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REFLECTIONS

The task of shaping our world is best understood as the redemptive task of bringing the achievement of the cross to bear on the world. And in that task, the methods, as well as the message, must be cross-shaped, through and through.

—N.T. Wright

 

True spirituality is not a superhuman religiosity; it is simply true humanity released from bondage to sin and renewed by the Holy Spirit. This is given to us as we grasp by faith the full content of Christ’s redemptive work: freedom from the guilt and power of sin, and newness of life through the indwelling and outpouring of his Spirit.”

Richard Lovelace,
from Dynamics of Spiritual Life


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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
April 29, 2018
5th 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

WONDERFUL MERCIFUL SAVIOR

Wonderful, Merciful Savior
Precious Redeemer and Friend!
Who would have thought that a
Lamb could rescue the souls of men,
 Oh You rescue the souls of men. 

Counselor, Comforter, Keeper,
Spirit we long to embrace.
You offer hope when our hearts have
Hopelessly lost the way,
Oh we've hopelessly lost the way. 

You are the One that we praise,
You are the One we adore.
You give the healing and grace our
hearts always hunger for,
Oh our hearts always hunger for

Almighty infinite Father
Faithfully loving your own
Here in our weakness you find us
falling before Your Throne,
Oh we're falling before Your throne.

 

Music & lyrics by Dawn Rodgers & Eric Wyse. Chorus by Jack Schrader, 1989. 
Music and lyrics by Sandra McCracken, 2015.


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GREETING AND PREPARATION

 

Leader:     Alleluia! Christ is risen. 

People:     The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!


CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader:     Fear not, for I have redeemed you. 
                 I have called you by name;
                 you are mine. 

People:     Fear not, for I have redeemed you. 
                 I have called you by name; 
                 you are min. 

Leader:     When you pass through the waters, 
               
  I will be with you. 
                 When you walk through the fire, 
             
    you shall not be burned. 

People:     I have called you by name; 
                 you are mine. 

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

People:     fear not, for I have redeemed you. 
                 I have called you by name; 
                 you are mine. 

—from Isaiah 43

 

PRAYER OF INVOCATION

 


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BEAUTIFUL

I see your face in every sunrise
The colors of the morning are inside your eyes
The world awakens in the light of the day
I look up to the sky and say
You’re Beautiful

I see your power in the moonlit night
Where planets are in motion and galaxies are bright
We are amazed in the light of the stars
Its all proclaiming who you are
You’re beautiful

I see you there hanging on a tree
You bled and then you died and then you rose again for me
Now you are sitting on your heavenly throne
Soon we will be coming home
You’re Beautiful

When we arrive at eternity’s shore
Where death is just a memory and tears are no more
We’ll enter in as the wedding bells ring
Your bride will come together and we’ll sing
You’re Beautiful

I see your face in every sunrise
The colors of the morning are inside your eyes
The world awakens in the light of the day
I look up to the sky and say
You’re Beautiful
You’re Beautiful
You’re Beautiful


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PSALM 126

Our mouths, they were filled, filled with laughter.
Our tongues, they were loosed, loosed with joy.
Restore us, O Lord! Restore us, O Lord!

CHORUS
Although we are weeping,
Lord, help us keep sowing
The seeds of Your Kingdom
For the day You will reap them!
Your sheaves we will carry;
Lord, please do not tarry!
All those who sow weeping
Will go out with songs of joy!


The nations will say “He has done great things!”
The nations will sing songs of joy.
Restore us, O Lord! Restore us, O Lord!

CHORUS X2

 


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COVENANT MEMBERSHIP & BAPTISM

STORIES OF GOD’S WORK & VOWS 

CANDIDATES 

Minister:        Do you renounce sin and the power of evil in your life and in the world?

Candidate:    I renounce them.

Minister:        Who is your Lord and Savior?

Candidate:    Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior

Minister:        Will you be a faithful covenant member of Liberti Church, and through a life of worship, community, and mercy seek to advance God’s purposes here and throughout the world?

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

Minister:        Do you promise to accept the spiritual guidance of the church and its leaders, to walk in a spirit of Christian love with this congregation, and to seek those things that make for unity, purity, and peace?

Candidate:    I do. 

LIBERTI CHURCH 

Minister:        Do you promise to love, encourage, and support these brothers and sisters by teaching them the gospel, 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 catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.     

BAPTISM & PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

Minister:    Almighty God, by the love of Jesus Christ you draw people to faith, and welcome them into the church family.     May we show your joy by embracing new brothers and sisters, who with us believe and with us will work to serve you. Keep us close together in your Spirit, breaking bread in faith and in love, one with Jesus Christ our Lord and Master. Amen. 

PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS

 


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THE WORD OF GOD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
SCRIPTURE READING
Colossians 1:24-2:5, NRSV

24I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church. 25I became its servant according to God’s commission that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26the mystery that has been hidden throughout the ages and generations but has now been revealed to his saints. 27To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28It is he whom we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29For this I toil and struggle with all the energy that he powerfully inspires within me.

2 For I want you to know how much I am struggling for you, and for those in Laodicea, and for all who have not seen me face to face. 2I want their hearts to be encouraged and united in love, so that they may have all the riches of assured understanding and have the knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ himself, 3in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
4I am saying this so that no one may deceive you with plausible arguments. 5For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, and I rejoice to see your morale and the firmness of your faith in Christ.

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:  Mission & Maturity
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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ALL THE POOR AND POWERLESS

All the poor and powerless
And all the lost and lonely
All the thieves will come confess
And know that You are holy
And know that You are holy

CHORUS
And all will sing out, hallelujah
And we will cry out, hallelujah
And all will sing out, hallelujah
And we will cry out, hallelujah

All the hearts who are content
And all who feel unworthy
All who weep with nothing left
Will know that You are holy
Will know that You are holy

CHORUS

Shout it, go on an scream it from the mountains
Go on and tell it to the masses, that He is God
(3x)

And we will sing out, hallelujah
And we will cry out, hallelujah
And we will sing out, hallelujah
(2x)

 

Songwriters: Leslie Jordan / David Leonard
All the Poor and Powerless 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

ON JORDAN’S STORMY BANKS

On Jordan’s stormy banks I stand,
And cast a wishful eye
To Canaan’s fair and happy land,
Where my possessions lie.

All o’er those wide extended plains,
Shines one eternal day;
There God the Son forever reigns,
And scatters night away.

CHORUS
I am bound (I am bound)
I am bound (I am bound)
I am bound for promised land,
I am bound (I am bound)
I am bound (I am bound)
I am bound for promised land.

No chilling winds nor poisonous breath
Can reach that healthful shore;
Sickness, sorrow, pain and death,
Are felt and feared no more.

CHORUS

When shall I reach that happy place,
And be forever blessed?
When shall I see my Father’s face,
And in His bosom rest?

CHORUS

 

Words: Samuel Stennett. Music: Christopher Miner.
©1997 Christopher Miner Music.


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BENEDICTION

Minister:      The grace and love of the Lord Jesus be with you! 

—1 Corinthians 16:23-24

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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