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REFLECTIONS

Those who believe they have pleased God by the quality of their devotion and moral goodness naturally feel that they and their group deserve deference and power over others. The God of Jesus and the prophets, however, saves completely by grace. He cannot be manipulated by religious and moral performance--he can only be reached through repentance, through the giving up of power. If we are saved by sheer grace we can only become grateful, willing servants of God and of everyone around us.

― Timothy J. Keller, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism

Many religions now come before us with ingratiating smirks and outspread hands, like an unctuous merchant in a bazaar. They offer consolation and solidarity and uplift, competing as they do in a marketplace. But we have a right to remember how barbarically they behaved when they were strong and were making an offer that people could not refuse.

― Christopher Hitchens, god is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything


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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
November 19, 2016
24th Sunday after Pentecost

Center City Campus

OPENING SENTENCES

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


JESUS, ALL FOR JESUS

Jesus, all for Jesus,
All I am and have and ever hope to be.
Jesus, all for Jesus,
All I am and have and ever hope to be.

All of my ambitions, hopes and plans,
I surrender these into Your hands.
All of my ambitions, hopes and plans,
I surrender these into Your hands.

For it's only in Your will that I am free.
For it's only in Your will that I am free.

Music and lyrics by Robin Mark, 1999.


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GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader:  The Lord be with you. 

People:  And also with you!

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: We will give thanks to you, O LORD, with our whole heart; we will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

People: We will be glad and exult in you; we will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

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

People: We will sing praise to your name, O Most High. 

—from Psalm 9:1-2


PRAYER OF INVOCATION


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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 X2

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

And we will sing out, hallelujah
And we will cry out, hallelujah
REPEAT


Words and Music by All Sons and Daughters, 2012.


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BEAUTIFUL

I see your face in every sunrise
The colors of the morning are inside your eyes
The world awakens in the light of the day
I look up to the sky and say
You’re Beautiful

I see your power in the moonlit night
Where planets are in motion and galaxies are bright
We are amazed in the light of the stars
Its all proclaiming who you are
You’re beautiful

I see you there hanging on a tree
You bled and then you died and then you rose again for me
Now you are sitting on your heavenly throne
Soon we will be coming home
You’re Beautiful

When we arrive at eternity’s shore
Where death is just a memory and tears are no more
We’ll enter in as the wedding bells ring
Your bride will come together and we’ll sing
You’re Beautiful

Seems Like Music. Phil Wickham Music, 2007.


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CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader: Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

—Joel 2:13

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

People: Almighty God, you love us, but we have not loved you. You call, but we have not listened. We walk away from neighbors in need, wrapped in our own concerns. We condone evil, prejudice, warfare, and greed. God of grace, help us to admit our sin, so that as you come to us in mercy, we may repent, turn to you, and receive forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Redeemer- Amen.

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader: Hear the good news: Jesus Christ, who gave himself once and for all, forgives and saves! 

—from Hebrews 10:17-19, 23

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
Luke 20: 9-19, NRSV

9He began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, and leased it to tenants, and went to another country for a long time. 10When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants in order that they might give him his share of the produce of the vineyard; but the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11Next he sent another slave; that one also they beat and insulted and sent away empty-handed. 12And he sent still a third; this one also they wounded and threw out. 13Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ 14But when the tenants saw him, they discussed it among themselves and said, ‘This is the heir; let us kill him so that the inheritance may be ours.’ 15So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When they heard this, they said, “Heaven forbid!” 17But he looked at them and said, “What then does this text mean: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’? 18Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.” 19When the scribes and chief priests realized that he had told this parable against them, they wanted to lay hands on him at that very hour, but they feared the people.

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: Broken or Crushed
Speaker: Meade Baker


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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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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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ISAIAH 43

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you
And the waves, they shall not, overcome you.
Do not fear for I have redeemed you
I have called you by name you are mine.

CHORUS
For I am the Lord your God
(I am the Lord your God),
I am the Lord your God
(I am)
The Holy One of Israel your Savior
REPEAT

CHORUS 2
For I am the Lord
(Do not fear),
I am the Lord
(Do not fear)

REPEAT

I am the Lord

When you walk through the fire I will be with you,
And the flames they shall not, consume you
Do not fear for I have redeemed you.
I have called you by name you are Mine.

Author Unknown.


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PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

Minister: Lord in your mercy,

People: Hear our 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

GRACE THAT IS GREATER

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary's mount outpoured -
there where the blood of the Lamb was spilt

CHORUS
Grace, grace, God's grace
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within
Grace, grace, God's grace
Grace that is greater than all our sin


Sin and despair like the sea-waves cold
Threaten the soul with infinite loss
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold
Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?


Music by Daniel Towner, 1910. Lyrics by Julia Johnston, 1911.


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BENEDICTION

Minister:  Beloved, be encouraged in the Lord, and do not be led astray. Stand firm in the Gospel, and do good deeds, all for the glory of God. 

—Hebrews 10:24; Mark 13:5

People:    Amen.

DISMISSAL

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

People:     Thanks be to God!

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