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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
January 25, 2015
Third Sunday of Epiphany

PRELUDE

GREETING AND PREPARATION

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

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker.
People: For He is the Lord, our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.

Leader: Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; let the whole earth stand in awe of Him.
People: For He comes to judge the world; he will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in His truth.

 - From Psalm 95 & 96

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


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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


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IT IS WELL

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, You have taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.       
 
CHORUS
It is well, it is well, through the storms I am held
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blessed assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,  
And has shed His own blood for my soul.

CHORUS

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul

CHORUS 2
It is well, it is well, through the storms I am held
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, it is well, God has won, Christ prevailed       
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

TRADITIONAL CHORUS
It is well, (it is well), with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.


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FOREVER REIGN
 
You are good, You are good, When there's nothing good in me
You are love, You are love, On display for all to see
You are light, You are light, When the darkness closes in
You are hope, You are hope, You have covered all my sin  

 You are peace, You are peace, When my fear is crippling
You are true, You are true, Even in my wandering
You are joy, You are joy, You're the reason that I sing
You are life, You are life, In You death has lost its sting
 
CHORUS
Oh, I'm running to Your arms, I'm running to Your arms.
The riches of Your love Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace Light of the world forever reign

 
You are more, You are more, Than my words will ever say
You are Lord, You are Lord, All creation will proclaim
You are here, You are here, In Your presence I'm made whole
You are God, You are God, Of all else I'm letting go

CHORUS

BRIDGE
My heart will sing no other Name Jesus, Jesus

CHORUS


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CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader: God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

- John 3:16, NRSV

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

People: Almighty Father, you have called us to be your people and have made us one body, yet we do not live as such. We do not love each other as we should. Jealousy grips us and we fail to look out for others interests above our own. Conceit grips us and we fail to associate and care for those different from ourselves. Forgive us our offenses, Father, and subdue everything in us that is contrary to your purpose. By the power of your Spirit make us a community that reveals the acceptance, kindness and love found only in you. Amen.

SILENT CONFESSION

WORDS OF PARDON

Leader: The Lord God said: A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Hear the good news: Through Christ, our minds and hearts are cleansed, healed, and renewed!

- Ezekiel 36:26 NRSV

SONG OF RESPONSE - GLORIA PATRI  

Glory be to the Father, Glory be to the Son
Glory be to the Spirit Three in One
As it was in the beginning it will be forever. Amen. 
Amen. Amen.
(REPEAT)

PASSING THE PEACE


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THE WORD OF GOD

SCRIPTURE READING    

Matthew 5:1-20 NRSV  
 
1When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

3"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. 8Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
 
13“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot. 14You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

17“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. 18For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. 19Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

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

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION  

SERMON


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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 catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.


Blessed are the sat upon, spat upon, ratted on.
— Simon and Garfunkel, from “Blessed,”
on the album Sounds of Silence

 

Jesus confirms all the beatitudes he speaks in the Gospel, and he justifies his teaching through his own example. “Blessed are the meek” is what he says of himself. “Learn of me, for I am  meek.”  “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Who is a peacemaker like my Lord Jesus, who is our peace, who made enmity to cease and destroyed it in his flesh? “Blessed are they who suffer for righteousness’ sake.” No one more than the Lord Jesus, who was crucified for our sins, endured persecution for righteousness’ sake. The Lord, then, displays all the beatitudes as being realized in himself. Conforming to that which he said, “Blessed are those who weep,” he himself wept over Jerusalem, to lay the foundation of this beatitude also.

— Origen of Alexandria


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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. 


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Minister: 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. Together we proclaim the mystery of the faith. 

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

Minister: 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.

 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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HOLY (JESUS YOU ARE)
 
What heart could hold the weight of Your love
And know the heights of Your great worth
What eyes could look on Your glorious face
Shining like the sun
(x2)

CHORUS
You are holy, holy, holy
God most high and God most worthy
You are holy, holy, holy
Jesus, You are
Jesus, You are

Your name alone has power to raise us
Your light will shine when all else fades
Our eyes will look on Your glorious face
Shining like the sun
Who is like You, God?

CHORUS

BRIDGE
Who shall we say You are
You're the living God
Who shall we say You are
You're the Great I AM
The highest name of all
You're all You say You are

And You shall come again in glory
To judge the living and the dead
All eyes will look on Your glorious face
Shining like the sun
Who is like You, God?

CHORUS (x2)


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COMMUNION PRAYER
    
People: God of grace, you renew us at your table with the bread of life. May this food strengthen us in love and help us to serve you in each other. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Minister: Let us pray as our Lord Jesus has taught us:     
People: Our Father in heaven,
              hallowed be your name,
              your kingdom come,
              your will be done,
              on earth as it is in heaven.         
              Give us today our daily bread.
              Forgive us our sins
              as we forgive those who sin
              against us.
              Save us from the time of trial,
              and deliver us from evil.
              For the kingdom, the power,
              and the glory are yours, now
              and forever. Amen.


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SENDING INTO GOD’S WORLD

OFFERING

HOW DEEP THE FATHER’S LOVE FOR US

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

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

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


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BENEDICTION

Minister: May you be strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully give thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.

- Adapted from Colossians 1:11-12

People: Amen.

DISMISSAL

Minister: Go in peace to love and serve the Lord! 
People: Thanks be to God!


HOME GROUPS HAVE RESUMED!
Liberti’s home groups have resumed for the semester! If you aren't connected to a group yet, now is a great time to check one out! For a full list of groups and their schedules, head to libertichurch.org/homegroups.

LIBERTI NETWORK COMBINED SERVICE - TONIGHT!
Each year, we gather with the other churches in the Liberti Network to worship, pray, and celebrate together. Join us tonight at 6:00 PM, at the First Baptist Church Building (17th & Sansom) for our annual combined service. Free parking will be available in the Liberty Place garage. 
 
COLLEGE STUDENT GATHERING
Immediately following the Liberti Network combined service tonight, there will be a meeting for all Liberti college students in the downstairs boardroom. Mingle and get to know students and campus ministers from all the Liberti churches, and hear about upcoming mission opportunities.
 
SPRING BREAK WEEKEND
This spring, Liberti is partnering with the Aquinas Center to host and urban immersion spring break weekend. Students that are interested in and experience that is multicultural, service focused, and ecumenical are encouraged to attend. The trip will take place from 2/27 - 3/1 in Philadelphia, and costs $99. For more info, email Vito Baldini at vito@liberti.org.  
 
FOR THE CITY MEETING
Mark your calendar and plan to join us at 6:00 PM on 2/15, at Liberti’s Center City building! We’ll be updating progress on the For the City initiative, and providing project information, next steps, project timelines, and more! Coffee and refreshments, and free parking, will be provided.
 
SPRING CLEANING DAY
Join us at 9:00 AM on Saturday, 2/21 at the First Baptist Building (17th & Sansom), as we begin cleaning out spaces and preparing for renovation! We’ll also be doing some other light maintenance work. Lunch and free parking will be provided. Email administrator@liberti.org to sign up.

PRAYER REQUESTS
This week, please pray alongside us...

Our Church — For the mission of the church - to live, speak, serve as the very presence of Christ to the neighborhoods of Center City and Main Line Philadelphia.

Our City — For those who are facing hardship as a result of unemployment.

Our World — For Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia. Give thanks for The testimony of St Augustine and other theologians of the early church. Pray for an end to armed attacks and clashes in Libya and those who risk their lives to cross the sea for entry into Europe.

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