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REFLECTIONS

Pushing down hard with his fists on the table-top (Gildas) heaved himself up to where he was standing. For the first time we saw he (was missing) one leg. It was gone from the knee joint down. He was hopping sideways to reach for his stick in the corner when he lost his balance. He would have fallen in a heap if Brendan hadn't leapt forward and caught him. “I'm as crippled as the dark world,” Gildas said. “If it comes to that, which one of us isn't, my dear?” Brendan said. Gildas with but one leg. Brendan sure he'd misspent his whole life entirely. Me that had left my wife to follow him and buried our only boy. The truth of what Brendan said stopped all our mouths. We was cripples all of us. For a moment or two there was no sound but the bees. “To lend each other a hand when we're falling,” Brendan said. “Perhaps that's the only work that matters in the end.”


—Frederick Buechner, from Brendan


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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
February 4, 2018
5th Sunday of Epiphany

Main Line Campus

OPENING SENTENCES

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

O COME TO THE ALTAR

BRIDGE:
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

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

BRIDGE

CHORUS 2x


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GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader:     The Lord be with you.

People:     And also with you!


CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader:     Praise the LORD! How good it is to sing praises to God; 

People:     he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting. 

Leader:       Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. 

People:     He is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting. 

Leader:     The LORD lifts up the downtrodden, but casts the wicked to the ground. 

People:     He is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting. 

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

People:     he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting. 

—from Psalm 147

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


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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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BEFORE THE THRONE OF GOD ABOVE

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong, a perfect plea,
A great High Priest whose name is Love,
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart;
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart,
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God the Just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me,
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there! the risen Lamb,
My perfect, spotless Righteousness;
The great unchangeable I Am,
The King of glory and of grace!
One with Himself I cannot die,
My soul is purchased by His blood;
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ, my Savior and my God,
With Christ, my Savior and my God.


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CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader:    The LORD takes pleasue in those who hope in his steadfast love; therefore, let us confess our sins to God. 

—Psalm 147:11

PRAYER OF CONFESSION


People:    God, you are everlasting, the Creator of all that is. Your understanding is beyond measure. We confess to you that we have sinned against you and our neighbors. In your         compassion, forgive us, for we place our hope in your steadfast love; Amen.

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader:    In Christ, God heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds; know you are forgiven! 

—Psalm 147:3

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

Ruth 3.1-18, NRSV

Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, I need to seek some security for you, so that it may be well with you. 2Now here is our kinsman Boaz, with whose young women you have been working. See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. 3Now wash and anoint yourself, and put on your best clothes and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. 4When he lies down, observe the place where he lies; then, go and uncover his feet and lie down; and he will tell you what to do.” 5She said to her, “All that you tell me I will do.” 6So she went down to the threshing floor and did just as her mother-in-law had instructed her. 7When Boaz had eaten and drunk, and he was in a contented mood, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. Then she came stealthily and uncovered his feet, and lay down. 8At midnight the man was startled, and turned over, and there, lying at his feet, was a woman! 9He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth, your servant; spread your cloak over your servant, for you are next-of-kin.” 10He said, “May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter; this last instance of your loyalty is better than the first; you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich. 11And now, my daughter, do not be afraid, I will do for you all that you ask, for all the assembly of my people know that you are a worthy woman. 12But now, though it is true that I am a near kinsman, there is another kinsman more closely related than I. 13Remain this night, and in the morning, if he will act as next-of-kin for you, good; let him do it. If he is not willing to act as next-of-kin for you, then, as the Lord lives, I will act as next-of-kin for you. Lie down until the morning.” 14So she lay at his feet until morning, but got up before one person could recognize another; for he said, “It must not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.” 15Then he said, “Bring the cloak you are wearing and hold it out.” So she held it, and he measured out six measures of barley, and put it on her back; then he went into the city. 16She came to her mother-in-law, who said, “How did things go with you, my daughter?” Then she told her all that the man had done for her, 17saying, “He gave me these six measures of barley, for he said, ‘Do not go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’” 18She replied, “Wait, my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out, for the man will not rest, but will settle the matter today.”

Minister:  This is the Gospel of the Lord.

People: Praise to you, O Christ!

SERMON    
Sermon Series: The Gospel According to Ruth
Sermon Title: Sleepless in Bethlehem
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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IF THOU HAST DRAWN

Draw me from created good,
From self, the world, and sin
To the fountain of Thy blood,
And make me pure within

CHORUS:
If Thou hast drawn a thousand times
   (Oh draw me Lord again)
Around me cast the Spirits bands

   (Oh draw me Lord again)

Lead me to Thy mercy seat,
Oh draw me nearer still
Like Mary, draw me to Thy feet,
To sit and learn Thy will

CHORUS

Draw me all the desert through
With cords of heavenly love
And when prepared for going home,
Oh draw me up above

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

SATISFIED 

All my life long, I had panted
For a drink from some cool spring
That I hoped would, quench the burning
of the thirst I felt within

CHORUS:
Hallelujah! He has found me,
the One my soul so long has craved!
Jesus satisfies all my longings
through his blood I now am saved

Feeding on the, filth around me
‘till my strength was almost gone
Longed my soul for, something better
only still to hunger on. 

CHORUS

Poor I was and, sought for riches
Something that would satisfy.
But the dust I gathered ‘round me
only mocked my soul’s sad cry. 

CHORUS

Well of water, ever springing
Bread of Life so rich and free
Untold wealth that, never faileth
My Redeemer is to me. 

CHORUS 2X

 


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BENEDICTION

Minister:    May the LORD, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,  be with you and bless you, now and forever! 

—based on Ruth 2:4

People:     Amen.

DISMISSAL

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

People:     Thanks be to God!

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