
SCRIPTURE READING
Isaiah 9:2-7, NRSV

2 The people who walked in darkness
   have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness—
   on them light has shined. 
3 You have multiplied the nation,
   you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
   as with joy at the harvest,
   as people exult when dividing plunder. 
4 For the yoke of their burden,
   and the bar across their shoulders,
   the rod of their oppressor,
   you have broken as on the day of Midian. 
5 For all the boots of the tramping warriors
   and all the garments rolled in blood
   shall be burned as fuel for the fire. 
6 For a child has been born for us,
   a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
   and he is named
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
   Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 
7 His authority shall grow continually,
   and there shall be endless peace
for the throne of David and his kingdom.
   He will establish and uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
   from this time onwards and for evermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. 

Minister: This is the word of the Lord.
People:   Thanks be to God.

SERMON
Sermon Series: The Crown: Isaiah & the Arrival of King Jesus
Sermon Title: Unto Us a Child is Born
Speaker: Jared Ayers

 

PAGE 9

APOSTLES’ CREED

Minister: Let us say what we believe.

People: We believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. We believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand
of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic1 church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. (1that is, the true Christian church of all times and all places).

PAGE 10

THE LORD’S TABLE

THE GREAT THANKSGIVING

The Lord be with you. 
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts now!  
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our saving God.
It is right and good, always and everywhere.
To give thanks, to the Lord.

Minister:  With joy we praise you, gracious God, for you have created heaven  and earth, made us in your image, and kept covenant with us  —even when we fell into sin. We give you thanks for Jesus Christ, our Lord, who came among us as the Word made flesh to show us your glory, full of grace and truth. Therefore we join our voices with all the saints and angels and the whole creation to proclaim the  glory of your name, saying:

Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest!
Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest!

Minister:  You are holy, O God of majesty, and blessed is Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Born in humility, he came to rule over all. Helpless as an infant, he showed the power of your love. Poor in     things of  the world, he brought the wealth of your grace. Rejected by many, he welcomed all who sought him. In his dying and rising, you gave  birth to your church, delivered us from slavery to sin and death, and made with us a new covenant by water and the Spirit. Remembering your gracious acts in Jesus Christ, we take from your creation this bread and wine and joyfully celebrate his dying and rising as we await the day of his coming. With thanksgiving we  offer our very selves to you to be a living and holy sacrifice, dedicated to your service. So together we proclaim the mystery of the faith:

 

PAGE 11

Your death, O Christ, we proclaim.
Your rising celebrate! 
Your coming Lord we await, to make all things new
(REPEAT)

Minister:    Lord, our God, send your Holy Spirit so that this bread and cup may be for us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.  May we  and all your saints be united with Christ and remain faithful in hope  and love. Gather your whole church, O Lord, into the glory of your kingdom. Even so, come Lord Jesus!
 


Praise to the Father,
praise to the Son, 
praise to the Spirit, 
Our God the Three in One. 

WORDS OF INSTITUTION

Minister:    Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.

People:    Therefore, let us keep the feast. 

HOLY COMMUNION

Minister:    The gifts of God for the people of God.     

Gluten-free communion wafers are available at the welcome table in the front lobby of the church. Please pick one up prior to coming forward to take communion. Holy Communion, also called the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist, is the family meal of Christians. We invite all committed followers of Jesus Christ to partake of this sacrament: those who are baptized members of a congregation that proclaims the Gospel, who are at peace with God and their neighbor, and who seek strength to live more faithfully for Christ.

 

PAGE 12

PRAYERS FOR REFLECTION

If you are not a Christian, or if you are not prepared to share in this meal, we encourage you to spend this time in prayer. We hope that this time is helpful to you as you consider your relationship with Jesus Christ and with his people, the church. If you are unable to receive Communion, we invite you to meditate on one of the following prayers:

PRAYER FOR THOSE SEARCHING FOR TRUTH: Lord Jesus, you claim to be the way, the truth, and the life. Grant that I might be undaunted by the cost of following you as I consider the reasons for doing so. If what you claim is true, please guide me, teach me, and open to me the reality of who you are. Give me an understanding of you that is coherent, convincing, and that leads to the life that you promise. Amen.

PRAYER OF BELIEF: Lord Jesus, I admit that I am weaker and more sinful than I ever before believed, but through you I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I thank you for paying my debt, bearing my punishment on the cross, and offering forgiveness and new life. Knowing that you have been raised from the dead, I turn from my sins and receive you as Savior and Lord. Amen. 

PRAYER OF COMMITMENT: Lord Jesus, you have called us to follow you in baptism and in a life of committed discipleship in your church. Grant that I may take the necessary steps to be one with your people, and live in the fullness of your Spirit. Amen.  

PAGE 13

INSTRUMENTAL REFLECTION

 

PAGE 14

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE 

Minister:    Lord, in your mercy,

People:    hear our prayer.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Minister:    Let us pray as our Lord Jesus has taught us:     

People:    Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is 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. Amen.

PAGE 15

SENDING INTO GOD’S WORLD

OFFERING

GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN  

CHORUS
Go tell it on the mountain,
over the hills and everywhere
Go tell it on the mountain,
that Jesus Christ is born

While shepherds kept their watching
O'er silent flocks that night
Behold throughout the heavens
There shone a holy light

CHORUS

The shepherds feared and trembled
When lo! above the earth
Rang out the angel chorus
That hailed our Savior's birth

CHORUS

Down in a lowly manger
The humble Christ was born
And brought us God's salvation
That blessed Christmas morn

CHORUS

Lyrics by John W. Work Jr., 1907, Music: African-American Spiritual.

 

 

PAGE 16

BENEDICTION

Minister: 

Magnify the Lord and rejoice, for nothing is impossible with God. And the blessing of God, who creates, redeems, and restores, be with you now and always. 

—based on Luke 1:37, 46

People:   Amen.

DISMISSAL

Minister:  Let us go forth in the name of Christ.

People:   Thanks be to God!

Comment

Comment

Main Line December 10, 2017

PAGE 2

REFLECTIONS

Oh, tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy
After Thanksgiving our folks
Unpacked the manger scene
With Joseph, Mary, shepherds
And three kings on bended knee
But left the manger empty
Till we slept on Christmas Eve

Oh, tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy

And now my wife and children dream
Of gifts beneath the tree
While I place in the manger
Baby Jesus figurine
Sipping Christmas whiskey
Wondering if I still believe

Oh, tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy

—David Bazan, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” from the album Dark Sacred Night

According to the Christian… calendar each year begins with the season of Advent, which uniquely concerns itself with past and future events: it remembers the first coming (“advent”) of the Messiah and looks forward to the day when, as the Nicene Creed puts it, Christ “will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.” To be a Christian is to live between these two advents, to be thankful for the salvation brought by the first Advent and to be soberly penitent in light of Christ’s inevitable return in judgment. The believer therefore lives poised, as it were, on a cusp, with Before and After falling off on either side of the moment.

—Alan Jacobs

 

PAGE 3

GATHERING BEFORE GOD
December 10, 2017
2nd Sunday of Advent

Main Line Campus

OPENING SENTENCES

Leader:  

The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together!

—Isaiah 40:5

O, COME ALL YE FAITHFUL 

O come, all ye faithful,
joyful and triumphant;
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of angels

CHORUS
O come, let us adore Him;
O come, let us adore Him;
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!

Sing, choirs of angels,
sing in exultation;
Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above:
"Glory to God,
all glory in the highest!"

CHORUS

Yea, Lord we greet Thee,
Born that happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be all glory giv'n.
Word of the Father,
now in flesh appearing:

CHORUS

 

PAGE 4

GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader: The Lord be with you.

People: And also with you!

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: A voice cries in the wilderness, "Prepare the way of the Lord; make God's way clear." 

People: Prepare the way of the Lord! 

Leader: For the glory of the Lord shall be revealed; 

People: Prepare the way of the Lord! 

Leader: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; 

People: prepare the way of the Lord!

PRAYER OF INVOCATION

 

PAGE 5

THIS IS AMAZING GRACE

Who breaks the power of sin and darkness
Whose love is mighty and so much stronger
The King of Glory, the King above all kings

Who shakes the whole earth with holy thunder
And leaves us breathless in awe and wonder
The King of Glory, the King above all kings

CHORUS
This is amazing grace
This is unfailing love
That You would take my place
That You would bear my cross
You lay down Your life
That I would be set free
Oh, Jesus, I sing for
All that You've done for me

Who brings our chaos back into order
Who makes the orphan a son and daughter
The King of Glory, the King of Glory

Who rules the nations with truth and justice
Shines like the sun in all of its brilliance
The King of Glory, the King above all kings

CHORUS

BRIDGE
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Worthy, worthy, worthy

CHORUS

Music and Lyrics: Philip Wickham, Josh Farro and Jeremy Riddle

PAGE 6

COME THOU LONG EXPECTED JESUS

Come Thou long-expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
Hope of all the saints Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Joy to those who long to see thee
dayspring of on high appear
Come thou promise rod of Jesse
of thy birth we long to hear
On the hills the angels singing news, 
glad tidings of a birth
Go to Him your praises ringing
Christ the Lord has come to earth

Come to earth to taste our sadness,
He whose glories knew no end;
By His life he brings us gladness,
Our Redeemer, Shepherd, Friend.
Leaving riches without number,
Born within a cattle stall;
This the everlasting wonder,
Christ was born the Lord of all.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

Words by Charles Wesley. Music by Rowland Prichard.

 

PAGE 7

CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader: God does not want anyone to perish, but rather for all to come to repentance. Therefore, let us confess our sins, for God's salvation is at hand. 

—2 Peter 3:9; Psalm 85:9

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

People:    Faithful God, we confess that we have not led lives of holiness. We suffer from impatience, apathy, and greed; we have not been at peace. We repent of these offenses and         turn to you in love. Forgive our iniquity and pardon our sins, that we may walk in righteousness to the glory of your name; Amen.

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader:    By the mercy of Christ, your sins are forgiven, for salvation is at hand for all who turn to God. 

—Psalm 85:2, 8-9

SONG OF RESPONSE - KYRIE ELEISON

Lord have mercy
Christ have mercy
Lord have mercy
On us.
(X2)

 


PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

PAGE 8

THE WORD OF GOD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
SCRIPTURE READING
Isaiah 40:1-11, NRSV

40Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. 
2Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her that she has served her term,
that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.
3A voice cries out:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, 
make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 
4Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low; 
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain. 
5Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, 
and all people shall see it together, 
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” 
6A voice says, “Cry out!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?” 
All people are grass,
their constancy is like the flower of the field. 
7The grass withers, the flower fades,
when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
surely the people are grass. 
8The grass withers, the flower fades; 
but the word of our God will stand forever.
9Get you up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good tidings; 
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
lift it up, do not fear;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Here is your God!” 
10See, the Lord God comes with might,
and his arm rules for him; 
his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. 
11He will feed his flock like a shepherd; 
he will gather the lambs in his arms, 
and carry them in his bosom, 
and gently lead the mother sheep.
 

Minister:  This is the Gospel of the Lord
People: Praise to you, O Christ!

SERMON
Sermon Series: The Crown: Isaiah & the Arrival of King Jesus
Sermon Title: Tidings of Comfort and Joy
Speaker: Jared Ayers

 

PAGE 9

APOSTLES’ CREED

Minister: Let us say what we believe.

People: We believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. We believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand
of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic1 church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. (1that is, the true Christian church of all times and all places).

PAGE 10

THE LORD’S TABLE

THE GREAT THANKSGIVING

The Lord be with you. 
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts now!  
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our saving God.
It is right and good, always and everywhere.
To give thanks, to the Lord.

Minister:  With joy we praise you, gracious God, for you have created heaven  and earth, made us in your image, and kept covenant with us  —even when we fell into sin. We give you thanks for Jesus Christ, our Lord, who came among us as the Word made flesh to show us your glory, full of grace and truth. Therefore we join our voices with all the saints and angels and the whole creation to proclaim the  glory of your name, saying:

Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest!
Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest!

Minister:  You are holy, O God of majesty, and blessed is Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Born in humility, he came to rule over all. Helpless as an infant, he showed the power of your love. Poor in     things of  the world, he brought the wealth of your grace. Rejected by many, he welcomed all who sought him. In his dying and rising, you gave  birth to your church, delivered us from slavery to sin and death, and made with us a new covenant by water and the Spirit. Remembering your gracious acts in Jesus Christ, we take from your creation this bread and wine and joyfully celebrate his dying and rising as we await the day of his coming. With thanksgiving we  offer our very selves to you to be a living and holy sacrifice, dedicated to your service. So together we proclaim the mystery of the faith:

 

PAGE 11

Your death, O Christ, we proclaim.
Your rising celebrate! 
Your coming Lord we await, to make all things new
(REPEAT)

Minister:    Lord, our God, send your Holy Spirit so that this bread and cup may be for us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.  May we  and all your saints be united with Christ and remain faithful in hope  and love. Gather your whole church, O Lord, into the glory of your kingdom. Even so, come Lord Jesus!
 


Praise to the Father,
praise to the Son, 
praise to the Spirit, 
Our God the Three in One. 

WORDS OF INSTITUTION

Minister:    Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.

People:    Therefore, let us keep the feast. 

HOLY COMMUNION

Minister:    The gifts of God for the people of God.     

Gluten-free communion wafers are available at the welcome table in the front lobby of the church. Please pick one up prior to coming forward to take communion. Holy Communion, also called the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist, is the family meal of Christians. We invite all committed followers of Jesus Christ to partake of this sacrament: those who are baptized members of a congregation that proclaims the Gospel, who are at peace with God and their neighbor, and who seek strength to live more faithfully for Christ.

 

PAGE 12

PRAYERS FOR REFLECTION

If you are not a Christian, or if you are not prepared to share in this meal, we encourage you to spend this time in prayer. We hope that this time is helpful to you as you consider your relationship with Jesus Christ and with his people, the church. If you are unable to receive Communion, we invite you to meditate on one of the following prayers:

PRAYER FOR THOSE SEARCHING FOR TRUTH: Lord Jesus, you claim to be the way, the truth, and the life. Grant that I might be undaunted by the cost of following you as I consider the reasons for doing so. If what you claim is true, please guide me, teach me, and open to me the reality of who you are. Give me an understanding of you that is coherent, convincing, and that leads to the life that you promise. Amen.

PRAYER OF BELIEF: Lord Jesus, I admit that I am weaker and more sinful than I ever before believed, but through you I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I thank you for paying my debt, bearing my punishment on the cross, and offering forgiveness and new life. Knowing that you have been raised from the dead, I turn from my sins and receive you as Savior and Lord. Amen. 

PRAYER OF COMMITMENT: Lord Jesus, you have called us to follow you in baptism and in a life of committed discipleship in your church. Grant that I may take the necessary steps to be one with your people, and live in the fullness of your Spirit. Amen.  

PAGE 13

INSTRUMENTAL REFLECTION

 

PAGE 14

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE 

Minister:    Lord, in your mercy,

People:    hear our prayer.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Minister:    Let us pray as our Lord Jesus has taught us:     

People:    Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is 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. Amen.

PAGE 15

SENDING INTO GOD’S WORLD

OFFERING

HARK THE HERALD

Hark, the herald angels sing, 
"Glory to the newborn King.
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled." 
Joyful all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies,
With th'angelic host proclaim,
"Christ is born in Bethlehem."
Hark, the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Christ by highest heav'n adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
Late in time behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin's womb.
Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see;
 Hail, th'incarnate Deity;
Pleased as man with men to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel. Hark, the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King!”

Hail, the heav'n-born Prince of Peace,
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris'n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give us second birth.
Hark, the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Lyrics by Charles Wesley

 

PAGE 16

BENEDICTION

Minister: May faithfulness spring up from the ground and  righteousness look down from heaven as you walk in the way of peace, and may the blessing of God, Eternal Majesty, Living Word, and Holy Comforter, be with you now and always. 

—based on Psalm 85:11-13

People:   Amen.

DISMISSAL

Minister:  Let us go forth in the name of Christ.

People:   Thanks be to God!

 

Comment

Comment

Center City December 10, 2017

PAGE 2

REFLECTIONS

Oh, tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy
After Thanksgiving our folks
Unpacked the manger scene
With Joseph, Mary, shepherds
And three kings on bended knee
But left the manger empty
Till we slept on Christmas Eve

Oh, tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy

And now my wife and children dream
Of gifts beneath the tree
While I place in the manger
Baby Jesus figurine
Sipping Christmas whiskey
Wondering if I still believe

Oh, tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy

—David Bazan, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” from the album Dark Sacred Night

According to the Christian… calendar each year begins with the season of Advent, which uniquely concerns itself with past and future events: it remembers the first coming (“advent”) of the Messiah and looks forward to the day when, as the Nicene Creed puts it, Christ “will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.” To be a Christian is to live between these two advents, to be thankful for the salvation brought by the first Advent and to be soberly penitent in light of Christ’s inevitable return in judgment. The believer therefore lives poised, as it were, on a cusp, with Before and After falling off on either side of the moment.

—Alan Jacobs

 

PAGE 3

GATHERING BEFORE GOD
December 10, 2017
2nd Sunday of Advent

Center City Campus

OPENING SENTENCES

Leader:  

The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together!

—Isaiah 40:5

O, COME ALL YE FAITHFUL

O come, all ye faithful,
joyful and triumphant;
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of angels

CHORUS
O come, let us adore Him;
O come, let us adore Him;
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!

Sing, choirs of angels,
sing in exultation;
Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above:
"Glory to God,
all glory in the highest!"

CHORUS

Yea, Lord we greet Thee,
Born that happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be all glory giv'n.
Word of the Father,
now in flesh appearing:

CHORUS

 

PAGE 4

GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader: The Lord be with you.

People: And also with you!

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: A voice cries in the wilderness, "Prepare the way of the Lord; make God's way clear." 

People: Prepare the way of the Lord! 

Leader: For the glory of the Lord shall be revealed; 

People: Prepare the way of the Lord! 

Leader: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; 

People: prepare the way of the Lord!

PRAYER OF INVOCATION

 

PAGE 5

O COME O COME EMMANUEL

O come,O come,Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear

CHORUS:
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel

O come thou rod of Jesse
Free thine own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of hell thy people save
And give them victory o’re the grave

O come thou Key of David Come, 
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high, 
And close the path to misery.

O come, Thou Dayspring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
And drive away the shades of night
And pierce the clouds and bring us light
 

O come thou Wisdom from on high
And order all things far and nigh
To us the path of knowledge show
And cause us in her ways to go

O come, Desire of nations, bind
All people in one heart and mind
Bid envy strife and quarrels cease
Fill all the world with heaven’s peace

 

© Public Domain CCLI Song # 2678690 -- CCLI License # 30403221

 

PAGE 6

COME THOU LONG EXPECTED JESUS


Come Thou long-expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
Hope of all the saints Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Joy to those who long to see thee
dayspring of on high appear
Come thou promise rod of Jesse
of thy birth we long to hear
On the hills the angels singing news, 
glad tidings of a birth
Go to Him your praises ringing
Christ the Lord has come to earth

Come to earth to taste our sadness,
He whose glories knew no end;
By His life he brings us gladness,
Our Redeemer, Shepherd, Friend.
Leaving riches without number,
Born within a cattle stall;
This the everlasting wonder,
Christ was born the Lord of all.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

Words by Charles Wesley. Music by Rowland Prichard.

PAGE 7

CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader: God does not want anyone to perish, but rather for all to come to repentance. Therefore, let us confess our sins, for God's salvation is at hand. 

—2 Peter 3:9; Psalm 85:9

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

People:    Faithful God, we confess that we have not led lives of holiness. We suffer from impatience, apathy, and greed; we have not been at peace. We repent of these offenses and         turn to you in love. Forgive our iniquity and pardon our sins, that we may walk in righteousness to the glory of your name; Amen.

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader:    By the mercy of Christ, your sins are forgiven, for salvation is at hand for all who turn to God. 

—Psalm 85:2, 8-9

SONG OF RESPONSE - KYRIE ELEISON

Lord have mercy
Christ have mercy
Lord have mercy
On us.
(X2)



PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

PAGE 8

THE WORD OF GOD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
SCRIPTURE READING
Isaiah 40:1-11, NRSV

40Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. 
2Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her that she has served her term,
that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.
3A voice cries out:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, 
make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 
4Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low; 
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain. 
5Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, 
and all people shall see it together, 
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” 
6A voice says, “Cry out!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?” 
All people are grass,
their constancy is like the flower of the field. 
7The grass withers, the flower fades,
when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
surely the people are grass. 
8The grass withers, the flower fades; 
but the word of our God will stand forever.
9Get you up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good tidings; 
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
lift it up, do not fear;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Here is your God!” 
10See, the Lord God comes with might,
and his arm rules for him; 
his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. 
11He will feed his flock like a shepherd; 
he will gather the lambs in his arms, 
and carry them in his bosom, 
and gently lead the mother sheep.
 

Minister:  This is the Gospel of the Lord
People: Praise to you, O Christ!

SERMON
Sermon Series: The Crown: Isaiah & the Arrival of King Jesus
Sermon Title: Tidings of Comfort and Joy
Speaker: Jared Ayers

PAGE 9

APOSTLES’ CREED

Minister: Let us say what we believe.

People: We believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. We believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand
of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic1 church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. (1that is, the true Christian church of all times and all places).

PAGE 10

THE LORD’S TABLE

THE GREAT THANKSGIVING

The Lord be with you. 
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts now!  
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our saving God.
It is right and good, always and everywhere.
To give thanks, to the Lord.

Minister:  With joy we praise you, gracious God, for you have created heaven  and earth, made us in your image, and kept covenant with us  —even when we fell into sin. We give you thanks for Jesus Christ, our Lord, who came among us as the Word made flesh to show us your glory, full of grace and truth. Therefore we join our voices with all the saints and angels and the whole creation to proclaim the  glory of your name, saying:

Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest!
Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest!

Minister:  You are holy, O God of majesty, and blessed is Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Born in humility, he came to rule over all. Helpless as an infant, he showed the power of your love. Poor in     things of  the world, he brought the wealth of your grace. Rejected by many, he welcomed all who sought him. In his dying and rising, you gave  birth to your church, delivered us from slavery to sin and death, and made with us a new covenant by water and the Spirit. Remembering your gracious acts in Jesus Christ, we take from your creation this bread and wine and joyfully celebrate his dying and rising as we await the day of his coming. With thanksgiving we  offer our very selves to you to be a living and holy sacrifice, dedicated to your service. So together we proclaim the mystery of the faith:

PAGE 11

Your death, O Christ, we proclaim.
Your rising celebrate! 
Your coming Lord we await, to make all things new
(REPEAT)

Minister:    Lord, our God, send your Holy Spirit so that this bread and cup may be for us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.  May we  and all your saints be united with Christ and remain faithful in hope  and love. Gather your whole church, O Lord, into the glory of your kingdom. Even so, come Lord Jesus!
 


