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Reflections

“The World is not merely as religious as it used to be.  In important ways, it is much more intensely religious than ever before; indeed it is far more churched…Although the details often differ from place to place, the story remains much the same:  temples, mosques, pagodas, chapels, and churches are full and even most people who do not attend say they are religious.”   

—Rodney Stark, The Triumph of Faith.

Everyone has a religion. It is, in fact, impossible not to have a religion if you are a human being. It’s in our genes and has expressed itself in every culture, in every age, including our own secularized husk of a society.

—Andrew Sullivan, from “American’s New Religions”, New York Magazine, December 7, 2018

These other gods are not strangers. The ancient world knew them well. Just to name the three most obvious: there are Mars, the god of war, Mammon, the god of money, and Aphrodite, the goddess of erotic love. One of the fascinating things about modern Western ideas has been the work of the “masters of suspicion,” Nietzsche, Marx, and Freud, claiming to reveal the motives that lie hidden beneath the outwardly smooth and comprehensible surface of the modern world. It is all about power, declared Nietzsche. Everything comes down to money, said Marx. It’s all about sex, said Freud. In each case these were seen as forces or drives that were there whether we liked it or not; we might imagine we are free to choose, but in fact we are the blind servants of these impulses.

—N.T. Wright, Surprised by Scripture (p. 152).

Christian worship  that  is  gathered  around  Word  and  table  is  not  just  a  platform  for  our  expression;  it  is  the  space  for  the  Spirit’s  (trans)formation  of  us.    The  practices  of  gathered Christian  worship  have  a  specific  shape  about  them  precisely  because  this  is  how  the Spirit recruits us into the story of God reconciling the world to himself in Christ.  There is  a  “logic”  to  the  shape  of  intentional,  historic  Christian  worship  that  performs  the Gospel over and over again as a way to form and reform our habits.


—James K.A. Smith, from “Worship: Expression and Formation”


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Gathering Before God
January 20, 2019
2nd Sunday of Epiphany
Main Line Campus

Opening Sentences

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

10,000 Reasons

Chorus: 
Bless the Lord oh my soul, Oh my soul
Worship His Holy name
Sing like never before, Oh 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


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


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Greeting & Preparation

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


Call to Worship 


Leader: God anointed Christ to console the afflicted. 
People: Come, let us worship the Lord our Comforter! 

Leader: God anointed Christ to emancipate the enslaved. 
People: Come, let us worship the Lord our liberator! 

Leader: God anointed Christ to bind up the wounded. 
People: Come, let us worship the Lord our healer! 

Leader: God anointed Christ to deliver the troubled. 
People: Come, let us worship the Lord our Savior!

Prayer of Invocation


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Let Us Love & Sing & Wonder

Let us love and sing and wonder,
Let us praise the Savior's name,
He has hushed the law's loud thunder,
He has quenched Mount Sinai's flame,
He has washed us with His blood,
He has washed us with His blood,
He has washed us with His blood,
He has brought us nigh to God.

Let us love the Lord Who bought us,
Pitied us when enemies,
Called us by His grace and taught us,
Gave us ears and gave us eyes.
He has washed us with His blood,
He has washed us with His blood,
He has washed us with His blood,
He presents our souls to God.

Let us sing though fierce temptation,
Threaten hard to bear us down,
For the Lord, our strong salvation,
Holds in view the conqu'ror's crown.
He, Who washed us with His blood,
He, Who washed us with His blood,
He, Who washed us with His blood,
Soon will bring us home to God.

Let us wonder grace and justice,
Join and point to mercy's store,
When through grace in Christ our trust is, 
Justice smiles and asks no more.
He Who washed us with His blood,
He Who washed us with His blood,
He Who washed us with His blood,
Has secured our way to God.

Let us praise and join the chorus,
Of the saints enthroned on high,
Here they trusted Him before us,
Now their praises fill the sky.
Thou hast washed us with Thy blood,
Thou hast washed us with Thy blood,
Thou hast washed us with Thy blood,
Thou art worthy Lamb of God.


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Come Thou Fount

Come Thou Fount of every blessing 
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace; 
Streams of mercy, never ceasing, 
Call for songs of loudest praise 
Teach me some melodious sonnet, 
Sung by flaming tongues above. 
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it, 
Mount of God's unchanging love.

Here I raise my Ebenezer; 
Hither by Thy help I'm come; 
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure, 
Safely to arrive at home. 
Jesus sought me when a stranger, 
Wandering from the fold of God; 
He, to rescue me from danger, 
Interposed His precious blood. 

O to grace how great a debtor 
Daily I'm constrained to be! 
Let that grace now like a fetter, 
Bind my wandering heart to Thee. 
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, 
Prone to leave the God I love; 
Here's my heart, O take and seal it, 
Seal it for Thy courts above. 

Here's my heart, O take and seal it, 
Seal it for Thy courts above. 


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Call to Confession

Leader: We know that nothing is able to separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ;
therefore, let us confess our sins to God.

—based on Romans 8:39"

Prayer of Confession


People: Almighty God, to you all hearts are open,
all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid:
Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you, worthily magnify your holy Name;
through Christ our Lord, Amen.


Silent Confession & Words of Pardon

Leader: Hear the good news: 
in Christ, you are granted God's favor and baptized into his church.
Know that you are forgiven, and be at peace!

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 15:1-21, NRSV

Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord: “I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; horse and rider he has thrown into the sea. 2The Lord is my strength and my might, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him. 3The Lord is a warrior; the Lord is his name. 4“Pharaoh’s chariots and his army he cast into the sea; his picked officers were sunk in the Red Sea. 5The floods covered them; they went down into the depths like a stone. 6Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power— your right hand, O Lord, shattered the enemy. 7In the greatness of your majesty you overthrew your adversaries; you sent out your fury, it consumed them like stubble. 8At the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up, the floods stood up in a heap; the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea. 9The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil, my desire shall have its fill of them. I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.’ 10You blew with your wind, the sea covered them; they sank like lead in the mighty waters. 11“Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in splendor, doing wonders? 12You stretched out your right hand, the earth swallowed them. 13“In your steadfast love you led the people whom you redeemed; you guided them by your strength to your holy abode. 14The peoples heard, they trembled; pangs seized the inhabitants of Philistia. 15Then the chiefs of Edom were dismayed; trembling seized the leaders of Moab; all the inhabitants of Canaan melted away. 16Terror and dread fell upon them; by the might of your arm, they became still as a stone until your people, O Lord, passed by, until the people whom you acquired passed by. 17You brought them in and planted them on the mountain of your own possession, the place, O Lord, that you made your abode, the sanctuary, O Lord, that your hands have established. 18The Lord will reign forever and ever.” 19When the horses of Pharaoh with his chariots and his chariot drivers went into the sea, the Lord brought back the waters of the sea upon them; but the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground. 20Then the prophet Miriam, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing. 21And Miriam sang to them: “Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.”

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

Sermon
Sermon Series: It Takes Practice
Sermon Title: Worship
Speaker: Don Overton


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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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Instrumental Reflection


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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

Arise My Soul Arise

Arise, my soul, arise, 
shake off your 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 every race, 
His blood atoned for every 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.  

Chorus


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Minister: The Lord bless you and keep you; 
the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.

People: Amen

 —based on Numbers 6:24-26, NIV

Dismissal

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

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