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Reflections

We give you thanks,
O holy and gracious God, for the gift of water.
In the beginning of creation your Spirit moved over the waters.
In the waters of the flood you destroyed evil.
You led the children of Israel through the sea
into the freedom of the promised land…
By his death and resurrection
Jesus Christ, the Living Water,
forgives us, frees us from sin and death,
and opens the way to life everlasting.
We thank you, O God, for the gift of baptism.
In this water you confirm to us
that we are buried with Christ in his death,
raised to share in his resurrection,
are being renewed by power of the Holy Spirit,
and united to Christ in mission.

—baptismal prayer, from The Liturgy of the Reformed Church in America


Christianity is about water: ‘Everyone who thirtieth, come ye to the waters.’ It’s about baptism, for God’s sake. It’s about full immersion, about falling into something elemental and wet. Most of what we do in worldly life is geared toward staying dry, looking good, not going under. But in baptism, in lakes and rain and tanks and fonts, you agree to do something that’s a little sloppy because at the same time it’s also holy, and absurd. It’s about surrender, giving in to all those things we can’t control; it’s a willingness to let go of balance and decorum and get drenched.

—Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies

Great is the baptism that lies before you: the ransom of captives, the forgiveness of sins, the death of sin, the regeneration of the soul, the garment of light, the holy perpetual seal, a chariot to heaven, the delight of paradise, a welcome into the kingdom, the gift of adoption.

—Cyril of Jerusalem


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Gathering Before God
January 13, 2019
Baptism of the Lord
Main Line Campus

Opening Sentences

Leader: The Lord has shown forth his glory:
Come, let us adore him!


All Creatures Of Our God & King

All creatures of our God and King
Lift up your voice and with us sing
O praise Him, Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam
thou silver moon with softer gleam
O praise Him, O praise Him
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou rushing wind that art so strong
ye clouds that sail in Heaven along
O praise Him, Alleluia!
Thou rising moon, in praise rejoice
ye lights of evening, find a voice
O praise Him, O praise Him
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Let all things their Creator bless
and worship Him in humbleness
O praise Him, Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son
and praise the Spirit, three in One
O praise Him, O praise Him
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!




Words by Francis of Assisi, 1225. Translation by William H. Draper, 1919.
Music by Peter von Brachel, 1623 and Ralph Vaughan, 1906.


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Greeting & Preparation

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


Call to Worship 


Leader: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
The Spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters; 
People: then God said, Let there be light, 
and God saw that it was good. 

Leader: At the beginning of his ministry, Jesus was baptized, 
the heavens opened, and the Spirit descended like a dove; 
People: then God said: 
This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 

—Genesis 1:1-2; Mark 1:1, 9-11

Prayer of Invocation


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Crowns

There is a hill I cherish
Where stood a precious tree
The emblem of salvation
The gift of Calvary

How is it I should profit
While He is crucified
Yet as His life was taken
So I was granted mine

Chorus:
My wealth is in the cross
There's nothing more I want
Than just to know His love
My heart is set on Christ
And I will count all else as loss
The greatest of my crowns
Mean nothing to me now
For I counted up all the cost
And all my wealth is in the cross

I will not boast in riches
I have no pride in gold
But I will boast in Jesus
And in His Name alone

Chorus

And when I stand in glory
My crowns before the Lord
Let this be my confession
My wealth is in the cross

Chorus:
My wealth is in the cross
There's nothing more I want
Than just to know His love
My heart is set on Christ
And I will count all else as loss
The greatest of my crowns
Mean nothing to me now
For I counted up all the cost



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Our Great God

Eternal God, unchanging, mysterious and unknown.
Your boundless love unfailing, in grace and mercy shown.
Bright seraphim in endless flight around your glorious throne.
They raise their voices day and night in praise to you alone.

Chorus:
Hallelujah!
Glory be to our great God!   (x2)

Lord, we are weak and frail, helpless in the storm.
Surround us with your angels, hold us in your arms.
Our cold and ruthless enemy, his pleasure is our harm.
Rise up, oh Lord, and he will flee before our Sovereign God.

Let every creature in the sea and every flying bird;
Let every mountain, every field and valley of the earth;
Let all the moons and all the stars in all the universe
Sing praises to the living God, who rules them by His word.


