“Rebirth means something more than an improvement in man; it means that man receives a new origin, and this is manifestly something which he cannot give himself.” 

—Rudolph Bultmann

“God became human so that humans could become again, in reality, human.”

—St. Augustine of Hippo


Gathering Before God
September 23, 2018
18th Sunday after Pentecost
Main Line Campus

Opening Sentences

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

—Psalm 124:8

Jesus, Everlasting King

Jesus, everlasting King,
Accept the tribute which we bring;
Accept the well deserved renown,
And wear our praises as Your crown.

O send Your Spirit to impart
Rest and repentance to our hearts,
Like the dear hour when from above
We first received Your pledge of love.


The gladness of redemptions day,
Our hearts would wish it long to stay,
Nor let our faith forsake its hold,
Nor comforts sink, or love grow cold.


May every time of worship see
Your grace revealed more rich and free,
Till we are raised to sing Your name
At the great supper of the Lamb.


O that the months would roll away
And bring the coronation day;
The King of Grace shall fill the throne
With all His Fathers glories on.



Greeting & Preparation

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

Call to Worship

Leader: Come, let us bow down in worship, 
People: let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; 

Leader: for he is our God 
People: and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. 

Leader: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; 
People: let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.

 —based on Psalm 95:6-7

Prayer of Invocation


Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown, where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep, My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand, Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now


Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior


Songwriters: Joel Houston / Matt Crocker / Salomon Lighthelm
Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group


Isaiah 43

When you pass through the waters,I will be with you.
And the waves, they shall not, overcome you
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you
I have called you by name, you are mine

For I am the Lord Your God
I am the Lord Your God
I am the Lord Your God
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior


Chorus 2:
For I am the Lord (Do not fear)
I am the Lord  (Do not fear)  
I am the Lord

When you walk, through the fire, I will be with you.
And the Flames, they shall not, not consume you
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you
I have called you by name, you are mine


Call to Confession

Leader:     If we say that we have no sin,
we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins,
he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins
and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
In humility and faith let us confess our sin to God. 

—based on 1 John 1:8-9, NRSV

Prayer of Confession

People:       God of wisdom, forgive our foolishness.
We desire what we do not need and corrupt our relationships with envy.
You urge us to gentleness, but we stir up conflict.
Give us your grace,
that we may harvest righteousness and peace,
for the sake of Jesus Christ,
our Teacher and Redeemer,
in whose name we pray- Amen.

Silent Confession & Words of Pardon

Leader:      Jesus Christ the righteous is the atoning sacrifice for our sin,
and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world! 

—1 John 2:2

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


The Word of God

Prayer for Illumination & Scripture Reading
John 3:1-16, NRSV

2He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” 3Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” 4Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” 5Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. 6What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ 8The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 9Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things? 11“Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. 12If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. 16“For 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.

Minister:      This is the gospel of the Lord.
People:       Praise to you, O Christ!

Sermon Series:        Encountering Jesus
Sermon Title:           Jesus and a Religious Insider
Speaker:                  Jim Angehr


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.

                 (1that is, the true Christian church of all times and all places).


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


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


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.



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.


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. 


Thou Lovely Source Of True Delight

Thou lovely source of true delight 
Whom I unseen adore 
Unveil Thy beauties to my sight 
That I might love Thee more, 
Oh that I might love Thee more.

Thy glory o'er creation shines 
But in Thy sacred Word 
I read in fairer, brighter lines 
My bleeding, dying Lord, 
See my bleeding, dying Lord

Tis here, whene’er my comforts droop 
And sin and sorrow rise 
Thy love with cheering beams of hope 
My fainting heart supplies, 
My fainting hearts supplied

But ah! Too soon the pleasing scene 
Is clouded o'er with pain 
My gloomy fears rise dark between 
And I again complain, 
Oh and I again complain

Jesus, my Lord, my life, my light 
Oh come with blissful ray 
Break radiant through the shades of night 
And chase my fears away, 
Wont You chase my fears away

Then shall my soul with rapture trace 
The wonders of Thy love 
But the full glories of Thy face 
Are only known above, 
They are only known above


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.


Sending into God’s World


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



Minister:      To God be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity.
People:      Amen.


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