Praise to the Father,
praise to the Son, 
praise to the Spirit, 
Our God the Three in One. 

WORDS OF INSTITUTION

Minister:    Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.

People:    Therefore, let us keep the feast. 

HOLY COMMUNION

Minister:    The gifts of God for the people of God.     

Gluten-free communion wafers are available at the welcome table in the front lobby of the church. Please pick one up prior to coming forward to take communion. Holy Communion, also called the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist, is the family meal of Christians. We invite all committed followers of Jesus Christ to partake of this sacrament: those who are baptized members of a congregation that proclaims the Gospel, who are at peace with God and their neighbor, and who seek strength to live more faithfully for Christ.

 

PAGE 12

PRAYERS FOR REFLECTION

If you are not a Christian, or if you are not prepared to share in this meal, we encourage you to spend this time in prayer. We hope that this time is helpful to you as you consider your relationship with Jesus Christ and with his people, the church. If you are unable to receive Communion, we invite you to meditate on one of the following prayers:

PRAYER FOR THOSE SEARCHING FOR TRUTH: Lord Jesus, you claim to be the way, the truth, and the life. Grant that I might be undaunted by the cost of following you as I consider the reasons for doing so. If what you claim is true, please guide me, teach me, and open to me the reality of who you are. Give me an understanding of you that is coherent, convincing, and that leads to the life that you promise. Amen.

PRAYER OF BELIEF: Lord Jesus, I admit that I am weaker and more sinful than I ever before believed, but through you I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I thank you for paying my debt, bearing my punishment on the cross, and offering forgiveness and new life. Knowing that you have been raised from the dead, I turn from my sins and receive you as Savior and Lord. Amen. 

PRAYER OF COMMITMENT: Lord Jesus, you have called us to follow you in baptism and in a life of committed discipleship in your church. Grant that I may take the necessary steps to be one with your people, and live in the fullness of your Spirit. Amen.  

PAGE 13

WHILE SHEPHERDS WATCHED THEIR FLOCKS

While shepherds watched.their.flocks.by.night,.
All seated.on.the.ground
The.angel.of.the.Lord.came.down,
 And.glory.shone.around.

“Fear not!" said he for mighty dread
Had seized their troubled minds”
Glad tidings of great joy I bring
To you and all mankind

To you in David’s house this day
Is born of David’s line
The Savior who is Christ the Lord
And this shall be the sign:

The heavenly babe you there shall find
to human view displayed
All meanly wrapped in swaddling band
And in a manger laid”

Chorus
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Christ is born
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Christ is born

All glory be to God on high
And to the earth be peace
Good will henceforth from God to man
Begin and never cease

Chorus

All glory be to God on high
And to the earth be peace

PAGE 14

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE 

Minister:    Lord, in your mercy,

People:    hear our prayer.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Minister:    Let us pray as our Lord Jesus has taught us:     

People:    Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is 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. Amen.

PAGE 15

SENDING INTO GOD’S WORLD

OFFERING

HARK THE HERALD

Hark, the herald angels sing, 
"Glory to the newborn King.
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled." 
Joyful all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies,
With th'angelic host proclaim,
"Christ is born in Bethlehem."
Hark, the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Christ by highest heav'n adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
Late in time behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin's womb.
Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see;
 Hail, th'incarnate Deity;
Pleased as man with men to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel. Hark, the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King!”

Hail, the heav'n-born Prince of Peace,
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris'n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give us second birth.
Hark, the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Lyrics by Charles Wesley

PAGE 16

BENEDICTION

Minister: May faithfulness spring up from the ground and  righteousness look down from heaven as you walk in the way of peace, and may the blessing of God, Eternal Majesty, Living Word, and Holy Comforter, be with you now and always. 

—based on Psalm 85:11-13

People:   Amen.

DISMISSAL

Minister:  Let us go forth in the name of Christ.

People:   Thanks be to God!

Comment

Comment

Center City December 3, 2017

PAGE 2

REFLECTIONS

Waiting patiently in expectation is the foundation of the spiritual life.

—Simone Weil

In a very deep sense, the entire Christian life in this world is lived in Advent, between the first and second comings of the Lord, in the midst of the tension between things the way they are and things the way they ought to be.

—Fleming Rutledge, from The Bible and the New York Times

 

PAGE 3

GATHERING BEFORE GOD
December 03, 2017
1st Sunday of Advent
Center City Campus

OPENING SENTENCES

Leader:   The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together!

—Isaiah 40:5

GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN  

CHORUS
Go tell it on the mountain,
over the hills and everywhere
Go tell it on the mountain,
that Jesus Christ is born

While shepherds kept their watching
O'er silent flocks that night
Behold throughout the heavens
There shone a holy light

CHORUS

The shepherds feared and trembled
When lo! above the earth
Rang out the angel chorus
That hailed our Savior's birth

CHORUS

Down in a lowly manger
The humble Christ was born
And brought us God's salvation
That blessed Christmas morn

CHORUS

Lyrics by John W. Work Jr., 1907, Music: African-American Spiritual.

 

PAGE 4

GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader:    The Lord be with you. 

People:     And also with you!

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill my promises to my people. 

People: Justice and righteousness will fill the land and all will live in peace and safety. 

Leader: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; 

People: justice and righteousness will fill the land and all will live in peace and safety. 

—Jeremiah 33:14-16

PRAYER OF INVOCATION

 

PAGE 5

O COME O COME EMMANUEL

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear

CHORUS
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel


O come thou rod of Jesse
free thine own from Satan's tyranny
From depths of hell thy people save
and give them victory o're the grave

O come thou Key of David Come,
and open wide our heavenly home;
make safe the way that leads on high,
and close the path to misery.

O come, Thou Dayspring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
And drive away the shades of night
And pierce the clouds and bring us light

O come thou Wisdom from on high
And order all things far and nigh
To us the path of knowledge show
And cause us in her ways to go

O come, Desire of nations,
bind all people in one heart and mind
Bid envy strife and quarrels cease
Fill all the world with heaven's peace

Lyrics by Jason Mason Neale

 

PAGE 6

LOVE CAME DOWN AT CHRISTMAS

Love came down at Christmas
Love incarnate, love divine
Love was born at Christmas
Star and angels gave the sign

REFRAIN
Emmanuel
Our God with us
Emmanuel
Our hope, our trust

Worship we the Godhead
Love Incarnate, Love Divine
Worship we our Jesus
But wherewith for sacred sign

REFRAIN
Emmanuel
Our God with us
Emmanuel
Our hope, our trust

 

© 2009 5 PM Records. Authors Alex Mejias and Christina G. Rossetti

 

PAGE 7

IN COVENANT MEMBERSHIP
STORIES OF GOD’S WORK & VOWS
CANDIDATES

Minister: Do you renounce sin and the power of evil in your life and in the world?

Candidate: I renounce them.

Minister: Who is your Lord and Savior?

Candidate: Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior

Minister: Will you be a faithful covenant member of Liberti Church, and through a life of worship, community, and mercy seek to advance God’s purposes here and throughout the world?

Candidate: I will, and I ask God to help me. 

Minister: Do you promise to accept the spiritual guidance of the church and its leaders, to walk in a spirit of Christian love with this congregation, and to seek those things that make for unity, purity, and peace?

Candidate: I do. 

LIBERTI CHURCH 

Minister: Do you promise to love, encourage, and support these brothers and sisters by teaching them the gospel, by being an example of Christian faith and character, and by giving the strong support of God’s family in fellowship, prayer, and service?

People: We do.

 

PAGE 8

CONFESSION OF FAITH—THE APOSTLES’ CREED 

Minister:    Let us affirm our faith together in the words of the Apostles’ creed: Do you believe in God the Father? 

People:     We believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. 

Minister:    Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God? 

People: We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried. He descended into hell The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and is seated on the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there He will come to judge the living and the dead. 

Minister: Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit? 

People: We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic1 church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. (1 that is, the true Christian church of all times and all places) 

PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

Minister: Almighty God, by the love of Jesus Christ you draw people to faith, and welcome them into the church family.  May we show your joy by embracing new brothers and sisters, who with us believe and with us will work to serve you. Keep us close together in your Spirit, breaking bread in faith and in love, one with Jesus Christ our Lord and Master. Amen. 

PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

PAGE 9

THE WORD OF GOD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
SCRIPTURE READING
Isaiah 64:1-9, NRSV

64O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence— 2as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil— to make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at your presence! 3When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence. 4From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him. 5You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways. But you were angry, and we sinned; because you hid yourself we transgressed.
6We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. 7There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity. 8Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. 9Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord, and do not remember iniquity forever. Now consider, we are all your people.

Minister:  This is the World of the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God!

SERMON
Sermon Series: The Crown: Isaiah & the Arrival of King Jesus
Sermon Title: Oh That You Would Tear Open the Heavens!
Speaker: Jared Ayers

 

PAGE 10

THE LORD’S TABLE

THE GREAT THANKSGIVING

 The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts now!  
We lift them to the Lord.

    Let us give thanks to the Lord our saving God.
It is right and good, always and everywhere.
To give thanks, to the Lord.

Minister:  With joy we praise you, gracious God, for you have created heaven  and earth, made us in your image, and kept covenant with us  —even when we fell into sin. We give you thanks for Jesus Christ, our Lord, who came among us as the Word made flesh to show us your glory, full of grace and truth. Therefore we join our voices with all the saints and angels and the whole creation to proclaim the  glory of your name, saying:    

        Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
        hosanna in the highest!
Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
        hosanna in the highest!

Minister:  You are holy, O God of majesty, and blessed is Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Born in humility, he came to rule over all. Helpless as an infant, he showed the power of your love. Poor in     things of  the world, he brought the wealth of your grace. Rejected by many, he welcomed all who sought him. In his dying and rising, you gave  birth to your church, delivered us from slavery to sin and death, and made with us a new covenant     by water and the Spirit. Remembering your gracious acts in Jesus Christ, we take from your creation this bread and wine and joyfully celebrate his dying and rising as we await the day of his coming. With thanksgiving we  offer our very selves to you to be a living and holy sacrifice, dedicated to your service. So together     we proclaim the mystery of the faith:

 

PAGE 11

Your death, O Christ, we proclaim.
Your rising celebrate! 
Your coming Lord we await, to make all things new
(REPEAT)

Minister: Lord, our God, send your Holy Spirit so that this bread and cup may be for us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.  May we  and all your saints be united with Christ and remain faithful in hope  and love. Gather your whole church, O Lord, into the glory of your kingdom.     Even so, come Lord Jesus! 

Praise to the Father,
praise to the Son, 
praise to the Spirit, 
Our God the Three in One.

WORDS OF INSTITUTION

Minister:    Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.    

People:    Therefore, let us keep the feast. 

HOLY COMMUNION   

Minister:      The gifts of God for the people of God.     

Gluten-free communion wafers are available at the welcome table in the front lobby of the church. Please pick one up prior to coming forward to take communion. Holy Communion, also called the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist, is the family meal of Christians. We invite all committed followers of Jesus Christ to partake of this sacrament: those who are baptized members of a congregation that proclaims the Gospel, who are at peace with God and their neighbor, and who seek strength to live more faithfully for Christ.

 

PAGE 12

PRAYERS FOR REFLECTION

If you are not a Christian, or if you are not prepared to share in this meal, we encourage you to spend this time in prayer. We hope that this time is helpful to you as you consider your relationship with Jesus Christ and with his people, the church. If you are unable to receive Communion, we invite you to meditate on one of the following prayers:

PRAYER FOR THOSE SEARCHING FOR TRUTH: Lord Jesus, you claim to be the way, the truth, and the life. Grant that I might be undaunted by the cost of following you as I consider the reasons for doing so. If what you claim is true, please guide me, teach me, and open to me the reality of who you are. Give me an understanding of you that is coherent, convincing, and that leads to the life that you promise. Amen.

PRAYER OF BELIEFLord Jesus, I admit that I am weaker and more sinful than I ever before believed, but through you I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I thank you for paying my debt, bearing my punishment on the cross, and offering forgiveness and new life. Knowing that you have been raised from the dead, I turn from my sins and receive you as Savior and Lord. Amen. 

PRAYER OF COMMITMENT: Lord Jesus, you have called us to follow you in baptism and in a life of committed discipleship in your church. Grant that I may take the necessary steps to be one with your people, and live in the fullness of your Spirit. Amen.  

 

PAGE 13

WHAT CHILD IS THIS

What Child is this, who laid to rest
On Mary's lap is sleeping,
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping? 

Chorus:
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing.
Haste, haste to bring Him laud:
The Babe, the Son of Mary. 

Why lies He in such mean estate
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading. 

Nails, spear shall pierce Him through
The cross be borne for me, for you
Hail, hail the Word made flesh
The Babe, the Son of Mary 

So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh;
Come peasant, king to own Him.
The King of kings salvation brings:
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.

Raise, raise a song on high
The virgin sings her lullaby
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary

Author Ernie Haase & Signature Sound. Lyrics from album Every Light That Shines At Christmas

 

PAGE 14

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE 

Minister: Lord, in your mercy,

People: Hear our prayer.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Minister: Let us pray as our Lord Jesus has taught us:     

People: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is 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. Amen.

 

PAGE 15

SENDING INTO GOD’S WORLD

OFFERING

O, COME ALL YE FAITHFUL 

O come, all ye faithful,
joyful and triumphant;
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of angels

CHORUS
O come, let us adore Him;
O come, let us adore Him;
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!


Sing, choirs of angels,
sing in exultation;
Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above:
"Glory to God,
all glory in the highest!"

CHORUS

Yea, Lord we greet Thee,
Born that happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be all glory giv'n.
Word of the Father,
now in flesh appearing:

CHORUS

Music & lyrics by John F. Wade, 1743.

 

PAGE 16

BENEDICTION

Minister: Beloved, be encouraged in the Lord, and do not be led astray. Stand firm in the Gospel, and do good deeds, all for the glory of God. 

—Hebrews 10:24; Mark 13:5

People: Amen.


DISMISSAL

Minister:  Lets us go forth in the name of Christ.

People:  Thanks be to God!

 

 

Comment

Comment

Main Line November 26, 2017

PAGE 2

REFLECTIONS

[Care for the poor] is a thing so essential, that the contrary cannot consist in a sincere love to God.

—Jonathan Edwards, Christian Charity

 

A sensitive social conscience and a life poured out in deeds of service to the needy is the inevitable outcome of true faith. By deeds of service, God can judge true love of himself from lip-service… This means that God on judgment day can tell what a person's heart attitude is to him by what the person's heart attitude is to the poor. If there is a hardness, indifference, or superiority, it betrays the self- righteousness of a heart that has not truly embraced the truth that he or she is a lost sinner saved only by free yet costly grace.

—Tim Keller, The Gospel and the Poor


PAGE 3

GATHERING BEFORE GOD
November 26, 2017
Christ the King Sunday

Main Line Campus

OPENING SENTENCES

Leader:  Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

 —Psalm 124:8

 

FATHER LONG BEFORE CREATION

Father long before creation
Thou had chosen us in love
And that love so deep so moving
Draws us close to Christ above
Still it keeps us, still it keeps us
firmly fixed in Christ alone

CHORUS
And the world will sing His love, Yes the world will sing His love,
And we'll all join hands, every woman, every man
to sing His love, to sing His love. 

Though the world may change its fashion
Yet our God is e're the same
His compassion and His covenant
Through all ages will remain God's own children, 
God's own children Must forever praise His name

God's compassion is my story
Is my boasting all the day
Mercy free and never failing
Moves our will directs my way
God so loved us, God so loved us
That His only Son He gave

Loving Father now before
Thee We will ever praise thy love
And our songs will sound unceasing
Til we reach our home above, 
Giving glory, giving glory
To our God and to the Lamb

 

Authors Jones Francis and William H Monk


PAGE 4

GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader: The Lord be with you.

People: And also with you!

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader:     Grace to you and peace from the One who is and who was and who is to come, 

People:     and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. 

Leader:     Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts. 

People:     The whole earth is full of God's glory. 

Leader:     Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; 

People:     the whole earth is full of God's glory. 

—from Revelation 1:4-5; Isaiah 6:3

 

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


PAGE 5

COME THOU FOUNT

 

Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing Thy grace.
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
 call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise His mount! I'm fixed upon it,
mount of Thy unchanging love.

Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
hither by Thy help I'm come;
and I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
interposed His precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor,
daily I'm constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for Thy courts above.

 

 

Words by Robert Robinson, 1758. Music by John Wyeth, 1813.


PAGE 6

ALL WHO ARE THIRSTY (COME LORD JESUS)

All who are thirsty, all who are weak
Come to the fountain
Dip you heart in the stream of life
Let the pain and the sorrow, be washed away
In the waves of His mercy
As deep cries out to deep, we sing

 

CHORUS 1
Come, Lord Jesus, come
Come, Lord Jesus, come
Come, Lord Jesus, come

 

CHORUS 2
Holy Spirit Come
Holy Spirit Come
Holy Spirit Come

 

 

Music and Lyrics: Brenton Brown and Glenn Robertson. 2005


PAGE 7

CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader:    Jesus loves us and frees us from our sins; therefore, let us confess our sins to God. 

—Revelation 1:5

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

People:    God of mercy, we have sinned against you and against others. We have sinned in what we have done, and in what we have failed to     do. We are truly sorry. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, who died for our sins, forgive us all that is past and raise us to newness of life; Amen.

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader:    Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. Through Christ, you are forgiven! 

—Revelation 5:5

SONG OF RESPONSE - TRISAGION


Holy God. Holy and Mighty.
Holy immortal One, have mercy, have mercy on us.
REPEAT

Holy God. Holy and Mighty.
Holy immortal One, have mercy, have mercy
Have mercy, have mercy on us.

PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS


PAGE 8

THE WORD OF GOD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
SCRIPTURE READING
Matthew 20:31-46, NRSV

31“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ 41Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ 45Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

 

Minister:  This is the Gospel of the Lord

People: Praise to you, O Christ!

 

SERMON
Sermon Series: Tell It Slant: The Stories of Jesus
Sermon Title: Sheep & Goats
Speaker: Jared Ayers


PAGE 9

APOSTLES’ CREED

Minister: Let us say what we believe.

People: We believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. We believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand
of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic1 church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. (1that is, the true Christian church of all times and all places).


PAGE 10

THE LORD’S TABLE

THE GREAT THANKSGIVING

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts now!  
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our saving God.
It is right and good, always and everywhere.
To give thanks, to the Lord.

Minister:  Holy and right it is, and our joyful duty to give thanks to you at all times and in all places, O Lord our Creator, almighty and everlasting God! You created heaven with all its hosts and the earth with all its plenty. You have given us life and being, and preserve us by your providence. But you have shown us the fullness of your love in sending into the world your Son, Jesus Christ, the eternal Word, made flesh for us and for our salvation. For the precious gift of this mighty Savior who has reconciled us to you we praise and bless you, O God. With your whole Church on earth and with all the company of heaven we worship and adore your glorious name, saying:

Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest!

Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest!

Minister:  Most righteous God, we remember in this Supper the perfect sacrifice offered once on the cross by our Lord Jesus Christ for the sin of the whole world. In the joy of his resurrection and in expectation of his coming again, we offer ourselves to you as holy and living sacrifices. Together we proclaim the mystery of the faith.


PAGE 11

Your death, O Christ, we proclaim.
Your rising celebrate! 
Your coming Lord we await, to make all things new
(REPEAT)

Minister:    Send your Holy Spirit upon us, we pray, that the bread which we break and the cup which we bless may be to us the communion of the body and blood of Christ. Grant that, being joined together in him, we may attain to the unity of the faith and grow up in all things into Christ our Lord. And as this grain has been gathered from many fields into one loaf, and these grapes from many hills into one cup, grant, O Lord, that your whole Church may soon be gathered from the ends of the earth into your kingdom. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Praise to the Father,
praise to the Son, 
praise to the Spirit, 
Our God the Three in One. 

WORDS OF INSTITUTION

Minister:    Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.

People:    Therefore, let us keep the feast. 

HOLY COMMUNION

Minister:    The gifts of God for the people of God.     

Gluten-free communion wafers are available at the welcome table in the front lobby of the church. Please pick one up prior to coming forward to take communion. Holy Communion, also called the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist, is the family meal of Christians. We invite all committed followers of Jesus Christ to partake of this sacrament: those who are baptized members of a congregation that proclaims the Gospel, who are at peace with God and their neighbor, and who seek strength to live more faithfully for Christ.


PAGE 12

PRAYERS FOR REFLECTION

If you are not a Christian, or if you are not prepared to share in this meal, we encourage you to spend this time in prayer. We hope that this time is helpful to you as you consider your relationship with Jesus Christ and with his people, the church. If you are unable to receive Communion, we invite you to meditate on one of the following prayers:

PRAYER FOR THOSE SEARCHING FOR TRUTH: Lord Jesus, you claim to be the way, the truth, and the life. Grant that I might be undaunted by the cost of following you as I consider the reasons for doing so. If what you claim is true, please guide me, teach me, and open to me the reality of who you are. Give me an understanding of you that is coherent, convincing, and that leads to the life that you promise. Amen.

PRAYER OF BELIEF: Lord Jesus, I admit that I am weaker and more sinful than I ever before believed, but through you I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I thank you for paying my debt, bearing my punishment on the cross, and offering forgiveness and new life. Knowing that you have been raised from the dead, I turn from my sins and receive you as Savior and Lord. Amen. 

PRAYER OF COMMITMENT: Lord Jesus, you have called us to follow you in baptism and in a life of committed discipleship in your church. Grant that I may take the necessary steps to be one with your people, and live in the fullness of your Spirit. Amen.  


PAGE 13

INSTRUMENTAL REFLECTION


PAGE 14

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

Minister:    Lord, in your mercy,

People:    hear our prayer.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Minister:    Let us pray as our Lord Jesus has taught us:     

People:    Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is 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. Amen.


PAGE 15

SENDING INTO GOD’S WORLD

OFFERING

INSTRUMENTS OF PEACE

CHORUS
Lord, Make us instruments of your peace, 
Where there is hatred, let your love increase
Lord, make us instruments of your peace, 
Walls of pride and prejudice shall cease
When we are your instruments of peace. 

 

Where there is hatred, we will show his love
Where there is injury, we will never judge
Where there is striving, we will speak his peace
To the millions crying for release, 
We will be his instruments of peace

CHORUS

Where there is blindness, we will pray for sight
where there is darkness, we will shine his light
Where there is sadness, we will bear their grief
To the millions crying for relief, 
We will be your instruments of peace.

 

 

1993 Expressions of Praise Music, Maranatha Music


PAGE 16

BENEDICTION

Minister: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. 

