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Reflections

This kind and friendly invitation [to follow Jesus], once made to two men, now belongs to everyone.

—John Calvin

Like many people who lost faith, I felt anger with myself for having been conned by such a story. I began to rail against Christianity... Why did I, along with so many others, become so dismissive of Christianity? Like most educated people... I have grown up in a culture that is overwhelmingly secular and anti-religious... To my shame, I believe it was this that made me lose faith and heart in my youth. It felt so uncool to be religious. With the mentality of a child in the playground, I felt at some visceral level that being religious was unsexy, like having spots or wearing specs. This playground attitude accounts for much of my previous attitude toward Christianity, and much of what I hear in the culture around me.

—A.N. Wilson


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Gathering Before God
September 9, 2018
16th 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

Arise My Soul

Arise, my soul, arise; shake off thy guilty fears;
The bleeding sacrifice in my behalf appears:
Before the throne my surety stands,
Before the throne my surety stands,
My name is written on His hands.

Chorus:
Arise! (arise!) Arise! (arise!) Arise
Arise, my soul, arise!
Arise!(arise!) Arise! (arise!)
Arise Arise, my soul, arise!
Shake off your guilty fears and rise!

He ever lives above, for me to intercede;
His all redeeming love, His precious blood, to plead:
His blood atoned for all our race,
His blood atoned for all our race,
And sprinkles now the throne of grace.

Chorus

Five bleeding wounds He bears; received on Calvary;
They pour effectual prayers; they strongly plead for me:
“Forgive him, O forgive,” they cry,
“Forgive him, O forgive,” they cry,
“Nor let that ransomed sinner die!”

Chorus


My God is reconciled; His pardoning voice I hear;
He owns me for His child; I can no longer fear:
With confidence I now draw nigh,
With confidence I now draw nigh,
And “Father, Abba, Father,” cry.

 

 

© 2000 Pear Tree Music
CCLI Song # 3474240 -- CCLI License # 3040322


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Greeting & Preparation

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


Call to Worship

Leader:     Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul! 
People:     We will praise the LORD as long as we live; 
                  
we will sing praises to our God all our life long. 

Leader:     Happy are those whose hope is in the LORD their God,
                 who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; 

People:     We will praise the LORD as long as we live; 
                 
we will sing praises to our God all our life long. 

Leader:     Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; 
People:     we will praise the LORD as long as we live; 
                 
we will sing praises to our God all our life long.

Prayer of Invocation


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Draw Me Nearer

I am thine, oh Lord, I have heard Your voice
And it told Your love to me
But I long to rise in the arms of faith
And be closer drawn to Thee

Chorus:
Draw me nearer
To the cross where Thou hast died
Draw me nearer
To Your precious bleeding side

There are great depths of love that I cannot know
‘Till I cross that narrow sea
And there are heights of joy that I may not reach
‘Till I rest in peace with Thee

Chorus

Consecrate me now to Your service, Lord
By the power of grace divine
Let me soul look up with a steadfast hope
And my will be lost in Thine

Chorus (2X)

Draw me nearer
Draw me nearer

 


© 2005 Bridge Building Music, Inc.
CCLI Song # 4507680 -- CCLI License # 3040322


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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.

 

 

© DO NOT VERIFY: SEE COMBO RECORD
CCLI Song # 2754679 -- CCLI License # 3040322


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Call to Confession

Leader:      Let us confess our sins to the Lord who surrounds us with favor forevermore. 

—based on Psalm 125:2

Prayer of Confession

People:      Eternal God, in whom we live and move and have our being,
                  whose face is
hidden from us by our sins, 
                  and whose mercy we forget in the blindness of our hearts:
                  Cleanse us from all our offenses, and deliver us from proud thoughts and vain desires,  
                  that with reverent and humble hearts we may draw near to you, confessing our faults,
                  confiding in your grace, and finding in you our refuge and strength;
                  through Jesus Christ your Son- Amen.

Silent Confession & Words of Pardon

Leader:     Our glorious Lord Jesus Christ has pleaded our cause, forgiven our sin,
                 healed our sickness, and delivered us from evil- you are forgiven! 

—based on James 2 & Mark 7:24-37

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
John 1:35-51, NRSV

35The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, 36and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!”

37The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon. 40One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Anointed). 42He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).

43The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” 46Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” 48Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” 49Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 50Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” 51And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

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

Sermon
Sermon Series:        Encountering Jesus
Sermon Title:           Encountering Jesus
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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I Need Thee Every Hour

I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.

Chorus:
I need Thee, O I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
O bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.

I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby;
Temptations lose their power when Thou art nigh.

Chorus

I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide, or life is in vain.

Chorus

I need Thee every hour, most Holy One;
O make me Thine indeed, Thou blessed Son.

Chorus

  

 

Music by Robert Lowry. Lyrics by Annie S. Hawks, 1872.


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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.


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Benediction

Minister:     May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

People:      Amen.

—Galatians 6:18

Dismissal

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

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