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REFLECTIONS

The Christian principle, “Love your enemies” is good… There is nothing to be said against it except that it is too difficult for most of us to practice sincerely.

—Bertrand Russell

The only way to overcome our enemy is by loving him.

—Dietrich Bonhoeffer, from The Cost of Discipleship

 


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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
March 11, 2018
4th Sunday of Lent
Center City Campus

OPENING SENTENCES

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

10,000 REASONS

CHORUS
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul

Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

CHORUS

You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

CHORUS

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

CHORUS x2

 

Words and Music by Jonas Myrin and Matt Redman, 2011.
© 2011 Shout! Publishing.


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GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader:     The Lord be with you.

People:     And also with you!


CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: O give thanks to the Lord, who is good; 

People: God's steadfast love endure forever. 

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

People: God's steadfast love endures forever. 

—from Psalm 107

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


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BE THOU MY VISION

Be Thou my Vision O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.
 


 

Authors, Mary Elizabeth Byrne and Eleanor Henrietta Hull


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ORDINATION AND INSTALLATION OF ELDER AND DEACONS 

PRESENTATION 

Deacons: Heather Daiello and Tony Merlino

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. 

CONFESSION OF FAITH — THE APOSTLES’ CREED 

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).


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CANDIDATES:    

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.

CANDIDATES FOR THE OFFICE OF DEACON:

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.

 


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CANDIDATES FOR THE OFFICE OF ELDER:

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.

ORDINATION INSTALLATION

CONGREGATION:

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.

PASSING THE PEACE

ANNOUNCEMENTS


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THE WORD OF GOD
 

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
SCRIPTURE READING
Matthew 26:47-56NRSV

47While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; with him was a large crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him.” 49At once he came up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. 50Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you are here to do.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and arrested him. 51Suddenly, one of those with Jesus put his hand on his sword, drew it, and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 52Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54But how then would the scriptures be fulfilled, which say it must happen in this way?” 55At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. 56But all this has taken place, so that the scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.

Minister:  This is the Gospel of the Lord.

People: Praise to you, O Christ!

SERMON
Sermon Series:  Journey to the Cross
Sermon Title: Betrayed with a Kiss
Speaker: Jared Ayers


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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, 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: 


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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:    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.

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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I NEED THEE EVERY HOUR

I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.
I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby;
Temptations lose their power when Thou art nigh.

CHORUS
I need Thee, O I need Thee;
O I need Thee every hour;
I need you Lord, O bless me now,
My Savior, I come to Thee.

I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide, or life is vain
I need Thee every hour, teach me Thy will; 
And Thy rich promises in me fulfill

CHORUS

I need Thee every hour, most Holy One; 
O make me Thine indeed, Thou blessed Son

CHORUS

I need Thee every hour,
I need Thee every hour,
I need Thee every hour,
I need Thee every hour.

Music by Kevin Twit; Words by Annie Hawks, alt by Kevin Twit, 1998.


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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

GO TO DARK GETHSEMANE

Go to dark Gethsemane
Ye that feel the tempter’s pow’r
Your Redeemer’s conflict see
Watch with Him one bitter hour
Turn not from His griefs away
Learn of Jesus Christ to pray
Learn of Jesus Christ to pray
Learn of Jesus Christ to pray

See him at the judgement hall
beaten, bound, reviled arraigned
O the wormwood and the gall!
O the pangs His soul sustained!
Shun not suffering, shame, or loss;
Learn of Christ to bear the cross
Learn of Christ to bear the cross
Learn of Christ to bear the cross

Calvary’s mournful mountain climb
There, adoring at His feet
Mark that miracle of time,
God’s own sacrifice complete
“It is finished!” hear Him cry;
Learn of Jesus Christ to die
Learn of Jesus Christ to die
Learn of Jesus Christ to die

Early hasten to the tomb
Where they laid His breathless clay
All is solitude and gloom
Who has taken Him away?
Christ is risen! He meets our eyes;
Savior, teach us so to rise
Savior, teach us so to rise
Savior, teach us so to rise

Author James Montgomery, 1991. Music by Kevin Twit.


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BENEDICTION

Minister:    May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. 

—Galatians 6:18


People:     Amen.

DISMISSAL

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

People:     Thanks be to God!

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