—2 Thessalonians 3:18

People:   Amen.

DISMISSAL

Minister:  Let us go forth in the name of Christ.

People:   Thanks be to God!

Comment

Comment

Center City November 26, 2017

PAGE 2

REFLECTIONS

[Care for the poor] is a thing so essential, that the contrary cannot consist in a sincere love to God.

—Jonathan Edwards, Christian Charity

A sensitive social conscience and a life poured out in deeds of service to the needy is the inevitable outcome of true faith. By deeds of service, God can judge true love of himself from lip-service… This means that God on judgment day can tell what a person's heart attitude is to him by what the person's heart attitude is to the poor. If there is a hardness, indifference, or superiority, it betrays the self- righteousness of a heart that has not truly embraced the truth that he or she is a lost sinner saved only by free yet costly grace.

—Tim Keller, The Gospel and the Poor


PAGE 3

GATHERING BEFORE GOD
November 26, 2017
Christ is King Sunday
Center City Campus


OPENING SENTENCES

Leader:  Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth. —Psalm 124:8

 

ARISE MY SOUL

Arise, my soul, arise; shake off thy guilty fears;
The bleeding sacrifice in my behalf appears:
Before the throne my surety stands,
Before the throne my surety stands,
My name is written on His hands.

CHORUS
Arise!(arise!) Arise! (arise!)Arise
Arise, my soul, arise!
Arise!(arise!) Arise!(arise!) 
Arise (arise!), my soul, arise!
Shake off your guilty fears and rise!


He ever lives above, for me to intercede;
His all redeeming love, His precious blood, to plead:
His blood atoned for all our race,
His blood atoned for all our race,
And sprinkle now the throne of grace.

CHORUS

Five bleeding wounds He bears; received on Calvary;
They pour effectual prayers; they strongly plead for me:
“Forgive him, O forgive,” they cry,
“Forgive him, O forgive,” they cry,
“Nor let that ransomed sinner die!”

CHORUS

My God is reconciled; His pardoning voice I hear;
He owns me for His child; I can no longer fear:
With confidence I now draw nigh,
With confidence I now draw night
And “Father, Abba, Father,”cry.

 

Trudy E. Poirier and Charles Wesley


PAGE 4

GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader: The Lord be with you.

People: And also with you!

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader:     Grace to you and peace from the One who is and who was and who is to come, 

People:     and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. 

Leader:     Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts. 

People:     The whole earth is full of God's glory. 

Leader:     Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; 

People:     the whole earth is full of God's glory. 

—from Revelation 1:4-5; Isaiah 6:3

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


PAGE 5

BE THOU MY VISION

Be Thou my Vision O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.


 

Authors, Mary Elizabeth Byrne and Eleanor Henrietta Hull


PAGE 6

ALL THE POOR AND POWERLESS

All the poor and powerless
And all the lost and lonely
All the thieves will come confess
And know that You are holy
And know that You are holy

CHORUS
And all will sing out, hallelujah
And we will cry out, hallelujah
And all will sing out, hallelujah
And we will cry out, hallelujah


All the hearts who are content
And all who feel unworthy
All who weep with nothing left
Will know that You are holy
Will know that You are holy

CHORUS

Shout it, go on an scream it from the mountains
Go on and tell it to the masses, that He is God
(3x)

And we will sing out, hallelujah
And we will cry out, hallelujah
And we will sing out, hallelujah
(2x)







Words and Music by All Sons and Daughters, 2012.


PAGE 7

CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader:    Jesus loves us and frees us from our sins; therefore, let us confess our sins to God. 

—Revelation 1:5

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

People:    God of mercy, we have sinned against you and against others. We have sinned in what we have done, and in what we have failed to do. We are truly sorry. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, who died for our sins, forgive us all that is past and raise us to newness of life; Amen.

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader:    Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. Through Christ, you are forgiven! 

—Revelation 5:5

SONG OF RESPONSE - TRISAGION

Holy God. Holy and Mighty.
Holy immortal One, have mercy, have mercy on us.
REPEAT

Holy God. Holy and Mighty.
Holy immortal One, have mercy, have mercy
Have mercy, have mercy on us.

PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS


PAGE 8

THE WORD OF GOD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
SCRIPTURE READING
Matthew 20:31-46, NRSV

31“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ 41Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ 45Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Minister: This is the Gospel of the Lord

People: Praise to you, O Christ!

SERMON
Sermon Series: Tell It Slant: The Stories of Jesus
Sermon Title: Sheep & Goats
Speaker: Jared Ayers


PAGE 9

APOSTLES’ CREED

Minister: Let us say what we believe.

People: We believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. We believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand
of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic1 church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. (1that is, the true Christian church of all times and all places).


PAGE 10

THE LORD’S TABLE

THE GREAT THANKSGIVING

The Lord be with you. 
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts now!  
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our saving God.
It is right and good, always and everywhere.
To give thanks, to the Lord.

Minister:  Holy and right it is, and our joyful duty to give thanks to you at all times and in all places, O Lord our Creator, almighty and everlasting God! You created heaven with all its hosts and the earth with all its plenty. You have given us life and being, and preserve us by your providence. But you have shown us the fullness of your love in sending into the world your Son, Jesus Christ, the eternal Word, made flesh for us and for our salvation. For the precious gift of this mighty Savior who has reconciled us to you we praise and bless you, O God. With your whole Church on earth and with all the company of heaven we worship and adore your glorious name, saying:

Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest!

Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest!

Minister:  Most righteous God, we remember in this Supper the perfect sacrifice offered once on the cross by our Lord Jesus Christ for the sin of the whole world. In the joy of his resurrection and in expectation of his coming again, we offer ourselves to you as holy and living sacrifices. Together we proclaim the mystery of the faith.


PAGE 11

Your death, O Christ, we proclaim.
Your rising celebrate! 
Your coming Lord we await, to make all things new
(REPEAT)

Minister:    Send your Holy Spirit upon us, we pray, that the bread which we break and the cup which we bless may be to us the communion of the body and blood of Christ. Grant that, being joined together in him, we may attain to the unity of the faith and grow up in all things into Christ our Lord. And as this grain has been gathered from many fields into one loaf, and these grapes from many hills into one cup, grant, O Lord, that your whole Church may soon be gathered from the ends of the earth into your kingdom. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!m

Praise to the Father,
praise to the Son, 
praise to the Spirit, 
Our God the Three in One. 

WORDS OF INSTITUTION

Minister:  Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us. 

People:  Therefore, let us keep the feast. 

HOLY COMMUNION

Minister:  The gifts of God for the people of God. 

Gluten-free communion wafers are available at the welcome table in the front lobby of the church. Please pick one up prior to coming forward to take communion. Holy Communion, also called the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist, is the family meal of Christians. We invite all committed followers of Jesus Christ to partake of this sacrament: those who are baptized members of a congregation that proclaims the Gospel, who are at peace with God and their neighbor, and who seek strength to live more faithfully for Christ. 


PAGE 12

PRAYERS FOR REFLECTION

If you are not a Christian, or if you are not prepared to share in this meal, we encourage you to spend this time in prayer. We hope that this time is helpful to you as you consider your relationship with Jesus Christ and with his people, the church. If you are unable to receive Communion, we invite you to meditate on one of the following prayers:

PRAYER FOR THOSE SEARCHING FOR TRUTH: Lord Jesus, you claim to be the way, the truth, and the life. Grant that I might be undaunted by the cost of following you as I consider the reasons for doing so. If what you claim is true, please guide me, teach me, and open to me the reality of who you are. Give me an understanding of you that is coherent, convincing, and that leads to the life that you promise. Amen.

PRAYER OF BELIEF: Lord Jesus, I admit that I am weaker and more sinful than I ever before believed, but through you I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I thank you for paying my debt, bearing my punishment on the cross, and offering forgiveness and new life. Knowing that you have been raised from the dead, I turn from my sins and receive you as Savior and Lord. Amen. 

PRAYER OF COMMITMENT: Lord Jesus, you have called us to follow you in baptism and in a life of committed discipleship in your church. Grant that I may take the necessary steps to be one with your people, and live in the fullness of your Spirit. Amen.


PAGE 13

ISAIAH 43

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you
And the waves, they shall not, overcome you.
Do not fear for I have redeemed you
I have called you by name you are mine.

CHORUS
For I am the Lord your God (I am the Lord your God),
I am the Lord your God (I am)
The Holy One of Israel your Savior
For I am the Lord your God (I am the Lord your God),
I am the Lord your God (I am)
The Holy One of Israel your Savior
I am the Lord (do not fear)
I am the Lord (do not fear)
I am the Lord (do not fear)
I am the Lord (do not fear)


When you walk through the fire you’ll not be burned,
And the flames will not consume you.
Do not fear for I have redeemed you.
I have called you by name you are Mine.

CHORUS

 

Author Unknown.


PAGE 14

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

Minister:  Lord in your mercy,
 

People:  Hear our prayer.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Minister:  Let us pray as our Lord Jesus has taught us:

People:  Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is 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. Amen.


PAGE 15

SENDING INTO GOD'S WORLD

OFFERING

HOW DEEP THE FATHER’S LOVE FOR US


How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
And make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away.
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.


Behold the Man upon the cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished.
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished.


I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom.
But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer.
But this I know with all my heart,
His wounds have paid my ransom.

 

 

Music & lyrics by Stuart Townsend, 1995.


PAGE 16

BENEDICTION

Minister: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. 

—2 Thessalonians 3:18

People:   Amen.

DISMISSAL

Minister:  Let us go forth in the name of Christ.

People:   Thanks be to God!

                

Comment

Comment

Main Line December 03, 2017

PAGE 2

REFLECTIONS

Waiting patiently in expectation is the foundation of the spiritual life.

—Simone Weil

In a very deep sense, the entire Christian life in this world is lived in Advent, between the first and second comings of the Lord, in the midst of the tension between things the way they are and things the way they ought to be.

—Fleming Rutledge, from The Bible and the New York Times


PAGE 3

GATHERING BEFORE GOD
December 03, 2017
1st Sunday of Advent
Main Line Campus

OPENING SENTENCES

Leader:   The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together!

—Isaiah 40:5

COME YE SINNERS

Come, ye sinners, poor and needy, 
weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready stands to save you,
full of pity, love and power.

REFRAIN
I will arise and go to Jesus.
He will embrace me in His arms!
In the arms of my dear Savior,

oh, there are ten thousand charms.

Come, ye thirsty, come and welcome!
God’s free bounty glorify:
True belief and true repentance—
every grace that brings you nigh.

Come, ye weary, heavy laden,
lost and ruined by the fall!
If you tarry till you’re better,
you will never come at all.

 

 


PAGE 4

GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader:    The Lord be with you. 

People:     And also with you!

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill my promises to my people. 

People: Justice and righteousness will fill the land and all will live in peace and safety. 

Leader: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; 

People: justice and righteousness will fill the land and all will live in peace and safety. 

—Jeremiah 33:14-16

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


PAGE 5

GRACE THAT IS GREATER

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary's mount outpoured -
there where the blood of the Lamb was spilt

CHORUS
Grace, grace, God's grace
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within
Grace, grace, God's grace
Grace that is greater than all our sin

Sin and despair like the sea-waves cold
Threaten the soul with infinite loss
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold
Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.

CHORUS

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?

CHORUS


PAGE 6

WHAT CHILD IS THIS?

What Child is this who, laid to rest
On Mary's lap is sleeping?
Whom Angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?

This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and Angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.

Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
Come peasant, king to own Him;
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.

Raise, raise a song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.


PAGE 7

CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader: Let us confess our sins before God and one another.

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

People: O promised Christ: We are a world at war. Our peace depends on your coming. We are a sinful people. Our pardon depends on your coming. We are full of good intentions but weak at keeping promises; our only hope of doing God’s will is that you should come and help us do it.     Lord Christ, Word made flesh, our world waits for your peace, for your pardon, and for your grace. Even so: come, Lord Jesus. Amen.

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader: 

Hear the good news: the grace of God, given to us in Christ Jesus, strengthens us to the end so that we may be blameless when Christ comes again. 

—1 Corinthians 1:4, 8

SONG OF RESPONSE - KYRIE ELEISON

Lord have mercy
Christ have mercy
Lord have mercy
On us.
(X2)


PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS


PAGE 8

THE WORD OF GOD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
SCRIPTURE READING
Isaiah 64:1-9, NRSV

64 O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence— 2as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil— to make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at your presence! 3When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence. 4From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him. 5You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways. But you were angry, and we sinned; because you hid yourself we transgressed.

6We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. 7There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity. 8Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. 9Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord, and do not remember iniquity forever. Now consider, we are all your people.

Minister:  This the Word of the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God!

SERMON
Sermon Series: The Crown: Isaiah & the Arrival of King Jesus
Sermon Title: Oh That You Would Tear Open the Heavens!
Speaker: Jared Ayers


PAGE 9

APOSTLES’ CREED

Minister: Let us say what we believe.

People: We believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. We believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated a  the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic1 church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. (1that is, the true Christian church of all times and all places).


PAGE 10

THE LORD’S TABLE

THE GREAT THANKSGIVING

The Lord be with you. 
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts now!  
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our saving God.
It is right and good, always and everywhere.
To give thanks, to the Lord.

Minister:  With joy we praise you, gracious God, for you have created heaven  and earth, made us in your image, and kept covenant with us  —even when we fell into sin. We give you thanks for Jesus Christ, our Lord, who came among us as the Word made flesh to show us your glory, full of grace and truth. Therefore we join our voices with all the saints and angels and the whole creation to proclaim the  glory of your name, saying:

Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest!
Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest!

Minister:  You are holy, O God of majesty, and blessed is Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Born in humility, he came to rule over all. Helpless as an infant, he showed the power of your love. Poor in     things of  the world, he brought the wealth of your grace. Rejected by many, he welcomed all who sought him. In his dying and rising, you gave  birth to your church, delivered us from slavery to sin and death, and made with us a new covenant by water and the Spirit. Remembering your gracious acts in Jesus Christ, we take from your creation this bread and wine and joyfully celebrate his dying and rising as we await the day of his coming. With thanksgiving we  offer our very selves to you to be a living and holy sacrifice, dedicated to your service. So together we proclaim the mystery of the faith:


PAGE 11

Your death, O Christ, we proclaim.
Your rising celebrate! 
Your coming Lord we await, to make all things new
(REPEAT)

Minister: Lord, our God, send your Holy Spirit so that this bread and cup may be for us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.  May we  and all your saints be united with Christ and remain faithful in hope  and love. Gather your whole church, O Lord, into the glory of your kingdom.         Even so, come Lord Jesus! 

Praise to the Father,
praise to the Son, 
praise to the Spirit, 
Our God the Three in One.

WORDS OF INSTITUTION

Minister:    Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.    

People:    Therefore, let us keep the feast. 

HOLY COMMUNION   

Minister:      The gifts of God for the people of God.     

Gluten-free communion wafers are available at the welcome table in the front lobby of the church. Please pick one up prior to coming forward to take communion. Holy Communion, also called the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist, is the family meal of Christians. We invite all committed followers of Jesus Christ to partake of this sacrament: those who are baptized members of a congregation that proclaims the Gospel, who are at peace with God and their neighbor, and who seek strength to live more faithfully for Christ.


PAGE 12

PRAYERS FOR REFLECTION

If you are not a Christian, or if you are not prepared to share in this meal, we encourage you to spend this time in prayer. We hope that this time is helpful to you as you consider your relationship with Jesus Christ and with his people, the church. If you are unable to receive Communion, we invite you to meditate on one of the following prayers:

PRAYER FOR THOSE SEARCHING FOR TRUTH: Lord Jesus, you claim to be the way, the truth, and the life. Grant that I might be undaunted by the cost of following you as I consider the reasons for doing so. If what you claim is true, please guide me, teach me, and open to me the reality of who you are. Give me an understanding of you that is coherent, convincing, and that leads to the life that you promise. Amen.

PRAYER OF BELIEFLord Jesus, I admit that I am weaker and more sinful than I ever before believed, but through you I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I thank you for paying my debt, bearing my punishment on the cross, and offering forgiveness and new life. Knowing that you have been raised from the dead, I turn from my sins and receive you as Savior and Lord. Amen. 

PRAYER OF COMMITMENT: Lord Jesus, you have called us to follow you in baptism and in a life of committed discipleship in your church. Grant that I may take the necessary steps to be one with your people, and live in the fullness of your Spirit. Amen.  


PAGE 13


INSTRUMENTAL REFLECTION


PAGE 14

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE 

Minister: Lord, in your mercy,

People: Hear our prayer.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Minister:     Let us pray as our Lord Jesus has taught us:     

People:    Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is 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. Amen.


PAGE 15

SENDING INTO GOD’S WORLD

OFFERING

O, COME ALL YE FAITHFUL 

O come, all ye faithful,
joyful and triumphant;
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of angels

CHORUS
O come, let us adore Him;
O come, let us adore Him;
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!


Sing, choirs of angels,
sing in exultation;
Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above:
"Glory to God,
all glory in the highest!"

CHORUS

Yea, Lord we greet Thee,
Born that happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be all glory giv'n.
Word of the Father,
now in flesh appearing:

CHORUS

Music & lyrics by John F. Wade, 1743.

 


PAGE 16

BENEDICTION

Minister: Beloved, be encouraged in the Lord, and do not be led astray. Stand firm in the Gospel, and do good deeds, all for the glory of God. 

—Hebrews 10:24; Mark 13:5

People:    Amen.


DISMISSAL

Minister:     Lets us go forth in the name of Christ.

People:     Thanks be to God!

 

Comment

Comment

Center City November 19, 2016

PAGE 2

REFLECTIONS

Those who believe they have pleased God by the quality of their devotion and moral goodness naturally feel that they and their group deserve deference and power over others. The God of Jesus and the prophets, however, saves completely by grace. He cannot be manipulated by religious and moral performance--he can only be reached through repentance, through the giving up of power. If we are saved by sheer grace we can only become grateful, willing servants of God and of everyone around us.

― Timothy J. Keller, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism

Many religions now come before us with ingratiating smirks and outspread hands, like an unctuous merchant in a bazaar. They offer consolation and solidarity and uplift, competing as they do in a marketplace. But we have a right to remember how barbarically they behaved when they were strong and were making an offer that people could not refuse.

― Christopher Hitchens, god is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything


PAGE 3 

GATHERING BEFORE GOD
November 19, 2016
24th Sunday after Pentecost

Center City Campus

OPENING SENTENCES

Leader:     Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth. — Psalm 124:8


JESUS, ALL FOR JESUS

Jesus, all for Jesus,
All I am and have and ever hope to be.
Jesus, all for Jesus,
All I am and have and ever hope to be.

All of my ambitions, hopes and plans,
I surrender these into Your hands.
All of my ambitions, hopes and plans,
I surrender these into Your hands.

For it's only in Your will that I am free.
For it's only in Your will that I am free.

Music and lyrics by Robin Mark, 1999.


PAGE 4

GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader:  The Lord be with you. 

People:  And also with you!

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: We will give thanks to you, O LORD, with our whole heart; we will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

People: We will be glad and exult in you; we will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

Leader: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; 

People: We will sing praise to your name, O Most High. 

—from Psalm 9:1-2


PRAYER OF INVOCATION


PAGE 5

ALL THE POOR AND POWERLESS

All the poor and powerless
And all the lost and lonely
All the thieves will come confess
And know that You are holy
And know that You are holy

CHORUS
And all will sing out, hallelujah
And we will cry out, hallelujah


All the hearts who are content
And all who feel unworthy
All who weep with nothing left
Will know that You are holy
Will know that You are holy

CHORUS X2

BRIDGE
Shout it, go on an scream it from the mountains
Go on and tell it to the masses, that He is God

And we will sing out, hallelujah
And we will cry out, hallelujah
REPEAT


Words and Music by All Sons and Daughters, 2012.


PAGE 6

BEAUTIFUL

I see your face in every sunrise
The colors of the morning are inside your eyes
The world awakens in the light of the day
I look up to the sky and say
You’re Beautiful

I see your power in the moonlit night
Where planets are in motion and galaxies are bright
We are amazed in the light of the stars
Its all proclaiming who you are
You’re beautiful

I see you there hanging on a tree
You bled and then you died and then you rose again for me
Now you are sitting on your heavenly throne
Soon we will be coming home
You’re Beautiful

When we arrive at eternity’s shore
Where death is just a memory and tears are no more
We’ll enter in as the wedding bells ring
Your bride will come together and we’ll sing
You’re Beautiful

Seems Like Music. Phil Wickham Music, 2007.


PAGE 7

CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader: Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

—Joel 2:13

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

People: Almighty God, you love us, but we have not loved you. You call, but we have not listened. We walk away from neighbors in need, wrapped in our own concerns. We condone evil, prejudice, warfare, and greed. God of grace, help us to admit our sin, so that as you come to us in mercy, we may repent, turn to you, and receive forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Redeemer- Amen.

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader: Hear the good news: Jesus Christ, who gave himself once and for all, forgives and saves! 

—from Hebrews 10:17-19, 23

SONG OF RESPONSE - TRISAGION

Holy God. Holy and Mighty.
Holy immortal One, have mercy, have mercy on us.
REPEAT

Holy God. Holy and Mighty.
Holy immortal One, have mercy, have mercy
Have mercy, have mercy on us.

PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS


PAGE 8

THE WORD OF GOD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
SCRIPTURE READING
Luke 20: 9-19, NRSV

9He began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, and leased it to tenants, and went to another country for a long time. 10When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants in order that they might give him his share of the produce of the vineyard; but the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11Next he sent another slave; that one also they beat and insulted and sent away empty-handed. 12And he sent still a third; this one also they wounded and threw out. 13Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ 14But when the tenants saw him, they discussed it among themselves and said, ‘This is the heir; let us kill him so that the inheritance may be ours.’ 15So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When they heard this, they said, “Heaven forbid!” 17But he looked at them and said, “What then does this text mean: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’? 18Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.” 19When the scribes and chief priests realized that he had told this parable against them, they wanted to lay hands on him at that very hour, but they feared the people.

Minister: This is the Gospel of the Lord

People: Praise to you, O Christ!

SERMON
Sermon Series: Tell It Slant: The Stories of Jesus
Sermon Title: Broken or Crushed
Speaker: Meade Baker


PAGE 9

APOSTLES’ CREED

Minister: Let us say what we believe.

People: We believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. We believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated a  the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic1 church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. (1that is, the true Christian church of all times and all places).


PAGE 10
THE LORD’S TABLE
 
THE GREAT THANKSGIVING
 
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
  
Lift up your hearts now!  
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our saving God.
It is right and good, always and everywhere.
To give thanks, to the Lord.

