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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
Main Line Campus

OPENING SENTENCES

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

—Psalm 118:24

THIS IS MY FATHER’S WORLD

This is my Father’s world
And to my listening ears
All nature sings and around me rings
The music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world,
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas,
His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world
The birds their carols raise.
The morning light the lily white,
Declare their Maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world
He shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass,I hear Him pass,
He speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father’s world,
O let me ne’er forget:
That thought the wrong seems oft’ so strong,
God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world,
The battle is not done
Jesus who died shall be satisfied,
And the earth and heaven be one.

 

 

© 1901 Public Domain


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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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GRACE THAT IS GREATER


Marvelous grace of our loving Lord
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary's mount outpoured -
there where the blood of the Lamb was spilt

CHORUS:
Grace, grace, God's grace
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within
Grace, grace, God's grace
Grace that is greater than all our sin


Sin and despair like the sea-waves cold
Threaten the soul with infinite loss
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold
Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.

CHORUS

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?

CHORUS

 



Music by Daniel Towner, 1910. Lyrics by Julia Johnston, 1911.


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LORD I NEED YOU

Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You're the One that guides my heart

CHORUS:
Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Where sin runs deep Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are, Lord, I am free
Holiness is Christ in me

CHORUS

BRIDGE:

Teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand I'll fall on You
Jesus, You're my hope and stay

CHORUS

You're my one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

 

 

Music and lyrics by Matt Maher, 2013.


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BAPTISM

PRESENTATION AND VOWS

Malachi Damazo

PARENTS 

Minister:  Parents, you stand before us having brought your child to receive the sacrament of baptism. I ask you, therefore, before God and Christ’s church to reject evil, to profess               your faith in Christ Jesus, and to confess the faith of the church. Do you renounce sin and the power of evil in your life and in the world?

Parents:   We renounce them.

Minister: Who is your Lord and Savior?

Parents:   Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior.

Minister:  Do your promise to instruct Malachi in the truth of God’s word, in the way of salvation through Jesus Christ; to pray for him, to teach him to pray; and to train him in Christ’s              way by example, through worship, and in the nurture of the church?

Parents:    We do, and we ask God to help us.

 

LIBERTI CHURCH 

Minister:  Do you promise to love, encourage, and support this family by teaching the gospel of God’s love, by being an example of Christian faith and character, and by giving the strong         support of God’s family in fellowship, prayer, and service?

People:   We do.

 


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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)

PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING    

Minister:  The Lord be with you.

People:   And also with you.

Minister: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

People:   It is right to give our thanks and praise. 


BAPTISM


PASSING THE PEACE


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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.

eople: 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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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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JESUS, ALL FOR JESUS

Jesus, all for Jesus
All I am and have and ever hope to be
Jesus, all for Jesus
All I am and have and ever hope to be

All of my ambitions, hopes and plans
I surrender these into your hands
All of my ambitions, hopes and plans
I surrender these into your hands

For it's only in your will that I am free
For it's only in your will that I am free
Jesus, all for Jesus
All I am and have and ever hope to be

Jesus, all for Jesus
All I am and have and ever hope to be
Jesus, all for Jesus
All I am and have and ever hope to be

All of my ambitions, hopes and plans
I surrender these into your hands
All of my ambitions, hopes and plans
I surrender these into your hands

For it's only in your will that I am free
For it's only in your will that I am free
Jesus, all for Jesus
All I am and have and ever hope to be

 

 

 

Songwriters: Anna B. Warner / William B. Bradbury
Jesus, All for Jesus lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group


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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

BECAUSE HE LIVES

God sent His son, they called Him Jesus
He came to love, heal and forgive
He lived and died to buy my pardon
An empty grave is there to prove my savior lives

CHORUS:
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living, just because He lives

How sweet to hold a newborn baby
And feel the pride and joy He gives
But greater still the calm assurance
This child can face uncertain day, because He lives

CHORUS

And then one day, I'll cross the river
I'll fight life's final war with pain
And then, as death gives way to victory
I'll see the lights of glory and I'll know He reigns

CHORUS


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BENEDICTION

Minister:    May the goodness and mercy of God follow you all the days of your life, and may you dwell in the house of the Lord forever. 

—Psalm 23:6

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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