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REFLECTIONS

 

“We must be global Christians with a global vision because our God is a global God.”

― John R.W. Stott

“The spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions. The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become.”

― Henry Martyn

“Yielding to God's will can be hard. And sometimes, it really hurts. But it always brings peace.” 

John M. Perkins


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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
January 28, 2018
4th Sunday of Epiphany
Center City Campus

 

OPENING SENTENCES

Leader: The Lord has shown forth his glory: Come, let us adore him!

GRACE ALONE

I was an orphan, lost at the fall; 
running away when I’d hear you call, 
But Father, you worked your will.
I had no righteousness of my own
I had no right to draw near your throne, 
But Father, you loved me still. 

CHORUS

And in love, before you laid the world’s foundation,      
You predestined to adopt me as your own.         
You have raised me up so high above my station;      
I’m a child of God by grace, and grace alone

You left your home to seek out the lost; 
You knew the great and terrible cost
But Jesus, your face was set. 
I worked my fingers down to the bone; 
Nothing I did could ever atone, 
Jesus, you paid my debt. 

By your blood I have redemption and salvation. 
Lord you died that I might reap what you have sown, 
And you rose that I might be a new creation. 
I am born again by grace, and grace alone.
 

I was darkness all of my life, 
I never knew the day from the night, 
But Spirit, you made me see. 
I swore I knew the way on my own; 
Head full of rocks, a heart made of stone
But Spirit, you moved in me. 

And At your touch my sleeping spirit was awakened; 
On my darkened heart the light of Christ has shone.
Called into a kingdom that cannot shaken; 
Heaven’s citizen by grace, and grace alone.

So I’ll stand in faith by grace, and grace alone
I will run the race by grace, and grace alone
I will slay my sin by grace, and grace alone
I will reach the end by grace, and grace alone


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GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader:     The Lord be with you.

People:     And also with you!


CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader:    May God be gracious to us, bless us, and make his face shine upon us; 

People:    Let all the peoples praise you, O God! 

Leader:    May your way be known upon earth, your saving power among all nations. 

People:    Let all the peoples praise you, O God! 

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

People:    Let all the peoples praise you, O God! 

—based on Psalm 67

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


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ALL MUST BE WELL

Through the love of God our Savior, all will be well;
Free and changeless is His favor; all is well.
Precious is the blood that healed us;
Perfect is the grace that sealed us;
Strong the hand stretched forth to shield us;
All must be well.

Though we pass through tribulation, all will be well;
Ours is such a full salvation; all is well.
Happy still in God confiding,
Fruitful, if in Christ abiding,
Steadfast through the Spirit’s guiding,
All must be well.

We expect a bright tomorrow; all will be well;
Faith can sing through days of sorrow, all is well.
On our Father’s love relying,
Jesus every need supplying,
Yes in living, or in dying,
All must be well.


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HE LEADETH ME

He leadeth me! O bless-ed tho't,
O words with heav’nly com-fort fraught;
What-e’er I do, where’er I be, 
Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.

 He leadeth me! He leadeth me! 
 By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful foll'wer I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.

Some-times ’mid scenes of deepest gloom, 
Some-times where E-den’s flowers bloom,
By waters calm, o’er troubled sea,       
Still ‘tis God’s hand that leadeth me.   (refrain)

Lord, I would clasp Thy hand in mine,
Nor ever murmur nor re-pine;  
Con-tent, what-eve-r lot I see,
Since 'tis my God that leadest me.  (refrain)

And when my task on earth is done, 
When, by Thy grace, the vic-t’ry’s won,
E’en death’s cold wave I will not flee,
Since God thro' Jordan leadeth me! (refrain)


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CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader:    The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it; therefore, let us confess our darkness and receive the light of Christ. 

—based on John 1.5

PRAYER OF CONFESSION


People:    God of grace, you have given us Jesus, the light of the world, but we choose darkness and cling to things that hide the brightness of your love. Immersed in ourselves, we have not risen to new life. Baptize us with your Spirit, that, forgiven and renewed, we may preach your Word to the nations and tell of your glory shining in the face of Jesus Christ, our Lord and our light forever- Amen.

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader:    Jesus, the true Light, has come into the world, and from him we have all received grace upon grace; in Christ, your are forgiven! 

—based on John 1.9, 16

 

SONG OF RESPONSE -GLORIA PATRI

Glory be to the Father
Glory be to the Son
Glory be to the Spirit Three in One
As it was in the beginning
It will be forever
Amen, Amen, Amen


PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS

 


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THE WORD OF GOD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
SCRIPTURE READING
Matthew 28:16-20, ESV

The Great Commission - Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Minister:  This is the Gospel of the Lord.

People: Praise to you, O Christ!

SERMON
Sermon Title: The Great Commission
Speaker: Steve Huber


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NICENE CREED

Minister:    Let us say what we believe.             

People:    We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the  dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father [and the Son], who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic1 and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. 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:  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, who came among us as the Word made flesh to show us your glory, full of grace and truth. 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. Born in humility, he came to rule over all. Helpless as an infant, he showed the power of your love. Poor in     things of  the world, he brought the wealth of your grace.Rejected by many, he welcomed all who sought him. 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. Remembering your gracious acts in Jesus Christ, we take from your creation this bread and wine and joyfully celebrate his dying and rising as we await the day of his coming. With thanksgiving we  offer our very selves to you to be a living and holy sacrifice, dedicated to your service. So 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:    Lord, our God, send your Holy Spirit so that this bread and cup may be for us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.  May we  and all your saints be united with Christ and remain faithful in hope  and love. Gather your whole church, O Lord, into the glory of 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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NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD

             What can wash away my sin?            
         Nothing but the blood of Jesus.          
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For my pardon, this I see,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
For my cleansing this my plea 
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

CHORUS

Oh, precious is the flow,
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Nothing can for sin atone
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
Naught of good that I have done
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

CHORUS

This is all my hope and peace
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
This is all my righteousness
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

CHORUS


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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

REJOICE

Come and stand before your Maker
Full of wonder, full of fear
Come behold His power and glory
Yet with confidence draw near
For the one who holds the heavens
And commands the stars above
Is the God who bends to bless us
With an unrelenting love

Rejoice, come and lift your hands and
Raise your voice, He is worthy of our praise
Rejoice, sing of mercies of your King

And with trembling, rejoice

We are children of the promise
The beloved of the Lord
Won with everlasting kindness
Bought with sacrificial blood
Bringing reconciliation
To a world that longs to know
The affections of a Father
Who will never let them go

All our sickness, all our sorrows
Jesus carried up the hill
He has walked this path before us
He is walking with us still
Turning tragedy to triumph
Turning agony to praise
There is blessing in the battle
So take heart and stand amazed

Rejoice, when you cry to Him He hears
Your voice, He will wipe away your tears
Rejoice, in the midst of suffering

He will help you sing

Words and music by Dustin Kensrue


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BENEDICTION

Minister:    May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and forevermore. 

—2 Corinthians 13:14

People:     Amen.

DISMISSAL

Minister:    Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

People:     Thanks be to God!


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