Minister: Holy and right it is, and our joyful duty to give thanks to you at all times and in all places, O Lord our Creator, almighty and everlasting God! You created heaven with all its hosts and the earth with all its plenty. You have given us life and being, and preserve us by your providence. But you have shown us the fullness of your love in sending into the world your Son, Jesus Christ, the eternal Word, made flesh for us and for our salvation. For the precious gift of this mighty Savior who has reconciled us to you we praise and bless you, O God. With your whole Church on earth and with all the company of heaven we worship and adore your glorious name, saying:

Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory, 
hosanna in the highest!
Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory, 
hosanna in the highest!

Minister: Most righteous God, we remember in this Supper the perfect sacrifice offered once on the cross by our Lord Jesus Christ for the sin of the whole world. In the joy of his resurrection and in expectation of his coming again, we offer ourselves to you as holy and living sacrifices. Together we proclaim the mystery of the faith.


PAGE 11

Your death, O Christ, we proclaim
Your rising celebrate!
Your coming Lord we await, to make all things new. 
REPEAT

Minister: 
Send your Holy Spirit upon us, we pray, that the bread which we break and the cup which we bless may be to us the communion of the body and blood of Christ. Grant that, being joined together in him, we may attain to the unity of the faith and grow up in all things into Christ our Lord. And as this grain has been gathered from many fields into one loaf, and these grapes from many hills into one cup, grant, O Lord, that your whole Church may soon be gathered from the ends of the earth into your kingdom. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Praise to the Father,
Praise to the Son,
Praise to the Spirit,
Our God the Three in One. 

WORDS OF INSTITUTION

Minister: Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us. 

People: Therefore, let us keep the feast. 

HOLY COMMUNION

Minister: The gifts of God for the people of God. 

Gluten-free communion wafers are available at the welcome table in the front lobby of the church. Please pick one up prior to coming forward to take communion. Holy Communion, also called the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist, is the family meal of Christians. We invite all committed followers of Jesus Christ to partake of this sacrament: those who are baptized members of a congregation that proclaims the Gospel, who are at peace with God and their neighbor, and who seek strength to live more faithfully for Christ. 


PAGE 12

PRAYERS FOR REFLECTION

If you are not a Christian, or if you are not prepared to share in this meal, we encourage you to spend this time in prayer. We hope that this time is helpful to you as you consider your relationship with Jesus Christ and with his people, the church. If you are unable to receive Communion, we invite you to meditate on one of the following prayers:

PRAYER FOR THOSE SEARCHING FOR TRUTH: Lord Jesus, you claim to be the way, the truth, and the life. Grant that I might be undaunted by the cost of following you as I consider the reasons for doing so. If what you claim is true, please guide me, teach me, and open to me the reality of who you are. Give me an understanding of you that is coherent, convincing, and that leads to the life that you promise. Amen.

PRAYER OF BELIEF: Lord Jesus, I admit that I am weaker and more sinful than I ever before believed, but through you I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I thank you for paying my debt, bearing my punishment on the cross, and offering forgiveness and new life. Knowing that you have been raised from the dead, I turn from my sins and receive you as Savior and Lord. Amen. 

PRAYER OF COMMITMENT: Lord Jesus, you have called us to follow you in baptism and in a life of committed discipleship in your church. Grant that I may take the necessary steps to be one with your people, and live in the fullness of your Spirit. Amen.


PAGE 13

ISAIAH 43

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you
And the waves, they shall not, overcome you.
Do not fear for I have redeemed you
I have called you by name you are mine.

CHORUS
For I am the Lord your God
(I am the Lord your God),
I am the Lord your God
(I am)
The Holy One of Israel your Savior
REPEAT

CHORUS 2
For I am the Lord
(Do not fear),
I am the Lord
(Do not fear)

REPEAT

I am the Lord

When you walk through the fire I will be with you,
And the flames they shall not, consume you
Do not fear for I have redeemed you.
I have called you by name you are Mine.

Author Unknown.


PAGE 14

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

Minister: Lord in your mercy,

People: Hear our prayer.

Minister: Let us pray as our Lord Jesus has taught us:

People: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is 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. Amen.


PAGE 15

SENDING INTO GOD’S WORLD

OFFERING

GRACE THAT IS GREATER

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary's mount outpoured -
there where the blood of the Lamb was spilt

CHORUS
Grace, grace, God's grace
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within
Grace, grace, God's grace
Grace that is greater than all our sin


Sin and despair like the sea-waves cold
Threaten the soul with infinite loss
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold
Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?


Music by Daniel Towner, 1910. Lyrics by Julia Johnston, 1911.


PAGE 16

BENEDICTION

Minister:  Beloved, be encouraged in the Lord, and do not be led astray. Stand firm in the Gospel, and do good deeds, all for the glory of God. 

—Hebrews 10:24; Mark 13:5

People:    Amen.

DISMISSAL

Minister:     Lets us go forth in the name of Christ.

People:     Thanks be to God!

Comment

Comment

Main Line October 22, 2017

PAGE 2

REFLECTIONS

Grace, she takes the blame, she covers the shame,
Removes the stain, it could be her name
It’s also a thought that changed the world.
And when she walks on the street you can hear the strings;
Grace finds goodness in everything.
What once was hurt, what once was friction,
What left a mark no longer stings,
Because grace makes beauty out of ugly things.
Grace finds beauty in everything.

— Bono, “Grace,” From the album, All That
You Can’t Leave Behind
, by U2

The farther I run away from the place where God dwells, the less I am able to hear the voice that calls me the Beloved, and the less I hear that voice, the more entangled I become in the manipulations and power games of the world… When I look through God’s eyes at my lost self and discover God’s joy at my coming home, then my life may become less anguished and more trusting.

― Henri Nouwen, Return of the Prodigal Son

Ask but his grace, and lo, tis given!
Ask, and he turns your hell to heaven:
Though sin and sorrow wound my soul,
Jesus, thy balm will make it whole.

— St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153), from For All the Saints


PAGE 3

GATHERING BEFORE GOD
October 22nd, 2017

20th Sunday After Pentecost
Main Line Campus  

OPENING SENTENCES

Leader:  Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth. —Psalm 124:8

O LOVE THAT WILL NOT LET ME GO

O Love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

Words and Music by George Matheson, 2010.


PAGE 4

GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader: The Lord be with you.

People: And also with you!

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: Praise the Lord, for God is great indeed! Let us sing praises for God's glorious works. 

People: We give glory, honor, and thanksgiving to the Lord, who makes and sustains all things. 

Leader: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; 

People: We give glory, honor, and thanksgiving to the Lord! 

—Based on Psalm 104:1-9

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


PAGE 5

BY THY MERCY

Jesus, Lord of life and glory,
 bend from heaven thy gracious ear;
While our waiting souls adore thee,
friend of helpless sinners, hear:

From the depth of nature's blindness,
From the hardening power of sin,
From all malice and unkindness,
From the pride that lurks within,

CHORUS
By thy mercy, O deliver us, good Lord
By thy mercy, O deliver us, good Lord, good Lord?


When temptation sorely presses,
In the day of Satan's power,
In our times of deep distresses,
In each dark and trying hour.

When the world around is smiling,
In the time of wealth and ease,
Earthly joys our hearts beguiling,
In the day of health and peace.

CHORUS

In the weary hours of sickness,
In the times of grief and pain,
When we feel our mortal weakness,
When all human help is vain.

 In the solemn hour of dying,
In the awful judgment day,
May our souls, on thee relying,
Find thee still our Rock and Stay.

CHORUS

Author, Sandra McCracken, 2005.


PAGE 6

IN CHRIST ALONE

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow'r of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand.

Music by Stuart Townsend, 2001. Lyrics by Keith Getty, 2001.


PAGE 7

IN COVENANT MEMBERSHIP

STORIES OF GOD’S WORK & VOWS

CANDIDATES

Minister:        Do you renounce sin and the power of evil in your life and in the world?

Candidate:    I renounce them.

Minister:        Who is your Lord and Savior?

Candidate:  Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior

Minister:      Will you be a faithful covenant member of Liberti Church, and through a life of worship, community, and mercy seek to advance God’s purposes here and throughout the world?

Candidate:   I will, and I ask God to help me. 

Minister:        Do you promise to accept the spiritual guidance of the church and its leaders, to walk in a spirit of Christian love with this congregation, and to seek those things that make for unity, purity, and peace?

Candidate:    I do. 

LIBERTI CHURCH

Minister:       Do you promise to love, encourage, and support these brothers and sisters by teaching them the gospel, by being an example of Christian faith and character, and by giving the strong support of God’s family in fellowship, prayer, and service?

People:        We do.


PAGE 8

CONFESSION OF FAITH—THE APOSTLES’ CREED 

Minister: Let us affirm our faith together in the words of the Apostles’ creed: Do you believe in God the Father? 

People: We believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. 

Minister: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God? 

People: We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried. He descended into hell The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and is seated on the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there He will come to judge the living and the dead. 

Minister: Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit? 

People: We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic1 church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. (1that is, the true Christian church of all times and all places) 

PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

Minister: Almighty God, by the love of Jesus Christ you draw people to faith, and welcome them into the church family. May we show your joy by embracing new brothers and sisters, who with us believe and with us will work to serve you. Keep us close together in your Spirit, breaking bread in faith and in love, one with Jesus Christ our Lord and Master. Amen. 

PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS


PAGE 9

THE WORD OF GOD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
SCRIPTURE READING
Luke 15:1-2, 11-32, NRSV

1Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. 2And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

11Then Jesus said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. 13A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. 14When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. 16He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. 17But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! 18I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.”’ 20So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. 21Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate. 25“Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. 27He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’ 28Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. 29But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. 30But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with


 PAGE 10

prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’ 31Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.’”

Minister: This is the Gospel of the Lord.

People: Praise to you, O Christ!

SERMON
Sermon Series: Tell It Slant: The Stories of Jesus
Sermon Title: The Prodigal Father
Speaker: Matt Nault

THE LORD’S TABLE

THE GREAT THANKSGIVING

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts now!  
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our saving God.
It is right and good, always and everywhere.
To give thanks, to the Lord.

Minister:  Holy and right it is, and our joyful duty to give thanks to you at all times and in all places, O Lord our Creator, almighty and everlasting God! You created heaven with all its hosts and the earth with all its plenty. You have given us life and being, and preserve us by your providence. But you have shown us the fullness of your love in sending into the world your Son, Jesus Christ, the eternal Word, made flesh for us and for our salvation. For the precious gift of this mighty Savior who has reconciled us to you we praise and bless you, O God. With your whole Church on earth and with all the company of heaven we worship and adore your glorious name, saying:

Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest!

Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest!


PAGE 11

Minister:  Most righteous God, we remember in this Supper the perfect sacrifice offered once on the cross by our Lord Jesus Christ for the sin of the whole world. In the joy of his resurrection and in expectation of his coming again, we offer ourselves to you as holy and living sacrifices. Together we proclaim the mystery of the faith.

Your death, O Christ, we proclaim.
Your rising celebrate! 
Your coming Lord we await, to make all things new
(REPEAT)

Minister:    Send your Holy Spirit upon us, we pray, that the bread which we break and the cup which we bless may be to us the communion of the body and blood of Christ. Grant that, being joined together in him, we may attain to the unity of the faith and grow up in all things into Christ our Lord. And as this grain has been gathered from many fields into one loaf, and these grapes from many hills into one cup, grant, O Lord, that your whole Church may soon be gathered from the ends of the earth into your kingdom. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Praise to the Father,
praise to the Son, 
praise to the Spirit, 
Our God the Three in One. 

WORDS OF INSTITUTION

Minister:    Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.

People:    Therefore, let us keep the feast. 

HOLY COMMUNION

Minister:    The gifts of God for the people of God.     

Gluten-free communion wafers are available at the welcome table in the front lobby of the church. Please pick one up prior to coming forward to take communion. Holy Communion, also called the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist, is the family meal of Christians. We invite all committed followers of Jesus Christ to partake of this sacrament: those who are baptized members of a congregation that proclaims the Gospel, who are at peace with God and their neighbor, and who seek strength to live more faithfully for Christ.


PAGE 12

PRAYERS FOR REFLECTION

If you are not a Christian, or if you are not prepared to share in this meal, we encourage you to spend this time in prayer. We hope that this time is helpful to you as you consider your relationship with Jesus Christ and with his people, the church. If you are unable to receive Communion, we invite you to meditate on one of the following prayers:

PRAYER FOR THOSE SEARCHING FOR TRUTH: Lord Jesus, you claim to be the way, the truth, and the life. Grant that I might be undaunted by the cost of following you as I consider the reasons for doing so. If what you claim is true, please guide me, teach me, and open to me the reality of who you are. Give me an understanding of you that is coherent, convincing, and that leads to the life that you promise. Amen.

PRAYER OF BELIEF: Lord Jesus, I admit that I am weaker and more sinful than I ever before believed, but through you I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I thank you for paying my debt, bearing my punishment on the cross, and offering forgiveness and new life. Knowing that you have been raised from the dead, I turn from my sins and receive you as Savior and Lord. Amen. 

PRAYER OF COMMITMENT: Lord Jesus, you have called us to follow you in baptism and in a life of committed discipleship in your church. Grant that I may take the necessary steps to be one with your people, and live in the fullness of your Spirit. Amen.  


PAGE 13

HOLY HOLY HOLY

Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty! 
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee; 
Holy, Holy, Holy, Merciful and Mighty! 

Holy, Holy, Holy, all the saints adore Thee. 
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea; 
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee, 
Who wert and art and ever more shall be. 

Holy, holy, holy, Though the darkness hide Thee, 
Tho' the eye of sinful man your glory may not see, 
Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee
Perfect in power, in love and purity. 

Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty! 
All Thy works shall praise Thy name in earth and sky and sea.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and Mighty! 
God in three persons, blessed Trinity! 

Words and Music by Reginald Heber.


PAGE 14

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

Minister: Lord, in your mercy,

People: hear our prayer.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Minister: Let us pray as our Lord Jesus has taught us: 

People: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,  your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is 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. Amen.


PAGE 15

SENDING INTO GOD’S WORLD

OFFERING

LEANING ON THE EVERLASTING ARMS

What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms,
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

CHORUS
Leaning, leaning,
Safe and secure from all alarms,
Leaning, leaning,
leaning on the everlasting arms.


Oh, how sweet to walk in the pilgrim way,
Leaning on the everlasting arms,
Oh, how bright the path grows from day to day,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
Leaning on the everlasting arms?
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

1992, ION Publishing. Authors, Kevin Boese,
Elisha Albright Hoffman, Philip Janz, and Anthony J. Showalter


Page 16

BENEDICTION

Minister: Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! 

—Revelation 7:12

People:   Amen.

DISMISSAL

Minister:  Let us go forth in the name of Christ.

People:   Thanks be to God!

Comment

Comment

Center City October 22, 2017

PAGE 2

REFLECTIONS

Grace, she takes the blame, she covers the shame,
Removes the stain, it could be her name
It’s also a thought that changed the world.
And when she walks on the street you can hear the strings;
Grace finds goodness in everything.
What once was hurt, what once was friction,
What left a mark no longer stings,
Because grace makes beauty out of ugly things.
Grace finds beauty in everything.

— Bono, “Grace,” From the album, All That
You Can’t Leave Behind
, by U2

The farther I run away from the place where God dwells, the less I am able to hear the voice that calls me the Beloved, and the less I hear that voice, the more entangled I become in the manipulations and power games of the world… When I look through God’s eyes at my lost self and discover God’s joy at my coming home, then my life may become less anguished and more trusting.

― Henri Nouwen, Return of the Prodigal Son

Ask but his grace, and lo, tis given!
Ask, and he turns your hell to heaven:
Though sin and sorrow wound my soul,
Jesus, thy balm will make it whole.

— St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153), from For All the Saints


PAGE 3

GATHERING BEFORE GOD
October 22nd, 2017
20th Sunday After Pentecost
Center City Campus  

OPENING SENTENCES

Leader:  Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth. —Psalm 124:8

ARISE MY SOUL ARISE

Arise, my soul, arise, 
shake off your guilty fears; 
The bleeding sacrifice, in my behalf appears; 
Before the throne my Surety stands, 
Before the throne my Surety stands, 
My name is written on His hands.

CHORUS
Arise (arise), arise (arise), arise
Arise, my soul, arise. 
Arise (arise), arise (arise), arise
Arise, my soul, arise. 
Shake off your guilty fears and rise

He ever lives above, for me to intercede; 
His all redeeming love, His precious blood, to plead; 
His blood atoned for every race, 
His blood atoned for every race, 
And sprinkles now the throne of grace.

CHORUS

Five bleeding wounds He bears; received on Calvary; 
They pour effectual prayers;  they strongly plead for me: 
"Forgive him, O forgive," they cry, 
"Forgive him, O forgive," they cry, 
"Nor let that ransomed sinner die!" 

CHORUS

My God is reconciled; His pardoning voice I hear; 
He owns me for His child; I can no longer fear
With confidence I now draw nigh, 
With confidence I now draw nigh, 
And "Father, Abba, Father," cry. 

CHORUS

Charles Wesley, 1742 Public Domain.


PAGE 4

GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader: The Lord be with you.

People: And also with you!

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: Praise the Lord, for God is great indeed! Let us sing praises for God's glorious works. 

People: We give glory, honor, and thanksgiving to the Lord, who makes and sustains all things. 

Leader: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; 

People: We give glory, honor, and thanksgiving to the Lord! 

—Based on Psalm 104:1-9

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


PAGE 5

10,000 REASONS

CHORUS
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name


The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

CHORUS

You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

CHORUS

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

CHORUS x2

Words and Music by Jonas Myrin and Matt Redman, 2011.
© 2011 Shout! Publishing.


PAGE 6

ON JORDAN’S STORMY BANKS

On Jordan’s stormy banks I stand,
And cast a wishful eye
To Canaan’s fair and happy land,
Where my possessions lie.

All o’er those wide extended plains,
Shines one eternal day;
There God the Son forever reigns,
And scatters night away.

CHORUS
I am bound (I am bound)
I am bound (I am bound)
I am bound for promised land,
I am bound (I am bound)
I am bound (I am bound)
I am bound for promised land.


No chilling winds nor poisonous breath
Can reach that healthful shore;
Sickness, sorrow, pain and death,
Are felt and feared no more.

CHORUS

When shall I reach that happy place,
And be forever blessed?
When shall I see my Father’s face,
And in His bosom rest?

CHORUS

Words: Samuel Stennett. Music: Christopher Miner. 1997 Christopher Miner Music.


PAGE 7

MEMBERSHIP & BAPTISM

PRESENTATION AND VOWS

CANDIDATES

PARENTS & CANDIDATES

Minister: Do you renounce sin and the power of evil in your life and in the world?

Candidate: I renounce them.

Minister: Who is your Lord and Savior?

Candidate:  Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior

Minister: Will you be a faithful covenant member of Liberti Church, and through a life of worship, community, and mercy seek to advance God’s purposes here and throughout the world?

Candidate:  I will, and I ask God to help me. 

Minister: Do you promise to accept the spiritual guidance of the church and its leaders, to walk in a spirit of Christian love with this congregation, and to seek those things that make for unity, purity, and peace?

Candidate: I do.

Minister:  Do you promise to instruct your child in the truth of God’s word, in the way of salvation through Jesus Christ; to pray for your child, to teach your child to pray; and to train your child in Christ’s way by example, through worship, and in the nurture of the church?

Parents:    We do, and we ask God to help us.


PAGE 8

LIBERTI CHURCH

Minister: Do you promise to love, encourage, and support this family by teaching them the gospel, by being an example of Christian faith and character, and by giving the strong support of God’s family in fellowship, prayer, and service?

People: We do.

CONFESSION OF FAITH — THE APOSTLES’ CREED

Minister:  Let us affirm our faith together in the words of the Apostles’ creed: Do you believe in God the Father?

People:   We believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.

Minister: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?

People:   We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary,     suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and is seated on the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there He will come to judge the living and the dead.

Minister:  Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit?

People:   We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic1 church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. (1that is, the true Christian church of all times and all places)

PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

BAPTISM

Julia Grace Kleinschmidt and Remy Zheng-Yi Lai

PASSING THE PEACE 


PAGE 9

THE WORD OF GOD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
SCRIPTURE READING
Luke 15:1-2, 11-32, NRSV

1Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. 2And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

11Then Jesus said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. 13A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. 14When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. 16He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. 17But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! 18I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.”’ 20So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. 21Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate. 25“Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. 27He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’ 28Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. 29But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. 30But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’ 


PAGE 10

31Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.’”

Minister: This is the Gospel of the Lord.
People: Praise to you, O Christ!

SERMON
Sermon Series: Tell It Slant: The Stories of Jesus
Sermon Title:The Prodigal Father
Speaker: Matt Nault

THE LORD’S TABLE

THE GREAT THANKSGIVING

The Lord be with you. 
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts now!  
We lift them to the Lord.   

Let us give thanks to the Lord our saving God.  
It is right and good, always and everywhere.
To give thanks, to the Lord.

Minister:  Holy and right it is, and our joyful duty to give thanks to you at all times and in all places, O Lord our Creator, almighty and everlasting God! You created heaven with all its hosts and the earth with all its plenty. You have given us life and being, and preserve us by your providence. But you have shown us the fullness of your love in sending into the world your Son, Jesus Christ, the eternal Word, made flesh for us and for our salvation. For the precious gift of this mighty Savior who has reconciled us to you we praise and bless you, O God. With your whole Church on earth and with all the company of heaven we worship and adore your glorious name, saying:

Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest!

Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest!


PAGE 11

Minister:  Most righteous God, we remember in this Supper the perfect sacrifice offered once on the cross by our Lord Jesus Christ for the sin of the whole world. In the joy of his resurrection and in expectation of his coming again, we offer ourselves to you as holy and living sacrifices. Together we proclaim the mystery of the faith.

Your death, O Christ, we proclaim.
Your rising celebrate! 
Your coming Lord we await, to make all things new
(REPEAT)

Minister:    Send your Holy Spirit upon us, we pray, that the bread which we break and the cup which we bless may be to us the communion of the body and blood of Christ. Grant that, being joined together in him, we may attain to the unity of the faith and grow up in all things into Christ our Lord. And as this grain has been gathered from many fields into one loaf, and these grapes from many hills into one cup, grant, O Lord, that your whole Church may soon be gathered from the ends of the earth into your kingdom. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Praise to the Father,
praise to the Son, 
praise to the Spirit, 
Our God the Three in One.  

WORDS OF INSTITUTION

Minister: Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.

People: Therefore, let us keep the feast. 

HOLY COMMUNION

Minister: The gifts of God for the people of God.

