PAGE 2

Reflections

“What man sees depends both upon what he looks at and also upon what his previous visual-conception experience has taught him to see.” 

― Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

In 2015, I published a study that found 58% of patients at my hospital reported significant interest in discussing spirituality with their clinicians. Such discussions can be medically useful, as they help patients to engage more in the treatment process. Further, in another report, belief in God was associated with a significant reduction in depressive symptoms during treatment.

—David H. Rosmarin, Assistant Professor Harvard Medical School, "Psychologists Shouldn't Ignore the Soul"
Op-ed in the Wall Street Journal


I pity celebrities, no I really do – Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, and Barbara Streisand, were once perfectly pleasant human beings. But now their wrath is awful. I think when God wants to play a really rotten practical joke on you he grants you your deepest wish and then laughs merrily when you realize you want to kill yourself. You see Sly, Bruce, and Barbara wanted fame. They worked, they pushed and the morning after each of them became famous they wanted to take an overdose. Because that giant thing they were striving for, that fame thing that was going to make everything OK, that was going to make their lives bearable, that was going to provide them with personal fulfillment and happiness had happened and they were still them. The disillusionment turned them howling and insufferable. 

—Cynthia Heimel, “Tongue in Chic”
column in The Village Voice


PAGE 3

Gathering Before God
January 6, 2019
Epiphany Sunday
Main Line Campus

Opening Sentences

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


Hail To The Lord’s Anointed

Chorus: 
Hail to the Lord’s anointed, 
great David’s greater Son! 
Hail in the time appointed, 
His reign on earth begun!
His reign on earth begun!

He comes to break oppression, 
 to set the captive free, 
To take away transgression, 
and rule in equity, 

Chorus

He comes with comfort speedy 
 to those who suffer wrong, 
To help the poor and needy, 
 and for the weak is strong

To give them songs for signing, 
 their darkness turn to light, 
Whose souls, condemned and dying, 
 are precious in His sight

Chorus

He shall come down like showers
  upon the fruitful earth, 
Love, joy, and hope, like flowers,
 spring in His path to birth

Kings shall fall down before Him,
and gold and incense bring;
All nations shall adore Him,
 His praise all people sing

Chorus

The tide of time shall never
 His covenant remove. 
His Name shall stand forever,
 That Name to us is Love

Chorus


PAGE 4

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


PAGE 5

Wonderful Merciful Savior

Wonderful, merciful Savior,
Precious Redeemer and Friend;
Who would have thought that a Lamb
Could rescue the souls of men?
Oh, You rescue the souls of men.

 Chorus:  
You are the One that we praise,
You are the One we adore.
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for,
Oh, our hearts always hunger for.

 Counselor, Comforter, Keeper,
Spirit we long to embrace;
You offer hope when our hearts
Have hopelessly lost the way,
Oh, we hopelessly lost the way. 

Chorus

 Almighty, infinite Father,
Faithfully loving Your own;
Here in our weakness You find us
Falling before Your throne,
Oh, we're falling before Your throne.

Chorus (2x)



Music & lyrics by Dawn Rodgers & Eric Wyse. Chorus by Jack Schrader, 1989.  Music and lyrics by Sandra McCracken, 2015.


PAGE 6

Reckless Love

Before I spoke a word, 
You were singing over me
You have been so, so good to me
Before I took a breath, 
You breathed Your life in me
You have been so, so kind to me

Chorus:
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending,
 reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights 'til I'm found,
 leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn't earn it, and I don't deserve it, 
 still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending,
 reckless love of God.

When I was Your foe, 
still Your love fought for me
You have been so, so good to me
When I felt no worth, 
You paid it all for me
You have been so, so kind to me

Chorus

Bridge:
There’s no shadow You won't light up
Mountain You won't climb up
Coming after me
There's no wall You won't kick down
Lie You won't tear down
Coming after me


Chorus


by Cory Asbury


PAGE 7

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


PAGE 8

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: Don Overton


PAGE 9

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)"


PAGE 10

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. 


PAGE 11

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.


PAGE 12

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.  


PAGE 13


Who Is This?

Who is this, so weak and helpless,
Child of lowly Hebrew maid,
Rudely in a stable sheltered,
Coldly in a manger laid?
’Tis the Lord of all creation,
Who this wondrous path has trod;
He is Lord from everlasting,
And to everlasting God.

Who is this, a Man of Sorrows,
Walking sadly life’s hard way,
Homeless, weary, sighing, weeping
Over sin and Satan’s sway?
’Tis our God, our glorious Savior,
Who above the starry sky
Is for us a place preparing,
Where no tear can dim the eye.

Who is this? Behold him shedding
Drops of blood upon the ground!
Who is this, despised, rejected,
Mocked, insulted, beaten, bound?
’Tis our God, Who gifts and graces
On His church is pouring down;
Who shall give his holy presence
To all who bow before His throne.

Who is this that hangs there dying
While the rude world scoffs and scorns,
Numbered with the malefactors,
Torn with nails, and crowned with thorns?
’Tis our God Who lives forever
’Mid the shining ones on high,
In the glorious golden city,
Reigning everlastingly.


PAGE 14

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.


PAGE 15

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 every 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 power of Christ in me
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand
Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.


PAGE 16

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!

Comment