Comment

Main Line February 18, 2018

 

PAGE 2
 

REFLECTIONS

The way of Jesus is not the way of being relevant, spectacular, and powerful. Rather, it’s the way of downward mobility.

—Henri Nouwen, from In the Name of Jesus

We are God’s own; to him, therefore, let us live and die. We are God’s own; therefore let his wisdom and will dominate all our actions. We are God’s own; therefore let every part of our existence be directed toward him as our only legitimate goal.

—John Calvin


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CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader:     God does not remember us according to our sins and our transgressions. 

People:     God remembers us according to his own steadfast love! 

Leader:     The God of our salvation teaches us right paths and leads us in truth. 

People:     God remembers us according to his own steadfast love! 

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

People:     God remembers us according to his own steadfast love! 

—based on Psalm 25


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CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader:    God remains faithful to the covenant of steadfast love; even when we are unfaithful. Without fear, then, let us confess our sins. 

—from Genesis 9

PRAYER OF CONFESSION


People:   Holy One, we have not remembered you, not remembered   our neighbors, and not remembered the poor. O Lord, be gracious to us; heal us, for we have sinned against you. In         Jesus name we ask it- Amen.

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader:    Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of God, forgives us and reconciles us and all things in heaven and on earth. Know that you are forgiven, and be at peace! 

—from 1 Peter 3:22

SONG OF RESPONSE -KYRIE ELEISON
 

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


PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS


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THE WORD OF GOD
 

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
SCRIPTURE READING
Matthew 21:1-11NRSV

When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. 3If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately.” 4This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying, 5“Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” 6The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; 7they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. 8A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” 10When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” 11The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”

 

Minister:  This is the Gospel of the Lord.

People: Praise to you, O Christ!

SERMON
Sermon Series:  Journey to the Cross
Sermon Title: The Parade
Speaker: Jared Ayers


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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).


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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. 


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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.


Comment

Comment

Center City February 18, 2018

 

PAGE 2
 

REFLECTIONS

The way of Jesus is not the way of being relevant, spectacular, and powerful. Rather, it’s the way of downward mobility.

—Henri Nouwen, from In the Name of Jesus

We are God’s own; to him, therefore, let us live and die. We are God’s own; therefore let his wisdom and will dominate all our actions. We are God’s own; therefore let every part of our existence be directed toward him as our only legitimate goal.

—John Calvin


 

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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
1st Sunday of Lent

February 18, 2018

Main Line Campus

OPENING SENTENCES

Leader: The Lord is full of compassion and mercy: Come, let us adore him.

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 by Mary Bowley Peters. Music by Matthew S. Smith.

 


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GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader:     The Lord be with you.

People:     And also with you!


CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader:     God does not remember us according to our sins and our transgressions. 

People:     God remembers us according to his own steadfast love! 

Leader:     The God of our salvation teaches us right paths and leads us in truth. 

People:     God remembers us according to his own steadfast love! 

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

People:     God remembers us according to his own steadfast love! 

—based on Psalm 25

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


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BLESSED ASSURANCE

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine
Heir of salvation, purchase of God
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

CHORUS
This is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long
This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long


Perfect submission, perfect delight;
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

CHORUS

Perfect submission, all is at rest;
I in my Savior am happy and blessed
Watching and waiting, looking above
Filled with His goodness lost in His love.

CHORUS

 

 

Music by Phoebe P. Knapp, lyrics by Fanny J. Crosby, 1873.


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GOD BE MERCIFUL TO ME

 God, be merciful to me, on Thy grace I rest my plea;
Plenteous in compassion Thou, blot out my transgressions now;
Wash me, make me pure within, cleanse, O cleanse me from my sin. 

 My transgressions I confess, grief and guilt my soul oppress;
I have sinned against Thy grace and provoked Thee to Thy face;
I confess Thy judgment just, speechless, I Thy mercy trust.

 I am evil, born in sin; Thou desirest truth within.
Thou alone my Savior art, teach Thy wisdom to my heart;
Make me pure, Thy grace bestow, wash me whiter than the snow.

  Broken, humbled to the dust, by Thy wrath and judgment just,
Let my contrite heart rejoice, and in gladness hear Thy voice;
From my sins O hide Thy face, blot them out in boundless grace. 

Gracious God, my heart renew, make my spirit right and true;
Cast me not away from Thee, let Thy Spirit dwell in me;
Thy salvation’s joy impart, steadfast make my willing heart. 

 Sinners then shall learn from me and return, O God, to Thee;
Savior, all my guilt remove, and my tongue shall sing Thy love;
Touch my silent lips, O Lord, and my mouth shall praise accord.



Music by Richard Redhead, 1852. Lyrics from The Psalter, 1915.


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CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader:    God remains faithful to the covenant of steadfast love; even when we are unfaithful. Without fear, then, let us confess our sins. 

—from Genesis 9

PRAYER OF CONFESSION


People:   Holy One, we have not remembered you, not remembered   our neighbors, and not remembered the poor. O Lord, be gracious to us; heal us, for we have sinned against you. In         Jesus name we ask it- Amen.

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader:    Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of God, forgives us and reconciles us and all things in heaven and on earth. Know that you are forgiven, and be at peace! 

—from 1 Peter 3:22

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
Matthew 21:1-11NRSV

When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. 3If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately.” 4This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying, 5“Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” 6The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; 7they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. 8A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” 10When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” 11The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”

 

Minister:  This is the Gospel of the Lord.

People: Praise to you, O Christ!

SERMON
Sermon Series:  Journey to the Cross
Sermon Title: The Parade
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).


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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. And 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:    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.     

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. 


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NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD

What can wash away my sin?
 Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

CHORUS
Oh, precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow,
No other fount I know
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.


For my pardon, this my plea! 
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
For my cleansing this I see
 Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

CHORUS

Nothing can for sin atone,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Naught of good that I have done,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

CHORUS

This is all my hope and peace
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
This is all my righteousness
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

CHORUS
 

Music and lyrics by Robert Lowry and William Doane, 1876.


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 TO DARK GETHSEMANE

Go to dark Gethsemane
Ye that feel the tempter’s pow’r
Your Redeemer’s conflict see
Watch with Him one bitter hour
Turn not from His griefs away
Learn of Jesus Christ to pray
Learn of Jesus Christ to pray
Learn of Jesus Christ to pray

See him at the judgement hall
beaten, bound, reviled arraigned
O the wormwood and the gall!
O the pangs His soul sustained!
Shun not suffering, shame, or loss;
Learn of Christ to bear the cross
Learn of Christ to bear the cross
Learn of Christ to bear the cross

Calvary’s mournful mountain climb
There, adoring at His feet
Mark that miracle of time,
God’s own sacrifice complete
“It is finished!” hear Him cry;
Learn of Jesus Christ to die
Learn of Jesus Christ to die
Learn of Jesus Christ to die

Early hasten to the tomb
Where they laid His breathless clay
All is solitude and gloom
Who has taken Him away?
Christ is risen! He meets our eyes;
Savior, teach us so to rise
Savior, teach us so to rise
Savior, teach us so to rise

Author James Montgomery, 1991. Music by Kevin Twit.


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BENEDICTION

Minister:    May the God of covenant faithfulness enfold you; the beloved Son encourage you; and the Holy Spirit descend upon you in blessing, this day and forever.

People:     Amen.

DISMISSAL

Minister:    Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

People:     Thanks be to God!

Comment

Comment

Main Line February 11, 2018


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REFLECTIONS

Ruth, the foreign woman, became by the grace of God the great-grandmother of King David himself. And wonderful to relate, when we open our Bibles to the first page of the New Testament, there we find Ruth. The foreign maiden was the ancestor of Jesus. The story of Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz finds its fulfillment in the only begotten Son of God, who made himself to be next-of-kin for the entire human race, the Redeemer of the whole world.

—Fleming Rutledge, from “Ruth’s Redeemer” in Help My Unbelief

Question: “What do you believe when you say, ‘I believe in God the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth’?”

Answer: That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who out of nothing created heaven and earth and everything in them, who still upholds and rules them by eternal counsel and providence, is my God and Father because of Christ, God's Son. I trust God so much that I do not doubt that God will provide whatever I need for body and soul, and will turn to my good whatever adversity God sends me in this sad world. God, being almighty God, is able to do this; God, being a faithful Father, desires to do this.

—from The Heidelberg Catechism, question & answer # 26

Question 28. “How does the knowledge of God's creation and providence help us?”

Answer.We can be patient when things go against us, thankful when things go well, and for the future we can have good confidence in our faithful God and Father that nothing will separate us from God's love. All creatures are so completely in God's hand that without the divine will they can neither move nor be moved.

—from The Heidelberg Catechism, question & answer #28


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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
February 11, 2018
Transfiguration Sunday
MainLine Campus

OPENING SENTENCES

Leader: The Lord has shown forth his glory: Come, let us adore him!

 

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.


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GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader:     The Lord be with you.

People:     And also with you!


CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader:     The glory of God shines like a consuming fire. 

People:    We have seen the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Leader:    The voice of God thunders like a mighty storm. 

People:    We have seen the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 

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

People:    we have seen the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 

—based on Psalm 50:1; 2 Corinthians 4:6

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

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:    God alone is righteous; God alone is perfect; God alone is judge. Rejoicing in God's grace, let us confess our sin. 

—based on Psalm 50:2, 6

PRAYER OF CONFESSION


People:    God of all glory, we have tried to hide our faces from you, yet you have never hidden your love for us. We have tried to search for you, yet your have already revealed yourself to us in the face of Jesus Christ. Forgive us, and transform us so that our lives may shine with your beauty, glory, and grace; through Jesus Christ our Lord- Amen. 

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader:    This is the good news of the Gospel: in Jesus Christ, we are forgiven!

 

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


PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS


PAGE 8

THE WORD OF GOD
 

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
SCRIPTURE READING
Ruth 4.1-22, NRSV

No sooner had Boaz gone up to the gate and sat down there than the next-of-kin, of whom Boaz had spoken, came passing by. So Boaz said, “Come over, friend; sit down here.” And he went over and sat down.2Then Boaz took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, “Sit down here”; so they sat down. 3He then said to the next-of-kin, “Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, is selling the parcel of land that belonged to our kinsman Elimelech. 4So I thought I would tell you of it, and say: Buy it in the presence of those sitting here, and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if you will not, tell me, so that I may know; for there is no one prior to you to redeem it, and I come after you.” So he said, “I will redeem it.” 5Then Boaz said, “The day you acquire the field from the hand of Naomi, you are also acquiring Ruth the Moabite, the widow of the dead man, to maintain the dead man’s name on his inheritance.” 6At this, the next-of-kin said, “I cannot redeem it for myself without damaging my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption yourself, for I cannot redeem it.”7Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging: to confirm a transaction, the one took off a sandal and gave it to the other; this was the manner of attesting in Israel. 8So when the next-of-kin said to Boaz, “Acquire it for yourself,” he took off his sandal.

9Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I have acquired from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon. 10I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, the wife of Mahlon, to be my wife, to maintain the dead man’s name on his inheritance, in order that the name of the dead may not be cut off from his kindred and from the gate of his native place; today you are witnesses.” 11Then all the people who were at the gate, along with the elders, said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your house like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you produce children in Ephrathah and bestow a name in Bethlehem; 12and, through the children that the Lord will give you by this young woman, may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.”

13So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When they came together, the Lord made her conceive, and she bore a son. 14Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without next-of-kin; and may his name be renowned in Israel! 15He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has borne him.” 16Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom, and became his nurse. 17The women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed; he became the father of Jesse, the father of David. 18Now these are the descendants of Perez: Perez became the father of Hezron, 19Hezron of Ram, Ram of Amminadab, 20Amminadab of Nahshon, Nahshon of Salmon,21Salmon of Boaz, Boaz of Obed, 22Obed of Jesse, and Jesse of David.

