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Reflections

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

—J.R.R. Tolkein, from “The Song of Aragorn”
in The Fellowship of the Ring

Most people say their big encounters with God happen because they thought their whole life was on a detour. They were in the wrong job; they were in the wrong city; they were in the wrong relationship. A lot of us feel like we’re in the wrong body because we’re not supposed to have a body that looks like this... There’s an irony for the narrator of Exodus to say that Moses was on a detour. How could one of the epochal meetings between a human being and God be a detour? But over and over again, God meets us in the wilderness; he meets us in the desert. When we think our life is on a detour, it’s really “spiritual main street.” When we think everything is going wrong, it’s going wrong because it forces us to think in ways that we would never have thought otherwise. It forces us to seek in ways we wouldn’t have sought otherwise. When things aren’t going according to your plan, when you think you’re on a back road, it’s main street, spiritually.

—Tim Keller


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Gathering Before God
January 6, 2019
Epiphany Sunday
Center City Campus

Opening Sentences

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

Come Thou Almighty King

Come, thou almighty King,
help us thy name to sing;
help us to praise.
Father, all glorious,
o’er all victorious,
come, and reign over us,
Ancient of Days.

Come, thou incarnate Word,
gird on thy mighty sword;
scatter thy foes.
Let thine almighty aid
our sure defense be made,
our souls on thee be stayed;
thy wonders show.

Come, holy Comforter,
thy sacred witness bear
in this glad hour.
Thou who almighty art,
now rule in every heart,
and ne’er from us depart,
Spirit of power.

To thee, great One in Three,
eternal praises be
hence evermore!
Thy sovereign majesty
may we in glory see,
and to eternity
love and adore.


© Public Domain
CCLI Song # 29073 -- CCLI License # 30403221


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Greeting & Preparation

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


Call to Worship 

Leader: Arise, shine, for your light has come; 
the glory of the Lord is rising upon you. 
People: Arise, shine, for your light has come; 
the glory of the Lord is rising upon you. 

Leader: God's salvation has been openly shown to all people. 
People: The glory of the Lord is rising upon you. 

Leader: Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit. 
People: Arise, shine, for your light has come; 
the glory of the Lord is rising upon you. 


—from Isaiah 60

Prayer of Invocation


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Immortal Invisible

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
in light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
almighty, victorious, thy great name we praise.

Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might:
thy justice, like mountains high soaring above,
thy clouds which are fountains of goodness and love.

To all, life thou givest, to both great and small;
in all life thou livest, the true life of all;
we blossom and flourish like leaves on the tree,
then wither and perish, but naught changeth thee.

Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight;
all praise we would render; O help us to see
’tis only the splendor of light hideth thee!



© Public Domain
CCLI Song # 124466 -- CCLI License # 30403221


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O For A Thousand Tongues

O for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of His grace!

My gracious Master and my God,
Assist me to proclaim,
To spread through all the earth abroad
The honors of Thy Name.

Chorus:
O for a thousand tongues
(O for a thousand tongues)
O for a thousand tongues
(O for a thousand tongues)
O for a thousand tongues to sing

Jesus! The Name that charms our fears,
That bids our sorrows cease;
’Tis music in the sinner’s ears,
’Tis life, and health, and peace.
He breaks the power of canceled sin,
He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean,
His blood availed for me.

Chorus

He speaks, and, listening to His voice,
New life the dead receive,
The mournful, broken hearts rejoice,
The humble poor believe.

Hear Him, ye deaf; His praise, ye dumb,
Your loosened tongues employ;
Ye blind, behold your Savior come,
And leap, ye lame, for joy

Chorus


© 1999 Kevin Twit
CCLI Song # 3112760 -- CCLI License # 30403221


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Call to Confession

Leader: The light has come into the world,
and people loved darkness rather than light
because their deeds were evil.
Let us confess our sin to God.

—based on John 3:19

Prayer of Confession


People: God of glory, 
you sent Jesus among us as the light of the world, 
to reveal your love for all people. 
We confess that our sin and pride
hide the brightness of your light. 
We turn away from the poor;
we ignore cries for justice;
we do not strive for peace.
In your mercy, cleanse us of our sin,
renew us by your Spirit,
that we may show forth your glory
shining in the face of Jesus Christ- Amen.

Silent Confession & Words of Pardon

Leader: The true light that gives light to everyone
was coming into the world.
To all who have received him,
to those who believe in his name,
he gave the right to become children of God.

—from John 1:9, 12

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 3:1-15, NRSV

Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. 3Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.” 4When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 5Then he said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” 6He said further, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

7Then the Lord said, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, 8and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 9The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. 10So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.”

11But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” 12He said, “I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.” 13But Moses said to God, “If I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” He said further, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’“ 15God also said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you’: This is my name forever, and this my title for all generations.

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

Sermon
Sermon Series: It Takes Practice
Sermon Title: Faith Takes Practice
Speaker: Jared Ayers


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icene 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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We Will Feast in the House of Zion

Chorus:
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 

Chorus

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


Chorus

Every vow we’ve broken and betrayed
You are the Faithful one
And from the garden to the grave
Bind us together, bring shalom.


Chorus


© 2015 Drink Your Tea Music (Admin. by Music Services, Inc.) and joshmooreownsthismusic (Admin. by Music Services, Inc.) 


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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


Doxology

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow
Praise Him, All creatures here be - low
Praise Him Above, Ye Heavenly Host
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost


Amen, Amen,
Amen, Amen.


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Benediction

Minister: May Christ, who sends us out into the world, give us the power of his Spirit. 
People: Amen.

Dismissal

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

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