Reflections

…the just man justices;
Keeps grace: that keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God's eye what in God's eye he is —
Chríst — for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men's faces.

—Gerard Manley Hopkins, “As Kingfishers Catch Fire,” in Mortal Beauty, God’s Grace: Major Poems and Spiritual Writings of Gerard Manley Hopkins


How is it possible that the gospel should be credible, that people should come to believe that the power which has the last word in human affairs is represented by a man hanging on a cross? I am suggesting that the only answer, the only hermeneutic of the gospel, is a congregation of men and women who believe it and live by it. I am, of course, not denying the importance of the many activities by which we seek to challenge public life with the gospel... But I am saying that these are all secondary, and that they have power to accomplish their purpose only as they are rooted in and lead back to a believing community.

Lesslie Newbigin, from The Gospel in a Pluralist Society


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Gathering Before God
November 11, 2018
 25th 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

Arise My Soul, Arise

Arise, my soul, arise; shake off thy guilty fears;
The bleeding sacrifice in my behalf appears:
Before the throne my surety stands,
Before the throne my surety stands,
My name is written on His hands.

Chorus:
Arise! (arise!) Arise! (arise!) Arise
Arise, my soul, arise!
Arise!(arise!) Arise! (arise!)
Arise Arise, my soul, arise!
Shake off your guilty fears and rise!

He ever lives above, for me to intercede;
His all redeeming love, His precious blood, to plead:
His blood atoned for all our race,
His blood atoned for all our race,
And sprinkles now the throne of grace.

Chorus

Five bleeding wounds He bears; received on Calvary;
They pour effectual prayers; they strongly plead for me:
“Forgive him, O forgive,” they cry,
“Forgive him, O forgive,” they cry,
“Nor let that ransomed sinner die!”

Chorus


My God is reconciled; His pardoning voice I hear;
He owns me for His child; I can no longer fear:
With confidence I now draw nigh,
With confidence I now draw nigh,
And “Father, Abba, Father,” cry.



© 2000 Pear Tree Music
CCLI Song # 3474240 -- CCLI License # 3040322


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Greeting & Preparation

Leader: The Lord be with you. 
People: And also with you!

Call to Worship 

Leader: Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his Name; 
People: make his deeds known among the peoples. 

Leader: Sing the praises of the Lord, 
for he has done great things, 
and this is known in all the world; 
People: make his deeds known among the peoples. 

Leader: Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit; 
People: make his deeds known among the peoples. 

—from Isaiah 12

Prayer of Invocation


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Draw Me Nearer

I am thine, oh Lord, I have heard Your voice
And it told Your love to me
But I long to rise in the arms of faith
And be closer drawn to Thee

Chorus:
Draw me nearer
To the cross where Thou hast died
Draw me nearer
To Your precious bleeding side


There are great depths of love that I cannot know
‘Till I cross that narrow sea
And there are heights of joy that I may not reach
‘Till I rest in peace with Thee

Chorus

Consecrate me now to Your service, Lord
By the power of grace divine
Let me soul look up with a steadfast hope
And my will be lost in Thine

Chorus (2x)

Draw me nearer
Draw me nearer




© 2005 Bridge Building Music, Inc.
CCLI Song # 4507680 -- CCLI License # 3040322


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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.



© DO NOT VERIFY: SEE COMBO RECORD
CCLI Song # 2754679 -- CCLI License # 3040322


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Call to Confession

Leader: God has promised to make of us a new creation;
trusting in his grace, let us confess our sin. 

—Revelation 21:1

Prayer of Confession


People: Almighty Lord and God, 
you came to dwell among us and called us to bear
your good news to all people. 
Yet we remain shrouded in sin- 
we hurt and disgrace ourselves; 
we abuse and destroy one another; 
we dishonor your holy name. 
Forgive us, unbind us, and renew us 
so that we may rejoice in your saving grace; 
through Christ our Redeemer- Amen.

Silent Confession & Words of Pardon

Leader: Listen!
The One who is seated on the throne says: 
See, I am making all things new. 
Hear the good news:
In Jesus Christ we are forgiven! 

—Revelation 21:5-6

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
John 20:19-23, NRSV

19When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

Minister:    This is the gospel of the Lord.
People: Praise to you, O Christ!

Sermon

Sermon Series: Encountering Jesus
Sermon Title: Jesus and our Purpose
Speaker: Jared Ayers 


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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 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).


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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… 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!
(2x)

Minister:   Most righteous God…  Together, we proclaim the mystery faith.    

Your death, O Christ, we proclaim.
Your rising celebrate! 
Your coming Lord we await, to make all things new
(2x)
                                                      

Minister:   Send your Holy Spirit upon us… Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Praise to the Father,
praise to the Son, 
praise to the Spirit, 
Our God the Three in One. 


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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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O Come to the Alter

Are you hurting and broken within,
Overwhelmed by the weight of your sin?
Jesus is calling.
Have you come to the end of yourself,
Do you thirst for a drink from the well?
Jesus is calling.

Chorus:
O come to the altar,
The Father's arms are open wide.
Forgiveness was bought with
The precious blood of Jesus Christ.

Leave behind your regrets and mistakes,
Come today there's no reason to wait.
Jesus is calling.
Bring your sorrows and trade them for joy,
From the ashes a new life is born.
Jesus is calling.

Chorus (2x)

Oh what a Savior
Isn't He wonderful
Sing alleluia, Christ is risen
Bow down before Him
For He is Lord of all
Sing alleluia, Christ is risen (2x)

Chorus (2x)

Bear your cross as you wait for the crown
Tell the world of the treasure you’ve found



© 2015 © Be Essential Songs (Admin. by Essential Music Publishing LLC)
CCLI Song # 7051511 -- CCLI License # 30403221


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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

Doxology

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow
Praise Him, All creatures here be - low
Praise Him Above, Ye Heavenly Host
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost


Amen, Amen,
Amen, Amen.


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Benediction

Minister: May God be gracious to you and bless you, that his way may be known on earth! 
People: Amen.

—from Psalm 67:1-2

Dismissal

Minister:  Let us go forth in the name of Christ. 
People:  Thanks be to God.

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