PAGE 2

REFLECTIONS

A visionary light settled in [Mrs. Turpin’s] eyes. She saw the streak as a vast swinging bridge extending upward from the earth through a field of living fire. Upon it a vast horde of souls were rumbling toward heaven. There were whole companies of white-trash, clean for the first time in their lives, and bands of [black people] in white robes, and battalions of freaks and lunatics shouting and clapping and leaping like frogs. And bringing up the end of the procession was a tribe of people whom she recognized at once as those who, like herself and Claud, had always had a little of everything and the God-given wit to use it right. She leaned forward to observe them closer. They were marching behind the others with great dignity, accountable as they had always been for good order and common sense and respectable behavior. They alone were on key. Yet she could see by their shocked and altered faces that even their virtues were being burned away. She lowered her hands and gripped the rail of the hog pen, her eyes small but fixed unblinkingly on what lay ahead. In a moment the vision faded but she remained where she was, immobile.

At length she got down and turned off the faucet and made her slow way on the darkening path to the house. In the woods around her the invisible cricket choruses had struck up, but what she heard were the voices of souls climbing upward into the starry field and shouting hallelujah.

—Flannery O’Connor, from “Revelation,” in Everything that Rises Must Converge


PAGE 3

GATHERING BEFORE GOD
November 12, 2017
23rd 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


HOLY HOLY HOLY

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

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! 

Words and Music by Reginald Heber.
 


PAGE 4

GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader: The Lord be with you.

People: And also with you!

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: Praise the LORD, O my soul! 

People: We will praise the LORD as long as we live; we will sing praises to our God all our life long.

Leader: The LORD sets prisoners free; the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. 

People: We will praise the LORD as long as we live; we will sing praises to our God all our life long. 

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

People: we will sing praise to the LORD as long as we live; we will sing praises to our God all our life long. 

—From Psalm 146

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


PAGE 5

JESUS PAID IT ALL

I hear the Savior say,
Thy strength indeed is small
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in me thine all in all

Lord, now indeed I find
Thy power, and Thine alone
Can change the lepers spots,
and melt the heart of stone

CHORUS
Jesus paid it all,
All to him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow


And when before the throne,
I stand in him complete
Jesus died my soul to save,
my lips shall still repeat

CHORUS

BRIDGE
O praise the One who paid my debt,
and raised this life up from the dead.
O praise the One who paid my debt,
and raised this life up from the dead.

CHORUS X2

Words by Elvina M. Hall, 1865. Music by John T. Grape.


PAGE 6

THERE IS A FOUNTAIN

There is a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Immanuel's veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains
Lost all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains

The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day
And there have I, as vile as he, washed all my sins away; 
Washed all my sins away, washed all my sins away; 
And there have I, as vile as he, washed all my sins away

E'er since by faith I saw the stream your flowing wounds supply
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die
And shall be till I die, and shall be till I die
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die

Lost all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains

Authors Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, 2005.


PAGE 7

CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader: Christ came into the world to save us from sin, once and for all. Because of his sacrifice for us, God waits in mercy to forgive. Let us confess our sin before God and one another. 

—Hebrews 9:26

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

People: Jesus, Lamb of God, have mercy on us. Jesus, bearer of our sins, have mercy on us. Jesus, redeemer of the world, grant us your peace! Amen.

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader: Hear the good news: There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

—Romans 8:1

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
Matthew 20:1-16, NRSV

1“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. 3When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; 4and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. 5When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. 6And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’ 7They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’ 8When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ 9When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. 10Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. 11And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, 12saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ 13But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? 14Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. 15Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

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 Generous Boss
Speaker: Jared Ayers


PAGE 9

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!m

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

WE WILL FEAST IN THE HOUSE OF ZION

CHORUS
We will feast in the house of Zion
We will sing with our hearts restored
He has done great things, we will say together
We will feast and weep no more


We will not be burned by the fire
He is the LORD our God
We are not consumed, by the flood
Upheld, protected, gathered up 

CHORUS 

In the dark of night, before the dawn
My soul, be not afraid
For the promised morning, oh how long?
Oh God of Jacob, be my strength

CHORUS

Every vow we’ve broken and betrayed
You are the Faithful one
And from the garden to the grave
Bind us together, bring shalom.

CHORUS

 2015 Drink Your Tea Music (Admin. by Music Services, Inc.) and joshmooreownsthismusic (Admin. by Music Services, Inc.).


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


IN CHRIST ALONE

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow'r of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand.

Music by Stuart Townsend, 2001. Lyrics by Keith Getty, 2001.


PAGE 16

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!

                

Comment