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REFLECTIONS

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

—Jonathan Edwards, Christian Charity

 

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

—Tim Keller, The Gospel and the Poor


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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
November 26, 2017
Christ the King Sunday

Main Line Campus

OPENING SENTENCES

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

 —Psalm 124:8

 

FATHER LONG BEFORE CREATION

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

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

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

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

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

 

Authors Jones Francis and William H Monk


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GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader: The Lord be with you.

People: And also with you!

CALL TO WORSHIP

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

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

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

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

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

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

—from Revelation 1:4-5; Isaiah 6:3

 

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


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COME THOU FOUNT

 

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

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

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

 

 

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


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ALL WHO ARE THIRSTY (COME LORD JESUS)

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

 

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

 

CHORUS 2
Holy Spirit Come
Holy Spirit Come
Holy Spirit Come

 

 

Music and Lyrics: Brenton Brown and Glenn Robertson. 2005


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CALL TO CONFESSION

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

—Revelation 1:5

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

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

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

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

—Revelation 5:5

SONG OF RESPONSE - TRISAGION


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

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

PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS


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THE WORD OF GOD

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

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

 

Minister:  This is the Gospel of the Lord

People: Praise to you, O Christ!

 

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

WORDS OF INSTITUTION

Minister:    Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.

People:    Therefore, let us keep the feast. 

HOLY COMMUNION

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

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


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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


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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

INSTRUMENTS OF PEACE

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

 

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

CHORUS

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

 

 

1993 Expressions of Praise Music, Maranatha Music


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BENEDICTION

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

—2 Thessalonians 3:18

People:   Amen.

DISMISSAL

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

People:   Thanks be to God!

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