Minister:  This the Word of the Lord.

People: Thanks be to God!

SERMON
Sermon Series: The Gospel According to Ruth
Sermon Title: Restoration
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 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 

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

DOXOLOGY

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow
Praise Him, All creatures here be - low
Praise Him Above, Ye Heavenly Host
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost

Amen, Amen,
Amen, Amen.


PAGE 16

BENEDICTION

Minister:    May the blessing of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, uphold you on the way.

People:     Amen.

DISMISSAL

Minister:    Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

People:     Thanks be to God!


Comment

Comment

Center City February 11, 2018


PAGE 2
 

REFLECTIONS

Ruth, the foreign woman, became by the grace of God the great-grandmother of King David himself. And wonderful to relate, when we open our Bibles to the first page of the New Testament, there we find Ruth. The foreign maiden was the ancestor of Jesus. The story of Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz finds its fulfillment in the only begotten Son of God, who made himself to be next-of-kin for the entire human race, the Redeemer of the whole world.

—Fleming Rutledge, from “Ruth’s Redeemer” in Help My Unbelief

Question: “What do you believe when you say, ‘I believe in God the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth’?”

Answer: That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who out of nothing created heaven and earth and everything in them, who still upholds and rules them by eternal counsel and providence, is my God and Father because of Christ, God's Son. I trust God so much that I do not doubt that God will provide whatever I need for body and soul, and will turn to my good whatever adversity God sends me in this sad world. God, being almighty God, is able to do this; God, being a faithful Father, desires to do this.

—from The Heidelberg Catechism, question & answer # 26

Question 28. “How does the knowledge of God's creation and providence help us?”

Answer.We can be patient when things go against us, thankful when things go well, and for the future we can have good confidence in our faithful God and Father that nothing will separate us from God's love. All creatures are so completely in God's hand that without the divine will they can neither move nor be moved.

—from The Heidelberg Catechism, question & answer #28


PAGE 3
 

GATHERING BEFORE GOD
February 11, 2018
Transfiguration Sunday
Center City Campus


OPENING SENTENCES

Leader: The Lord has shown forth his glory: Come, let us adore him!

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 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.


PAGE 4


GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader:     The Lord be with you.

People:     And also with you!


CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader:     The glory of God shines like a consuming fire. 

People:    We have seen the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Leader:    The voice of God thunders like a mighty storm. 

People:    We have seen the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 

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

People:    we have seen the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 

—based on Psalm 50:1; 2 Corinthians 4:6

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

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:    God alone is righteous; God alone is perfect; God alone is judge. Rejoicing in God's grace, let us confess our sin. 

—based on Psalm 50:2, 6

PRAYER OF CONFESSION


People:    God of all glory, we have tried to hide our faces from you, yet you have never hidden your love for us. We have tried to search for you, yet your have already revealed yourself to us in the face of Jesus Christ. Forgive us, and transform us so that our lives may shine with your beauty, glory, and grace; through Jesus Christ our Lord- Amen. 

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader:    This is the good news of the Gospel: in Jesus Christ, we are forgiven!

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


PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS


PAGE 8

THE WORD OF GOD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
SCRIPTURE READING
Ruth 4.1-22, NRSV

No sooner had Boaz gone up to the gate and sat down there than the next-of-kin, of whom Boaz had spoken, came passing by. So Boaz said, “Come over, friend; sit down here.” And he went over and sat down.2Then Boaz took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, “Sit down here”; so they sat down. 3He then said to the next-of-kin, “Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, is selling the parcel of land that belonged to our kinsman Elimelech. 4So I thought I would tell you of it, and say: Buy it in the presence of those sitting here, and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if you will not, tell me, so that I may know; for there is no one prior to you to redeem it, and I come after you.” So he said, “I will redeem it.” 5Then Boaz said, “The day you acquire the field from the hand of Naomi, you are also acquiring Ruth the Moabite, the widow of the dead man, to maintain the dead man’s name on his inheritance.” 6At this, the next-of-kin said, “I cannot redeem it for myself without damaging my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption yourself, for I cannot redeem it.”7Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging: to confirm a transaction, the one took off a sandal and gave it to the other; this was the manner of attesting in Israel. 8So when the next-of-kin said to Boaz, “Acquire it for yourself,” he took off his sandal.

9Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I have acquired from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon. 10I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, the wife of Mahlon, to be my wife, to maintain the dead man’s name on his inheritance, in order that the name of the dead may not be cut off from his kindred and from the gate of his native place; today you are witnesses.” 11Then all the people who were at the gate, along with the elders, said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your house like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you produce children in Ephrathah and bestow a name in Bethlehem; 12and, through the children that the Lord will give you by this young woman, may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.”

13So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When they came together, the Lord made her conceive, and she bore a son. 14Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without next-of-kin; and may his name be renowned in Israel! 15He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has borne him.” 16Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom, and became his nurse. 17The women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed; he became the father of Jesse, the father of David. 18Now these are the descendants of Perez: Perez became the father of Hezron, 19Hezron of Ram, Ram of Amminadab, 20Amminadab of Nahshon, Nahshon of Salmon,21Salmon of Boaz, Boaz of Obed, 22Obed of Jesse, and Jesse of David.

Minister:  This the Word of the Lord.

People: Thanks be to God!

SERMON
Sermon Series: The Gospel According to Ruth
Sermon Title: Restoration
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 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 

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

DOXOLOGY

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow
Praise Him, All creatures here be - low
Praise Him Above, Ye Heavenly Host
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost

Amen, Amen,
Amen, Amen.


PAGE 16

BENEDICTION

Minister:    May the blessing of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, uphold you on the way.

People:     Amen.

DISMISSAL

Minister:    Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

People:     Thanks be to God!

Comment

Comment

Center City February 4, 2018

PAGE 2

REFLECTIONS

Pushing down hard with his fists on the table-top (Gildas) heaved himself up to where he was standing. For the first time we saw he (was missing) one leg. It was gone from the knee joint down. He was hopping sideways to reach for his stick in the corner when he lost his balance. He would have fallen in a heap if Brendan hadn't leapt forward and caught him. “I'm as crippled as the dark world,” Gildas said. “If it comes to that, which one of us isn't, my dear?” Brendan said. Gildas with but one leg. Brendan sure he'd misspent his whole life entirely. Me that had left my wife to follow him and buried our only boy. The truth of what Brendan said stopped all our mouths. We was cripples all of us. For a moment or two there was no sound but the bees. “To lend each other a hand when we're falling,” Brendan said. “Perhaps that's the only work that matters in the end.”


—Frederick Buechner, from Brendan


PAGE 3

GATHERING BEFORE GOD
February 4, 2018
5th Sunday of Epiphany
Center City Campus

OPENING SENTENCES

Leader: The Lord has shown forth his glory: Come, let us adore him!

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.

Music & lyrics by Dawn Rodgers & Eric Wyse. Chorus by Jack Schrader, 1989. 
Music and lyrics by Sandra McCracken, 2015.


PAGE 4

GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader:     The Lord be with you.

People:     And also with you!


CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader:     Praise the LORD! How good it is to sing praises to God; 

People:     he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting. 

Leader:       Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. 

People:     He is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting. 

Leader:     The LORD lifts up the downtrodden, but casts the wicked to the ground. 

People:     He is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting. 

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

People:     he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting. 

—from Psalm 147

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


PAGE 5

BLESSED ASSURANCE

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of his Spirit, washed in his blood.

CHORUS

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending bring from above,
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

CHORUS

Perfect submission, all is at rest;
I in my Savior am happy and blessed,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with his goodness, lost in his love.

CHORUS

Fanny Jane Crosby and Phoebe Palmer Knapp.
Public Domain.


PAGE 6

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


PAGE 7
 

CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader:    The LORD takes pleasue in those who hope in his steadfast love; therefore, let us confess our sins to God. 

—Psalm 147:11

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

People:    God, you are everlasting, the Creator of all that is. Your understanding is beyond measure. We confess to you that we have sinned against you and our neighbors. In your         compassion, forgive us, for we place our hope in your steadfast love; Amen.

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader:    In Christ, God heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds; know you are forgiven! 

—Psalm 147:3

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


PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS


PAGE 8

THE WORD OF GOD
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
SCRIPTURE READING
Ruth 3.1-18, NRSV

Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, I need to seek some security for you, so that it may be well with you. 2Now here is our kinsman Boaz, with whose young women you have been working. See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. 3Now wash and anoint yourself, and put on your best clothes and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. 4When he lies down, observe the place where he lies; then, go and uncover his feet and lie down; and he will tell you what to do.” 5She said to her, “All that you tell me I will do.” 6So she went down to the threshing floor and did just as her mother-in-law had instructed her. 7When Boaz had eaten and drunk, and he was in a contented mood, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. Then she came stealthily and uncovered his feet, and lay down. 8At midnight the man was startled, and turned over, and there, lying at his feet, was a woman! 9He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth, your servant; spread your cloak over your servant, for you are next-of-kin.” 10He said, “May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter; this last instance of your loyalty is better than the first; you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich. 11And now, my daughter, do not be afraid, I will do for you all that you ask, for all the assembly of my people know that you are a worthy woman. 12But now, though it is true that I am a near kinsman, there is another kinsman more closely related than I. 13Remain this night, and in the morning, if he will act as next-of-kin for you, good; let him do it. If he is not willing to act as next-of-kin for you, then, as the Lord lives, I will act as next-of-kin for you. Lie down until the morning.” 14So she lay at his feet until morning, but got up before one person could recognize another; for he said, “It must not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.” 15Then he said, “Bring the cloak you are wearing and hold it out.” So she held it, and he measured out six measures of barley, and put it on her back; then he went into the city. 16She came to her mother-in-law, who said, “How did things go with you, my daughter?” Then she told her all that the man had done for her, 17saying, “He gave me these six measures of barley, for he said, ‘Do not go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’” 18She replied, “Wait, my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out, for the man will not rest, but will settle the matter today.”

Minister:  This is the Gospel of the Lord.

People: Praise to you, O Christ!

SERMON    
Sermon Series: The Gospel According to Ruth
Sermon Title: Sleepless in Bethlehem
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 catholic1 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. 

(1that is, the true Christian church of all times and all places)


PAGE 10

 

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

WHAT WONDEROUS 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 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 and joyful be
And thro' eternity I'll sing on I'll sing on
And thro' eternity I'll sing on


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

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.


PAGE 16

BENEDICTION

Minister:    May the LORD, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,  be with you and bless you, now and forever! 

—based on Ruth 2:4

People:     Amen.

DISMISSAL

Minister:    Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

People:     Thanks be to God!

Comment

Comment

Main Line February 4, 2018

PAGE 2

REFLECTIONS

Pushing down hard with his fists on the table-top (Gildas) heaved himself up to where he was standing. For the first time we saw he (was missing) one leg. It was gone from the knee joint down. He was hopping sideways to reach for his stick in the corner when he lost his balance. He would have fallen in a heap if Brendan hadn't leapt forward and caught him. “I'm as crippled as the dark world,” Gildas said. “If it comes to that, which one of us isn't, my dear?” Brendan said. Gildas with but one leg. Brendan sure he'd misspent his whole life entirely. Me that had left my wife to follow him and buried our only boy. The truth of what Brendan said stopped all our mouths. We was cripples all of us. For a moment or two there was no sound but the bees. “To lend each other a hand when we're falling,” Brendan said. “Perhaps that's the only work that matters in the end.”


—Frederick Buechner, from Brendan


PAGE 3


GATHERING BEFORE GOD
February 4, 2018
5th Sunday of Epiphany

Main Line Campus

OPENING SENTENCES

Leader: The Lord has shown forth his glory: Come, let us adore him!

