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REFLECTIONS

I should like to point out how [Christianity] differs from ordinary ideas of ‘morality’ and ‘being good’. The ordinary idea which we all have before we become Christians is this. We take as starting point our ordinary self with its various desires and interests. We then admit that something else— call it ‘morality’ or ‘decent behaviour’, or ‘the good of society’— has claims on this self: claims which interfere with its own desires. What we mean by ‘being good’ is giving in to those claims. Some of the things the ordinary self wanted to do turn out to be what we call ‘wrong’: well, we must give them up. Other things, which the self did not want to do, turn out to be what we call ‘right’: well, we shall have to do them. But we are hoping all the time that when all the demands have been met, the poor natural self will still have some chance, and some time, to get on with its own life and do what it likes. In fact, we are very like an honest man paying his taxes. He pays them all right, but he does hope that there will be enough left over for him to live on. Because we are still taking our natural self as the starting point.

…The Christian way is different: harder, and easier. Christ says ‘Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. I don’t want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked— the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours.’

—C.S. Lewis,
from Mere Christianity


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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
May 6, 2018
6th 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

HOLY HOLY HOLY

Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty! 
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee; 
Holy, Holy, Holy, Merciful and Mighty!
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, Holy, Holy, all the saints adore Thee. 
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea; 
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee, 
Who wert and art and ever more shall be. 

Holy, holy, holy, Though the darkness hide Thee, 
Tho' the eye of sinful man your glory may not see, 
Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee
Perfect in power, in love and purity. 

Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty! 
All Thy works shall praise Thy name in earth and sky and sea.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and Mighty! 
God in three persons, blessed Trinity! 

 

 

Words and Music by Reginald Heber.


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GREETING AND PREPARATION

Leader:     Alleluia! Christ is risen. 

People:     The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!


CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader:     The Lord is my light and my salvation;
                 the Lord is the strength of my life. 

People:     The Lord is my light and my salvation; 
                 the Lord is the strength of my life. 

Leader:     The light shines in the darkness, 
                 
and the darkness has not overcome it. 

People:     The Lord is the strength of my life. 

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

People:     The Lord is my light and my salvation;
                 the Lord is the strength of my life. 

—from Psalm 27 & John 1

 

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


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BLESSED ASSURANCE

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine
Heir of salvation, purchase of God
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

CHORUS:
This is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long
This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long

Perfect submission, perfect delight;
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

CHORUS

Perfect submission, all is at rest;
I in my Savior am happy and blessed
Watching and waiting, looking above
Filled with His goodness lost in His love.

CHORUS


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10,000 REASONS

CHORUS:
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

CHORUS

You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

CHORUS

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

CHORUS

I’ll worship Your holy name
Yes, I’ll worship Your holy name

 

Words and Music by Jonas Myrin and Matt Redman, 2011.
© 2011 Shout! Publishing.


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CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader:    God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, 
               
 so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. 

—John 3:16

PRAYER OF CONFESSION


People:     Loving God, we have not loved you or each other with our whole hearts. Forgive us, we
pray, and lead us toward wholeness, that we may be filled with your joy. In Jesus' name we pray; Amen.

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader:     This is the good news:
                
 Christ loves us so much that he laid down his life for us,
                 and calls us his friends! 

—John 15:13

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 2:6-23 , NRSV

6As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. 8See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. 9For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10and you have come to fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority. 11In him also you were circumcised with a spiritual circumcision, by putting off the body of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ; 12when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.13And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses, 14erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross. 15He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it.

16Therefore do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink or of observing festivals, new moons, or sabbaths. 17These are only a shadow of what is to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18Do not let anyone disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, dwelling on visions, puffed up without cause by a human way of thinking, 19and not holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God. 20If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the universe, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations, 21“Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch”? 22All these regulations refer to things that perish with use; they are simply human commands and teachings. 23These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-imposed piety, humility, and severe treatment of the body, but they are of no value in checking self-indulgence.

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:  Continue in Christ
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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WHAT WONDROUS LOVE IS THIS

What wondrous love is this O my soul O my soul
What wondrous love is this O my soul
What wondrous love is this That caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul for my soul
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul

When I was sinking down Sinking down sinking down
When I was sinking down sinking down
When I was sinking down Beneath God's righteous frown
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul for my soul
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul

To God and to the Lamb I will sing I will sing
To God and to the Lamb I will sing
To God and to the Lamb Who is the Great I Am
While millions join the theme I will sing I will sing
While millions join the theme I will sing

And when from death I'm free I'll sing on I'll sing on
And when from death I'm free I'll sing on
And when from death I'm free I'll sing and joyful be
And thro' eternity I'll sing on I'll sing on
And thro' eternity I'll sing on

 

 

2011 ©  We Are Younger We Are Faster Music (Admin. by Music Services, Inc.)

 


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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

LEANING ON THE EVERLASTING ARMS

What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
Lean-ing on the everlasting arms,
What a bless-ed-ness, what a peace is mine,
Lean-ing on the everlasting arms.
CHORUS:
Lean-ing, lean-ing, Safe and se-cure from all alarms,
Lean-ing, lean-ing, lean-ing on the everlasting arms.

Oh, how sweet to walk in the pilgrim way,
Lean-ing on the everlasting arms,
Oh, how bright the path grows from day to day,
Lean-ing on the everlasting arms.

What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
Lean-ing on the everlasting arms?
I have bless-ed peace with my Lord so near,
Lean-ing on the everlasting arms.

 

 



2003 John Andrew Schreiner Music.


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BENEDICTION

Minister:    May the grace of Christ be with you,  now and always. 

—based on Colossians 4:18

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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