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REFLECTIONS

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
Any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
And shut away in a little drawer…
So, friends, every day do something
That won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it…
Be like the fox
Who makes more tracks than necessary,
Some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry, from the poem Manifesto:
The Mad Farmer Liberation Front


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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
May 13, 2018
Ascension 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:     Sing to the LORD and bless his name; 

People:     tell out his salvation from day to day. 

Leader:     God has gone up with a shout; 

People:     sing to the LORD and bless his name. 

Leader:     The LORD with the sound of the trumpet: 

People:     tell out his salvation from day to day. 

Leader:     He has led captivity captive, and given gifts to his people. 

People:     Sing to the LORD and bless his name; 
                 tell out his salvation from day to day. 

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

People:     tell out his salvation from day to day. 

 

—from Psalm 47 & 68

 

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


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O LOVE INCOMPREHENSIBLE

CHORUS:
O Love incomprehensible
That made Thee bleed for me
The Judge of all has suffered death
To set His prisoner free


What pain what soul-oppressing pain
The Great Redeemer bore
While bloody sweat like drops of rain
Distilled from every pore!

CHORUS

Arraigned at Pilates shameful bar, 
Unparalleled disgrace! 
See spotless innocence appear
In guilts detested place

CHORUS

The spotless Savior lived for me, 
And died upon the mount
The obedience of His life and death, 
Is placed to my account!

CHORUS

Tis finished! now aloud He cries, 
No more the Law requires
And now, amazing sacrifice, 
The Lord of Life expires!

CHORUS

On Thee alone my hope relies, 
Beneath Thy cross I fall
My Lord, my Life, my Sacrifice, 
My Savior and my All!

CHORUS

©2001 Kevin Twit Music (ASCAP). Used by permission. All rights


PAGE 6

 


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CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader:    The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit;
                a broken and contrite heart, O God,
                you will not despise.

—Psalm 51:17

PRAYER OF CONFESSION


People:     We come, O Lord, on this day of glory to confess our lack of trust. While we sing of your lordship over all creation, we have too often acted as though you are powerless in the face of today’s events. Help us to live with confidence in your presence today and in hope for life with you forever. Amen.

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader:     Hear the good news of the gospel:
If anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;
and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of
the whole world. In Christ, we are forgiven! Thanks be to God. 

—based on 1 John 2:1-2

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

 


 PAGE 8

THE WORD OF GOD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
SCRIPTURE READING
Colossians 3:1-11 , NRSV

So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, 3for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.

5Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). 6On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient. 7These are the ways you also once followed, when you were living that life.

8But now you must get rid of all such things—anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth. 9Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices 10and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. 11In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!

Minister:  This is the Word of the Lord.

People: Thanks be to God!

SERMON
Sermon Series: Christ the Center: Colossians & Life with the Risen Jesus
Sermon Title:  Practice Resurrection
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

INSTRUMENTS OF PEACE


CHORUS:

Lord make us  instruments of Your peace
Where there is hatred let Your love increase
Lord make us  instruments of Your peace
Walls of pride and prejudice shall cease
When we are Your instruments of peace

Where there is hatred, we will sow His love
Where there is injury we will never judge
Where there is striving, we will speak His peace
To the people crying for release
We will be His instruments of peace

CHORUS

Where there is blindness, we will pray for sight
Where there is darkness, we will shine His light
Where there's sadness, we will bear their grief
To the millions crying for release
We will be His instruments of peace

CHORUS


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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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