O COME TO THE ALTAR

BRIDGE:
Oh what a Savior
Isn't He wonderful
Sing alleluia, Christ is risen
Bow down before Him
For He is Lord of all
Sing alleluia, Christ is risen

Are you hurting and broken within,
Overwhelmed by the weight of your sin?
Jesus is calling.
Have you come to the end of yourself,
Do you thirst for a drink from the well?
Jesus is calling.

CHORUS:
O come to the altar,
The Father's arms are open wide.
Forgiveness was bought with

The precious blood of Jesus Christ.

Leave behind your regrets and mistakes,
Come today there's no reason to wait.
Jesus is calling.
Bring your sorrows and trade them for joy,
From the ashes a new life is born.
Jesus is calling.

CHORUS 2x

BRIDGE

CHORUS 2x


PAGE 4


GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader:     The Lord be with you.

People:     And also with you!


CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader:     Praise the LORD! How good it is to sing praises to God; 

People:     he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting. 

Leader:       Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. 

People:     He is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting. 

Leader:     The LORD lifts up the downtrodden, but casts the wicked to the ground. 

People:     He is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting. 

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

People:     he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting. 

—from Psalm 147

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


PAGE 5

JESUS, EVERLASTING KING

CHORUS:

Jesus, everlasting King,
Accept the tribute which we bring;
Accept the well deserved renown,

And wear our praises as Your crown.

O send Your Spirit to impart
Rest and repentance to our hearts,
Like the dear hour when from above
We first received Your pledge of love.

CHORUS

The gladness of redemptions day,
Our hearts would wish it long to stay,
Nor let our faith forsake its hold,
Nor comforts sink, or love grow cold.

CHORUS

May every time of worship see
Your grace revealed more rich and free,
Till we are raised to sing Your name
At the great supper of the Lamb.

CHORUS

O that the months would roll away
And bring the coronation day;
The King of Grace shall fill the throne
With all His Fathers glories on.

CHORUS


PAGE 6

BEFORE THE THRONE OF GOD ABOVE

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong, a perfect plea,
A great High Priest whose name is Love,
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart;
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart,
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God the Just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me,
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there! the risen Lamb,
My perfect, spotless Righteousness;
The great unchangeable I Am,
The King of glory and of grace!
One with Himself I cannot die,
My soul is purchased by His blood;
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ, my Savior and my God,
With Christ, my Savior and my God.


PAGE 7
 

CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader:    The LORD takes pleasue in those who hope in his steadfast love; therefore, let us confess our sins to God. 

—Psalm 147:11

PRAYER OF CONFESSION


People:    God, you are everlasting, the Creator of all that is. Your understanding is beyond measure. We confess to you that we have sinned against you and our neighbors. In your         compassion, forgive us, for we place our hope in your steadfast love; Amen.

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader:    In Christ, God heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds; know you are forgiven! 

—Psalm 147:3

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


PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS


PAGE 8

THE WORD OF GOD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION

SCRIPTURE READING

Ruth 3.1-18, NRSV

Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, I need to seek some security for you, so that it may be well with you. 2Now here is our kinsman Boaz, with whose young women you have been working. See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. 3Now wash and anoint yourself, and put on your best clothes and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. 4When he lies down, observe the place where he lies; then, go and uncover his feet and lie down; and he will tell you what to do.” 5She said to her, “All that you tell me I will do.” 6So she went down to the threshing floor and did just as her mother-in-law had instructed her. 7When Boaz had eaten and drunk, and he was in a contented mood, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. Then she came stealthily and uncovered his feet, and lay down. 8At midnight the man was startled, and turned over, and there, lying at his feet, was a woman! 9He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth, your servant; spread your cloak over your servant, for you are next-of-kin.” 10He said, “May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter; this last instance of your loyalty is better than the first; you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich. 11And now, my daughter, do not be afraid, I will do for you all that you ask, for all the assembly of my people know that you are a worthy woman. 12But now, though it is true that I am a near kinsman, there is another kinsman more closely related than I. 13Remain this night, and in the morning, if he will act as next-of-kin for you, good; let him do it. If he is not willing to act as next-of-kin for you, then, as the Lord lives, I will act as next-of-kin for you. Lie down until the morning.” 14So she lay at his feet until morning, but got up before one person could recognize another; for he said, “It must not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.” 15Then he said, “Bring the cloak you are wearing and hold it out.” So she held it, and he measured out six measures of barley, and put it on her back; then he went into the city. 16She came to her mother-in-law, who said, “How did things go with you, my daughter?” Then she told her all that the man had done for her, 17saying, “He gave me these six measures of barley, for he said, ‘Do not go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’” 18She replied, “Wait, my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out, for the man will not rest, but will settle the matter today.”

Minister:  This is the Gospel of the Lord.

People: Praise to you, O Christ!

SERMON    
Sermon Series: The Gospel According to Ruth
Sermon Title: Sleepless in Bethlehem
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 catholic1 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. 

(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

IF THOU HAST DRAWN

Draw me from created good,
From self, the world, and sin
To the fountain of Thy blood,
And make me pure within

CHORUS:
If Thou hast drawn a thousand times
   (Oh draw me Lord again)
Around me cast the Spirits bands

   (Oh draw me Lord again)

Lead me to Thy mercy seat,
Oh draw me nearer still
Like Mary, draw me to Thy feet,
To sit and learn Thy will

CHORUS

Draw me all the desert through
With cords of heavenly love
And when prepared for going home,
Oh draw me up above

CHORUS


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

SATISFIED 

All my life long, I had panted
For a drink from some cool spring
That I hoped would, quench the burning
of the thirst I felt within

CHORUS:
Hallelujah! He has found me,
the One my soul so long has craved!
Jesus satisfies all my longings
through his blood I now am saved

Feeding on the, filth around me
‘till my strength was almost gone
Longed my soul for, something better
only still to hunger on. 

CHORUS

Poor I was and, sought for riches
Something that would satisfy.
But the dust I gathered ‘round me
only mocked my soul’s sad cry. 

CHORUS

Well of water, ever springing
Bread of Life so rich and free
Untold wealth that, never faileth
My Redeemer is to me. 

CHORUS 2X

 


PAGE 16

BENEDICTION

Minister:    May the LORD, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,  be with you and bless you, now and forever! 

—based on Ruth 2:4

People:     Amen.

DISMISSAL

Minister:    Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

People:     Thanks be to God!

Comment

Comment

Center City January 28, 2018


PAGE 2
 

REFLECTIONS

 

“We must be global Christians with a global vision because our God is a global God.”

― John R.W. Stott

“The spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions. The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become.”

― Henry Martyn

“Yielding to God's will can be hard. And sometimes, it really hurts. But it always brings peace.” 

John M. Perkins


PAGE 3

GATHERING BEFORE GOD
January 28, 2018
4th Sunday of Epiphany
Center City Campus

 

OPENING SENTENCES

Leader: The Lord has shown forth his glory: Come, let us adore him!

GRACE ALONE

I was an orphan, lost at the fall; 
running away when I’d hear you call, 
But Father, you worked your will.
I had no righteousness of my own
I had no right to draw near your throne, 
But Father, you loved me still. 

CHORUS

And in love, before you laid the world’s foundation,      
You predestined to adopt me as your own.         
You have raised me up so high above my station;      
I’m a child of God by grace, and grace alone

You left your home to seek out the lost; 
You knew the great and terrible cost
But Jesus, your face was set. 
I worked my fingers down to the bone; 
Nothing I did could ever atone, 
Jesus, you paid my debt. 

By your blood I have redemption and salvation. 
Lord you died that I might reap what you have sown, 
And you rose that I might be a new creation. 
I am born again by grace, and grace alone.
 

I was darkness all of my life, 
I never knew the day from the night, 
But Spirit, you made me see. 
I swore I knew the way on my own; 
Head full of rocks, a heart made of stone
But Spirit, you moved in me. 

And At your touch my sleeping spirit was awakened; 
On my darkened heart the light of Christ has shone.
Called into a kingdom that cannot shaken; 
Heaven’s citizen by grace, and grace alone.

So I’ll stand in faith by grace, and grace alone
I will run the race by grace, and grace alone
I will slay my sin by grace, and grace alone
I will reach the end by grace, and grace alone


PAGE 4

GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader:     The Lord be with you.

People:     And also with you!


CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader:    May God be gracious to us, bless us, and make his face shine upon us; 

People:    Let all the peoples praise you, O God! 

Leader:    May your way be known upon earth, your saving power among all nations. 

People:    Let all the peoples praise you, O God! 

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

People:    Let all the peoples praise you, O God! 

—based on Psalm 67

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


PAGE 5

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.


PAGE 6

HE LEADETH ME

He leadeth me! O bless-ed tho't,
O words with heav’nly com-fort fraught;
What-e’er I do, where’er I be, 
Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.

 He leadeth me! He leadeth me! 
 By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful foll'wer I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.

Some-times ’mid scenes of deepest gloom, 
Some-times where E-den’s flowers bloom,
By waters calm, o’er troubled sea,       
Still ‘tis God’s hand that leadeth me.   (refrain)

Lord, I would clasp Thy hand in mine,
Nor ever murmur nor re-pine;  
Con-tent, what-eve-r lot I see,
Since 'tis my God that leadest me.  (refrain)

And when my task on earth is done, 
When, by Thy grace, the vic-t’ry’s won,
E’en death’s cold wave I will not flee,
Since God thro' Jordan leadeth me! (refrain)


PAGE 7

CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader:    The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it; therefore, let us confess our darkness and receive the light of Christ. 

—based on John 1.5

PRAYER OF CONFESSION


People:    God of grace, you have given us Jesus, the light of the world, but we choose darkness and cling to things that hide the brightness of your love. Immersed in ourselves, we have not risen to new life. Baptize us with your Spirit, that, forgiven and renewed, we may preach your Word to the nations and tell of your glory shining in the face of Jesus Christ, our Lord and our light forever- Amen.

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader:    Jesus, the true Light, has come into the world, and from him we have all received grace upon grace; in Christ, your are forgiven! 

—based on John 1.9, 16

 

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


PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS

 


PAGE 8

THE WORD OF GOD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
SCRIPTURE READING
Matthew 28:16-20, ESV

The Great Commission - Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Minister:  This is the Gospel of the Lord.

People: Praise to you, O Christ!

SERMON
Sermon Title: The Great Commission
Speaker: Steve Huber


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 catholic1 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. 

(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

NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD

             What can wash away my sin?            
         Nothing but the blood of Jesus.          
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For my pardon, this I see,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
For my cleansing this my plea 
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

CHORUS

Oh, precious is the flow,
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Nothing can for sin atone
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
Naught of good that I have done
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

CHORUS

This is all my hope and peace
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
This is all my righteousness
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

CHORUS


PAGE 14

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

REJOICE

Come and stand before your Maker
Full of wonder, full of fear
Come behold His power and glory
Yet with confidence draw near
For the one who holds the heavens
And commands the stars above
Is the God who bends to bless us
With an unrelenting love

Rejoice, come and lift your hands and
Raise your voice, He is worthy of our praise
Rejoice, sing of mercies of your King

And with trembling, rejoice

We are children of the promise
The beloved of the Lord
Won with everlasting kindness
Bought with sacrificial blood
Bringing reconciliation
To a world that longs to know
The affections of a Father
Who will never let them go

All our sickness, all our sorrows
Jesus carried up the hill
He has walked this path before us
He is walking with us still
Turning tragedy to triumph
Turning agony to praise
There is blessing in the battle
So take heart and stand amazed

Rejoice, when you cry to Him He hears
Your voice, He will wipe away your tears
Rejoice, in the midst of suffering

He will help you sing

Words and music by Dustin Kensrue


PAGE 16

BENEDICTION

Minister:    May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and forevermore. 