Gluten-free communion wafers are available at the welcome table in the front lobby of the church. Please pick one up prior to coming forward to take communion. Holy Communion, also called the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist, is the family meal of Christians. We invite all committed followers of Jesus Christ to partake of this sacrament: those who are baptized members of a congregation that proclaims the Gospel, who are at peace with God and their neighbor, and who seek strength to live more faithfully for Christ.


PAGE 12

PRAYERS FOR REFLECTION

If you are not a Christian, or if you are not prepared to share in this meal, we encourage you to spend this time in prayer. We hope that this time is helpful to you as you consider your relationship with Jesus Christ and with his people, the church. If you are unable to receive Communion, we invite you to meditate on one of the following prayers:

PRAYER FOR THOSE SEARCHING FOR TRUTH: Lord Jesus, you claim to be the way, the truth, and the life. Grant that I might be undaunted by the cost of following you as I consider the reasons for doing so. If what you claim is true, please guide me, teach me, and open to me the reality of who you are. Give me an understanding of you that is coherent, convincing, and that leads to the life that you promise. Amen.

PRAYER OF BELIEF: Lord Jesus, I admit that I am weaker and more sinful than I ever before believed, but through you I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I thank you for paying my debt, bearing my punishment on the cross, and offering forgiveness and new life. Knowing that you have been raised from the dead, I turn from my sins and receive you as Savior and Lord. Amen. 

PRAYER OF COMMITMENT: Lord Jesus, you have called us to follow you in baptism and in a life of committed discipleship in your church. Grant that I may take the necessary steps to be one with your people, and live in the fullness of your Spirit. Amen.  


PAGE 13 

WE WILL FEAST IN THE HOUSE OF ZION

CHORUS
We will feast in the house of Zion
We will sing with our hearts restored
He has done great things, we will say together
We will feast and weep no more


We will not be burned by the fire He is the LORD our God
We are not consumed, by the flood Upheld, protected, gathered up 

CHORUS 

In the dark of night, before the dawn
My soul, be not afraid
For the promised morning, oh how long?
Oh God of Jacob, be my strength

CHORUS

Every vow we’ve broken and betrayed
You are the Faithful one
And from the garden to the grave
Bind us together, bring shalom.

CHORUS

2015 Drink Your Tea Music (Admin. by Music Services, Inc.) and joshmooreownsthismusic (Admin. by Music Services, Inc.) 


PAGE 14

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

MinisterLord, in your mercy,

People: hear our prayer.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Minister: Let us pray as our Lord Jesus has taught us: 

People: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,  your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is 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. Amen.


PAGE 15

SENDING INTO GOD’S WORLD

OFFERING

INSTRUMENTS OF PEACE

CHORUS
Lord, Make us instruments of your peace, 
Where there is hatred, let your love increase
Lord, make us instruments of your peace, 
Walls of pride and prejudice shall cease
When we are your instruments of peace. 

Where there is hatred, we will show his love
Where there is injury, we will never judge
Where there is striving, we will speak his peace
To the millions crying for release, 
We will be his instruments of peace

CHORUS

Where there is blindness, we will pray for sight
where there is darkness, we will shine his light
Where there is sadness, we will bear their grief
To the millions crying for relief, 
We will be your instruments of peace.

1993 Expressions of Praise Music, Maranatha Music


PAGE 16

BENEDICTION

Minister: Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! 

—Revelation 7:12

People: Amen.

DISMISSAL

Minister: Let us go forth in the name of Christ.

People: Thanks be to God!

Comment

Comment

Main Line, July 3, 2016

PAGE 2

REFLECTIONS


Love your enemies is good.  There is nothing to be said against it, except that it is too difficult for most of us to practice sincerely. — Bertrand Russell

Lord, make us instruments of your peace.  Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; when there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.  Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood and to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.  — a prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

 


PAGE 3

GATHERING BEFORE GOD
July 3, 2016
7th Sunday after Pentecost
Main Line Campus

OPENING SENTENCES

Leader: Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
 — Psalm 124:8

THIS IS AMAZING GRACE

Who breaks the power of sin and darkness
Whose love is mighty and so much stronger
The King of Glory, the King above all kings

Who shakes the whole earth with holy thunder
And leaves us breathless in awe and wonder
The King of Glory, the King above all kings

CHORUS
This is amazing grace
This is unfailing love
That You would take my place
That You would bear my cross
You lay down Your life
That I would be set free
Oh, Jesus, I sing for
All that You've done for me

Who brings our chaos back into order
Who makes the orphan a son and daughter
The King of Glory, the King of Glory

Who rules the nations with truth and justice
Shines like the sun in all of its brilliance
The King of Glory, the King above all kings

CHORUS

BRIDGE
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Worthy is the King who conquered the grave
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Worthy, worthy, worthy

CHORUS
Music and Lyrics: Philip Wickham, Josh Farro and Jeremy Riddle


PAGE 4

GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader: The Lord be with you. 
People:  And also with you. 

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: Let us worship God, our light and our salvation. 
People: The Lord is the stronghold of our lives. We desire to live in God’s house and to seek God in his holy temple.
Leader: We have come with shouts of joy, to sing and to make music to the Lord.
People: Let us worship God in spirit and in truth. Teach us your ways and make straight our paths in this hour of worship and always.  — based on Psalm 27; John 4:23

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


PAGE 5


FATHER LONG BEFORE CREATION
 
Father long before creation
Thou had chosen us in love
And that love so deep so moving
Draws us close to Christ above
Still it keeps us, still it keeps us
firmly fixed in Christ alone 

CHORUS
And the world will sing His love,
Yes the world will sing His love,
And we'll all join hands,
every woman, every man
to sing his love , to sing His love. 

Though the world may change its fashion
Yet our God is e're the same His compassion and His covenant
Through all ages will remain God's own children, 
God's own children Must forever praise His name

CHORUS  

God's compassion is my story
Is my boasting all the day
Mercy free and never failing
Moves our will directs my way
God so loved us, God so loved us
That His only Son He gave

CHORUS

Loving Father now before
Thee We will ever praise thy love
And our songs will sound unceasing
Til we reach our home above, 
Giving glory, giving glory To our God and to the Lamb  

CHORUS


PAGE 6

JESUS PAID IT ALL

I hear the Savior say,
Thy strength indeed is small
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in me thine all in all

Lord now indeed I find
Thy power and Thine alone
Can change the lepers spots, 
and melt the heart of stone

CHORUS
Jesus paid it all, All to him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow

And when before the throne,
I stand in him complete
Jesus died my soul to save,
my lips shall still repeat

CHORUS

O praise the One who paid my debt,
and raised this life up from the dead.
O praise the One who paid my debt,
and raised this life up from the dead.

CHORUS

Words by Elvina M. Hall, 1865. Music by John T. Grape.


PAGE 7

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON  

Leader: Through Jesus Christ forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. In Christ we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.                                               — from Acts 13:38; Ephesians 1:7, NRSV

SONG OF RESPONSE - TRISAGION
 
Holy God. Holy and Mighty.
Holy immortal One, have mercy, have mercy on us.
REPEAT

Holy God. Holy and Mighty.
Holy immortal One, have mercy, have mercy
Have mercy, have mercy on us. 


PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS


PAGE 8

THE WORD OF GOD

SCRIPTURE READING

Matthew 5:38-42 NRSV

38  “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39  But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; 40 and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; 41 and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. 42 Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.


Minister: This is the gospel of the Lord. 
People:   Praise to you O Christ! 

SILENT REFLECTION 

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION AND SERMON
Sermon Series: The Greatest Sermon Ever

Sermon Title: Sacrificial Love  

Speaker: Mike Harder


PAGE 9

APOSTLES’ CREED
Minister:   Let us say what we believe.

People:  We believe in God, the Father almighty,  
creator of heaven and earth.
We believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,         
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand         
of God the Father almighty.         
From there he will come to judge         
the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic1 church,         
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,         
and the life everlasting. Amen.  
                                                   
(1that is, the true Christian church of all times and all places)


PAGE 10

THE LORD’S TABLE

THE GREAT THANKSGiVING

The Lord be with you
And also with you. 

Lift up your hearts now!
We lift them to the Lord. 

Let us give thanks to the Lord our saving God. 
It is right and good, always and everywhere. 
To give thanks, to the Lord. 

Minister: Holy and right it is, and our joyful duty to give thanks to you at all times and in all places, O Lord our Creator, almighty and everlasting God! You created heaven with all its hosts and the earth with all its plenty. You have given us life and being, and preserve us by your providence. But you have shown us the fullness of your love in sending into the world your Son, Jesus Christ, the eternal Word, made flesh for us and for our salvation. For the precious gift of this mighty Savior who has reconciled us to you we praise and bless you, O God. With your whole Church on earth and with all the company of heaven we worship and adore your glorious name, saying:

Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might. 
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest!
Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might. 
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest!

Minister: Most righteous God, we remember in this Supper the perfect sacrifice offered once on the cross by our Lord Jesus Christ for the sin of the whole world. In the joy of his resurrection and in expectation of his coming again, we offer ourselves to you as holy and living sacrifices.

Minister: Together we proclaim the mystery of the faith.


PAGE 11

Minister:    Together we proclaim the mystery of the faith.

 Your death, O Christ, we proclaim.
 Your rising celebrate! 
Your coming Lord we await, to make all things new.
(REPEAT)

Minister:     Gracious God, pour out your Holy Spirit upon us, that the bread we break and the cup we bless may be the communion of the body and blood of Christ. By your Spirit make us one with Christ, that we may be one with all who share this feast, united in ministry in every place. As this bread is Christ’s body for us, send us out to be the body of Christ in the world.

Praise to the Father,
praise to the Son, 
praise to the Spirit, 
Our God the Three in One.

WORDS OF INSTITUTION

Minister:    Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.   
People:    Therefore, let us keep the feast. 

HOLY COMMUNION

Minister:      The gifts of God for the people of God.     


PAGE 12

PRAYERS FOR REFLECTION

If you are not a Christian, or if you are not prepared to share in this meal, we encourage you to spend this time in prayer. We hope that this time is helpful to you as you consider your relationship with Jesus Christ and with his people, the church. If you are unable to receive Communion, we invite you to meditate on one of the following prayers:

PRAYER FOR THOSE SEARCHING FOR TRUTH: Lord Jesus, you claim to be the way, the truth, and the life. Grant that I might be undaunted by the cost of following you as I consider the reasons for doing so. If what you claim is true, please guide me, teach me, and open to me the reality of who you are. Give me an understanding of you that is coherent, convincing, and that leads to the life that you promise. Amen.

PRAYER OF BELIEFLord Jesus, I admit that I am weaker and more sinful than I ever before believed, but through you I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I thank you for paying my debt, bearing my punishment on the cross, and offering forgiveness and new life. Knowing that you have been raised from the dead, I turn from my sins and receive you as Savior and Lord. Amen. 

PRAYER OF COMMITMENT: Lord Jesus, you have called us to follow you in baptism and in a life of committed discipleship in your church. Grant that I may take the necessary steps to be one with your people, and live in the fullness of your Spirit. Amen.  


PAGE 13

JESUS I AM RESTING

Jesus, I am resting, resting
In the joy of what thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of thy loving heart.
Thou hast bid me gaze upon thee,
As thy beauty fills my soul,
For by thy transforming power,
Thou hast made me whole.

Jesus, I am resting, resting
In the joy of what thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of thy loving heart.

O how great thy lovingkindness,
Vaster, broader than the sea!
O how marvelous thy goodness
Lavished all on me!
Yes, I rest in thee, Beloved,
Know what wealth of grace is thine,
Know thy certainty of promise
And have made it mine.

Simply trusting thee, Lord Jesus,
I behold thee as thou art,
And thy love, so pure, so changeless,
Satisfies my heart;
Satisfies its deepest longings,
Meets, supplies its every need,
Compasseth me round with blessings:
Thine is love indeed.

Ever lift thy face upon me
As I work and wait for thee;
Resting 'neath thy smile, Lord Jesus,
Earth's dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father's glory,
Sunshine of my Father's face,
Keep me ever trusting, resting,
Fill me with thy grace.

Words by Elvina M. Hall, 1865. Music by John T. Grape.


PAGE 14

 

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

Minister: Lord, in your mercy,
People: Hear our prayer.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Minister: Let us pray as our Lord Jesus has taught us:     
People:    Our Father in heaven, 
hallowed be your name,      
your kingdom come, 
your will be done, 
on earth as it is 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.
 Amen.


PAGE 15

SENDING INTO GOD’S WORLD

OFFERING 

COME THOU FOUNT

Come, thou Fount of every blessing, 
tune my heart to sing Thy grace.
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,  
call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above. 
Praise His mount! I'm fixed upon it,
mount of Thy redeeming love. 

Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
hither by Thy help I'm come;
and I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger, 
wandering from the fold of God; 
He, to rescue me from danger,
interposed His precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor,
daily I'm constrained to be! 
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, 
bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love; 
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for Thy courts above.

Words by Robert Robinson, 1758. Music by John Wyeth, 1813.


PAGE 16

BENEDICTION

Minister: Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever!    —Revelation 7:12, NRSV

People: Amen.

DISMISSAL

Minister: Let us go forth in the name of Christ.

People: Thanks be to God!

 

Comment

Comment

Center City, July 10, 2016

PAGE 2

REFLECTIONS

The Christian principle, “Love your enemies” is good… There is nothing to be said against it except that it is too difficult for most of us to practice sincerely.    -Bertrand Russell

[Is Jesus’ command to love one’s enemies] impossible?  Well, yes, at one level.  But again Jesus’ teaching isn’t just good advice, it’s good news.  Jesus did it all himself, and opened up the new way of being human so that all who follow him can discover it.  When they mocked him, he didn’t respond.  When they challenged him, he told quizzical, sometimes humorous, stories that forced them to think differently.  When they struck him, he took the pain.  When they put the worst bit of Roman equipment on his back- the heavy cross-piece on which he would be killed- he carried it out of the city to the place of his own execution.  When they nailed him to the cross, he prayed for them.    -NT Wright, from Matthew for Everyone

The only way to overcome our enemy is by loving him.   -Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship


PAGE 3

GATHERING BEFORE GOD
July 10, 2016
8th Sunday after Pentecost
Center City Campus

OPENING SENTENCES

Leader: Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
 — Psalm 124:8

ALL MUST BE WELL

Through the love of God our Savior, all will be well;
Free and changeless is His favor; all is well.
Precious is the blood that healed us;
Perfect is the grace that sealed us;
Strong the hand stretched forth to shield us;
All must be well.

Though we pass through tribulation, all will be well;
Ours is such a full salvation; all is well.
Happy still in God confiding,
Fruitful, if in Christ abiding,
Steadfast through the Spirit’s guiding,
All must be well.

We expect a bright tomorrow; all will be well;
Faith can sing through days of sorrow, all is well.
On our Father’s love relying,
Jesus every need supplying,
Yes in living, or in dying,
All must be well.

On our Father’s love relying,
Jesus every need supplying,
Yes in living, or in dying,
All must be well.

Text: Mary Bowley Peters, Music: Matthew S. Smith


PAGE 4

GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader:    The Lord be with you. 
People:     And also with you. 

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader:     Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty.
People:     Just and true are your ways, King of the nations.
Leader:     Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name?
People:     For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you.

—Revelation 15:3-4, NIV


PRAYER OF INVOCATION


PAGE 5

ALL TO JESUS I SURRENDER

  All to Jesus, I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.

REFRAIN
I surrender all, I surrender all,
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus, I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.

REFRAIN

All to Jesus, I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Let Thy blessing fall on me.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Now I feel the sacred flame.
O the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to His Name! 

Music by W.S. Weeden. Lyrics by J.W. Van Deventer, 1896/

 


PAGE 6


FROM THE INSIDE OUT

A thousand times I’ve failed
Still Your mercy remains
And should I stumble again
I’m caught in Your grace
Everlasting
Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame

Your will above all else
My purpose remains
The art of losing myself
In bringing You praise
Everlasting
Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame

PreCHORUS
In my heart and my soul
Lord I give You control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise
Become my embrace
To love You from the inside out (repeat)

CHORUS
Everlasting
Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart
Is to bring You praise
From the inside out
Lord my soul cries out

music and lyrics: Joel Houston. Hillsong United. 


PAGE 7


SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON  

Leader: Through Jesus Christ forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. In Christ we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.                                               — from Acts 13:38; Ephesians 1:7, NRSV

SONG OF RESPONSE - TRISAGION
 
Holy God. Holy and Mighty.
Holy immortal One, have mercy, have mercy on us.
REPEAT

Holy God. Holy and Mighty.
Holy immortal One, have mercy, have mercy
Have mercy, have mercy on us. 


PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS


PAGE 8

THE WORD OF GOD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION

SCRIPTURE READING
Matthew 5:43-48 NRSV

43“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Minister: This is the gospel of the Lord.

People: Praise to you O Christ! 

SERMON
Sermon Series: The Greatest Sermon Ever
Sermon Title: Sacrificial Love  
Speaker: Jared Ayers


PAGE 9

APOSTLES’ CREED
Minister:   Let us say what we believe.

People:  We believe in God, the Father almighty,  
creator of heaven and earth.
We believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,         
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand         
of God the Father almighty.         
From there he will come to judge         
the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic1 church,         
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,         
and the life everlasting. Amen.  
                                                   
(1that is, the true Christian church of all times and all places)


PAGE 10

THE LORD'S TABLE

THE GREAT THANKSGiVING

The Lord be with you
And also with you. 

Lift up your hearts now!
We lift them to the Lord. 

Let us give thanks to the Lord our saving God. 
It is right and good, always and everywhere. 
To give thanks, to the Lord. 

Minister: Holy and right it is, and our joyful duty to give thanks to you at all times and in all places, O Lord our Creator, almighty and everlasting God! You created heaven with all its hosts and the earth with all its plenty. You have given us life and being, and preserve us by your providence. But you have shown us the fullness of your love in sending into the world your Son, Jesus Christ, the eternal Word, made flesh for us and for our salvation. For the precious gift of this mighty Savior who has reconciled us to you we praise and bless you, O God. With your whole Church on earth and with all the company of heaven we worship and adore your glorious name, saying:

Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might. 
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest!
Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might. 
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest!

Minister: Most righteous God, we remember in this Supper the perfect sacrifice offered once on the cross by our Lord Jesus Christ for the sin of the whole world. In the joy of his resurrection and in expectation of his coming again, we offer ourselves to you as holy and living sacrifices.

Minister: Together we proclaim the mystery of the faith.


PAGE 11

Your death, O Christ, we proclaim
Your rising celebrate!
Your coming Lord we await, to make all things new. 
REPEAT

Minister: 
Send your Holy Spirit upon us, we pray, that the bread which we break and the cup which we bless may be to us the communion of the body and blood of Christ. Grant that, being joined together in him, we may attain to the unity of the faith and grow up in all things into Christ our Lord. And as this grain has been gathered from many fields into one loaf, and these grapes from many hills into one cup, grant, O Lord, that your whole Church may soon be gathered from the ends of the earth into your kingdom. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Praise to the Father,
Praise to the Son,
Praise to the Spirit,
Our God the Three in One. 

WORDS OF INSTITUTION

Minister: Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us. 
People: Therefore, let us keep the feast. 

HOLY COMMUNION

Minister: The gifts of God for the people of God. 

Gluten-free communion wafers are available at the welcome table in the front lobby of the church. Please pick one up prior to coming forward to take communion. Holy Communion, also called the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist, is the family meal of Christians. We invite all committed followers of Jesus Christ to partake of this sacrament: those who are baptized members of a congregation that proclaims the Gospel, who are at peace with God and their neighbor, and who seek strength to live more faithfully for Christ. 


PAGE 12

PRAYERS FOR REFLECTION
If you are not a Christian, or if you are not prepared to share in this meal, we encourage you to spend this time in prayer. We hope that this time is helpful to you as you consider your relationship with Jesus Christ and with his people, the church. If you are unable to receive Communion, we invite you to meditate on one of the following prayers:

PRAYER FOR THOSE SEARCHING FOR TRUTH: Lord Jesus, you claim to be the way, the truth, and the life. Grant that I might be undaunted by the cost of following you as I consider the reasons for doing so. If what you claim is true, please guide me, teach me, and open to me the reality of who you are. Give me an understanding of you that is coherent, convincing, and that leads to the life that you promise. Amen.

PRAYER OF BELIEF: Lord Jesus, I admit that I am weaker and more sinful than I ever before believed, but through you I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I thank you for paying my debt, bearing my punishment on the cross, and offering forgiveness and new life. Knowing that you have been raised from the dead, I turn from my sins and receive you as Savior and Lord. Amen. 

PRAYER OF COMMITMENT: Lord Jesus, you have called us to follow you in baptism and in a life of committed discipleship in your church. Grant that I may take the necessary steps to be one with your people, and live in the fullness of your Spirit. Amen.  


PAGE 13 

 

I NEED THEE EVERY HOUR

I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.
 
CHORUS
I need Thee, O I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
O bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.

 
I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby;
Temptations lose their
power when Thou art nigh.
 
CHORUS
 
I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide, or life is in vain.
 
CHORUS
 
I need Thee every hour, most Holy One;
O make me Thine indeed, Thou blessed Son.
 
CHORUS  

Music by Robert Lowry. Lyrics by Annie S. Hawks, 1872.


PAGE 14

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

Minister: Lord, in your mercy,
People: Hear our prayer.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Minister:  Let us pray as our Lord Jesus has taught us:     
People:    Our Father in heaven, 
hallowed be your name,      
your kingdom come, 
your will be done, 
on earth as it is 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.
 Amen.


PAGE 15

SENDING INTO GOD’S WORLD

OFFERING

WONDERFUL MERCIFUL SAVIOR

Wonderful, Merciful Savior
Precious Redeemer and Friend!
Who would have thought that a Lamb could
rescue the souls of men, 
Oh You rescue the souls of men. 

Counselor, Comforter, Keeper,
Spirit we long to embrace.
You offer hope when our hearts have
Hopelessly lost the way, 
oh we've hopelessly lost the way. 

You are the One that we praise,
You are the One we adore.
You give the healing and grace our
hearts always hunger for, 
oh our hearts always hunger for 

Almighty infinite Father
Faithfully loving your own
Here in our weakness you find us
falling before Your Throne, 
oh we're falling before Your throne.


PAGE 16


BENEDICTION

 

Minister: The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, remain with you always.   —based on Philippians 4:7
People:    Amen.


DISMISSAL

Minister: Let us go forth in the name of Christ.
People:Thanks be to God!

 

Comment

Comment

Main Line July 10, 2016

PAGE 2

REFLECTIONS

The Christian principle, “Love your enemies” is good… There is nothing to be said against it except that it is too difficult for most of us to practice sincerely.

