I gave my back to those who struck me,
and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;
I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.

—Isaiah 50.6

For years I shared his life; I listened to him, I ate at his table. In a small way I took risks with him and for him, giving up some comforts and securities. I began to let my life be shaped by him. But I do not know him, and I never did. How could I know that it was all leading to this place? The cold dawn and the glare of torches and the grinning faces that might laugh it off, or turn you over to the military, or lynch you themselves? I never knew that healing a leper or sharing a meal with a prostitute might cost you a life.

I do not know the man.

—voice of Peter, in Rowan Williams, A Ray of Darkness


Peter’s fall, here described, brilliantly mirrors our own infirmity. His repentance in turn is a memorable demonstration for us of God’s goodness and mercy. The story told of one man contains a teaching of… prime benefit for the whole Church…

John Calvin, A Harmony of the Three Gospels:
Matthew, Mark, and Luke



March 18, 2018
5th Sunday of Lent
Main Line Campus


Leader: The Lord is full of compassion and mercy: Come, let us adore him.


Come, ye sinners, poor and wretched, 
Weak and wounded, sick and sore; 
Jesus, ready, stands to save you,
Full of pity, joined with power. 
He is able, He is able;
He is willing; doubt no more.

Come ye needy, come, and welcome, 
God's free bounty glorify; 
True belief and true repentance,
Every grace that brings you nigh. 
Without money, without money
Come to Jesus Christ and buy.

Come, ye weary, heavy laden,
Bruised and broken by the fall; 
If you tarry 'til you're better, 
You will never come at all. 
Not the righteous, not the righteous;
Sinners Jesus came to call.

Let not conscience make you linger,
Nor of fitness fondly dream; 
All the fitness He requires
Is to feel your need of Him.
This He gives you, this He gives you,
'Tis the Spirit's rising beam.

Lo! The Incarnate God, ascended;
Pleads the merit of His blood. 
Venture on Him; venture wholly,
Let no other trust intrude.
None but Jesus, none but Jesus
Can do helpless sinners good.



Leader:     The Lord be with you.

People:     And also with you!


Leader:      Let us worship God, who has done great things.

People:      We rejoice in our God, who made a way through the desert of this world.

Leader:      Let us worship God, who has caused streams of mercy to flow in the wasteland.

People:      We are the people God has formed through Christ; we worship him, and we rejoice!

Leader:      Let us worship God in spirit and in truth.

People:      We praise God for the grace that has saved us. Alleluia! We rejoice!

—based on Isaiah 43:19-21




You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown, where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep, My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand, Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now


Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior




How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
And make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away.
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.

Behold the Man upon the cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished.
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished.

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom.
But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer.
But this I know with all my heart,
His wounds have paid my ransom.




Elder:     Joe Bruni

Deacons:      Heather Daiello, Tony Merlino, DJ Damazo, and Ian and Lauren Clausen

Minister: Do you confess together with us and the church throughout the ages your faith in one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? 

Candidate: Yes, truly, with all my heart. 


Minister: Let us affirm our faith together in the words of the Apostles’ creed: Do you believe in God the Father? 

People: We believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. 

Minister: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God? 

People: We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and     is seated on the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there He will come to judge the living and the dead.

Minister:     Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit? 

People: 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).




Minister: Do you believe in your heart that you are called by Christ’s church, and therefore by God, to this office? 

Candidate: Yes, truly, with all my heart.

Minister: Do you believe the books of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God and the perfect doctrine of salvation, rejecting all contrary beliefs?

Candidate: Yes, truly, with all my heart.

Minister: Will you be diligent in your study of Holy Scripture and in your use of the means of grace? Will you pray for God’s people and lead them by your own example in faithful service and holy living?

Candidate: I will, and I ask God to help me.

Minister: Will you accept the church’s order and governance, submitting to ecclesiastical discipline should you become delinquent in either life or doctrine?

Candidate: I will, and I ask God to help me.

Minister: Will you be loyal to the witness and work of the Reformed Church in America, using all your abilities to further its Christian mission here and throughout the world?

Candidate: I will, and I ask God to help me.


Minister: As deacons, will you faithfully, diligently, and cheerfully manifest Christ’s love and care, gather and distribute the offerings of God’s people, visit and comfort the distressed, minister to the poor and needy, and strive to advance God’s reign of justice and peace?

Candidate: I will, and I ask God to help me.



Minister:    As an elder, will you faithfully, diligently, and cheerfully study God’s Word, oversee the household of faith, encourage spiritual growth, maintain loving discipline, and provide for the proclamation of the gospel and the celebration of the sacraments?

Candidate:     I will, and I ask God to help me.



Minister:    Members of Liberti Church, please rise to affirm your covenant with the elders and deacons whom God has given us.
Beloved in the Lord Jesus Christ, do you receive in the name of the Lord, these deacons and elders as duly elected and ordained servants of Christ?

People:     We do.

Minister:     Do you promise to respect them for the sake of the offices for which they have been chosen and ordained?

People:     We do.

Minister:    Do you promise to encourage and pray for them, to labor together in obedience to the gospel for the unity, purity, and peace of the church, the welfare of the whole world, and the honor of our Lord Jesus Christ?

People:     We do.

Minister:     Beloved people of God, receive these deacons and elders as Christ’s own servants. Support them in love, that their work may bear fruit. In the name and by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, I declare that these brothers and sisters are duly installed deacons and elders in this church.

People:     Thanks be to God.





Matthew 26:57-75, NRSV

57Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, in whose house the scribes and the elders had gathered. 58But Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest; and going inside, he sat with the guards in order to see how this would end. 59Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for false testimony against Jesus so that they might put him to death, 60but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward 61and said, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’” 62The high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?” 63But Jesus was silent. Then the high priest said to him, “I put you under oath before the living God, tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” 64Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, From now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has blasphemed! Why do we still need witnesses? You have now heard his blasphemy. 66What is your verdict?” They answered, “He deserves death.” 67Then they spat in his face and struck him; and some slapped him, 68saying, “Prophesy to us, you Messiah! Who is it that struck you?”

69Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant-girl came to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” 70But he denied it before all of them, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about.” 71When he went out to the porch, another servant-girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72Again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man.” 73After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you are also one of them, for your accent betrays you.” 74Then he began to curse, and he swore an oath, “I do not know the man!” At that moment the cock crowed. 75Then Peter remembered what Jesus had said: “Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

Minister:  This is the Gospel of the Lord.

People: Praise to you, O Christ!

Sermon Series:  Journey to the Cross
Sermon Title: The Trial
Speaker: Jared Ayers




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, by whose grace we may triumph over temptation, be more fervent in prayer, and be more generous in love. 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. He took upon himself the weight of our sin and carried the burden of our guilt. He shared our life in every way,  and, though tempted, was sinless to the end. Baptized as your own, he went willingly to his death and by your power was raised to new life. 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. And so, together we proclaim the mystery of the faith: 



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

Minister:    God of all power, send your Holy Spirit upon us, that in sharing the bread we may share in the body of Christ, that in sharing the cup we may share in his blood. Grant that, being joined together in Christ Jesus, we may become united in faith and in all things become mature         in the one who is our head.

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


Minister:    Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.

People:      Therefore, let us keep the feast. 


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.



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. 



Minister:    Lord, in your mercy,

People:     hear our 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.





Arise, my soul, arise, 
shake off your 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.

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 every race, 
His blood atoned for every race, 
And sprinkles now the throne of grace. 


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!" 


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.  



Minister:     Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our                 God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever.  

—Galatians 1:2-5, NIV

People: Amen.



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

People:     Thanks be to God!