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Reflections

For whatever reasons, when God chose to make man as he is- limited and suffering and subject to sorrows and death- (God) had the honesty and the courage to take his own medicine. Whatever game he is playing with his creation, he has kept his own rules and played fair. He can exact nothing from man that he has not exacted from himself. He has himself gone through the whole of human experience, from the trivial irritations of family life and the cramping restrictions of hard work and lack of money to the worst horrors of pain and humiliation, defeat, despair, and death. When he was a man, he played the man. He was born in poverty and died in disgrace, and thought it was worthwhile.

Dorothy Sayers, from Christian Letters to a Post-Christian World

 

Then the scene dissolved itself in a mist in which my legs could no longer support their weight, and I sank down to the steps. I sat on its worn stones, to rest a moment before going on. Thus Wanderhope was found at that place which for the diabolists of his literary youth, and for those with more modest spiritual histories too, was said to be the only alternative to the muzzle of a pistol: the foot of the Cross.

—Peter DeVries, from The Blood of the Lam

 

 


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Gathering Before God
August 12, 2018
12th Sunday after Pentecost
Center City Campus

Opening Sentences

Leader:     Our help is in the name of the Lord,
                 who made heaven and earth.

—Psalm 124:8

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! 

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 & Preparation

Leader:    The Lord be with you. 
People:     And also with you!


Call to Worship

Leader:     I will bless the LORD at all times;
                 his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
People:     O magnify the LORD with me,
                 and let us exalt his name together.


Leader:     My soul makes its boast in the LORD;
                 let the humble hear and be glad.
People:     O magnify the LORD with me,
                 and let us exalt his name together. 


Leader:     Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
                 and to the Holy Spirit;
People:     O magnify the LORD with me,
                 and let us exalt his name together. 

—from Psalm 34

Prayer of Invocation


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Jesus Paid it All

I hear the Savior say,
Thy strength indeed is small
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in me thine all in all

Lord, now indeed I find
Thy power, and Thine alone
Can change the lepers spots,
and melt the heart of stone

Chorus:
Jesus paid it all,
All to him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow


And when before the throne,
I stand in him complete
Jesus died my soul to save,
My lips shall still repeat

Chorus

O praise the One who paid my debt,
and raised this life up from the dead.
O praise the One who paid my debt,
and raised this life up from the dead.

Chorus
 

 

Words by Elvina M. Hall, 1865. Music by John T. Grape.


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There is a Fountain

There is a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Immanuel's veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains
Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains

The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day
And there have I, as vile as he, washed all my sins away; 
Washed all my sins away, washed all my sins away; 
And there have I, as vile as he, washed all my sins away

E'er since by faith I saw the stream your flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die
And shall be till I die, and shall be till I die;
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die

Lost all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains

 

 

 

Authors Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, 2005.


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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:     Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word,
                 and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. 
                 
We have not loved you with our whole heart;
                 we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
                 We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
                 For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
                 have mercy on us and forgive us;
                 that we may delight in your will,
                 and walk in your ways,
                 to the glory of your 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
2 Corinthians 1:3-11, NRSV

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, 4who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God. 5For just as the sufferings of Christ are abundant for us, so also our consolation is abundant through Christ. 6If we are being afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation; if we are being consoled, it is for your consolation, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we are also suffering.

7Our hope for you is unshaken; for we know that as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our consolation. 8We do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, of the affliction we experienced in Asia; for we were so utterly, unbearably crushed that we despaired of life itself. 9Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death so that we would rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 10He who rescued us from so deadly a peril will continue to rescue us; on him we have set our hope that he will rescue us again, 11as you also join in helping us by your prayers, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.

 

Minister:      This is the Word of the Lord.
People:       Thanks be to God!

Sermon
Sermon Series:        One Another
Sermon Title:           Comfort One Another
Speaker:                  Jared Ayers


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Apostles’ Creed

Minister:    Let us say what we believe.
People:     We believe in God, the Father almighty,
                 creator of heaven and earth.
                 We believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
                 who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
                 and born of the virgin Mary.
                 He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
                 was crucified, died, and was buried;
                 he descended to hell.
                 The third day he rose again from the dead.
                 He ascended to heaven
 
                and is seated at the right hand
                 of God the Father almighty.
                 From there he will come to judge
                 the living and the dead.
                 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).


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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:     Holy and right it is, and our joyful duty to give thanks to you at all times and in all
                   places, O Lord our Creator… we worship and adore your glorious name, saying:                                         

Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest

(2x)

Minister:   Most righteous God…  Together, we proclaim the mystery of the faith.    

Your death, O Christ, we proclaim.
Your rising celebrate! 
Your coming Lord we await, to make all things new

(2x)                                                          

Minister:   Send your Holy Spirit upon us… Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Praise to the Father,
praise to the Son, 
praise to the Spirit, 

Our God the Three in One.

 


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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

 


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Benediction

Minister:    Now to him who is able to keep you from falling, 
                  and to make you stand without blemish in the presence of his glory with rejoicing,
                  to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, 
                  power, and authority, before all time and now and forever. 

—Jude 24-25

People:      Amen.

Dismissal

Minister:      Let us go forth in the name of Christ. 
People:       Thanks be to God.

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