Reflections


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Gathering Before God
January 27, 2019
3rd Sunday of Epiphany
Center City Campus

Opening Sentences

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


Praise to the Lord the Almighty

Praise to the Lord, 
The Almighty, the King of creation
O my soul, praise him, 
For he is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear; now to his temple draw near,
Join me in glad adoration.

Praise to the Lord, 
Who o'er all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under his wings, 
Yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how thy desires e'er have been
Granted in what he ordaineth?

Praise to the Lord, 
Who doth prosper thy work and defend thee!
Surely his goodness and mercy 
Here daily attend thee;
Ponder anew what the Almighty will do,
For with his love he befriend thee!

Praise to the Lord!
O let all that is in me adore him!
All that hath life and breath,
Come now with praises before him.
Let the Amen sound from his people again;
Gladly for aye we adore him.

Let the Amen sound from his people again;
Gladly for aye we adore him.


Joachim Neader (1680)
LOBE DEN HERREN Stralsund Gesangbuch, 1665


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Greeting & Preparation

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


Call to Worship 


Leader: O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; 
People: let the whole earth tremble before him! 

Leader: Tell it out among the nations that the Lord is King; 
People: let the whole earth tremble before him. 

Leader: Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit; 
People: let the whole earth tremble before him. 

—from Psalm 96

Prayer of Invocation


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All Creatures of our God and King

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

Thou rushing wind that art so strong
Ye clouds that sail in heav'n along
Oh, praise Him!
Alleluia!
Thou rising moon in praise rejoice
Ye lights of evening find a voice
Oh, praise Him!
Oh, praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Let all things their Creator bless
And worship Him in humbleness
Oh, praise Him!
Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father praise the Son
And praise the Spirit three in one
Oh, praise Him!
Oh, praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Alleluia! 


Saint Francis of Assisi (1225)
LASST UNS ERFREUEN Geistliche Kirchensesang, 1623 alt. Ralph Vaughan Williams, 1906



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Lord I Need You

Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You're the One that guides my heart

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Where sin runs deep Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
Where You are, Lord, I am free
Holiness is Christ in me

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

So teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
When I cannot stand I'll fall on You
Jesus, You're my hope and stay

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You


Christy Nockels | Daniel Carson | Jesse Reeves | Kristian Stanfill | Matt Maher, 2011


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Call to Confession

Leader: Trusting in the promise of grace, let us pour out our hearts before God. 

—from Psalm 62:8

Prayer of Confession


People: Forgiving God, 
we repent of all the ways we turn from you. 
You call, but we do not listen; 
you show us your path, 
but we prefer our own way. 
Forgive us, heal us, and lead us back to you, 
that we might show your mercy to others. 
In Jesus' name we pray; Amen.


Silent Confession & Words of Pardon

Leader: This is the word of the Lord: 
in Jesus Christ, you are forgiven by God and given new life. 

—1 Corinthians 7:31

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
Colossians 1:15-29, NRSV

15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. 17He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. 19For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross. 21And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him— 23provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven. I, Paul, became a servant of this gospel. 24I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church. 25I became its servant according to God’s commission that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26the mystery that has been hidden throughout the ages and generations but has now been revealed to his saints. 27To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28It is he whom we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29For this I toil and struggle with all the energy that he powerfully inspires within me.

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

Sermon

Sermon Title: Realistic Hope
Speaker: Matt Looloian


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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: 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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Guide Me Oh Thou Great Jehovah

Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah,
Pilgrim through this barren land. 
I am weak, but Thou art mighty; 
Hold me with Thy powerful hand.
Bread of heaven,
Feed me now and evermore;
Bread of heaven,
Feed me now and evermore.

Open now the crystal fountain,
Whence the healing waters flow;
Let the fire and cloudy pillar
Lead me all my journey through.
Strong Deliverer,
Be Thou still my Strength and Shield.
Strong Deliverer,
Be Thou still my Strength and Shield.

When I tread the verge of Jordan,
Bid my anxious fears subside; 
Death of death, and hell's destruction,
Land me safe on Canaan's side.
Songs of praises, I will ever give to Thee;
Songs of praises, I will ever give to Thee.


Land me safe on Canaan's side
Bid my anxious fears, bid my anxious fears
Land me safe on Canaan's side
Bid my anxious fears, bid my anxious fears, goodbye



William Williams (1717-1791), Alt. Jeremy Casella
Jeremy Casella, 2002


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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


We Will Feast in the House of Zion

We will feast in the house of Zion
We will sing with our hearts restored
He has done great things, we will say together
We will feast and weep no more

We will not be burned by the fire
He is the LORD our God
We are not consumed, by the flood
Upheld, protected, gathered up

We will feast in the house of Zion
We will sing with our hearts restored
He has done great things, we will say together
We will feast and weep no more

In the dark of night, before the dawn
My soul, be not afraid
For the promised morning, oh how long?
Oh God of Jacob, be my strength

We will feast in the house of Zion
We will sing with our hearts restored
He has done great things, we will say together

We will feast and weep no more
Every vow we've broken and betrayed
You are the Faithful one
And from the garden to the grave
Bind us together, bring shalom

We will feast in the house of Zion
We will sing with our hearts restored
He has done great things, we will say together
We will feast and weep no more

We will feast in the house of Zion
We will sing with our hearts restored
He has done great things, we will say together
We will feast and weep no more


Sandra McCracken and Joshua Moore, 2015


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Benediction

Minister: May God, the Holy Trinity,
make you strong in faith and love,
defend you on every side,
and guide you in truth and peace;
and the blessing of God Almighty,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.

People: Amen.

Dismissal

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

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