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Let us recognize... how our Lord Jesus Christ, ever since his birth, suffered for us so that when we seek him we do not need to make long journeys to find him nor to be truly united to him.

—John Calvin, from a 16th-century Christmas sermon

 

And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth
      and death.
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.

T.S. Eliot, “Journey of the Magi,” in Everyman’s Pocket Poets: Christmas Poems

 

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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
January 7, 2018


Main Line Campus

OPENING SENTENCES

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

SHOUT FOR JOY

CHORUS
Shout for joy to the Lord all the earth
Worship the Lord with gladness
Come before Him with joyful songs

And know that the Lord is good

It is He who has made us
And we are His
We are His people
The sheep of His pasture

CHORUS

Enter His gates with thanks
And His courts with praise
Give thanks to the Lord
And praise His Holy name

CHORUS

For the Lord is a good Lord
And His love endures
His faithfulness continues
Throughout all generations

 

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GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader:     The Lord be with you.

People:     And also with you!


CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The Spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters; 

People: then God said, Let there be light, and God saw that it was good.

Leader: At the beginning of his ministry, Jesus was baptized, the heavens opened, and the Spirit descended like a dove; 

People: then God said: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 

—Genesis 1:1-2; Mark 1:1, 9-11

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

Shout it, go on an scream it from the mountains
Go on and tell it to the masses, that He is God
(3x)

And we will sing out, hallelujah
And we will cry out, hallelujah
And we will sing out, hallelujah
(2x)

 

Songwriters: Leslie Jordan / David Leonard

All the Poor and Powerless lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group

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O LOVE THAT WILL NOT LET ME GO

O Love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

 

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CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader:    A voice cries in the wilderness, "Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight!" Let us turn to God's way by  confessing our sins. 

—Mark 1:3

PRAYER OF CONFESSION


People:    God of all glory, you see us as we are- not worthy to kneel at your feet, not ready to welcome your way. Forgive us, Gracious God; stoop to save us; loosen the ties that bind us to sin and free us to love and serve you; in Jesus' name, Amen.

 

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader:    Through Jesus Christ, the Voice from heaven says to us: You  are my beloved child, with whom I am well pleased. In Christ you are forgiven; be at peace! 

—Mark 1:11

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
Isaiah 60:1-6, NRSV

Arise, shine; for your light has come,
   and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. 
2 For darkness shall cover the earth,
   and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you,
   and his glory will appear over you. 
3 Nations shall come to your light,
   and kings to the brightness of your dawn. 
4 Lift up your eyes and look around;
   they all gather together, they come to you;
your sons shall come from far away,
   and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses’ arms. 
5 Then you shall see and be radiant;
   your heart shall thrill and rejoice,
because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you,
   the wealth of the nations shall come to you. 
6 A multitude of camels shall cover you,
   the young camels of Midian and Ephah;
   all those from Sheba shall come.
They shall bring gold and frankincense,
   and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.

 

Minister:  This the Word of the Lord.

People: Thanks be to God!

 

SERMON
Sermon Series: The Crown: Isaiah & the Arrival of King Jesus
Sermon Title: Arise! Shine!
Speaker: Jared Ayers

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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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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.)

 

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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

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.

 

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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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