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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!

JESUS, EVERLASTING KING

CHORUS:
Jesus, everlasting King,
Accept the tribute which we bring;
Accept the well deserved renown,
And wear our praises as Your crown.

O send Your Spirit to impart
Rest and repentance to our hearts,
Like the dear hour when from above
We first received Your pledge of love.

CHORUS

The gladness of redemptions day,
Our hearts would wish it long to stay,
Nor let our faith forsake its hold,
Nor comforts sink, or love grow cold.

CHORUS

May every time of worship see
Your grace revealed more rich and free,
Till we are raised to sing Your name
At the great supper of the Lamb.

CHORUS

O that the months would roll away
And bring the coronation day;
The King of Grace shall fill the throne
With all His Fathers glories on.

CHORUS

 

 

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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 HAIL THE POWER OF JESUS NAME

CHORUS:
Raise up the crown rise on the praises
Rest on the brow of the King of the Ages
Raise up the crown rise on the praises
Rest on the brow of the King of the Ages

All hail the pow’r of Jesus’ name!
Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown Him Lord of all.
Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown Him Lord of all.

Ye chosen seed of Israel’s race,
Ye ransomed from the fall,
Hail Him Who saves you by His grace,
And crown Him Lord of all.
Hail Him Who saves you by His grace,
And crown Him Lord of all.

O that with yonder sacred throng
We at His feet may fall
We’ll join the everlasting song,
And crown Him Lord of all.
We’ll join the everlasting song,
And crown Him Lord of all.

CHORUS

 

Authors Oliver Holden, Edward Perronet, and John (adapt) Rippon

 

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WHAT A BEAUTIFUL NAME

You were the Word at the beginning
One with God the Lord Most High
Your hidden glory in creation
Now revealed in You our Christ

CHORUS
What a beautiful (wonderful, powerful) Name it is
What a beautiful (wonderful, powerful) Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King
What a beautiful (wonderful, powerful) Name it is
Nothing compares to this
What a beautiful (wonderful, powerful) Name it is

The Name of Jesus

You didn’t want heaven without us, 
So Jesus You brought heaven down
My sin was great Your love was greater
What could separate us now

CHORUS (wonderful)

You have no rival, You have no equal
Now and forever, Our God reigns
Yours is the Kingdom, Yours is the glory
Yours is the Name, above all names

CHORUS (powerful)

 

Ben Fielding and Brooke Ligertwood. 2016 Hillsong Music Publishing.
2016 Hillsong Music Publishing

 

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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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THOU LOVELY SOURCE OF TRUE DELIGHT

Thou lovely source of true delight
Whom I unseen adore
Unveil Thy beauties to my sight
That I might love Thee more,
Oh that I might love Thee more.

Thy glory o’'er creation shines
But in Thy sacred Word
I read in fairer, brighter lines
My bleeding, dying Lord,
See my bleeding, dying Lord

Tis here, whene’er my comforts droop
And sin and sorrow rise
Thy love with cheering beams of hope
My fainting heart supplies,
My fainting heart’s supplied

But ah! Too soon the pleasing scene
Is clouded o’'er with pain
My gloomy fears rise dark between
And I again complain,
Oh and I again complain

Jesus, my Lord, my life, my light
Oh come with blissful ray
Break radiant through the shades of night
And chase my fears away,
Won’t You chase my fears away

Then shall my soul with rapture trace
The wonders of Thy love
But the full glories of Thy face
Are only known above,
They are only known above

 

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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

HAIL TO THE LORD’S ANOINTED

CHORUS:
Hail to the Lord’s anointed, 
great David’s greater Son! 
Hail in the time appointed, 
His reign on earth begun!
His reign on earth begun!

He comes to break oppression, 
to set the captive free, 
o take away transgression, 
and rule in equity.

CHORUS

He comes with comfort speedy
to those who suffer wrong, 
To help the poor and needy, 
and for the weak is strong.
To give them songs for sighing, 
their darkness turn to light, 
Whose souls, condemned and dying, 
are precious in His sight.

CHORUS

He shall come down like showers
upon the fruitful earth, 
Love, joy, and hope, like flowers,
spring in His path to birth. 
Kings shall fall down before Him,
and gold and incense bring;
All nations shall adore Him,
His praise all people sing;

CHORUS

The tide of time shall never
His covenant remove. 
His Name shall stand forever,
That Name to us is Love. 

CHORUS

 

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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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