-Bertrand Russell

 

[Is Jesus’ command to love one’s enemies] impossible?  Well, yes, at one level.  But again Jesus’ teaching isn’t just good advice, it’s good news.  Jesus did it all himself, and opened up the new way of being human so that all who follow him can discover it.  When they mocked him, he didn’t respond.  When they challenged him, he told quizzical, sometimes humorous, stories that forced them to think differently.  When they struck him, he took the pain.  When they put the worst bit of Roman equipment on his back- the heavy cross-piece on which he would be killed- he carried it out of the city to the place of his own execution.  When they nailed him to the cross, he prayed for them.

-NT Wright, from Matthew for Everyone

 

The only way to overcome our enemy is by loving him.

-Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship


PAGE 3

GATHERING BEFORE GOD

July 10th, 2016
8th Sunday after Pentecost
Main Line Campus

OPENING SENTENCES
Leader:     Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
— Psalm 124:8

 


10,000 REASONS

CHORUS
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name


The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

CHORUS

You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

CHORUS

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

CHORUS x2

Words and Music by Jonas Myrin and Matt Redman, 2011.
© 2011 Shout! Publishing

 


PAGE 4

GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader:    The Lord be with you. 
People:     And also with you. 

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader:     Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty.
People:     Just and true are your ways, King of the nations.
Leader:     Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name?
People:     For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you.

—Revelation 15:3-4, NIV


PRAYER OF INVOCATION


PAGE 5


HOLY HOLY HOLY

Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty! 
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee; 
Holy, Holy, Holy, Merciful and Mighty! 

Holy, Holy, Holy, all the saints adore Thee. 
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea; 
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee, 
Who wert and art and ever more shall be. 

Holy, holy, holy, Though the darkness hide Thee, 
Tho' the eye of sinful man your glory may not see, 
Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee
Perfect in power, in love and purity. 

Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty! 
All Thy works shall praise Thy name in earth and sky and sea. 
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and Mighty! 
God in three persons, blessed Trinity! 

Words and Music by Reginald Heber.


PAGE 6


THY MERCY MY GOD

Thy mercy, my God, is the theme of my song, 
The joy of my heart. and the boast of my tongue; 
Thy free grace alone, from the first to the last, 
Hath won my affections, and bound my soul fast.

Without Thy sweet mercy I could not live here; 
Sin would reduce me to utter despair; 
But, through Thy free goodness, my spirits revive, 
And He that first made me still keeps me alive.

Thy mercy is more than a match for my heart, 
Which wonders to feel its own hardness depart; 
Dissolved by Thy goodness, I fall to the ground, 
And weep to the praise of the mercy I’ve found.

Great Father of mercies, Thy goodness I own, 
And the covenant love of Thy crucified Son; 
All praise to the Spirit, Whose whisper divine
Seals mercy, and pardon, and righteousness mine. 
All praise to the Spirit, Whose whisper divine
Seals mercy, and pardon, and righteousness mine.

Lyrics by John Stocker; Music by Sandra McCracken
©2001 Same Old Dress Music (ASCAP).


PAGE 7

CALL TO CONFESSION 

Leader: No one who conceals transgressions will prosper, but one who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.  —Proverbs 28:13 NRSV

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

People: Holy and merciful God, in your presence we confess our sinfulness, our shortcomings, and our offenses  against you. You alone know how often we have sinned in wandering from your ways, in wasting your gifts, in forgetting your love. Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we are ashamed and sorry for all we have done to displease you. Forgive our sins, and help us to live in your light and walk in your ways, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.    

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader: The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds. Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.
—Psalm 147:2-3, 5, NRSV                               

SONG OF RESPONSE - TRISAGION
 
Holy God. Holy and Mighty.
Holy immortal One, have mercy, have mercy on us.
REPEAT

Holy God. Holy and Mighty.
Holy immortal One, have mercy, have mercy
Have mercy, have mercy on us. 


PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENT


PAGE 8

THE WORD OF GOD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION

SCRIPTURE READING
Matthew 5:43-48 NRSV

43“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Minister: This is the gospel of the Lord.

People: Praise to you O Christ! 

SERMON
Sermon Series: The Greatest Sermon Ever
Sermon Title: Sacrificial Love  
Speaker: Jared Ayers


PAGE 9

APOSTLES’ CREED
Minister:   Let us say what we believe.

People:  We believe in God, the Father almighty,  
creator of heaven and earth.
We believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,         
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand         
of God the Father almighty.         
From there he will come to judge         
the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic1 church,         
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,         
and the life everlasting. Amen.  
                                                   
(1that is, the true Christian church of all times and all places)


PAGE 10

THE LORD’S TABLE

THE GREAT THANKSGIVING


The Lord be with you. 
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts now!  
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our saving God.
It is right and good, always and everywhere.
To give thanks, to the Lord.
 

Minister:     With joy we praise you, gracious God, for you have created heaven and earth, made us in your image, and  kept covenant with us— even when we fell into sin. We give you thanks for Jesus Christ, our Lord, who by his  glorious resurrection overcame the power of sin and             gave us new life. Therefore we join our voices with all the saints and angels and the whole creation to proclaim the glory of your name, saying:              

Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest!
Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest!

Minister:      By your power you raised Jesus from death to life. Through his victory over the grave we are set free from the bonds of sin and the fear of death to share the glorious freedom of the children of God. In his rising to life you promise eternal life to all who believe in him.We praise you that as we break bread in faith, we shall know the risen Christ among us.                


PAGE 11

Minister:    Together we proclaim the mystery of the faith.

 Your death, O Christ, we proclaim.
 Your rising celebrate! 
Your coming Lord we await, to make all things new.
(REPEAT)

Minister:     Gracious God, pour out your Holy Spirit upon us, that the bread we break and the cup we bless may be the communion of the body and blood of Christ. By your Spirit make us one with Christ, that we may be one with all who share this feast, united in ministry in every place. As this bread is Christ’s body for us, send us out to be the body of Christ in the world.

Praise to the Father,
praise to the Son, 
praise to the Spirit, 
Our God the Three in One.

WORDS OF INSTITUTION

Minister:    Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.   
People:    Therefore, let us keep the feast. 

HOLY COMMUNION

Minister:      The gifts of God for the people of God.     


PAGE 12

PRAYERS FOR REFLECTION

If you are not a Christian, or if you are not prepared to share in this meal, we encourage you to spend this time in prayer. We hope that this time is helpful to you as you consider your relationship with Jesus Christ and with his people, the church. If you are unable to receive Communion, we invite you to meditate on one of the following prayers:

PRAYER FOR THOSE SEARCHING FOR TRUTH: Lord Jesus, you claim to be the way, the truth, and the life. Grant that I might be undaunted by the cost of following you as I consider the reasons for doing so. If what you claim is true, please guide me, teach me, and open to me the reality of who you are. Give me an understanding of you that is coherent, convincing, and that leads to the life that you promise. Amen.

PRAYER OF BELIEFLord Jesus, I admit that I am weaker and more sinful than I ever before believed, but through you I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I thank you for paying my debt, bearing my punishment on the cross, and offering forgiveness and new life. Knowing that you have been raised from the dead, I turn from my sins and receive you as Savior and Lord. Amen. 

PRAYER OF COMMITMENT: Lord Jesus, you have called us to follow you in baptism and in a life of committed discipleship in your church. Grant that I may take the necessary steps to be one with your people, and live in the fullness of your Spirit. Amen.  


PAGE 13

CHRIST IS RISEN

Let no one caught in sin remain
Inside the lie of inward shame
But fix our eyes upon the cross
And run to Him who showed great love
And bled for us
Freely You’ve bled for us 

CHORUS
Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave
Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

Beneath the weight of all our sin
You bowed to none but heaven’s will
No scheme of hell, no scoffer’s crown
No burden great can hold You down
In strength You reign
Forever let Your church proclaim 

CHORUS

Bridge
O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light
The glory of God has defeated the night
O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light
Our God is not dead
He’s alive! He’s alive!

CHORUS

© 2009 Thank you Music, spiritandsong.com, Unknown, and SHOUT! Publishing


PAGE 14

COMMUNION PRAYER

Minister:     We thank you, O Father, that through Word and Sacrament you have given us your Son, who is the true  bread from heaven and food of eternal life. So strengthen us in your service that our daily living may show our thanks, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Minister:     Let us pray as our Lord Jesus has taught us:     
People:    Our Father in heaven, 
 hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, 
 your will be done, on earth as it is 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.
Amen.


PAGE 15

SENDING INTO GOD’S WORLD

THIS IS MY FATHER’S WORLD

This is my Father’s world, 
and to my listening ears
All nature sings and round me rings  
the music of the spheres.

This is my Father’s world,
I rest me in the thought
of rocks and trees, of skies and seas,
His hands the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world;
the birds their carols raise.
The morning light, the lily white,
declare their Maker’s praise.

This is my Father’s world;
He shines in all that’s fair.
In the rustling grass, I hear Him pass.  
He speaks to me every - where.

This is my Father’s world,  
O let me ne’er forget:
That though the wrong seems oft’ so strong, 
God is the ruler yet.

This is my Father’s world,
the battle is not done.
Jesus who died shall be satisfied,
and earth and heaven be one

Words by Maltbie D. Babcock, 1901. Music by Terra Beata, 1915.


PAGE 16

BENEDICTION
Minister:    The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, remain with you always. —based on Philippians 4:7
           
People:    Amen.

DISMISSAL

Minister: Let us go forth in the name of Christ.


People: Thanks be to God!

 

 

 

Comment

Comment

Main Line: Sunday, July 24, 2016

PAGE 2

REFLECTION

Why, all the souls that were were forfeit once; 
And He that might the vantage best have took
Found out the remedy. How would you be
If He, which is the top of judgment, should
But judge you as you are? O, think on that; 
And mercy then will breathe within your lips, 
Like man new made. 

- William Shakespeare, from Measure for Measure

 


PAGE 3

GATHERING BEFORE GOD

August 14th, 2016
13th Sunday after Pentecost
Main Line Campus

OPENING SENTENCES

Leader: Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
 — Psalm 124:8

 

HOW GREAT THOU ART

O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works Thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed. 

CHORUS
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee;
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee;
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!


When through the woods, the forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees,
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze.

 CHORUS 

And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin. 

CHORUS

 When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration
And there proclaim, my God how great Thou art!

 CHORUS

Music and lyrics by Stuart H. Hine, 1949. Adapted from a Swedish folk melody.


PAGE 4

GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader:    The Lord be with you. 
People:     And also with you. 


CALL TO WORSHIP


Leader:  Sing a new song to the Lord, who has worked wonders, whose right hand and holy arm have brought salvation.

People: The Lord has made known salvation; has shown justice to the nations; has remembered truth and love for the house of Israel.

Leader: All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

People: Shout to the Lord, all the earth, sing out your joy.

Leader: Sing psalms to the Lord with the harp, with the sound of music.

People: With trumpets and the sound of the horn acclaim the King, the Lord.

— based on Psalm 98:1-6


PRAYER OF INVOCATION


PAGE 5

HAPPY DAY
The greatest day in history
Death is beaten, You have rescued me
Sing it out, Jesus is alive

The empty cross, the empty grave
Life eternal, You have won the day
Shout it out, Jesus is alive
He's alive

CHORUS
Oh, happy day, happy day
You washed my sin away
Oh, happy day, happy day
I'll never be the same
Forever I am changed

When I stand in that place
Free at last, meeting face to face
I am yours, Jesus, You are mine

Endless joy, perfect peace
Earthly pain finally will cease
Celebrate, Jesus is alive
He's alive

CHORUS

BRIDGE
Oh, what a glorious day
What a glorious way
That You have saved me
Oh, what a glorious day
What a glorious name

CHORUS

Songwriters Timothy David Hughes; Ben Cantelon

 


PAGE 6

INSTRUMENTS OF PEACE

CHORUS
Lord, Make us instruments of your peace, 
Where there is hatred, let your love increase
Lord, make us instruments of your peace, 
Walls of pride and prejudice shall cease
When we are your instruments of peace. 

Where there is hatred, we will show his love
Where there is injury, we will never judge
Where there is striving, we will speak his peace
To the millions crying for release, 
We will be his instruments of peace 

CHORUS

Where there is blindness, we will pray for sight
where there is darkness, we will shine his light
Where there is sadness, we will bear their grief
To the millions crying for relief, 
We will be your instruments of peace.

1993 Expressions of Praise Music, Maranatha Music


PAGE 7


CALL TO CONFESSION 

Leader: Seeing that we have a great High Priest who has entered the inmost heaven, Jesus the Son of God,
let us therefore approach the throne of grace with fullest confidence, that we may receive mercy for our failures and grace to help in the hour of need. In the strength of this assurance, let us confess our sins to God.
—based on Hebrews 4:14, 16

PRAYER OF CONFESSION
People:     Lord, you showed us true humility by becoming one of us, yet too often we practice pride. You freely forgave and healed, yet too often we hold grudges and cause pain. You lived a perfectly holy life, yet too often we do not yearn for righteousness. You prayed that we who believe in you should be united with each other and    you, yet too often we focus on the differences that separate us from other believers. You were mocked, whipped, and even killed for us, yet too often we deny you. You cried alongside your friends and for the city of Jerusalem, yet too often we rush past the pain of others and are careless about our cities. You loved those who were weak, despised, or cast out, yet too often we love those who are strong, respected, or popular. Forgive us, Lord, so that we will shine with your glory. Amen.

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON  
Leader: The Lord is faithful in all his words, and gracious in all his deeds.The Lord upholds all who are falling, and raises up all who are bowed down.   
—Psalm 145:13-14, NRSV                                            

SONG OF RESPONSE - TRISAGION
 
Holy God. Holy and Mighty.
Holy immortal One, have mercy, have mercy on us.
REPEAT
Holy God. Holy and Mighty.
Holy immortal One, have mercy, have mercy
Have mercy, have mercy on us. 

PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS


PAGE 8

THE WORD OF GOD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION

SCRIPTURE READING

Matthew 7:1-6 NRSV

1“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. 2For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. 3Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? 4Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye. 6“Do not give what is holy to dogs; and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under foot and turn and maul you.

Minister: This is the gospel of the Lord. 
People:   Praise to you O Christ!

SERMON
Sermon Series: The Greatest Sermon Ever

Sermon Title: Don’t Judge

Speaker: Jared Ayers 


PAGE 9

APOSTLES’ CREED
Minister:    Let us say what we believe.

People:     We believe in God, the Father almighty,  
creator of heaven and earth.
We believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,         
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand         
of God the Father almighty.         
From there he will come to judge         
the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic1 church,         
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,         
and the life everlasting. Amen.  
                                                   
(1that is, the true Christian church of all times and all places)


PAGE 10

THE LORD'S TABLE

THE GREAT THANKSGiVING

The Lord be with you
And also with you. 

Lift up your hearts now!
We lift them to the Lord. 

Let us give thanks to the Lord our saving God. 
It is right and good, always and everywhere. 
To give thanks, to the Lord. 

Minister: Holy and right it is, and our joyful duty to give thanks to you at all times and in all places, O Lord our Creator, almighty and everlasting God! You created heaven with all its hosts and the earth with all its plenty. You have given us life and being, and preserve us by your providence. But you have shown us the fullness of your love in sending into the world your Son, Jesus Christ, the eternal Word, made flesh for us and for our salvation. For the precious gift of this mighty Savior who has reconciled us to you we praise and bless you, O God. With your whole Church on earth and with all the company of heaven we worship and adore your glorious name, saying:

Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might. 
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest!
Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might. 
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest!

Minister: Most righteous God, we remember in this Supper the perfect sacrifice offered once on the cross by our Lord Jesus Christ for the sin of the whole world. In the joy of his resurrection and in expectation of his coming again, we offer ourselves to you as holy and living sacrifices.

Minister: Together we proclaim the mystery of the faith. 


PAGE 11

Your death, O Christ, we proclaim
Your rising celebrate!
Your coming Lord we await, to make all things new. 
REPEAT

Minister: 
Send your Holy Spirit upon us, we pray, that the bread which we break and the cup which we bless may be to us the communion of the body and blood of Christ. Grant that, being joined together in him, we may attain to the unity of the faith and grow up in all things into Christ our Lord. And as this grain has been gathered from many fields into one loaf, and these grapes from many hills into one cup, grant, O Lord, that your whole Church may soon be gathered from the ends of the earth into your kingdom. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Praise to the Father,
Praise to the Son,
Praise to the Spirit,
Our God the Three in One. 

WORDS OF INSTITUTION

Minister: Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us. 
People: Therefore, let us keep the feast. 

HOLY COMMUNION

Minister: The gifts of God for the people of God. 

Gluten-free communion wafers are available at the welcome table in the front lobby of the church. Please pick one up prior to coming forward to take communion. Holy Communion, also called the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist, is the family meal of Christians. We invite all committed followers of Jesus Christ to partake of this sacrament: those who are baptized members of a congregation that proclaims the Gospel, who are at peace with God and their neighbor, and who seek strength to live more faithfully for Christ. 


PAGE 12
 

PRAYERS FOR REFLECTION

If you are not a Christian, or if you are not prepared to share in this meal, we encourage you to spend this time in prayer. We hope that this time is helpful to you as you consider your relationship with Jesus Christ and with his people, the church. If you are unable to receive Communion, we invite you to meditate on one of the following prayers:

PRAYER FOR THOSE SEARCHING FOR TRUTH: Lord Jesus, you claim to be the way, the truth, and the life. Grant that I might be undaunted by the cost of following you as I consider the reasons for doing so. If what you claim is true, please guide me, teach me, and open to me the reality of who you are. Give me an understanding of you that is coherent, convincing, and that leads to the life that you promise. Amen.

PRAYER OF BELIEF: Lord Jesus, I admit that I am weaker and more sinful than I ever before believed, but through you I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I thank you for paying my debt, bearing my punishment on the cross, and offering forgiveness and new life. Knowing that you have been raised from the dead, I turn from my sins and receive you as Savior and Lord. Amen. 

PRAYER OF COMMITMENT: Lord Jesus, you have called us to follow you in baptism and in a life of committed discipleship in your church. Grant that I may take the necessary steps to be one with your people, and live in the fullness of your Spirit. Amen.


PAGE 13


PSALM 126

Our mouths, they were filled, filled with laughter.
Our tongues, they were loosed, loosed with joy.
Restore us, O Lord! Restore us, O Lord!

CHORUS
Although we are weeping,
Lord, help us keep sowing
The seeds of Your Kingdom
For the day You will reap them!
Your sheaves we will carry;
Lord, please do not tarry!
All those who sow weeping
Will go out with songs of joy!


The nations will say “He has done great things!”
The nations will sing songs of joy.
Restore us, O Lord! Restore us, O Lord!

CHORUS x2

Music & lyrics by Isaac Wardell, 2012.

 


PAGE 14

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

Minister: Lord in your mercy, 
People: Hear our prayer.

Minister: Let us pray as our Lord Jesus has taught us:

People: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth as it is 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. Amen.


PAGE 15
 

SENDING INTO GOD’S WORLD

OFFERING

GRACE THAT IS GREATER


Marvelous grace of our loving Lord
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary's mount outpoured -
there where the blood of the Lamb was spilt

CHORUS
Grace, grace, God's grace
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within
Grace, grace, God's grace
Grace that is greater than all our sin


Sin and despair like the sea-waves cold
Threaten the soul with infinite loss
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold
Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.

CHORUS

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?

CHORUS

Music by Daniel Towner, 1910. Lyrics by Julia Johnston, 1911.

 


PAGE 16

BENEDICTION

Minister:  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. —2 Corinthians 13:13, NRSV

People:    Amen.


DISMISSAL

Minister:     Lets us go forth in the name of Christ.

People:     Thanks be to God!


                

 

Comment

Comment

CENTER CITY: Sunday, March 27, 2016 Easter

PAGE 2

REFLECTIONS

Make no mistake: if he rose at all
It was as His body;
If the cell’s dissolution did not reverse, the molecule reknit,
The amino acids rekindle,
The Church will fall.

It was not as the flowers,
Each soft spring recurrent;
It was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled eyes of the
Eleven apostles;

It was as His flesh; ours.
The same hinged thumbs and toes
The same valved heart
That—pierced—died, withered, paused, and then regathered
Out of enduring Might
New strength to enclose.

Let us not mock God with metaphor,
Analogy, sidestepping, transcendence,
Making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the faded
Credulity of earlier ages:
Let us walk through the door.

The stone is rolled back, not papier-mache,
Not a stone in a story,
But the vast rock of materiality that in the slow grinding of
Time will eclipse for each of us
The wide light of day.

And if we have an angel at the tomb,
Make it a real angel,
Weighty with Max Planck’s quanta, vivid with hair, opaque in
The dawn light, robed in real linen
Spun on a definite loom.

Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
For our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
Lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are embarrassed
By the miracle,
And crushed by remonstrance.

-John Updike, “Seven Stanzas at Easter”


GATHERING BEFORE GOD
 March 27, 2016
Easter Sunday

Center City Campus

OPENING SENTENCES

Leader: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy has born us again into a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Amen.

CHRIST THE LORD IS RISEN TODAY


Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia! 
Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia! 
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia! 
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!  

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia! 
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia! 
Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia! 
Where's thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia!

Love's redeeming work is done, Alleluia! 
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia! 
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia! 
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia! 

Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia! 
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia! 
Made like him, like him we rise, Alleluia! 
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!
 

Music by John Baptist Walsh, 1708. Lyrics by Charles Wesley, 1739.


PAGE 4

GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader:    Alleluia! Christ is risen. 

People:     The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia! 

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader:     Alleluia! Christ is risen.

People:     He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Leader:     Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

People:     He has given us new life and hope. He has raised Jesus from the dead.

Leader:     God has claimed us as his own. He has brought us out of darkness.

People:     He has made us light to the world.

Leader:     Alleluia! Christ is risen.

People:     He is risen indeed. Alleluia! 

—Based on 1 Peter 1:3-5
 

PRAYER OF INVOCATION 


PAGE 5

JESUS PAID IT ALL (O PRAISE THE ONE)

I hear the Savior say,
Thy strength indeed is small
Child of weakness, watch and pray, Find in me thine all in all

Lord, now indeed I find
Thy power, and Thine alone
Can change the lepers spots,
and melt the heart of stone

CHORUS
Jesus paid it all,
All to him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow
And when before the throne, I stand in him complete
Jesus died my soul to save, my lips shall still repeat

CHORUS

O praise the One who paid my debt,
and raised this life up from the dead.
O praise the One who paid my debt,
and raised this life up from the dead.

CHORUS

Lyrics/Music by Kristian Stanfill. 