Fernando Ortega


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Call to Confession

Leader: God tells us: 
Do not fear, for I am with you. 
Let us in freedom therefore confess our sins to God. 

—from Isaiah 43:5

Prayer of Confession


People: Merciful God, 
in baptism you promise forgiveness and new life,
making us part of the body of Christ.
We confess that we remain preoccupied
with ourselves, separated from sisters
and brothers in Christ.
We cling to destructive habits, hold grudges,
and show reluctance to welcome one another.
In your loving kindness, have mercy on us,
and free us from sin.
Remind us of the promises you make in baptism so that we may rise to new life,
and live together in grace- Amen.


Silent Confession & Words of Pardon

Leader: God says to us: 
do not fear, for I have redeemed you; 
I have called you by name, you are mine! 

—Isaiah 43:1

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
Exodus 14:5-31, NRSV

5When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, the minds of Pharaoh and his officials were changed toward the people, and they said, “What have we done, letting Israel leave our service?” 6So he had his chariot made ready, and took his army with him; 7he took six hundred picked chariots and all the other chariots of Egypt with officers over all of them. 8The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt and he pursued the Israelites, who were going out boldly. 9The Egyptians pursued them, all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, his chariot drivers and his army; they overtook them camped by the sea, by Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon.

10As Pharaoh drew near, the Israelites looked back, and there were the Egyptians advancing on them. In great fear the Israelites cried out to the Lord. 11They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us, bringing us out of Egypt? 12Is this not the very thing we told you in Egypt, ‘Let us alone and let us serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” 13But Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again. 14The Lordwill fight for you, and you have only to keep still.”

15Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry out to me? Tell the Israelites to go forward. 16But you lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the Israelites may go into the sea on dry ground. 17Then I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them; and so I will gain glory for myself over Pharaoh and all his army, his chariots, and his chariot drivers. 18And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gained glory for myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his chariot drivers.” 19The angel of God who was going before the Israelite army moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and took its place behind them. 20It came between the army of Egypt and the army of Israel. And so the cloud was there with the darkness, and it lit up the night; one did not come near the other all night.

21Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. 22The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. 23The Egyptians pursued, and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and chariot drivers. 24At the morning watch the Lord in the pillar of fire and cloud looked down upon the Egyptian army, and threw the Egyptian army into panic. 25He clogged their chariot wheels so that they turned with difficulty. The Egyptians said, “Let us flee from the Israelites, for the Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.”26Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers.” 27So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth. As the Egyptians fled before it, the Lord tossed the Egyptians into the sea. 28The waters returned and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them remained. 29But the Israelites walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. 30Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31Israel saw the great work that the Lord did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the Lord and believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.

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

Sermon
Sermon Series: It Takes Practice
Sermon Title: Baptism
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 catholic
1 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… 
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!
(2x)

Minister: You are holy, O God of majesty… So, 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:  Gracious God, pour out your Holy Spirit…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. 


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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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You’re Beautiful 

I see Your face in every sunrise
The colors of the morning are inside Your eyes
The world awakens in the light of the day
I look up to the sky and say You're beautiful

I see Your power in the moonlit night
Where planets are in motion and galaxies are bright
We are amazed in the light of the stars
It's all proclaiming who you are You're beautiful

I see you there hanging on a tree
You bled and then you died and then you rose again for me
Now you are sitting on Your heavenly throne
Soon we will be coming home You're beautiful

When we arrive at eternity's shore
Where death is just a memory and tears are no more
We'll enter in as the wedding bells ring
Your bride will come together and we'll sing You're beautiful



By Phil Wickham 


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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

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

Then in a nobler, sweeter song, I’ll sing your power to save,
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave
Lies silent in the grave, lies silent in the grave;
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.

Dear dying Lamb, your precious blood shall never lose its power
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved to sin no more
Be saved, to sin no more, be saved to sin no more
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more



Authors Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, 2005.


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Benediction

Minister: God the Father, who sent his Spirit upon his Son,
bless you with the presence of his Spirit.
Jesus, who received the Spirit and manifested the Father,
abide in you and make you a manifestation of his life.
And God the Spirit, who came upon Christ in the fullness
of power, empower you to live a life of faith, to the glory
of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 
People: Amen.

Dismissal

Minister: Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. 
People: Thanks be to God!

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