—2 Corinthians 13:14

People:     Amen.

DISMISSAL

Minister:    Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

People:     Thanks be to God!


Comment

Comment

Center City January 21, 2018


PAGE 2

REFLECTIONS

 

The outsider Ruth was not born into the faith and felt no natural part of it- like many of us. But she came to find herself gathered into the story and given a quiet and obscure part that proved critical to the way everything turned out. 

Scripture is a vast tapestry of God's creating, saving, and blessing ways in this world. The great names in the plot that climaxes at Sinai (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Solomon) can be intimidating to ordinary, random individuals: "Surely there is no way that I can have any significant part on such a stage." But the story of the widowed, impoverished, alien Ruth is proof to the contrary. She is the inconsequential outsider whose life turns out to be essential for telling the complete story of God's ways among us.

—Eugene Peterson


PAGE 3

GATHERING BEFORE GOD
January 21, 2018
3rd Sunday of Epiphany

Center City Campus

OPENING SENTENCES

Leader: The Lord has shown forth his glory: Come, let us adore him!


ALL CREATURES OF OUR GOD & KING

All creatures of our God and King
Lift up your voice and with us sing
O praise Him, Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam
thou silver moon with softer gleam
O praise Him, O praise Him
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou rushing wind that art so strong
ye clouds that sail in Heaven along
O praise Him, Alleluia!
Thou rising moon, in praise rejoice
ye lights of evening, find a voice
O praise Him, O praise Him
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Let all things their Creator bless
and worship Him in humbleness
O praise Him, Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son
and praise the Spirit, three in One
O praise Him, O praise Him
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!


PAGE 4

GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader:     The Lord be with you.

People:     And also with you!


CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: From God comes my salvation; 

People: for God alone my soul waits in silence. 

Leader: God alone is my rock and my salvation. 

People: God is my fortress; I shall never be shaken. 

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

People: for God alone my soul waits in silence. 

—Psalm 62:1-2

 

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


PAGE 5

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 6

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.


PAGE 7

CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader:    Trusting in the promise of grace, let us pour out our hearts  before God. 

—from Psalm 62:8

 

PRAYER OF CONFESSION


People:    Forgiving God, we repent of all the ways we turn from you. You call, but we do not listen; you show us your path, but we prefer our own way. Forgive us, heal us, and lead us back to you, that we might show your mercy to others. In Jesus' name we pray; Amen.

 

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader:    This is the word of the Lord: in Jesus Christ, you are forgiven by God and given new life. 

—1 Corinthians 7:31

 

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


PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS


PAGE 8

 

THE WORD OF GOD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
SCRIPTURE READING
Ruth 2:1-23, NRSV

Now Naomi had a kinsman on her husband’s side, a prominent rich man, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. 2And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain, behind someone in whose sight I may find favor.” She said to her, “Go, my daughter.” 3So she went. She came and gleaned in the field behind the reapers. As it happened, she came to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech.

4Just then Boaz came from Bethlehem. He said to the reapers, “The Lordbe with you.” They answered, “The Lord bless you.” 5Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, “To whom does this young woman belong?” 6The servant who was in charge of the reapers answered, “She is the Moabite who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. 7She said, ‘Please, let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the reapers.’ So she came, and she has been on her feet from early this morning until now, without resting even for a moment.”8Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Now listen, my daughter, do not go to glean in another field or leave this one, but keep close to my young women. 9Keep your eyes on the field that is being reaped, and follow behind them. I have ordered the young men not to bother you. If you get thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn.” 10Then she fell prostrate, with her face to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your sight, that you should take notice of me, when I am a foreigner?” 11But Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. 12May the Lord reward you for your deeds, and may you have a full reward from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge!” 13Then she said, “May I continue to find favor in your sight, my lord, for you have comforted me and spoken kindly to your servant, even though I am not one of your servants.” 14At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come here, and eat some of this bread, and dip your morsel in the sour wine.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he heaped up for her some parched grain. She ate until she was satisfied, and she had some left over. 15When she got up to glean, Boaz instructed his young men, “Let her glean even among the standing sheaves, and do not reproach her. 16You must also pull out some handfuls for her from the bundles, and leave them for her to glean, and do not rebuke her.”

17So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. 18She picked it up and came into the town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gleaned. Then she took out and gave her what was left over after she herself had been satisfied. 19Her mother-in-law said to her, “Where did you glean today? And where have you worked? Blessed be the man who took notice of you.” So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked, and said, “The name of the man with whom I worked today is Boaz.” 20Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “Blessed be he by the Lord, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead!” Naomi also said to her, “The man is a relative of ours, one of our nearest kin.” 21Then Ruth the Moabite said, “He even said to me, ‘Stay close by my servants, until they have finished all my harvest.’” 22Naomi said to Ruth, her daughter-in-law, “It is better, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, otherwise you might be bothered in another field.” 23So she stayed close to the young women of Boaz, gleaning until the end of the barley and wheat harvests; and she lived with her mother-in-law.

Minister:  This the Word of the Lord.

People: Thanks be to God!

SERMON
Sermon Series: The Gospel According to Ruth
Speaker: Carolyn Custis James


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 catholic1 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. 

(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


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

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.


PAGE 16

BENEDICTION

Minister:    May the LORD, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,  be with you and bless you, now and forever! 

—based on Ruth 2:4

People:     Amen.

DISMISSAL

Minister:    Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

People:     Thanks be to God!


Comment

Comment

Main Line January 21, 2018


PAGE 2


The outsider Ruth was not born into the faith and felt no natural part of it- like many of us. But she came to find herself gathered into the story and given a quiet and obscure part that proved critical to the way everything turned out. 

Scripture is a vast tapestry of God's creating, saving, and blessing ways in this world. The great names in the plot that climaxes at Sinai (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Solomon) can be intimidating to ordinary, random individuals: "Surely there is no way that I can have any significant part on such a stage." But the story of the widowed, impoverished, alien Ruth is proof to the contrary. She is the inconsequential outsider whose life turns out to be essential for telling the complete story of God's ways among us.

—Eugene Peterson


PAGE 3

GATHERING BEFORE GOD
January 21, 2018
3rd Sunday of Epiphany

Main Line Campus

OPENING SENTENCES

Leader: The Lord has shown forth his glory: Come, let us adore him!

HAIL TO THE LORD’S ANOINTED

CHORUS:
Hail to the Lord’s anointed, 
great David’s greater Son! 
Hail in the time appointed, 
His reign on earth begun!

His reign on earth begun!

He comes to break oppression, 
 to set the captive free, 
To take away transgression, 
 and rule in equity.

CHORUS

He comes with comfort speedy
 to those who suffer wrong, 
To help the poor and needy, 
 and for the weak is strong.
To give them songs for sighing, 
 their darkness turn to light, 
Whose souls, condemned and dying, 
 are precious in His sight.

CHORUS

He shall come down like showers
  upon the fruitful earth, 
Love, joy, and hope, like flowers,
 spring in His path to birth. 
Kings shall fall down before Him,
 and gold and incense bring;
All nations shall adore Him,
 His praise all people sing;

CHORUS


PAGE 4

GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader:     The Lord be with you.

People:     And also with you!


CALL TO WORSHIP


Leader: From God comes my salvation; 


People: for God alone my soul waits in silence. 


Leader: God alone is my rock and my salvation. 


People: God is my fortress; I shall never be shaken. 


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

 
People: for God alone my soul waits in silence. 

—Psalm 62:1-2

 

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


PAGE 5

GREAT ARE YOU LORD

You give life, You are love
You bring light to the darkness
You give hope, You restore
Every heart that is broken
Great are You, Lord

CHORUS:

It's Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise
We pour out our praise
It's Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise to You only

You give life, You are love
You bring light to the darkness
You give hope, You restore
Every heart that is broken
Great are You, Lord

[CHORUS 2x]

All the earth will shout Your praise
Our hearts will cry, these bones will sing
Great are You, Lord
[2x]

[CHORUS 2x]
Great are You, Lord
Great are You, Lord

 

© 2012 Open Hands Music, Integrity's Praise!


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


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

2x)

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

CHORUS




Words and Music by All Sons and Daughters, 2012.


PAGE 7

CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader:    Trusting in the promise of grace, let us pour out our hearts before God. 

—from Psalm 62:8

 

PRAYER OF CONFESSION


People:    Forgiving God, we repent of all the ways we turn from you. You call, but we do not listen; you show us your path, but we prefer our own way. Forgive us, heal us, and lead us back to you, that we might show your mercy to others. In Jesus' name we pray; Amen.
 

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader:    This is the word of the Lord: in Jesus Christ, you are forgiven by God and given new life. 

—1 Corinthians 7:31

 

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


PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS


PAGE 8

 

THE WORD OF GOD

 

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION

SCRIPTURE READING

Ruth 2:1-23, NRSV

Now Naomi had a kinsman on her husband’s side, a prominent rich man, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. 2And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain, behind someone in whose sight I may find favor.” She said to her, “Go, my daughter.” 3So she went. She came and gleaned in the field behind the reapers. As it happened, she came to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech.

4Just then Boaz came from Bethlehem. He said to the reapers, “The Lordbe with you.” They answered, “The Lord bless you.” 5Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, “To whom does this young woman belong?” 6The servant who was in charge of the reapers answered, “She is the Moabite who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. 7She said, ‘Please, let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the reapers.’ So she came, and she has been on her feet from early this morning until now, without resting even for a moment.”8Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Now listen, my daughter, do not go to glean in another field or leave this one, but keep close to my young women. 9Keep your eyes on the field that is being reaped, and follow behind them. I have ordered the young men not to bother you. If you get thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn.” 10Then she fell prostrate, with her face to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your sight, that you should take notice of me, when I am a foreigner?” 11But Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. 12May the Lord reward you for your deeds, and may you have a full reward from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge!” 13Then she said, “May I continue to find favor in your sight, my lord, for you have comforted me and spoken kindly to your servant, even though I am not one of your servants.” 14At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come here, and eat some of this bread, and dip your morsel in the sour wine.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he heaped up for her some parched grain. She ate until she was satisfied, and she had some left over. 15When she got up to glean, Boaz instructed his young men, “Let her glean even among the standing sheaves, and do not reproach her. 16You must also pull out some handfuls for her from the bundles, and leave them for her to glean, and do not rebuke her.”

17So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. 18She picked it up and came into the town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gleaned. Then she took out and gave her what was left over after she herself had been satisfied. 19Her mother-in-law said to her, “Where did you glean today? And where have you worked? Blessed be the man who took notice of you.” So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked, and said, “The name of the man with whom I worked today is Boaz.” 20Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “Blessed be he by the Lord, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead!” Naomi also said to her, “The man is a relative of ours, one of our nearest kin.” 21Then Ruth the Moabite said, “He even said to me, ‘Stay close by my servants, until they have finished all my harvest.’” 22Naomi said to Ruth, her daughter-in-law, “It is better, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, otherwise you might be bothered in another field.” 23So she stayed close to the young women of Boaz, gleaning until the end of the barley and wheat harvests; and she lived with her mother-in-law.

Minister:  This the Word of the Lord.

People: Thanks be to God!

 

SERMON
Sermon Series: The Gospel According to Ruth
Speaker: Carolyn Custis James


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 catholic1 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. 

(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

JESUS I AM RESTING 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.

 

CHORUS
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.

CHORUS

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.

CHORUS

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.

CHORUS

I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.


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

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 by Mary Bowley Peters. Music by Matthew S. Smith.


PAGE 16

 

BENEDICTION

 

Minister:    May the LORD, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,  be with you  and bless you, now and forever! 
 


