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REFLECTIONS

Indeed, the mystery of Christ runs the risk of being disbelieved
precisely because it is so incredibly wonderful.
For God was in humanity.
He who was above all creation was in our human condition;
the invisible one was made visible in the flesh;
he who is from the heavens and from on high
was in the likeness of earthly things;
the immaterial one could be touched;
he who is free in his own nature came in the form of a slave;
he who blesses all creation became accursed;
he who is all righteousness was numbered among the transgressors;
life itself came in the appearance of death.

—Cyril of Alexandria,
from On the Unity of Christ


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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
April 22, 2018
4th Easter Sunday
Center City Campus

OPENING SENTENCES

Leader:     On this day the Lord has acted;  let us rejoice and be glad in it! 

—Psalm 118:24

ARISE MY SOUL

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 AND PREPARATION
 

Leader:     Alleluia! Christ is risen. 

People:     The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!


CALL TO WORSHIP
 

Leader:     We will praise you, O Lord.

People:     Though you were angry with us,
                 you have turned your anger away.

Leader:     You have comforted us.
                 Surely you are our salvation.

People:     We will trust and not be afraid.

Leader:     The Lord is our strength.
                 He has become our salvation.

People:     With joy we will draw water from the wells of salvation.

Leader:     Let us sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things.

People:     Great among us is the Holy One of Israel. 

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

People:     we will trust and not be afraid.

 

PRAYER OF INVOCATION
 


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JESUS PAID IT ALL

I hear the Savior say,
Thy strength indeed is small
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in me thine all in all

Lord, now indeed I find
Thy power, and Thine alone
Can change the lepers spots,
and melt the heart of stone

CHORUS
Jesus paid it all,
All to him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow


And when before the throne,
I stand in him complete
Jesus died my soul to save,
my lips shall still repeat

CHORUS

O praise the One who paid my debt,
and raised this life up from the dead.
O praise the One who paid my debt,
and raised this life up from the dead.

CHORUS
 

 

Words by Elvina M. Hall, 1865. Music by John T. Grape.


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THERE IS A FOUNTAIN

There is a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Immanuel's veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains
Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains

The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day
And there have I, as vile as he, washed all my sins away; 
Washed all my sins away, washed all my sins away; 
And there have I, as vile as he, washed all my sins away

E'er since by faith I saw the stream your flowing wounds supply
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die
And shall be till I die, and shall be till I die
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die

Then in a nobler, sweeter song, I’ll sing your power to save,
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave
Lies silent in the grave, lies silent in the grave;
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.

Dear dying Lamb, your precious blood shall never lose its power
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved to sin no more
Be saved, to sin no more, be saved to sin no more
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more

 

 

 

 

Authors Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, 2005.


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 CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader:    Our hearts condemn us, but God is greater than our hearts, and knows everything. 

—1 John 3:20

PRAYER OF CONFESSION


People:  Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name; Amen.


SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON


Leader: God gave us eternal life in his Son; know that you are forgiven, and be at peace! 

—1 John 5:11

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
Colossians 1:15-23, NRSV

15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. 17He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. 19For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross. 21And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him— 23provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven. I, Paul, became a servant of this gospel.

Minister:  This the Word of the Lord.

People: Thanks be to God!

 

SERMON
Sermon Series: Christ the Center: Colossians & Life with the Risen Jesus
Sermon Title:  
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 by his glorious resurrection overcame the power of sin and gave         us new life. 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:  By your power you raised Jesus from death to life. Through his victory over the grave we are set free from the bonds of sin and the fear of death to share the glorious freedom of the children of God. In his rising to life you promise eternal life to all who believe in him. We praise you that as we break bread in faith, we shall know the risen Christ among us.      

 


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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:    Gracious God, pour out your Holy Spirit upon us, that the bread we break and the cup we bless may be the communion of the body and blood of Christ. By your Spirit make us one with Christ, that we may be one with all who share this feast, united in ministry in every place. As this bread is Christ’s body for us, send us out to be the body of Christ in the world.

 

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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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

 


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BENEDICTION

Minister:    

People:        Amen.

DISMISSAL

Minister:     Go in peace to love and serve the Lord;
                   alleluia! Alleluia! 

People:       Thanks be to God;
                   alleluia! Alleluia!

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