 


PAGE 6

CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader:     In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! 
—Isaiah 30:15, 18, NIV

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

People:     Almighty God, in raising Jesus from the grave, you shattered the power of sin and death. We confess that we remain captive to doubt and fear, bound by the ways that lead to death. We overlook the poor and the hungry and pass by those who mourn; we are deaf to        the cries of the oppressed and indifferent to calls for peace; we despise the weak and abuse the earth you made. Forgive us, God of mercy. Help us to trust your power to change our lives and make us new, that we may know the joy of life abundant given in Jesus Christ, the risen Lord. Amen. 

SILENT CONFESSION 

WORDS OF PARDON
Leader: God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

—Ephesians 2:4-6, NRSV

SONG OF RESPONSE - GLORIA PATRI

Glory be to the Father, Glory be to the Son, 
Glory be to the Spirit, Three in one
As it was in the beginning it will be forever
Amen, Amen, Amen 

(REPEAT)

PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS  


PAGE 7

THE WORD OF GOD  
SCRIPTURE READING

Luke 24:1-12, NRSV

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.’ Then they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.

Minister: This is the gospel of the Lord. 
People: Praise to you O Christ! 

SILENT REFLECTION
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION & SERMON

Sermon Title: An Idle Tale?
Speaker: Jared Ayers


PAGE 9


NICENE CREED

Minister:    Let us say what we believe.

People:     We believe in one God, 
                  the Father, the Almighty, 
                  maker of heaven and earth, of all that is,
                  seen and unseen. 
                 We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, 
                 the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, 
                 God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,
                 begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father.
                 Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation
                  he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
                  and became truly human. 
                  For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
                  he suffered death and was buried.
                 On the third day he rose again
                 in accordance with the Scriptures;
                 he ascended into heaven
                 and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 
                 He will come again in glory
                 to judge the living and the dead,
                 and his kingdom will have no end. 

                 We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
                 who proceeds from the Father [and the Son], 
                 who with the Father and the Son
                  is worshiped and glorified, 
                 who has spoken through the prophets. 
                 We believe in one holy catholic*
                  and apostolic Church. 

                 We acknowledge one baptism
                 for the forgiveness of sins. 
                We look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.
        (*that is, the true Christian church of all times and all places)


PAGE 10


THE LORD’S TABLE

THE GREAT THANKSGIVING

The Lord be with you. 
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts now!  
We lift them to the Lord.

      Let us give thanks to the Lord our saving God.
It is right and good, always and everywhere,
To give thanks, to the Lord.

 

Minister:     With joy we praise you, gracious God, for you have created heaven and earth, made us in your image, and kept covenant with us— even when we fell into sin. We give you thanks for Jesus Christ, our Lord, who by his glorious resurrection overcame the power of sin and gave us new life. Therefore we join our voices with all the saints and angels and the whole creation to    proclaim the glory of your name, saying: 

      Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
         hosanna in the highest!
Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory, 
 hosanna in the highest!

 

Minister:     By your power you raised Jesus from death to life. Through his victory over the grave we are set free from the bonds of sin and the fear of death to share the glorious freedom of the children of God. In his rising to life you promise eternal life to all who believe in him. We praise you that as we break bread in faith, we shall know the risen Christ among us. 


PAGE 11

  Your death, O Christ, we proclaim.
Your rising celebrate! 

       Your coming Lord we await, to make all things new.
(REPEAT)

 

Minister:     Gracious God, pour out your Holy Spirit upon us, that the bread we break and the cup we bless may be the communion of the body and blood of Christ. By your Spirit make us one with Christ, that we may be one with all who share this feast, united in ministry in every place. As this bread is Christ’s body for us, send us out to be the body of Christ in the world.

 Praise to the Father,
praise to the Son, 
praise to the Spirit, 
Our God the Three in One

WORDS OF INSTITUTION

Minister:    Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.  
People:    Therefore, let us keep the feast. 

HOLY COMMUNION

Minister:      The gifts of God for the people of God.     

Gluten-free communion wafers are available at the welcome table in the front lobby of the church. Please pick one up prior to coming forward to take communion. Holy Communion, also called the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist, is the family meal of Christians. We invite all committed followers of Jesus Christ to partake of this sacrament: those who are baptized members of a congregation that proclaims the Gospel, who are at peace with God and their neighbor, and who seek strength to live more faithfully for Christ.


PAGE 12

PRAYERS FOR REFLECTION

If you are not a Christian, or if you are not prepared to share in this meal, we encourage you to spend this time in prayer. We hope that this time is helpful to you as you consider your relationship with Jesus Christ and with his people, the church. If you are unable to receive Communion, we invite you to meditate on one of the following prayers:

PRAYER FOR THOSE SEARCHING FOR TRUTH: Lord Jesus, you claim to be the way, the truth, and the life. Grant that I might be undaunted by the cost of following you as I consider the reasons for doing so. If what you claim is true, please guide me, teach me, and open to me the reality of who you are. Give me an understanding of you that is coherent, convincing, and that leads to the life that you promise. Amen.

PRAYER OF BELIEFLord Jesus, I admit that I am weaker and more sinful than I ever before believed, but through you I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I thank you for paying my debt, bearing my punishment on the cross, and offering forgiveness and new life. Knowing that you have been raised from the dead, I turn from my sins and receive you as Savior and Lord. Amen. 

PRAYER OF COMMITMENT: Lord Jesus, you have called us to follow you in baptism and in a life of committed discipleship in your church. Grant that I may take the necessary steps to be one with your people, and live in the fullness of your Spirit. Amen.  


PAGE 13
 

CHRIST IS RISEN

Let no one caught in sin remain
Inside the lie of inward shame
But fix our eyes upon the cross
And run to Him who showed great love
And bled for us
Freely You've bled for us

CHORUS
Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave
(REPEAT)

Beneath the weight of all our sin
You bowed to none but heaven's will
No scheme of hell, no scoffer's crown
No burden great can hold You down
In strength You reign
Forever let Your church proclaim

CHORUS

BRIDGE
O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light
The glory of God has defeated the night

O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light
Our God is not dead
He's alive! He's alive!

CHORUS (2x)

Words and Music by Matt Maher, 2009.


PAGE 14
 

COMMUNION PRAYER
    
People:     God our Father, you have invited us to share in the supper which your Son gave to his Church to proclaim his death until he comes: may he nourish us by his presence, and unite us in his love; who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Minister:     Let us pray as our Lord Jesus has taught us:  
People:    Our Father in heaven, 
                hallowed be your name,  
                your kingdom come, 
                your will be done, 
                on earth as it is 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.
               Amen.


PAGE 15
 

SENDING INTO GOD’S WORLD

OFFERING

IN CHRIST ALONE

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.

What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.

Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!

And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow'r of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.

No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand.


Music by Stuart Townsend, 2001. Lyrics by Keith Getty, 2001.


 


PAGE 16

BENEDICTION

Minister: God the Father, by whose glory Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, strengthen you to walk with him in his risen life; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you always.

People:     Amen.

DISMISSAL

Minister:    Go out now, in the hope of the resurrected Lord Jesus, to love and serve the world. 
People:     Thanks be to God!

 

 

 

 

Comment

Comment

MAIN LINE: Sunday, March 27, 2016- Easter

PAGE 2

REFLECTIONS

Make no mistake: if he rose at all
It was as His body;
If the cell’s dissolution did not reverse, the molecule reknit,
The amino acids rekindle,
The Church will fall.

It was not as the flowers,
Each soft spring recurrent;
It was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled eyes of the
Eleven apostles;

It was as His flesh; ours.
The same hinged thumbs and toes
The same valved heart
That—pierced—died, withered, paused, and then regathered
Out of enduring Might
New strength to enclose.

Let us not mock God with metaphor,
Analogy, sidestepping, transcendence,
Making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the faded
Credulity of earlier ages:
Let us walk through the door.

The stone is rolled back, not papier-mache,
Not a stone in a story,
But the vast rock of materiality that in the slow grinding of
Time will eclipse for each of us
The wide light of day.

And if we have an angel at the tomb,
Make it a real angel,
Weighty with Max Planck’s quanta, vivid with hair, opaque in
The dawn light, robed in real linen
Spun on a definite loom.

Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
For our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
Lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are embarrassed
By the miracle,
And crushed by remonstrance.

-John Updike, “Seven Stanzas at Easter”

GATHERING BEFORE GOD
 March 27, 2016
Easter Sunday

Main Line Campus

OPENING SENTENCES

Leader: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy has born us again into a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Amen.

CHRIST THE LORD IS RISEN TODAY


Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia! 
Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia! 
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia! 
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!  

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia! 
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia! 
Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia! 
Where's thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia!

Love's redeeming work is done, Alleluia! 
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia! 
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia! 
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia! 

Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia! 
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia! 
Made like him, like him we rise, Alleluia! 
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!
 

Music by John Baptist Walsh, 1708. Lyrics by Charles Wesley, 1739.


PAGE 4

GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader:    Alleluia! Christ is risen. 

People:     The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia! 

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader:     Alleluia! Christ is risen.

People:     He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Leader:     Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

People:     He has given us new life and hope. He has raised Jesus from the dead.

Leader:     God has claimed us as his own. He has brought us out of darkness.

People:     He has made us light to the world.

Leader:     Alleluia! Christ is risen.

People:     He is risen indeed. Alleluia! 

—Based on 1 Peter 1:3-5
 

PRAYER OF INVOCATION 


PAGE 5

GOD IS ABLE

God is able He will never fail
He is Almighty God
Greater than all we seek greater than all we ask
He has done great things

CHORUS
Lifted up He defeated the grave
Raised to life our God is able
In His Name we overcome
For the Lord our God is able


God is with us God is on our side
He will make a way
Far above all we know far above all we hope
He has done great things

God is with us He will go before
He will never leave us He will never leave us
God is for us He has open arms
He will never fail us He will never fail us

For the Lord our God is able
For the Lord our God is able

Words and Music by Hillsong United, 2010. 


PAGE 6

CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader:     In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
—Isaiah 30:15, 18, NIV

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

People:     Almighty God, in raising Jesus from the grave, you shattered the power of sin and death. We confess that we remain captive to doubt and fear, bound by the ways that lead to death. We overlook the poor and the hungry and pass by those who mourn; we are deaf to        the cries of the oppressed and indifferent to calls for peace; we despise the weak and abuse the earth you made. Forgive us, God of mercy. Help us to trust your power to change our lives and make us new, that we may know the joy of life abundant given in Jesus Christ, the risen Lord. Amen. 

SILENT CONFESSION 

WORDS OF PARDON
Leader: God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

—Ephesians 2:4-6, NRSV

SONG OF RESPONSE - GLORIA PATRI

Glory be to the Father, Glory be to the Son, 
Glory be to the Spirit, Three in one
As it was in the beginning it will be forever
Amen, Amen, Amen 

(REPEAT)

PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS  


PAGE 7

THE WORD OF GOD  
SCRIPTURE READING

Luke 24:1-12, NRSV

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.’ Then they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.

Minister: This is the gospel of the Lord.
People: Praise to you O Christ! 

SILENT REFLECTION
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION & SERMON

Sermon Title: An Idle Tale?
Speaker: Jared Ayers


PAGE 9


NICENE CREED

Minister:    Let us say what we believe.

People:     We believe in one God, 
                  the Father, the Almighty, 
                  maker of heaven and earth, of all that is,
                  seen and unseen. 
                 We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, 
                 the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, 
                 God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,
                 begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father.
                 Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation
                  he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
                  and became truly human. 
                  For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
                  he suffered death and was buried.
                 On the third day he rose again
                 in accordance with the Scriptures;
                 he ascended into heaven
                 and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 
                 He will come again in glory
                 to judge the living and the dead,
                 and his kingdom will have no end. 

                 We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
                 who proceeds from the Father [and the Son], 
                 who with the Father and the Son
                  is worshiped and glorified, 
                 who has spoken through the prophets. 
                 We believe in one holy catholic*
                  and apostolic Church. 

                 We acknowledge one baptism
                 for the forgiveness of sins. 
                We look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.
        (*that is, the true Christian church of all times and all places)


PAGE 10


THE LORD’S TABLE

THE GREAT THANKSGIVING

 

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts now!  
We lift them to the Lord.

      Let us give thanks to the Lord our saving God.
It is right and good, always and everywhere,
To give thanks, to the Lord.

 

Minister:     With joy we praise you, gracious God, for you have created heaven and earth, made us in your image, and kept covenant with us— even when we fell into sin. We give you thanks for Jesus Christ, our Lord, who by his glorious resurrection overcame the power of sin and gave us new life. Therefore we join our voices with all the saints and angels and the whole creation to    proclaim the glory of your name, saying: 

      Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
         hosanna in the highest!
Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory, 
 hosanna in the highest!

 

Minister:     By your power you raised Jesus from death to life. Through his victory over the grave we are set free from the bonds of sin and the fear of death to share the glorious freedom of the children of God. In his rising to life you promise eternal life to all who believe in him. We praise you that as we break bread in faith, we shall know the risen Christ among us. 


PAGE 11

  Your death, O Christ, we proclaim.
Your rising celebrate! 

       Your coming Lord we await, to make all things new.
(REPEAT)

 

Minister:     Gracious God, pour out your Holy Spirit upon us, that the bread we break and the cup we bless may be the communion of the body and blood of Christ. By your Spirit make us one with Christ, that we may be one with all who share this feast, united in ministry in every place. As this bread is Christ’s body for us, send us out to be the body of Christ in the world.

 Praise to the Father,
praise to the Son, 
praise to the Spirit, 
Our God the Three in One

WORDS OF INSTITUTION

Minister:    Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.  
People:    Therefore, let us keep the feast. 

HOLY COMMUNION

Minister:      The gifts of God for the people of God.     

Gluten-free communion wafers are available at the welcome table in the front lobby of the church. Please pick one up prior to coming forward to take communion. Holy Communion, also called the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist, is the family meal of Christians. We invite all committed followers of Jesus Christ to partake of this sacrament: those who are baptized members of a congregation that proclaims the Gospel, who are at peace with God and their neighbor, and who seek strength to live more faithfully for Christ.


PAGE 12

PRAYERS FOR REFLECTION

If you are not a Christian, or if you are not prepared to share in this meal, we encourage you to spend this time in prayer. We hope that this time is helpful to you as you consider your relationship with Jesus Christ and with his people, the church. If you are unable to receive Communion, we invite you to meditate on one of the following prayers:

PRAYER FOR THOSE SEARCHING FOR TRUTH: Lord Jesus, you claim to be the way, the truth, and the life. Grant that I might be undaunted by the cost of following you as I consider the reasons for doing so. If what you claim is true, please guide me, teach me, and open to me the reality of who you are. Give me an understanding of you that is coherent, convincing, and that leads to the life that you promise. Amen.

PRAYER OF BELIEF: Lord Jesus, I admit that I am weaker and more sinful than I ever before believed, but through you I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I thank you for paying my debt, bearing my punishment on the cross, and offering forgiveness and new life. Knowing that you have been raised from the dead, I turn from my sins and receive you as Savior and Lord. Amen. 

PRAYER OF COMMITMENT: Lord Jesus, you have called us to follow you in baptism and in a life of committed discipleship in your church. Grant that I may take the necessary steps to be one with your people, and live in the fullness of your Spirit. Amen.  


PAGE 13
 

CHRIST IS RISEN

Let no one caught in sin remain
Inside the lie of inward shame
But fix our eyes upon the cross
And run to Him who showed great love
And bled for us
Freely You've bled for us

CHORUS
Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave
(REPEAT)

Beneath the weight of all our sin
You bowed to none but heaven's will
No scheme of hell, no scoffer's crown
No burden great can hold You down
In strength You reign
Forever let Your church proclaim

CHORUS

BRIDGE
O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light
The glory of God has defeated the night

O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light
Our God is not dead
He's alive! He's alive!

CHORUS (2x)

Words and Music by Matt Maher, 2009.


PAGE 14
 

COMMUNION PRAYER
    
People:     God our Father, you have invited us to share in the supper which your Son gave to his Church to proclaim his death until he comes: may he nourish us by his presence, and unite us in his love; who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Minister:     Let us pray as our Lord Jesus has taught us:  
People:    Our Father in heaven, 
                hallowed be your name,  
                your kingdom come, 
                your will be done, 
                on earth as it is 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.
               Amen.


PAGE 15
 

SENDING INTO GOD’S WORLD

OFFERING

IN CHRIST ALONE

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.

What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.

Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!

And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow'r of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.

No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand.


Music by Stuart Townsend, 2001. Lyrics by Keith Getty, 2001.


 


PAGE 16

BENEDICTION

Minister: God the Father, by whose glory Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, strengthen you to walk with him in his risen life; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you always.

People:     Amen.

DISMISSAL

Minister:    Go out now, in the hope of the resurrected Lord Jesus, to love and serve the world.
People:     Thanks be to God!

 

 

 

 

Comment

Comment

Main Line, March 25, 2016- Good Friday

PAGE 2

REFLECTIONS

After the final no there comes a yes

And on that yes the future world depends.

                                                                  — Wallace Stevens, "The Well Dressed Man With a Beard"

 

God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers?

                                                                                                — Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science
 

Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?

Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow,

which was brought upon me, 

which the LORD inflicted upon me.

                                                                                                                               — Lamentations 1:12


PAGE 3

GATHERING BEFORE GOD

March 25, 2016
Good Friday
Main Line  

PRELUDE 

OPENING SENTENCES

Leader:     Bless the Lord who forgives all of our sins; His mercy endures forever. Amen.

GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader:    The Lord be with you.   

People:     And also with you!

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader:     Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm
                 of the Lord been revealed?

People:     Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; 
                 yet we account him stricken, struck down by God and afflicted.

Leader:     But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities;

People:     upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed. 

                                                                                                                — from Isaiah 53:1, 4-5, NRSV

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


PAGE 4

WHAT WONDROUS LOVE IS THIS

What wondrous love is this O my soul O my soul
What wondrous love is this O my soul
What wondrous love is this That caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul for my soul
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul

When I was sinking down Sinking down sinking down
When I was sinking down sinking down
When I was sinking down Beneath God's righteous frown
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul for my soul
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul

To God and to the Lamb I will sing I will sing
To God and to the Lamb Who is the Great I Am
While millions join the theme I will sing I will sing
While millions join the theme I will sing

And when from death I'm free I'll sing on I'll sing on
And when from death I'm free I'll sing on
And when from death I'm free I'll sing on and joyful be
And thro' eternity I'll sing on I'll sing on
And thro' eternity I'll sing on

Words: Unknown, Music: Tune Wondrous Love
 


PAGE 5

 

SCRIPTURE READING
Luke 22:39-62, NRSV

39[Jesus] came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. 40When he reached the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.” 41Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, 42“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.” 43Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. 44In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground. 45When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief, 46and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial.”

47While he was still speaking, suddenly a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him; 48but Jesus said to him, “Judas, is it with a kiss that you are betraying the Son of Man?” 49When those who were around him saw what was coming, they asked, “Lord, should we strike with the sword?” 50Then one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. 52Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple police, and the elders who had come for him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as if I were a bandit? 53When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness!”

54Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house. But Peter was following at a distance. 55When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. 56Then a servant-girl, seeing him in the firelight, stared at him and said, “This man also was with him.” 57But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” 58A little later someone else, on seeing him, said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” 59Then about an hour later still another kept insisting, “Surely this man also was with him; for he is a Galilean.” 60But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about!” At that moment, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed. 61The Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.” 62And he went out and wept bitterly.                            

Leader: This is the Gospel of the Lord.  
People: Praise to you, O Christ! 


PAGE 6

JESUS PAID IT ALL

I hear the Savior say Thy strength indeed is small
Child of weakness, watch and pray, find in Me, thine all in all

CHORUS
Jesus paid it all
All to Him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain
He washed it white as snow


Lord, now indeed I find Thy pow'r and Thine alone
Can change the leper's spots and melt the heart of stone

CHORUS

And when before the throne I stand in Him complete
Jesus died my soul to save, my lips shall still repeat

CHORUS

Oh, praise the One who paid my debt
And raised this life up from the dead
Oh, praise the One who paid my debt
And raised this life up from the dead
(2x)

CHORUS

 


PAGE 7

SCRIPTURE READING
Luke 22:63-23:25, NRSV

22:63 Now the men who were holding Jesus began to mock him and beat him; 64they also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” 65They kept heaping many other insults on him. 66When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, gathered together, and they brought him to their council. 67They said, “If you are the Messiah, tell us.” He replied, “If I tell you, you will not believe; 68and if I question you, you will not answer. 69But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” 70All of them asked, “Are you, then, the Son of God?” He said to them, “You say that I am.” 71Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips!”

23:1 Then the assembly rose as a body and brought Jesus before Pilate. 2They began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man perverting our nation, forbidding us to pay taxes to the emperor, and saying that he himself is the Messiah, a king.” 3Then Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” He answered, “You say so.” 4Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no basis for an accusation against this man.” 5But they were insistent and said, “He stirs up the people by teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where he began even to this place.” 6When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. 7And when he learned that he was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him off to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. 8When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had been wanting to see him for a long time, because he had heard about him and was hoping to see him perform some sign. 9He questioned him at some length, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. 11Even Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him; then he put an elegant robe on him, and sent him back to Pilate. 12That same day Herod and Pilate became friends with each other; before this they had been enemies.

PAGE 8
 

13 Pilate then called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people, 14and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people; and here I have examined him in your presence and have not found this man guilty of any of your charges against him. 15Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us. Indeed, he has done nothing to deserve death. 16I will therefore have him flogged and release him.” 18Then they all shouted out together, “Away with this fellow! Release Barabbas for us!” 19(This was a man who had been put in prison for an insurrection that had taken place in the city, and for murder.) 20Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again; 21but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!” 22A third time he said to them, “Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no ground for the sentence of death; I will therefore have him flogged and then release him.” 23But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts that he should be crucified; and their voices prevailed. 24So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted. 25He released the man they asked for, the one who had been put in prison for insurrection and murder, and he handed Jesus over as they wished.

Leader: This is the gospel of the Lord.

People: Praise to you, O Christ! 


PAGE 9

WERE YOU THERE

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. 
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. 
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?

Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Oh sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. 
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?


Words: Elvina M. Hall 1865, Music: Alex Nifong


PAGE 10

SCRIPTURE READING
Luke 23:26-56, NRSV

26As they led him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. 28But Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29For the days are surely coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ 30Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us’; and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ 31For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

32Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. 33When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots to divide his clothing. 35And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!” 36The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, 37and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.” 39One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” 40But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”


PAGE 11

44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last. 47 When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said, “Certainly this man was innocent.” 48 And when all the crowds who had gathered there for this spectacle saw what had taken place, they returned home, beating their breasts. 49 But all his acquaintances, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

50 Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph, who, though a member of the council, 51had not agreed to their plan and action. He came from the Jewish town of Arimathea, and he was waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God. 52 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid it in a rock-hewn tomb where no one had ever been laid. 54 It was the day of Preparation, and the sabbath was beginning. 55 The women who had come with him from Galilee followed, and they saw the tomb and how his body was laid. 56 Then they returned, and prepared spices and ointments. On the sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

Leader: This is the gospel of the Lord.
People: Praise to you, O Christ!