—based on Ruth 2:4

People:     Amen.

 

DISMISSAL

Minister:    Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

People:     Thanks be to God!

Comment

Comment

Center City January 14, 2018

PAGE 2

Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.

Frederick Buechner, from Now and Then: A Memoir of Vocation

The world is indeed full of famine, death, sexual menace, and a host of other evils. Often it seems that God is absent or hostile. The story of Ruth shows us in an incomparable way that the blessings of God come to us through simple human means. When you reach out your hand to another, it is the hand of God. When you are faithful to your spouse, it is the faithfulness of God. When an employer cares for his work force, it is the care of God. When comfort and protection are offered to a stranger, or a foreigner, or an outsider of any kind, it is the protection and comfort and help of the Lord himself. His covenant love appears in human form in the flesh.

—Fleming Rutledge, from Help My Unbelief

 

PAGE 3


GATHERING BEFORE GOD
January 14, 2018

2nd Sunday of Epiphany
Center City Campus

 

OPENING SENTENCES

Leader: The Lord has shown forth his glory: Come, let us adore him!

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 4

GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader:     The Lord be with you.

People:     And also with you!


CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; 

People: let the whole earth tremble before him! 

Leader: Tell it out among the nations that the Lord is King; 

People: let the whole earth tremble before him. 

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

People: let the whole earth tremble before him. 

—from Psalm 96

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

THIS IS MY FATHER’S WORLD

This is my Father’s world
And to my listening ears
All nature sings and around 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 hand 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 everywhere.

This is my Father’s world,
O let me ne’er forget:
That thought 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 the earth and heaven be one

 

© 1901 Public Domain 1 [Adam/Donna] by Maltbie D. Babcock

 

PAGE 7

CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader:    We know that nothing is able to separate us from the love of  God in Jesus Christ; therefore, let us confess our sins to God.
                        

—based on Romans 8:39

PRAYER OF CONFESSION


People:    Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord, Amen.

 

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader:    Hear the good news: in Christ, you are granted God's favor and baptized into his church. Know that you are forgiven, and be at peace!

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

 


PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

PAGE 8

THE WORD OF GOD

 

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
SCRIPTURE READING
Ruth 1-4, NRSV

In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land, and a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to live in the country of Moab, he and his wife and two sons. 2The name of the man was Elimelech and the name of his wife Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion; they were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They went into the country of Moab and remained there. 3But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons. 4These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. When they had lived there about ten years, 5both Mahlon and Chilion also died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband.

6Then she started to return with her daughters-in-law from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that the Lord had considered his people and given them food. 7So she set out from the place where she had been living, she and her two daughters-in-law, and they went on their way to go back to the land of Judah. 8But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back each of you to your mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. 9The Lord grant that you may find security, each of you in the house of your husband.” Then she kissed them, and they wept aloud.10They said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.” 11But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters, why will you go with me? Do I still have sons in my womb that they may become your husbands? 12Turn back, my daughters, go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. Even if I thought there was hope for me, even if I should have a husband tonight and bear sons, 13would you then wait until they were grown? Would you then refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, it has been far more bitter for me than for you, because the hand of the Lord has turned against me.” 14Then they wept aloud again. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her. 15So she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.”16But Ruth said, “Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; Where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. 17Where you die, I will die— there will I be buried. May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you!” 18When Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her.

19So the two of them went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they came to Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them; and the women said, “Is this Naomi?” 20She said to them, “Call me no longer Naomi, call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt bitterly with me. 21I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty; why call me Naomi when the Lord has dealt harshly with me, and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?” 22So Naomi returned together with Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, who came back with her from the country of Moab. They came to Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.

2 Now Naomi had a kinsman on her husband’s side, a prominent rich man, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. 2And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain, behind someone in whose sight I may find favor.” She said to her, “Go, my daughter.” 3So she went. She came and gleaned in the field behind the reapers. As it happened, she came to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech.

4 Just then Boaz came from Bethlehem. He said to the reapers, “The Lordbe with you.” They answered, “The Lord bless you.” 5Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, “To whom does this young woman belong?” 6The servant who was in charge of the reapers answered, “She is the Moabite who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. 7She said, ‘Please, let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the reapers.’ So she came, and she has been on her feet from early this morning until now, without resting even for a moment.”8Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Now listen, my daughter, do not go to glean in another field or leave this one, but keep close to my young women. 9Keep your eyes on the field that is being reaped, and follow behind them. I have ordered the young men not to bother you. If you get thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn.” 10Then she fell prostrate, with her face to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your sight, that you should take notice of me, when I am a foreigner?” 11But Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. 12May the Lord reward you for your deeds, and may you have a full reward from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge!” 13Then she said, “May I continue to find favor in your sight, my lord, for you have comforted me and spoken kindly to your servant, even though I am not one of your servants.” 14At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come here, and eat some of this bread, and dip your morsel in the sour wine.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he heaped up for her some parched grain. She ate until she was satisfied, and she had some left over. 15When she got up to glean, Boaz instructed his young men, “Let her glean even among the standing sheaves, and do not reproach her. 16You must also pull out some handfuls for her from the bundles, and leave them for her to glean, and do not rebuke her.”

17So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. 18She picked it up and came into the town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gleaned. Then she took out and gave her what was left over after she herself had been satisfied. 19Her mother-in-law said to her, “Where did you glean today? And where have you worked? Blessed be the man who took notice of you.” So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked, and said, “The name of the man with whom I worked today is Boaz.” 20Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “Blessed be he by the Lord, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead!” Naomi also said to her, “The man is a relative of ours, one of our nearest kin.” 21Then Ruth the Moabite said, “He even said to me, ‘Stay close by my servants, until they have finished all my harvest.’” 22Naomi said to Ruth, her daughter-in-law, “It is better, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, otherwise you might be bothered in another field.” 23So she stayed close to the young women of Boaz, gleaning until the end of the barley and wheat harvests; and she lived with her mother-in-law.

3Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, I need to seek some security for you, so that it may be well with you. 2Now here is our kinsman Boaz, with whose young women you have been working. See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. 3Now wash and anoint yourself, and put on your best clothes and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. 4When he lies down, observe the place where he lies; then, go and uncover his feet and lie down; and he will tell you what to do.” 5She said to her, “All that you tell me I will do.”

6So she went down to the threshing floor and did just as her mother-in-law had instructed her. 7When Boaz had eaten and drunk, and he was in a contented mood, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. Then she came stealthily and uncovered his feet, and lay down. 8At midnight the man was startled, and turned over, and there, lying at his feet, was a woman! 9He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth, your servant; spread your cloak over your servant, for you are next-of-kin.” 10He said, “May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter; this last instance of your loyalty is better than the first; you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich. 11And now, my daughter, do not be afraid, I will do for you all that you ask, for all the assembly of my people know that you are a worthy woman. 12But now, though it is true that I am a near kinsman, there is another kinsman more closely related than I. 13Remain this night, and in the morning, if he will act as next-of-kin for you, good; let him do it. If he is not willing to act as next-of-kin for you, then, as the Lord lives, I will act as next-of-kin for you. Lie down until the morning.”

14So she lay at his feet until morning, but got up before one person could recognize another; for he said, “It must not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.” 15Then he said, “Bring the cloak you are wearing and hold it out.” So she held it, and he measured out six measures of barley, and put it on her back; then he went into the city.16She came to her mother-in-law, who said, “How did things go with you, my daughter?” Then she told her all that the man had done for her,17saying, “He gave me these six measures of barley, for he said, ‘Do not go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’” 18She replied, “Wait, my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out, for the man will not rest, but will settle the matter today.”

4No sooner had Boaz gone up to the gate and sat down there than the next-of-kin, of whom Boaz had spoken, came passing by. So Boaz said, “Come over, friend; sit down here.” And he went over and sat down.2Then Boaz took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, “Sit down here”; so they sat down. 3He then said to the next-of-kin, “Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, is selling the parcel of land that belonged to our kinsman Elimelech. 4So I thought I would tell you of it, and say: Buy it in the presence of those sitting here, and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if you will not, tell me, so that I may know; for there is no one prior to you to redeem it, and I come after you.” So he said, “I will redeem it.” 5Then Boaz said, “The day you acquire the field from the hand of Naomi, you are also acquiring Ruth the Moabite, the widow of the dead man, to maintain the dead man’s name on his inheritance.” 6At this, the next-of-kin said, “I cannot redeem it for myself without damaging my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption yourself, for I cannot redeem it.”7Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging: to confirm a transaction, the one took off a sandal and gave it to the other; this was the manner of attesting in Israel. 8So when the next-of-kin said to Boaz, “Acquire it for yourself,” he took off his sandal.

9Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I have acquired from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon. 10I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, the wife of Mahlon, to be my wife, to maintain the dead man’s name on his inheritance, in order that the name of the dead may not be cut off from his kindred and from the gate of his native place; today you are witnesses.” 11Then all the people who were at the gate, along with the elders, said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your house like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you produce children in Ephrathah and bestow a name in Bethlehem; 12and, through the children that the Lord will give you by this young woman, may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.”

13So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When they came together, the Lord made her conceive, and she bore a son. 14Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without next-of-kin; and may his name be renowned in Israel! 15He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has borne him.” 16Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom, and became his nurse. 17The women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed; he became the father of Jesse, the father of David. 18Now these are the descendants of Perez: Perez became the father of Hezron, 19Hezron of Ram, Ram of Amminadab, 20Amminadab of Nahshon, Nahshon of Salmon,21Salmon of Boaz, Boaz of Obed, 22Obed of Jesse, and Jesse of David.

 

Minister:  This the Word of the Lord.

People: Thanks be to God!

 

SERMON
Sermon Series: The Gospel According to Ruth
Sermon Title: Loss and Loyalty
Speaker: Jared Ayers

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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 catholic1 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. 

(1that is, the true Christian church of all times and all places)

 

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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:

 

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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.

 

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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. 

 

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NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD

What can wash away my sin?
 Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

CHORUS
Oh, precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow,
No other fount I know
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.


For my pardon, this my plea! 
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
For my cleansing this I see
 Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

CHORUS

Nothing can for sin atone,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Naught of good that I have done,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

CHORUS

This is all my hope and peace
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
This is all my righteousness
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

CHORUS
 

Music and lyrics by Robert Lowry and William Doane, 1876.

 

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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.

 

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SENDING INTO GOD’S WORLD


OFFERING

DOXOLOGY

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow
Praise Him, All creatures here be - low
Praise Him Above, Ye Heavenly Host
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost

Amen, Amen,
Amen, Amen.

 

 

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BENEDICTION

Minister:    May the LORD, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,  be with you  and bless you, now and forever! 

—based on Ruth 2:4

People:     Amen.

DISMISSAL

Minister:    Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

People:     Thanks be to God!

Comment

Comment

Main Line January 14, 2018

PAGE 2

Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.

Frederick Buechner, from Now and Then: A Memoir of Vocation

The world is indeed full of famine, death, sexual menace, and a host of other evils. Often it seems that God is absent or hostile. The story of Ruth shows us in an incomparable way that the blessings of God come to us through simple human means. When you reach out your hand to another, it is the hand of God. When you are faithful to your spouse, it is the faithfulness of God. When an employer cares for his work force, it is the care of God. When comfort and protection are offered to a stranger, or a foreigner, or an outsider of any kind, it is the protection and comfort and help of the Lord himself. His covenant love appears in human form in the flesh.

—Fleming Rutledge, from Help My Unbelief

 

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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
January 14, 2018

2nd Sunday of Epiphany
Main Line Campus


OPENING SENTENCES

Leader: The Lord has shown forth his glory: Come, let us adore him!

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.

 

Music & lyrics by Dawn Rodgers & Eric Wyse. Chorus by Jack Schrader, 1989. 
Music and lyrics by Sandra McCracken, 2015.

