No, they eat and drink, Sam. The Shadow that bred them can only mock, it cannot make: not real new things of its own. I don’t think it gave life to the orcs, it only ruined them and twisted them...

-Frodo Baggins, in J.R.R. Tolkein’s novel The Return of the King: The Lord of the Rings Part Three

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.

-Isaac Watts, from the hymn “Joy to the World”


February 21, 2016
Second Sunday of Lent
Center City Campus

Leader: Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins; His mercy endures forever. Amen. 


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

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

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

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


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

Leader: Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer us, for we are poor and needy. 
People: Save us, your servants who trust in you-you are our God. 
Leader: Be gracious to us, O Lord, for to you do we cry all the day. 
People: Gladden the soul of your servants, for to you , O Lord, do we lift up our souls. 
Leader: For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon 
People: Give ear, O Lord, to our prayer; listen to our pleas for grace. 
Leader: In the day of trouble we call upon you. 
People: For you answer us. 




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

I will arise and go to Jesus. 
He will embrace me in His arms!
In the arms of my dear Savior,
oh, there are ten thousand charms. 

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


Let not conscience make you linger,
nor of fitness fondly dream. 
All the fitness He requireth
is to feel your need of Him.


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




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. 

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 through eternity I'll sing on, I'll sing on,
And through eternity I'll sing on. 




Leader: If we say that we have no sin, 
we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 
If we confess our sins,
he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins
and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 

-I John 1:8-9, NRSV


People: Eternal God, whose promise to us is never broken, 
we confess that we fail to follow you. Though you have bound yourself to us, we run from your embrace. In Jesus Christ you serve us freely, but we refuse your love and withhold ourselves from others. We do not love you fully or love one another as you command. In your mercy, forgive and cleanse us. Lead us once again to your arms and unite us to Christ, who is the bread of life and the vine from which we grow in grace. Lord, have mercy on us for Christ's sake. Amen. 

Leader: For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. 
-2 Corinthians 8:9, NRSV


Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, 
Lord have mercy on us




Genesis 3:8-24, NRSV

They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ He said, ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.’ He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?’ The man said, ‘The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.’ Then the Lord God said to the woman, ‘What is this that you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent tricked me, and I ate.’ The Lord God said to the serpent,

‘Because you have done this,
   cursed are you among all animals
   and among all wild creatures;
upon your belly you shall go,
   and dust you shall eat
   all the days of your life. 
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
   and between your offspring and hers;
he will strike your head,
   and you will strike his heel.’ 
To the woman he said,
‘I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing;
   in pain you shall bring forth children,
yet your desire shall be for your husband,
   and he shall rule over you.’ 
And to the man he said,
‘Because you have listened to the voice of your wife,
   and have eaten of the tree
about which I commanded you,
   “You shall not eat of it”,
cursed is the ground because of you;
   in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 
thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
   and you shall eat the plants of the field. 
By the sweat of your face
   you shall eat bread
until you return to the ground,
   for out of it you were taken;
you are dust,
   and to dust you shall return.’

 The man named his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all who live. And the Lord God made garments of skins for the man and for his wife, and clothed them.

 Then the Lord God said, ‘See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever’— therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man; and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim, and a sword flaming and turning to guard the way to the tree of life.

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


Sermon Series: What Lies Beneath: Recovering The Lost Language of Sin
Sermon Title: Paradise Lost
Speaker: Jared Ayers



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




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.


Minister: Together we proclaim the mystery of the faith. 

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

Minister: God of 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. 

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

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


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.



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. 



People: Fill us, good Lord, with your Spirit of love; and as you have fed us with the one bread of heaven, so make us one in heart and mind, in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 


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




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.



Minister: May God, who gives us a new vision of life through the cross, enlighten our understanding, inflame our affections, and enable us to walk the way of the cross. And may the love of God-the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit-surround us as we seek to discern that love. 

People: Amen. 

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