REFLECTION

Speaker: Jen Wise
 


PAGE 12

SEVEN LAST WORDS & INTERCESSION

 

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Leader:     Loving Father, to whom your crucified Son prayed
                 for the forgiveness of those who did not know what they were doing,
       
          grant that we too may be included in that prayer.
                Whether we sin out of ignorance or intention,
                be merciful to us and grant us your acceptance and peace
                in the name of Jesus Christ, our suffering Savior. 

People:     In your mercy Lord, hear our prayer. 

“Truly I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Leader:     O Lord Jesus Christ, who promised to the repentant the joy of paradise,
                 enable us by the Holy Spirit to repent
 and to receive your grace in this world
                 and in the world to come. 

People:     In your mercy Lord, hear our prayer.

“Woman, behold your son...Behold your mother.”

Leader:    O blessed Savior, in your hour of greatest suffering
                you expressed compassion for your mother
               and made arrangements for her care;
              grant that we who seek to follow your example

              may show our concern for the needs of others, 
              reaching out to provide for those who suffer in our human family. 

People:     In your mercy Lord, hear our prayer.

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 

Leader:     O Lord, as one who was once forsaken by all others,
                 even your own Father, grant that we would approach
                 your throne of grace with in our time of need.

People:     In your mercy Lord, hear our prayer. 


PAGE 13

“I thirst.”
Leader:     O blessed Savior, whose lips were dry
                 and whose throat was parched,
                 grant us the water of life,
                 that we who thirst after righteousness
                 may find it quenched by your love and mercy,
                 leading us to bring this same relief to others.

People:     In your mercy Lord, hear our prayer.

“It is finished.”

Leader:     O Lord Jesus Christ, you finished
                 the work that you were sent to do;
                 enable us by your Holy Spirit to be faithful to our call.
                 Grant us strength to bear our crosses
                 and endure our sufferings, even unto death.
                 Enable us to live and love so faithfully
                 that we also become good news to the world,
                 joining your witness, 

                O Christ, in whose name we pray. 

People:     In your mercy Lord, hear our prayer.

“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”

Leader:     Father, into whose hands your Son, Jesus Christ, 
                commended his spirit, grant that we too,
                following his example
                
may in all of life and at the moment of our death
               
entrust our lives into your faithful hands of love.
               In the name of Jesus, who gave his life for us all. 

People:     In your mercy Lord, hear our prayer. Amen.

 — Based on Psalm 88; Mark 15:34;
Luke 23:34, 43, 46; John 19:26-30

And darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. The earth shook and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 


PAGE 14

BENEDICTION

Minister: May you find in the cross a sure ground for faith, a firm support for hope and the assurance of sins forgiven. And may the blessing of God go with you, now and forevermore. 

People: Amen. 

SILENT PRAYER AND MEDITATION

In order to respect those that want to remain to pray and meditate, please remain silent as you leave. 

 

 

 

 

Comment

Comment

Center City, March 25, 2016 - Good Friday

PAGE 2

REFLECTIONS

After the final no there comes a yes

And on that yes the future world depends.

                                                                  — Wallace Stevens, "The Well Dressed Man With a Beard"

 

God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers?

                                                                                                — Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science
 

Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?

Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow,

which was brought upon me, 

which the LORD inflicted upon me.

                                                                                                                               — Lamentations 1:12


PAGE 3

GATHERING BEFORE GOD

March 25, 2016
Good Friday
Center City  

PRELUDE 

OPENING SENTENCES

Leader:     Bless the Lord who forgives all of our sins; His mercy endures forever. Amen.

GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader:    The Lord be with you.   

People:     And also with you!

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader:     Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm
                 of the Lord been revealed?

People:     Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; 
                 yet we account him stricken, struck down by God and afflicted.

Leader:     But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities;

People:     upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed. 

                                                                                                                — from Isaiah 53:1, 4-5, NRSV

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


PAGE 4

THERE IS A FOUNTAIN

There is a fountain filled with blood
drawn from Emmanuel's veins;
and sinners plunged beneath that flood
 lose all their guilty stains.
Lose all their guilty stains, 
lose all their guilty stains;
and sinners plunged beneath that flood
lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see
that fountain in his day; 
and there may I, though vile as he,
wash all my sins away. 
Wash all my sins away,
wash all my sins away; 
and there may I, though vile as he, 
wash all my sins away.

E'er since, by faith, I saw the stream
thy flowing wounds supply, 
redeeming love has been my theme,
and shall be till I die.
And shall be till I die,
and shall be till I die;
redeeming love has been my theme, 
and shall be till I die.

Lose all their guilty stains. 
Lose all their guilty stains, 
and sinners plunged beneath that flood
lose all their guilty stains.

Words & Music: William Cowper, 1772.


PAGE 5

SCRIPTURE READING
Luke 22:39-62, NRSV

39[Jesus] came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. 40When he reached the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.” 41Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, 42“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.” 43Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. 44In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground. 45When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief, 46and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial.”

47While he was still speaking, suddenly a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him; 48but Jesus said to him, “Judas, is it with a kiss that you are betraying the Son of Man?” 49When those who were around him saw what was coming, they asked, “Lord, should we strike with the sword?” 50Then one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. 52Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple police, and the elders who had come for him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as if I were a bandit? 53When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness!”

54Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house. But Peter was following at a distance. 55When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. 56Then a servant-girl, seeing him in the firelight, stared at him and said, “This man also was with him.” 57But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” 58A little later someone else, on seeing him, said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” 59Then about an hour later still another kept insisting, “Surely this man also was with him; for he is a Galilean.” 60But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about!” At that moment, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed. 61The Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.” 62And he went out and wept bitterly.                            

Leader: This is the Gospel of the Lord.  
People: Praise to you, O Christ! 


PAGE 6

COME YE SINNERS

Come, ye sinners, poor and needy, 
weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready stands to save you,
full of pity, love and power.

REFRAIN
I will arise and go to Jesus.
He will embrace me in His arms!
In the arms of my dear Savior,
oh, there are ten thousand charms.

Come, ye thirsty, come and welcome!
God’s free bounty glorify:
True belief and true repentance—
every grace that brings you nigh.

REFRAIN

Let not conscience make you linger,
nor of fitness fondly dream.
All the fitness He requireth
is to feel your need of Him.

REFRAIN

Come, ye weary, heavy laden,
lost and ruined by the fall!
If you tarry till you’re better,
you will never come at all.


REFRAIN


Music by William Walker, 1835. Lyrics by Joseph Hart, 1759.


PAGE 7

SCRIPTURE READING
Luke 22:63-23:25, NRSV

22:63 Now the men who were holding Jesus began to mock him and beat him; 64they also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” 65They kept heaping many other insults on him. 66When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, gathered together, and they brought him to their council. 67They said, “If you are the Messiah, tell us.” He replied, “If I tell you, you will not believe; 68and if I question you, you will not answer. 69But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” 70All of them asked, “Are you, then, the Son of God?” He said to them, “You say that I am.” 71Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips!”

23:1 Then the assembly rose as a body and brought Jesus before Pilate. 2They began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man perverting our nation, forbidding us to pay taxes to the emperor, and saying that he himself is the Messiah, a king.” 3Then Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” He answered, “You say so.” 4Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no basis for an accusation against this man.” 5But they were insistent and said, “He stirs up the people by teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where he began even to this place.” 6When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. 7And when he learned that he was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him off to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. 8When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had been wanting to see him for a long time, because he had heard about him and was hoping to see him perform some sign. 9He questioned him at some length, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. 11Even Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him; then he put an elegant robe on him, and sent him back to Pilate. 12That same day Herod and Pilate became friends with each other; before this they had been enemies.


PAGE 8
 

13 Pilate then called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people, 14and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people; and here I have examined him in your presence and have not found this man guilty of any of your charges against him. 15Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us. Indeed, he has done nothing to deserve death. 16I will therefore have him flogged and release him.” 18Then they all shouted out together, “Away with this fellow! Release Barabbas for us!” 19(This was a man who had been put in prison for an insurrection that had taken place in the city, and for murder.) 20Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again; 21but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!” 22A third time he said to them, “Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no ground for the sentence of death; I will therefore have him flogged and then release him.” 23But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts that he should be crucified; and their voices prevailed. 24So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted. 25He released the man they asked for, the one who had been put in prison for insurrection and murder, and he handed Jesus over as they wished.

Leader: This is the gospel of the Lord.

People: Praise to you, O Christ! 


PAGE 9

HOW DEEP THE FATHER’S LOVE FOR US

How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give his only son,
And make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss!
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.

Behold the Man upon the cross,
My sin upon His shoulder.
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished!
His dying breath has brought me life;
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything:
No gifts no power no wisdom,
But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.
Why should I from His reward?
I cannot give an answer,
But this I know with all my heart:
His wounds have paid my ransom.

Music & lyrics by Stuart Townend, 1995.


PAGE 10

SCRIPTURE READING
Luke 23:26-56, NRSV

26As they led him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. 28But Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29For the days are surely coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ 30Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us’; and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ 31For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

32Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. 33When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots to divide his clothing. 35And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!” 36The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, 37and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.” 39One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” 40But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”


PAGE 11

44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last. 47 When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said, “Certainly this man was innocent.” 48 And when all the crowds who had gathered there for this spectacle saw what had taken place, they returned home, beating their breasts. 49 But all his acquaintances, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

50 Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph, who, though a member of the council, 51had not agreed to their plan and action. He came from the Jewish town of Arimathea, and he was waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God. 52 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid it in a rock-hewn tomb where no one had ever been laid. 54 It was the day of Preparation, and the sabbath was beginning. 55 The women who had come with him from Galilee followed, and they saw the tomb and how his body was laid. 56 Then they returned, and prepared spices and ointments. On the sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

Leader: This is the gospel of the Lord.
People: Praise to you, O Christ!

REFLECTION

Speaker: Paul Burkhart
Title: The Beginning and the End


PAGE 12

SEVEN LAST WORDS & INTERCESSION

 

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Leader:     Loving Father, to whom your crucified Son prayed
                 for the forgiveness of those who did not know what they were doing,
       
          grant that we too may be included in that prayer.
                Whether we sin out of ignorance or intention,
                be merciful to us and grant us your acceptance and peace
                in the name of Jesus Christ, our suffering Savior. 

People:     In your mercy Lord, hear our prayer. 

“Truly I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Leader:     O Lord Jesus Christ, who promised to the repentant the joy of paradise,
                 enable us by the Holy Spirit to repent
 and to receive your grace in this world
                 and in the world to come. 

People:     In your mercy Lord, hear our prayer.

“Woman, behold your son...Behold your mother.”

Leader:    O blessed Savior, in your hour of greatest suffering
                you expressed compassion for your mother
               and made arrangements for her care;
              grant that we who seek to follow your example

              may show our concern for the needs of others, 
              reaching out to provide for those who suffer in our human family. 

People:     In your mercy Lord, hear our prayer.

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 

Leader:     O Lord, as one who was once forsaken by all others,
                 even your own Father, grant that we would approach
                 your throne of grace with in our time of need.

People:     In your mercy Lord, hear our prayer. 


PAGE 13

“I thirst.”
Leader:     O blessed Savior, whose lips were dry
                 and whose throat was parched,
                 grant us the water of life,
                 that we who thirst after righteousness
                 may find it quenched by your love and mercy,
                 leading us to bring this same relief to others.

People:     In your mercy Lord, hear our prayer.

“It is finished.”

Leader:     O Lord Jesus Christ, you finished
                 the work that you were sent to do;
                 enable us by your Holy Spirit to be faithful to our call.
                 Grant us strength to bear our crosses
                 and endure our sufferings, even unto death.
                 Enable us to live and love so faithfully
                 that we also become good news to the world,
                 joining your witness, 

                O Christ, in whose name we pray. 

People:     In your mercy Lord, hear our prayer.

“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”

Leader:     Father, into whose hands your Son, Jesus Christ, 
                commended his spirit, grant that we too,
                following his example
                
may in all of life and at the moment of our death
              
entrust our lives into your faithful hands of love.
               In the name of Jesus, who gave his life for us all. 

People:     In your mercy Lord, hear our prayer. Amen.

 — Based on Psalm 88; Mark 15:34;
Luke 23:34, 43, 46; John 19:26-30

And darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. The earth shook and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 


PAGE 14

BENEDICTION

Minister: May you find in the cross a sure ground for faith, a firm support for hope and the assurance of sins forgiven. And may the blessing of God go with you, now and forevermore. 

People: Amen. 

SILENT PRAYER AND MEDITATION

In order to respect those that want to remain to pray and meditate, please remain silent as you leave. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comment

Comment

Main Line, March 20, 2016

PAGE 2

REFLECTIONS

The Lord… suffered for the sake of him who suffered, and was bound for the sake of him who was imprisoned, and was judged for the sake of the condemned, and buried for the sake of the buried. So come, all families of human beings who are defiled by sins, and receive remission of sins. For I am your remission, I am the Passover of salvation. I am the Lamb sacrificed for your sake. I am your ransom.  I am your life.
-Melito of Sardis


PAGE 3

GATHERING BEFORE GOD
March 20, 2016
Palm Sunday
Main Line Campus


OPENING SENTENCES
Leader: Bless the Lord who forgives all of our sins; His mercy endures forever. Amen. 

HOLY, HOLY, HOLY

Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, Holy, Holy, Merciful and Mighty!
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, Holy, Holy, all the saints adore Thee.
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
Who wert and art and ever more shall be.

Holy, holy, holy, Though the darkness hide Thee,
Tho' the eye of sinful man your glory may not see,
Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee
Perfect in power, in love and purity.

Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy name
in earth and sky and sea.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and Mighty!
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

Words and Music by Reginald Heber, 1861. 


PAGE 4

GREETING AND PREPARATION: 
Leader: The Lord be with you. 
People: And also with you.

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader:    God has ascended amid shouts of joy, the LORD amid the sounding of trumpets. 

People:    Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises. 

Leader:    For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise. 

People:    God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne.



PRAYER OF INVOCATION


PAGE 5

OUR GREAT GOD

Eternal God, unchanging, mysterious and unknown
Your boundless love unfailing, in grace and mercy shown.
Bright seraphim in endless flight around your glorious throne
They raise their voices day and night in praise to you alone.

CHORUS
Hallelujah! Glory be to our great God!
Hallelujah! Glory be to our great God!

Lord, we are weak and frail, helpless in the storm.
Surround us with your angels, hold us in your arms.
Our cold and ruthless enemy, his pleasure is our harm.
Rise up, oh Lord, and he will flee before our Sovereign God.

CHORUS
Hallelujah! Glory be to our great God!
Hallelujah! Glory be to our great God!

Let every creature in the sea and every flying bird;
Let every mountain, every field and valley of the earth;
Let all the moons and all the stars in all the universe
Sing praises to the living God, who rules them by His word.

CHORUS
Hallelujah! Glory be to our great God!
Hallelujah! Glory be to our great God! x 4

 

Music and lyrics by Fernando Ortega and Mac Powell, 1997.


PAGE 6

DEAR REFUGE OF MY WEARY SOUL

Dear refuge of my weary soul,
On Thee, when sorrows rise
On Thee, when waves of trouble roll,
My fainting hope relies
To Thee I tell each rising grief,
For Thou alone canst heal
Thy Word can bring a sweet relief,
For every pain I feel

But oh! When gloomy doubts prevail,
I fear to call Thee mine
The springs of comfort seem to fail,
And all my hopes decline
Yet gracious God, where shall I flee?
Thou art my only trust
And still my soul would cleave to Thee
Though prostrate in the dust

Hast Thou not bid me seek
Thy face, And shall I seek in vain?
And can the ear of sovereign grace,
Be deaf when I complain?
No still the ear of sovereign grace,
Attends the mourner’s prayer
Oh may I ever find access,
To breathe my sorrows there

Thy mercy seat is open still,
Here let my soul retreat
With humble hope attend Thy will,
And wait beneath Thy feet,
Thy mercy seat is open still,
Here let my soul retreat
With humble hope attend Thy will,
And wait beneath Thy feet

Words and Music by Anne Steele and Kevin Twit, 1998.


PAGE 7

CALL TO CONFESSION
Leader: Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and forgive our sins, for your name’s sake. —Psalm 79:9, NRSV


PRAYER OF CONFESSION
People: Our Father in heaven, we come to you now, as our King. And we can only come to you because you welcome the needy and the afflicted. And that is who we are.

Father, our central need is for your reign. Yet, we run from it. We are afraid of being weak, because we don’t trust you to carry us. Many are the times in this past week where we have wrestled control of our lives away from you. In those times, we have turned our hearts away from your heart and our feet away from your commandments.

So, receive us now as your children. Receive us, not because we’re good or because we vow to do better; but receive us because you rejected your Son in our place. We pray in His name. Amen.    

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON
Leader: For God has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
— Ephesians 1:13-14

SONG OF RESPONSE-LORD HAVE MERCY

Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy
Lord have mercy on us
REPEAT
 

PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS


PAGE 8

THE WORD OF GOD

SCRIPTURE READING


Isaiah 52:13-53:12, NRSV

52:13See, my servant shall prosper; he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high. 14Just as there were many who were astonished at him—so marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of mortals— 15so he shall startle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which had not been told them they shall see, and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate.
53:1 Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 3He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account. 4Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. 5But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed. 6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 8By a perversion of justice he was taken away. Who could have imagined his future? For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people. 9They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain. When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days; through him the will of the Lord shall prosper. 11Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. 12Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Minister: This is the word of the Lord. 
People: Thanks be to God! 

SILENT REFLECTION
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION & SERMON


Sermon Series: What Lies Beneath: Recovering the Lost Language of Sin
Sermon Title: By His Wounds We are Healed
Speaker: Jared Ayers


PAGE 9

APOSTLES' CREED

Minister: Let us say what we believe. 
People: 
We believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
We believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand
of God the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge
the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
Amen.


PAGE 10

THE LORD’S TABLE

THE GREAT THANKSGIVING


The Lord be with you. 
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts now!
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our saving God.
It is right and good, always and everywhere.
To give thanks, to the Lord.

Minister: With joy we praise you, gracious God, for you have created heaven and earth, made us in your image, and kept covenant with us— even when we fell into sin. We give you thanks for Jesus Christ, our Lord, by whose grace we may triumph over temptation, be more fervent in prayer, and be more generous in love. Therefore we join our voices with all the saints and angels and the whole creation to proclaim the glory of your name, saying:

Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest!
Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory, hosanna in the highest!

Minister: You are holy, O God of majesty, and blessed is Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. He took upon himself the weight of our sin and carried the burden of our guilt. He shared our life in every way, and, though tempted, was sinless to the end. Baptized as your own,
he went willingly to his death and by your power was raised to new life. In his dying and rising, you gave birth to your church, delivered us from slavery to sin and death and made with us a new covenant by water and the Spirit.


PAGE 11

Minister: Together we proclaim the mystery of the faith. 

Your death, O Christ, we proclaim. 
Your rising celebrate!
Your coming Lord we await, to make all things new. 
REPEAT

Minister: God of all power, send your Holy Spirit upon us, that in sharing the bread we may share in the body of Christ, that in sharing the cup we may share in his blood. Grant that, being joined together in Christ Jesus, we may become united in faith and in all things become mature in the one who is our head. 

Praise to the Father,
praise to the Son, 
praise to the Spirit, 
Our God the Three in One. 

WORDS OF INSTITUTION
Minister: Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us. 
People: Therefore, let us keep the feast. 

HOLY COMMUNION
Minister: The gifts of God for the people of God. 


PAGE 12

PRAYERS FOR REFLECTION
If you are not a Christian, or if you are not prepared to share in this meal, we encourage you to spend this time in prayer. We hope that this time is helpful to you as you consider your relationship with Jesus Christ and with his people, the church. If you are unable to receive Communion, we invite you to meditate on one of the following prayers:

PRAYER FOR THOSE SEARCHING FOR TRUTH: Lord Jesus, you claim to be the way, the truth, and the life. Grant that I might be undaunted by the cost of following you as I consider the reasons for doing so. If what you claim is true, please guide me, teach me, and open to me the reality of who you are. Give me an understanding of you that is coherent, convincing, and that leads to the life that you promise. Amen.

PRAYER OF BELIEF: Lord Jesus, I admit that I am weaker and more sinful than I ever before believed, but through you I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I thank you for paying my debt, bearing my punishment on the cross, and offering forgiveness and new life. Knowing that you have been raised from the dead, I turn from my sins and receive you as Savior and Lord. Amen.

PRAYER OF COMMITMENT: Lord Jesus, you have called us to follow you in baptism and in a life of committed discipleship in your church. Grant that I may take the necessary steps to be one with your people, and live in the fullness of your Spirit. Amen


PAGE 13

JESUS I COME

Out of my bondage, sorrow and night, 
Jesus, I come; Jesus I come.
Into Thy freedom, gladness and light, 
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of my sickness into Thy health, 
Out of my wanting and into Thy wealth,
Out of my sin and into Thyself, 
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of my shameful failure and loss, 
Jesus, I come; Jesus, I come.
Into the glorious gain of Thy cross, 
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of earth’s sorrows into Thy balm, 
Out of life’s storms and into Thy calm,
Out of distress into jubilant psalm, 
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of unrest and arrogant pride, 
Jesus, I come; Jesus, I come.
Into Thy blessed will to abide, 
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of myself to dwell in Thy love, 
Out of despair into raptures above,
Upward forever on wings like a dove, 
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of the fear and dread of the tomb, 
Jesus, I come; Jesus, I come.
Into the joy and light of Thy home, 
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of the depths of ruin untold, 
Into the peace of Thy sheltering fold,
Ever Thy glorious face to behold, 
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Words: William True Sleeper, Music: Greg Thompson, © 2000 Greg Thompson Music


PAGE 14

COMMUNION PRAYER
People: Loving God, we thank you that you have fed us in this sacrament, united us with Christ, and given us a foretaste of the heavenly banquet in your eternal kingdom. Send us out in the power of your Spirit to live and work to your praise and glory for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Minister: Let us pray as our Lord Jesus has taught us:
People: 
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done,on earth as it is 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.
Amen.


PAGE 15

SENDING INTO GOD'S WORLD

OFFERING

IN CHRIST ALONE

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow'r of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand.

Music by Stuart Townsend, 2001. Lyrics by Keith Getty, 2001.


PAGE 16

BENEDICTION
Minister: May you be strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully give thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. -Adapted from Colossians 1:11-12

People: Amen. 

DISMISSAL

Minister: Let us go forth in the name of Christ. 
People: Thanks be to God! 

Comment