 

 

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GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader:     The Lord be with you.

People:     And also with you!


CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; 

People: let the whole earth tremble before him! 

Leader: Tell it out among the nations that the Lord is King; 

People: let the whole earth tremble before him. 

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

People: let the whole earth tremble before him. 

—from Psalm 96

PRAYER OF INVOCATION

 

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LORD I NEED YOU

Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You're the One that guides my heart

CHORUS
Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness

Oh God, how I need You
 

Where sin runs deep Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are, Lord, I am free
Holiness is Christ in me

CHORUS

Teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand I'll fall on You
Jesus, You're my hope and stay

CHORUS

You're my one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
 


Music and lyrics by Matt Maher, 2013.

 

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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.

 

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CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader:    We know that nothing is able to separate us from the love of  God in Jesus Christ; therefore, let us confess our sins to God.
                        

—based on Romans 8:39

PRAYER OF CONFESSION


People:    Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord, Amen.

 

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader:    Hear the good news: in Christ, you are granted God's favor and baptized into his church. Know that you are forgiven, and be at peace!

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

 


PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

PAGE 8

THE WORD OF GOD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
SCRIPTURE READING
Ruth 1-4, NRSV

In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land, and a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to live in the country of Moab, he and his wife and two sons. 2The name of the man was Elimelech and the name of his wife Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion; they were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They went into the country of Moab and remained there. 3But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons. 4These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. When they had lived there about ten years, 5both Mahlon and Chilion also died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband.

6Then she started to return with her daughters-in-law from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that the Lord had considered his people and given them food. 7So she set out from the place where she had been living, she and her two daughters-in-law, and they went on their way to go back to the land of Judah. 8But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back each of you to your mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. 9The Lord grant that you may find security, each of you in the house of your husband.” Then she kissed them, and they wept aloud.10They said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.” 11But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters, why will you go with me? Do I still have sons in my womb that they may become your husbands? 12Turn back, my daughters, go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. Even if I thought there was hope for me, even if I should have a husband tonight and bear sons, 13would you then wait until they were grown? Would you then refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, it has been far more bitter for me than for you, because the hand of the Lord has turned against me.” 14Then they wept aloud again. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her. 15So she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.”16But Ruth said, “Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; Where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. 17Where you die, I will die— there will I be buried. May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you!” 18When Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her.

19So the two of them went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they came to Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them; and the women said, “Is this Naomi?” 20She said to them, “Call me no longer Naomi, call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt bitterly with me. 21I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty; why call me Naomi when the Lord has dealt harshly with me, and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?” 22So Naomi returned together with Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, who came back with her from the country of Moab. They came to Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.

2 Now Naomi had a kinsman on her husband’s side, a prominent rich man, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. 2And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain, behind someone in whose sight I may find favor.” She said to her, “Go, my daughter.” 3So she went. She came and gleaned in the field behind the reapers. As it happened, she came to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech.

4 Just then Boaz came from Bethlehem. He said to the reapers, “The Lordbe with you.” They answered, “The Lord bless you.” 5Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, “To whom does this young woman belong?” 6The servant who was in charge of the reapers answered, “She is the Moabite who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. 7She said, ‘Please, let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the reapers.’ So she came, and she has been on her feet from early this morning until now, without resting even for a moment.”8Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Now listen, my daughter, do not go to glean in another field or leave this one, but keep close to my young women. 9Keep your eyes on the field that is being reaped, and follow behind them. I have ordered the young men not to bother you. If you get thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn.” 10Then she fell prostrate, with her face to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your sight, that you should take notice of me, when I am a foreigner?” 11But Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. 12May the Lord reward you for your deeds, and may you have a full reward from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge!” 13Then she said, “May I continue to find favor in your sight, my lord, for you have comforted me and spoken kindly to your servant, even though I am not one of your servants.” 14At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come here, and eat some of this bread, and dip your morsel in the sour wine.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he heaped up for her some parched grain. She ate until she was satisfied, and she had some left over. 15When she got up to glean, Boaz instructed his young men, “Let her glean even among the standing sheaves, and do not reproach her. 16You must also pull out some handfuls for her from the bundles, and leave them for her to glean, and do not rebuke her.”

17So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. 18She picked it up and came into the town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gleaned. Then she took out and gave her what was left over after she herself had been satisfied. 19Her mother-in-law said to her, “Where did you glean today? And where have you worked? Blessed be the man who took notice of you.” So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked, and said, “The name of the man with whom I worked today is Boaz.” 20Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “Blessed be he by the Lord, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead!” Naomi also said to her, “The man is a relative of ours, one of our nearest kin.” 21Then Ruth the Moabite said, “He even said to me, ‘Stay close by my servants, until they have finished all my harvest.’” 22Naomi said to Ruth, her daughter-in-law, “It is better, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, otherwise you might be bothered in another field.” 23So she stayed close to the young women of Boaz, gleaning until the end of the barley and wheat harvests; and she lived with her mother-in-law.

3Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, I need to seek some security for you, so that it may be well with you. 2Now here is our kinsman Boaz, with whose young women you have been working. See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. 3Now wash and anoint yourself, and put on your best clothes and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. 4When he lies down, observe the place where he lies; then, go and uncover his feet and lie down; and he will tell you what to do.” 5She said to her, “All that you tell me I will do.”

6So she went down to the threshing floor and did just as her mother-in-law had instructed her. 7When Boaz had eaten and drunk, and he was in a contented mood, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. Then she came stealthily and uncovered his feet, and lay down. 8At midnight the man was startled, and turned over, and there, lying at his feet, was a woman! 9He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth, your servant; spread your cloak over your servant, for you are next-of-kin.” 10He said, “May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter; this last instance of your loyalty is better than the first; you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich. 11And now, my daughter, do not be afraid, I will do for you all that you ask, for all the assembly of my people know that you are a worthy woman. 12But now, though it is true that I am a near kinsman, there is another kinsman more closely related than I. 13Remain this night, and in the morning, if he will act as next-of-kin for you, good; let him do it. If he is not willing to act as next-of-kin for you, then, as the Lord lives, I will act as next-of-kin for you. Lie down until the morning.”

14So she lay at his feet until morning, but got up before one person could recognize another; for he said, “It must not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.” 15Then he said, “Bring the cloak you are wearing and hold it out.” So she held it, and he measured out six measures of barley, and put it on her back; then he went into the city.16She came to her mother-in-law, who said, “How did things go with you, my daughter?” Then she told her all that the man had done for her,17saying, “He gave me these six measures of barley, for he said, ‘Do not go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’” 18She replied, “Wait, my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out, for the man will not rest, but will settle the matter today.”

4No sooner had Boaz gone up to the gate and sat down there than the next-of-kin, of whom Boaz had spoken, came passing by. So Boaz said, “Come over, friend; sit down here.” And he went over and sat down.2Then Boaz took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, “Sit down here”; so they sat down. 3He then said to the next-of-kin, “Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, is selling the parcel of land that belonged to our kinsman Elimelech. 4So I thought I would tell you of it, and say: Buy it in the presence of those sitting here, and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if you will not, tell me, so that I may know; for there is no one prior to you to redeem it, and I come after you.” So he said, “I will redeem it.” 5Then Boaz said, “The day you acquire the field from the hand of Naomi, you are also acquiring Ruth the Moabite, the widow of the dead man, to maintain the dead man’s name on his inheritance.” 6At this, the next-of-kin said, “I cannot redeem it for myself without damaging my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption yourself, for I cannot redeem it.”7Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging: to confirm a transaction, the one took off a sandal and gave it to the other; this was the manner of attesting in Israel. 8So when the next-of-kin said to Boaz, “Acquire it for yourself,” he took off his sandal.

9Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I have acquired from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon. 10I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, the wife of Mahlon, to be my wife, to maintain the dead man’s name on his inheritance, in order that the name of the dead may not be cut off from his kindred and from the gate of his native place; today you are witnesses.” 11Then all the people who were at the gate, along with the elders, said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your house like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you produce children in Ephrathah and bestow a name in Bethlehem; 12and, through the children that the Lord will give you by this young woman, may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.”

13So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When they came together, the Lord made her conceive, and she bore a son. 14Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without next-of-kin; and may his name be renowned in Israel! 15He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has borne him.” 16Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom, and became his nurse. 17The women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed; he became the father of Jesse, the father of David. 18Now these are the descendants of Perez: Perez became the father of Hezron, 19Hezron of Ram, Ram of Amminadab, 20Amminadab of Nahshon, Nahshon of Salmon,21Salmon of Boaz, Boaz of Obed, 22Obed of Jesse, and Jesse of David.

 

Minister:  This the Word of the Lord.

People: Thanks be to God!

 

SERMON
Sermon Series: The Gospel According to Ruth
Sermon Title: Loss and Loyalty
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 catholic1 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. 

(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

DOXOLOGY

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow
Praise Him, All creatures here be - low
Praise Him Above, Ye Heavenly Host
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost

Amen, Amen,
Amen, Amen.

 

 

PAGE 16

BENEDICTION

Minister:    May the LORD, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,  be with you  and bless you, now and forever! 

—based on Ruth 2:4

People:     Amen.

DISMISSAL

Minister:    Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

People:     Thanks be to God!

Comment

Comment

Center City January 7, 2018

PAGE 2

Let us recognize... how our Lord Jesus Christ, ever since his birth, suffered for us so that when we seek him we do not need to make long journeys to find him nor to be truly united to him.

—John Calvin, from a 16th-century Christmas sermon

 

And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth
      and death.
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.

T.S. Eliot, “Journey of the Magi,” in Everyman’s Pocket Poets: Christmas Poems

 

PAGE 3


GATHERING BEFORE GOD
January 7, 2018


Main Line Campus

OPENING SENTENCES

Leader: The Lord has shown forth his glory: Come, let us adore him!

SHOUT FOR JOY

CHORUS
Shout for joy to the Lord all the earth
Worship the Lord with gladness
Come before Him with joyful songs

And know that the Lord is good

It is He who has made us
And we are His
We are His people
The sheep of His pasture

CHORUS

Enter His gates with thanks
And His courts with praise
Give thanks to the Lord
And praise His Holy name

CHORUS

For the Lord is a good Lord
And His love endures
His faithfulness continues
Throughout all generations

 

PAGE 4

GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader:     The Lord be with you.

People:     And also with you!


CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The Spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters; 

People: then God said, Let there be light, and God saw that it was good.

Leader: At the beginning of his ministry, Jesus was baptized, the heavens opened, and the Spirit descended like a dove; 

People: then God said: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 

—Genesis 1:1-2; Mark 1:1, 9-11

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

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)

 

Songwriters: Leslie Jordan / David Leonard

All the Poor and Powerless lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group

PAGE 6

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.

 

PAGE 7

CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader:    A voice cries in the wilderness, "Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight!" Let us turn to God's way by  confessing our sins. 

—Mark 1:3

PRAYER OF CONFESSION


People:    God of all glory, you see us as we are- not worthy to kneel at your feet, not ready to welcome your way. Forgive us, Gracious God; stoop to save us; loosen the ties that bind us to sin and free us to love and serve you; in Jesus' name, Amen.

 

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader:    Through Jesus Christ, the Voice from heaven says to us: You  are my beloved child, with whom I am well pleased. In Christ you are forgiven; be at peace! 

