PAGE 2

Leaving home, then, is much more than an historical event bound to time and place. It is a denial of the spiritual reality that I belong to God with every part of my being, that God holds me safe in an eternal embrace, that I am indeed carved in the palms of God’s hands and hidden in their shadows. Leaving home means ignoring the truth that God has “fashioned me in secret, moulded me in the depths of the earth and knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” Leaving home is living as though I do not yet have a home and must look far and wide to find one.

—Henri Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son:
 A Story of Homecoming

There was a deep, black, wordless conviction in [Hazel Motes] that the way to avoid Jesus was to avoid sin.

—Flannery O’Connor, from Wise Blood

Jesus himself became the prodigal son for our sake. He left the house of his heavenly Father, came to a foreign country, gave away all that he had, and returned through his cross to his Father’s home. All of this he did, not as a rebellious son, but as the obedient son, sent out to bring home all the lost children of God. Jesus, who told the story to those who criticized him for associating with sinners, himself lived the long and painful journey that he describes.

—Henri Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming


PAGE 3

GATHERING BEFORE GOD
October 15, 2017
19th Sunday After Pentecost

Main Line Campus

OPENING SENTENCES

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

COME YE SINNERS

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

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

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

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


Music by William Walker, 1835. Lyrics by Joseph Hart, 1759.


PAGE 4

GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader: The Lord be with you.

People: And also with you!

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: Seek good and not evil; seek the Lord and live! 

People: May the Lord our God be with us. 

Leader: Seek good and not evil, that justice may prevail. 

People: May the Lord our God show us grace. 

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

People: May the Lord our God be with us. 

—Based on Amos 5:6, 14-15

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


PAGE 5

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.

REPEAT

Music & lyrics by Stuart Townsend, 1995.


PAGE 6

ONE THING REMAINS

Higher than the mountains that I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
Constant in the trial and the change
One thing remains
One thing remains

Your love never fails, never gives up
Never runs out on me
Your love never fails, never gives up
Never runs out on me
Your love never fails, never gives up
Never runs out on me

On and on and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I never, ever, have to be afraid
One thing remains

In death, In life, I’m confident and
covered by the power of Your great love
My debt is paid, there’s nothing that can
separate my heart from Your great love

Music by Christa Black, Brian Johnson, and Jeremy Riddle.
2010 Bethel Music, Mercy / Vineyard Publishing, 
and ChristaJoy Music Publishing.


PAGE 7

Leader: I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son." 

—Luke 15:18-19

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

People: Almighty God, our heavenly Father: have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through the Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of your Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life; Amen!

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader: Hear the good news: we were dead, but through Christ the Son of God, are alive again; we were lost, but have been found! 

—Luke 15:24

SONG OF RESPONSE - TRISAGION

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

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

PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS


PAGE 8

THE WORD OF GOD

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

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

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


PAGE 9

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

Minister: This is the Gospel of the Lord.

People: Praise to you, O Christ!

SERMON
Sermon Series: Tell It Slant: The Stories of Jesus
Sermon Title:The Prodigal Son(s)
Speaker: Jared Ayers

APOSTLES’ CREED

Minister: Let us say what we believe.

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


PAGE 10

THE LORD’S TABLE

THE GREAT THANKSGIVING

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

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

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

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

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

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

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


PAGE 11

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

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

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

WORDS OF INSTITUTION

Minister:    Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.

People:    Therefore, let us keep the feast. 

HOLY COMMUNION

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

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


PAGE 12

PRAYERS FOR REFLECTION

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

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

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

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


PAGE 13

INSTRUMENTAL REFLECTION


PAGE 14

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

Minister:    Lord, in your mercy,

People:    hear our prayer.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

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

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


PAGE 15

SENDING INTO GOD’S WORLD

OFFERING

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 the living God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless you and give you peace!

People:   Amen.

DISMISSAL

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

People:   Thanks be to God!

Comment