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REFLECTIONS

How is it possible that the gospel should be credible, that people should come to believe that the power which has the last word in human affairs is represented by a man hanging on a cross? I am suggesting that the only answer, the only hermeneutic of the gospel, is a congregation of men and women who believe it and live by it.

Lesslie Newbigin,
from The Gospel in a Pluralist Society


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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
April 8, 2018
2nd 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

SHOUT FOR JOY

CHORUS:
Shout for joy to the Lord all the earth
Worship the Lord with gladness
Come before Him with joyful songs
And know that the Lord is good


It is He who has made us
And we are His
We are His people
The sheep of His pasture

CHORUS

Enter His gates with thanks
And His courts with praise
Give thanks to the Lord
And praise His Holy name

CHORUS

For the Lord is a good Lord
And His love endures
His faithfulness continues
Throughout all generations


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GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader:     Alleluia! Christ is risen. 

People:     The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!


CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader:     Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn.

People:     I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples, I will sing praises to you among the nations.

Leader:     For your steadfast love is as high as the heavens; your faithfulness extends to the clouds.

People:     Be exalted, O God, above the heavens. Let your glory be over all the earth. 

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

People:     be exalted, O God, above the heavens.  Let your glory be over all the earth.

—Psalm 57:8-11

 

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


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O LOVE THAT WILL NOT LET ME GO

O Love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be


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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)




Words and Music by All Sons and Daughters, 2012.


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 CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader:    If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. Trusting in God's mercy, let us confess our sins. 

—1 John 1:8-9

PRAYER OF CONFESSION


People:  You have shown yourself to us, O God, by Word and Spirit, with signs and wonders, in flesh and blood, yet we still struggle to live and believe the good news of Jesus Christ. Have mercy on us; forgive us. Enter into our lives and cast out our fear so that we may come to trust in you and have life in Jesus' name - Amen.

 

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader: If we confess our sins, God who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 

—1 John 1:8-9

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 1.1-2, NRSV

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2To the saints and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ in Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

 

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: In Christ; For the Neighborhood
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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NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD

What can wash away my sin?
 Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

CHORUS:
Oh, precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow,
No other fount I know
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For my pardon, this my plea! 
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
For my cleansing this I see
 Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

CHORUS

Nothing can for sin atone,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Naught of good that I have done,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

CHORUS

This is all my hope and peace
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
This is all my righteousness
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

CHORUS


Music and lyrics by Robert Lowry and William Doane, 1876.


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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

IN CHRIST ALONE

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow'r of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand.


Music by Stuart Townsend, 2001. Lyrics by Keith Getty, 2001.

 


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BENEDICTION

Minister:    May your life be a sign of Christ's life so that others may come to believe that the Lord is risen indeed. 

—based on John 20:29-31

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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