—Mark 1:11

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

 


PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

PAGE 8

THE WORD OF GOD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
SCRIPTURE READING
Isaiah 60:1-6, NRSV

Arise, shine; for your light has come,
   and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. 
2 For darkness shall cover the earth,
   and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you,
   and his glory will appear over you. 
3 Nations shall come to your light,
   and kings to the brightness of your dawn. 
4 Lift up your eyes and look around;
   they all gather together, they come to you;
your sons shall come from far away,
   and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses’ arms. 
5 Then you shall see and be radiant;
   your heart shall thrill and rejoice,
because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you,
   the wealth of the nations shall come to you. 
6 A multitude of camels shall cover you,
   the young camels of Midian and Ephah;
   all those from Sheba shall come.
They shall bring gold and frankincense,
   and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.

 

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: Arise! Shine!
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 catholic1 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. 

 (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

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 

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

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.

 

PAGE 16

BENEDICTION

Minister:    May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and forevermore. 

—2 Corinthians 13:14

People:     Amen.

DISMISSAL

Minister:    Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

People:     Thanks be to God!

Comment

Comment

Main Line January, 7 2018

PAGE 2

Let us recognize... how our Lord Jesus Christ, ever since his birth, suffered for us so that when we seek him we do not need to make long journeys to find him nor to be truly united to him.

—John Calvin, from a 16th-century Christmas sermon

 

And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth
      and death.
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.

T.S. Eliot, “Journey of the Magi,” in Everyman’s Pocket Poets: Christmas Poems

 

PAGE 3


GATHERING BEFORE GOD
January 7, 2018


Main Line Campus

OPENING SENTENCES

Leader: The Lord has shown forth his glory: Come, let us adore him!

JESUS, EVERLASTING KING

CHORUS:
Jesus, everlasting King,
Accept the tribute which we bring;
Accept the well deserved renown,
And wear our praises as Your crown.

O send Your Spirit to impart
Rest and repentance to our hearts,
Like the dear hour when from above
We first received Your pledge of love.

CHORUS

The gladness of redemptions day,
Our hearts would wish it long to stay,
Nor let our faith forsake its hold,
Nor comforts sink, or love grow cold.

CHORUS

May every time of worship see
Your grace revealed more rich and free,
Till we are raised to sing Your name
At the great supper of the Lamb.

CHORUS

O that the months would roll away
And bring the coronation day;
The King of Grace shall fill the throne
With all His Fathers glories on.

CHORUS

 

 

PAGE 4

GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader:     The Lord be with you.

People:     And also with you!


CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The Spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters; 

People: then God said, Let there be light, and God saw that it was good.

Leader: At the beginning of his ministry, Jesus was baptized, the heavens opened, and the Spirit descended like a dove; 

People: then God said: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 

—Genesis 1:1-2; Mark 1:1, 9-11

PRAYER OF INVOCATION

 

PAGE 5

ALL HAIL THE POWER OF JESUS NAME

CHORUS:
Raise up the crown rise on the praises
Rest on the brow of the King of the Ages
Raise up the crown rise on the praises
Rest on the brow of the King of the Ages

All hail the pow’r of Jesus’ name!
Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown Him Lord of all.
Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown Him Lord of all.

Ye chosen seed of Israel’s race,
Ye ransomed from the fall,
Hail Him Who saves you by His grace,
And crown Him Lord of all.
Hail Him Who saves you by His grace,
And crown Him Lord of all.

O that with yonder sacred throng
We at His feet may fall
We’ll join the everlasting song,
And crown Him Lord of all.
We’ll join the everlasting song,
And crown Him Lord of all.

CHORUS

 

Authors Oliver Holden, Edward Perronet, and John (adapt) Rippon

 

PAGE 6

WHAT A BEAUTIFUL NAME

You were the Word at the beginning
One with God the Lord Most High
Your hidden glory in creation
Now revealed in You our Christ

CHORUS
What a beautiful (wonderful, powerful) Name it is
What a beautiful (wonderful, powerful) Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King
What a beautiful (wonderful, powerful) Name it is
Nothing compares to this
What a beautiful (wonderful, powerful) Name it is

The Name of Jesus

You didn’t want heaven without us, 
So Jesus You brought heaven down
My sin was great Your love was greater
What could separate us now

CHORUS (wonderful)

You have no rival, You have no equal
Now and forever, Our God reigns
Yours is the Kingdom, Yours is the glory
Yours is the Name, above all names

CHORUS (powerful)

 

Ben Fielding and Brooke Ligertwood. 2016 Hillsong Music Publishing.
2016 Hillsong Music Publishing

 

PAGE 7

CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader:    A voice cries in the wilderness, "Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight!" Let us turn to God's way by  confessing our sins. 

—Mark 1:3

PRAYER OF CONFESSION


People:    God of all glory, you see us as we are- not worthy to kneel at your feet, not ready to welcome your way. Forgive us, Gracious God; stoop to save us; loosen the ties that bind us to sin and free us to love and serve you; in Jesus' name, Amen.

 

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader:    Through Jesus Christ, the Voice from heaven says to us: You  are my beloved child, with whom I am well pleased. In Christ you are forgiven; be at peace! 

—Mark 1:11

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

 


PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

PAGE 8

THE WORD OF GOD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
SCRIPTURE READING
Isaiah 60:1-6, NRSV

Arise, shine; for your light has come,
   and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. 
2 For darkness shall cover the earth,
   and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you,
   and his glory will appear over you. 
3 Nations shall come to your light,
   and kings to the brightness of your dawn. 
4 Lift up your eyes and look around;
   they all gather together, they come to you;
your sons shall come from far away,
   and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses’ arms. 
5 Then you shall see and be radiant;
   your heart shall thrill and rejoice,
because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you,
   the wealth of the nations shall come to you. 
6 A multitude of camels shall cover you,
   the young camels of Midian and Ephah;
   all those from Sheba shall come.
They shall bring gold and frankincense,
   and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.

 

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: Arise! Shine!
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 catholic1 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. 

 (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

THOU LOVELY SOURCE OF TRUE DELIGHT

Thou lovely source of true delight
Whom I unseen adore
Unveil Thy beauties to my sight
That I might love Thee more,
Oh that I might love Thee more.

Thy glory o’'er creation shines
But in Thy sacred Word
I read in fairer, brighter lines
My bleeding, dying Lord,
See my bleeding, dying Lord

Tis here, whene’er my comforts droop
And sin and sorrow rise
Thy love with cheering beams of hope
My fainting heart supplies,
My fainting heart’s supplied

But ah! Too soon the pleasing scene
Is clouded o’'er with pain
My gloomy fears rise dark between
And I again complain,
Oh and I again complain

Jesus, my Lord, my life, my light
Oh come with blissful ray
Break radiant through the shades of night
And chase my fears away,
Won’t You chase my fears away

Then shall my soul with rapture trace
The wonders of Thy love
But the full glories of Thy face
Are only known above,
They are only known above

 

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

HAIL TO THE LORD’S ANOINTED

CHORUS:
Hail to the Lord’s anointed, 
great David’s greater Son! 
Hail in the time appointed, 
His reign on earth begun!
His reign on earth begun!

He comes to break oppression, 
to set the captive free, 
o take away transgression, 
and rule in equity.

CHORUS

He comes with comfort speedy
to those who suffer wrong, 
To help the poor and needy, 
and for the weak is strong.
To give them songs for sighing, 
their darkness turn to light, 
Whose souls, condemned and dying, 
are precious in His sight.

CHORUS

He shall come down like showers
upon the fruitful earth, 
Love, joy, and hope, like flowers,
spring in His path to birth. 
Kings shall fall down before Him,
and gold and incense bring;
All nations shall adore Him,
His praise all people sing;

CHORUS

The tide of time shall never
His covenant remove. 
His Name shall stand forever,
That Name to us is Love. 

CHORUS

 

PAGE 16

BENEDICTION

Minister:    May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and forevermore. 

—2 Corinthians 13:14

People:     Amen.

DISMISSAL

Minister:    Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

People:     Thanks be to God!

Comment

Comment

Center City December 31, 2017

PAGE 2

“The prophet is addressing an audience that has experienced life as chaos. The sacred center that formerly had held together an ordered universe, the temple in Jerusalem, was destroyed. The concentric circles of institutional structure that had unified the diverse spheres of human activity into a harmonious whole, namely, royal court, priesthood, and commerce, had ruptured. Rushing in to fill the voids were looters, worshipers of pagan God’s, and foreign armies coming to tear the Jewish people from their homeland. Finally, one morning, the followers of Yahweh woke up to see the sun rising not on the hills of Ephraim but on a land where Marduck and Nebo were worshiped. Confusion swamped the consciousness of many. Life no longer had a center but came to resemble the chaos poignantly described by William Butler Yeats: 

“Things fall apart; center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.

—Paul D. Habson professor of Divinity at Harvard from Commentary on Isaiah

 

PAGE 3


GATHERING BEFORE GOD
December 31, 2017
1st Sunday of Christmas

Center City Campus

OPENING SENTENCES

Leader: The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together!
—Isaiah 40:5

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.

 

Music & lyrics by Dawn Rodgers & Eric Wyse. Chorus by Jack Schrader, 1989. 
Music and lyrics by Sandra McCracken, 2015.

 

PAGE 4

GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader:     The Lord be with you.

People:     And also with you!


CALL TO WORSHIP


Leader: Christ is born! Alleluia! 

People: Jesus is among us! Alleluia! 

Leader: The Word has become flesh! 

People: Alleluia, alleluia! 

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

People: alleluia, alleluia!

 

PRAYER OF INVOCATION

 

PAGE 5

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

 

PAGE 6

THERE IS A HOPE

There is a hope that burns within my heart
That gives me strength for every passing day
A glimpse of glory now revealed in meager part
Yet drives all doubt away
I stand in Christ with sins forgiv’n
And Christ in me, the hope of heav'n
My highest calling and my deepest joy
To make His will my home

There is a hope that lifts my weary head
A consolation strong against despair
That when the world has plunged me in its deepest pit
I find the Savior there
Through present suff’rings future’s fear
He whispers courage in my ear
For I am safe in everlasting arms
And they will lead me home

There is a hope that stands the test of time
That lifts my eyes beyond the beck’ning grave
To see the matchless beauty of a day divine
When I behold His face
When suff’rings cease and sorrows die
And ev'ry longing satisfied
Then joy unspeakable will flood my soul
For I am truly home

 

PAGE 7

CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader:  God's light shines in our darkness, and the darkness cannot  put it out. Let us therefore confess our sins to God. 

—John 1:5

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

People:  Almighty God, you sent Christ to be born as a helpless child, and yet we have not attended to the suffering of children. You chose humble Mary to be mother of our Lord         Jesus, and yet we have not attended to the struggles of women. The holy family could find no room in Bethlehem,  and yet we have not attended to the cries of the homeless. Forgive us and free us for joyful compassion, that we may know Christ in serving others. Through Christ we pray; Amen.

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader: Break forth into singing, for the Lord has redeemed you. See  the salvation of God; find comfort in his strong arms.  Through the gift of Christ, you are forgiven! 
—Isaiah 52:7-10

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


PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

PAGE 8

THE WORD OF GOD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
SCRIPTURE READING
Isaiah 52:7-10, NRSV

7 How beautiful upon the mountains
   are the feet of the messenger who announces peace,
who brings good news,
   who announces salvation,
   who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’ 
8 Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices,
   together they sing for joy;
for in plain sight they see
   the return of the Lord to Zion. 
9 Break forth together into singing,
   you ruins of Jerusalem;
for the Lord has comforted his people,
   he has redeemed Jerusalem. 
10 The Lord has bared his holy arm
   before the eyes of all the nations;
and all the ends of the earth shall see
  the salvation of our God. 
 

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: Finding the Center
Speaker: Vito Baldini

 

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 catholic1 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. 

 (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

THE OLD RUGGED CROSS

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
the emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
for a world of lost sinners was slain.

So I'll cherish the old rugged cross,
till my trophies at last I lay down.
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
and exchange it some day for a crown.

O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
to bear it to dark Calvary.

In the old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
a wondrous beauty I see,
For 'twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
to pardon and sanctify me.


To the old rugged cross I will ever be true,
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He'll call me some day to my home far away,
where His glory forever I'll share.

 

Text and Music by George Bennard, 1999

 

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

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 16

BENEDICTION

 

Minister:    May God, redeemer of Israel, dismiss us in peace; may Jesus Christ, Son of God, Son of Mary, uphold us in love; may the Holy Spirit, the power of God, guide us in truth.

People:     Amen.

 

DISMISSAL

Minister:    Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

People:     Thanks be to God!

Comment

Comment

Main Line December 31, 2017

PAGE 2

“The prophet is addressing an audience that has experienced life as chaos. The sacred center that formerly had held together an ordered universe, the temple in Jerusalem, was destroyed. The concentric circles of institutional structure that had unified the diverse spheres of human activity into a harmonious whole, namely, royal court, priesthood, and commerce, had ruptured. Rushing in to fill the voids were looters, worshipers of pagan God’s, and foreign armies coming to tear the Jewish people from their homeland. Finally, one morning, the followers of Yahweh woke up to see the sun rising not on the hills of Ephraim but on a land where Marduck and Nebo were worshiped. Confusion swamped the consciousness of many. Life no longer had a center but came to resemble the chaos poignantly described by William Butler Yeats: 

“Things fall apart; center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.

—Paul D. Habson professor of Divinity at Harvard from Commentary on Isaiah

 

PAGE 3


GATHERING BEFORE GOD
December 31, 2017
1st Sunday of Christmas

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 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: Christ is born! Alleluia! 

People: Jesus is among us! Alleluia! 

Leader: The Word has become flesh! 

People: Alleluia, alleluia! 

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

People: alleluia, alleluia!

 

PRAYER OF INVOCATION

 

PAGE 5

THE FIRST NOEL

The first No-el the angel did say,
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep
On a cold win-ters night that was so deep

CHORUS
No-el, No-el, No-el, No-el
Born is the King of Is-ra-el.

They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the east beyond them far,
And to the earth it gave great light,
And so it continued both day and night.

Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord;
That hath made heaven and earth of naught,
And with his blood mankind hath bought.

 

PAGE 6

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 7

CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader:  God's light shines in our darkness, and the darkness cannot  put it out. Let us therefore confess our sins to God. 

—John 1:5

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

People:  Almighty God, you sent Christ to be born as a helpless child, and yet we have not attended to the suffering of children. You chose humble Mary to be mother of our Lord         Jesus, and yet we have not attended to the struggles of women. The holy family could find no room in Bethlehem,  and yet we have not attended to the cries of the homeless. Forgive us and free us for joyful compassion, that we may know Christ in serving others. Through Christ we pray; Amen.

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader: Break forth into singing, for the Lord has redeemed you. See  the salvation of God; find comfort in his strong arms.  Through the gift of Christ, you are forgiven! 
—Isaiah 52:7-10

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


PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

PAGE 8

THE WORD OF GOD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
SCRIPTURE READING
Isaiah 52:7-10, NRSV

7 How beautiful upon the mountains
   are the feet of the messenger who announces peace,
who brings good news,
   who announces salvation,
   who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’ 
8 Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices,
   together they sing for joy;
for in plain sight they see
   the return of the Lord to Zion. 
9 Break forth together into singing,
   you ruins of Jerusalem;
for the Lord has comforted his people,
   he has redeemed Jerusalem. 
10 The Lord has bared his holy arm
   before the eyes of all the nations;
and all the ends of the earth shall see
  the salvation of our God. 
 

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: Finding the Center
Speaker: Vito Baldini

 

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 catholic1 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. 

 (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

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.

 

PAGE 16

BENEDICTION

 

Minister:    May God, redeemer of Israel, dismiss us in peace; may Jesus Christ, Son of God, Son of Mary, uphold us in love; may the Holy Spirit, the power of God, guide us in truth.

People:     Amen.

 

DISMISSAL

Minister:    Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

People:     Thanks be to God!

 

Comment

Comment

Center City December 24, 2017

PAGE 2

REFLECTIONS

Why do we [sing these Christmas songs]? Come every year sure as the solstice to carol these antiquities that if you listened to the words would break your heart. Silence, darkness, Jesus, angels. Better, I suppose, to sing than to listen.

John Updike, from “The Carol Sing,” in Everyman’s Pocket Classics: Christmas Stories

Rejoice, you just;
it is the birthday of the Justifier.
Rejoice, you who are weak and sick;
it is the birthday of the Savior, the Healer.
Rejoice, captives; it is the birthday of the Redeemer...
Rejoice, free people; it is the birthday
of the One who makes you free.
Rejoice, all Christians; it is the birthday of Christ.
Born of his mother,
he commended this day to the ages,
while born of his Father he created all ages...
The One who holds the world in being
was lying in a manger;
he was simultaneously speechless infant and Word.
The heavens cannot contain him,
but a woman carried him in her bosom…

—Augustine of Hippo, from a 4th century Christmas sermon

 

PAGE 3

GATHERING BEFORE GOD
December 24, 2017
Christmas Eve

Main Line 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 people who walked in darkness have seen a  great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, upon them the light has dawned.

People:    To us a child is born, to us a son is given!

Leader:    For to us a child is born and to us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulder. And his name will be called: Wonderful Counselor; the Mighty God; the everlasting Father; Prince of Peace.

People:    To us a child is born, to us a son is given!

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

People:    To us a child is born, to us a son is given!

—from Isaiah 9:2-7

PRAYER OF INVOCATION

 

PAGE 5

AWAY IN A MANGER

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.

The stars in the sky looked down where he lay,
The little Lord Jesus asleep in the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.

I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky
And stay by my cradle til morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.

Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,
And take us to heaven, to live with Thee there.

 

PAGE 6

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 Counselor, 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 onward and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.


Leader: This is the word of the Lord.

People: Thanks be to God!

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

PASSING THE PEACE

 

PAGE 7

SCRIPTURE READING 

Luke 2:1-20, NRSV

    1In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3All went to their own towns to be registered. 4Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

    8In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying. 14“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” 15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

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

REFLECTION
Speaker: Jared Ayers

 

PAGE 8

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 catholic1 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. 

 (1that is, the true Christian church of all times and all places)"

PAGE 9

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 10

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 11

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 12

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.


Lyrics by Isaac Watts, 1719. Music arranged by Lowell Mason, 1836.

 

PAGE 13

SENDING INTO GOD’S WORLD

OFFERING

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.


Music by Sir John Stainer. Lyrics by William Chatterton Dix, 1865.
Adapted from a 16th century English melody.

 

PAGE 14

CANDLE LIGHTING

SCRIPTURE READING
John 1:1-14 NRSV

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.
5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. 6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. 14And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.


Leader: This is the Gospel of the Lord.

People: Praise to you, O Christ!

 

PAGE 15

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;
trans. by John F. Young, 1856.

 

PAGE 16

BENEDICTION

Minister: May the joy of the angels, the eagerness of the shepherds, the obedience of Joseph and Mary, and the peace of the Christ child be yours this Christmas. And the blessing of God almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you always.

People:   Amen.

DISMISSAL

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

People:   Thanks be to God!

Comment

Comment

Main Line December 24, 2017

PAGE 2

REFLECTIONS

Why do we [sing these Christmas songs]? Come every year sure as the solstice to carol these antiquities that if you listened to the words would break your heart. Silence, darkness, Jesus, angels. Better, I suppose, to sing than to listen.

John Updike, from “The Carol Sing,” in Everyman’s Pocket Classics: Christmas Stories

Rejoice, you just;
it is the birthday of the Justifier.
Rejoice, you who are weak and sick;
it is the birthday of the Savior, the Healer.
Rejoice, captives; it is the birthday of the Redeemer...
Rejoice, free people; it is the birthday
of the One who makes you free.
Rejoice, all Christians; it is the birthday of Christ.
Born of his mother,
he commended this day to the ages,
while born of his Father he created all ages...
The One who holds the world in being
was lying in a manger;
he was simultaneously speechless infant and Word.
The heavens cannot contain him,
but a woman carried him in her bosom…

—Augustine of Hippo, from a 4th century Christmas sermon

 

PAGE 3

GATHERING BEFORE GOD
December 24, 2017
Christmas Eve

Main Line Campus

OPENING SENTENCES

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

—Isaiah 40:5

ANGELS FROM THE REALMS OF GLORY

Angels from the realms of glory, 
Wing your flight o'er all the earth;
Ye who sang creation's story, 
Now proclaim Messiah's birth.

CHORUS:

Come and worship, come and worship; 

Worship Christ, the new-born King! 
Shepherds in the fields abiding, 
Watching o'er your flocks by night;
God with man is now residing, 
Yonder shines the infant Light.

CHORUS

Sages, leave your contemplation's, 
Brighter visions beam afar;
Seek the great Desire of nations, 
Ye have seen His natal star.

CHORUS

Saints, before the altar bending, 
Watching long in hope and fear;
Suddenly the Lord, descending, 

CHORUS

All creation, join in praising, 
God, the Father, Spirit, Son;
Evermore your voices raising, 
To the eternal Three in One.

CHORUS

Words by James Montgomery, 1816. Music by Henry Smart,

 

PAGE 4

GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader: The Lord be with you.

People: And also with you!

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader:  The people who walked in darkness have seen a  great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, upon them the light has dawned.

People:    To us a child is born, to us a son is given!

Leader:    For to us a child is born and to us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulder. And his name will be called: Wonderful Counselor; the Mighty God; the everlasting Father; Prince of Peace.

People:    To us a child is born, to us a son is given!

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

People:    To us a child is born, to us a son is given!

—from Isaiah 9:2-7

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.


Lyrics by Isaac Watts, 1719. Music arranged by Lowell Mason, 1836.

 

PAGE 6

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 Counselor, 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 onward and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.


Leader: This is the word of the Lord.

People: Thanks be to God!

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

PASSING THE PEACE

 

PAGE 7

SCRIPTURE READING 

Luke 2:1-20, NRSV

    1In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3All went to their own towns to be registered. 4Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

    8In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying. 14“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” 15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

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

REFLECTION
Speaker: Jared Ayers

 

PAGE 8

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 catholic1 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. 

 (1that is, the true Christian church of all times and all places)"

PAGE 9

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 10

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 11

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 12

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.

Music by Lewis Redner, 1868. Lyrics by Phillips Brooks, 1867.

PAGE 13

SENDING INTO GOD’S WORLD

OFFERING

ANGELS WE HAVE HEARD ON HIGH

Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o’er the plains,
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains.

CHORUS
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!


Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
What the gladsome tidings be
Which inspire your heavenly song?

CHORUS

Come to Bethlehem and see
Christ Whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee,
Christ the Lord, the newborn King.

CHORUS

See Him in a manger laid,
Whom the choirs of angels praise;
Mary, Joseph, lend your aid,
While our hearts in love we raise.

CHORUS

Words: Traditional French carol, trans. James Chadwick 1862.

 

PAGE 14

CANDLE LIGHTING

SCRIPTURE READING
John 1:1-14 NRSV

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.
5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. 6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. 14And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.


Leader: This is the Gospel of the Lord.

People: Praise to you, O Christ!

 

PAGE 15

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;
trans. by John F. Young, 1856.

 

PAGE 16

BENEDICTION

Minister: May the joy of the angels, the eagerness of the shepherds, the obedience of Joseph and Mary, and the peace of the Christ child be yours this Christmas. And the blessing of God almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you always.

People:   Amen.

DISMISSAL

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

People:   Thanks be to God!

Comment

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

 

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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).

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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:

 

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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.

 

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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.  

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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.

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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

 

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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!

 

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