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Reflections

For Christians are no different from other people in terms of their country, language, or customs. Nowhere do they inhabit cities of their own, use a strange dialect, or live life out of the ordinary... They inhabit both Greek and barbarian cities, according to the lot assigned to each. And they show forth the character of their own citizenship in a marvelous and admittedly paradoxical way by following local customs in what they wear and what they eat and in the rest of their lives... Every foreign territory is a homeland for them, every homeland foreign territory. They marry like everyone else and have children, but they do not (abandon) them once they are born. They share their meals but not their sexual partners... They love everyone and are persecuted by all... To put the matter simply, what the soul is in the body, this is what Christians are in the world.

from The Epistle to Diognetius, 2nd century


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Gathering Before God
March 3, 2019
8th Sunday of Epiphany
Main Line Campus

Opening Sentences

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


Jesus, Everlasting King

Chorus:
Jesus, everlasting King,
Accept the tribute which we bring;
Accept the well deserved renown,
And wear our praises as Your crown.

O send Your Spirit to impart
Rest and repentance to our hearts,
Like the dear hour when from above
We first received Your pledge of love.

Chorus

The gladness of redemptions day,
Our hearts would wish it long to stay,
Nor let our faith forsake its hold,
Nor comforts sink, or love grow cold.

Chorus

May every time of worship see
Your grace revealed more rich and free,
Till we are raised to sing Your name
At the great supper of the Lamb.

Chorus

O that the months would roll away
And bring the coronation day;
The King of Grace shall fill the throne
With all His Fathers glories on.

Chorus


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Greeting & Preparation

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


Call to Worship 

Leader: The glory of God shines like a consuming fire. 
People: We have seen the glory of God
in the face of Jesus Christ. 

Leader: The voice of God thunders like a mighty storm. 
People: We have seen the glory of God
in the face of Jesus Christ. 

Leader: Glory to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit; 
People: we have seen the glory of God
in the face of Jesus Christ. 



—based on Psalm 50:1; 2 Corinthians 4:6

Prayer of Invocation


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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.


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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


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Call to Confession

Leader: God alone is righteous;
God alone is perfect;
God alone is judge.
Rejoicing in God's grace, let us confess our sin. 

—based on Psalm 50:2, 6


Prayer of Confession


People: God of all glory, 
we have tried to hide our faces from you,
yet you have never hidden your love for us.
We have tried to search for you, 
yet your have already revealed yourself to us
in the face of Jesus Christ. 
Forgive us, and transform us 
so that our lives may shine with your beauty,
glory, and grace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord- Amen. 


Silent Confession & Words of Pardon

Leader: This is the good news of the Gospel:
in Jesus Christ, we are forgiven!

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 19:1-6, NRSV

On the third new moon after the Israelites had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that very day, they came into the wilderness of Sinai. 2They had journeyed from Rephidim, entered the wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness; Israel camped there in front of the mountain. 3Then Moses went up to God; the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the Israelites: 4You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5Now therefore, if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples. Indeed, the whole earth is mine, 6but you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the Israelites.”

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

Sermon
Sermon Series: It Takes Practice
Sermon Title: Mission
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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Thou Lovely Source Of True Delight

Thou lovely source of true delight 
Whom I unseen adore 
Unveil Thy beauties to my sight 
That I might love Thee more, 
Oh that I might love Thee more.

Thy glory o'er creation shines 
But in Thy sacred Word 
I read in fairer, brighter lines 
My bleeding, dying Lord, 
See my bleeding, dying Lord

Tis here, whene’er my comforts droop 
And sin and sorrow rise 
Thy love with cheering beams of hope 
My fainting heart supplies, 
My fainting hearts supplied

But ah! Too soon the pleasing scene 
Is clouded o'er with pain 
My gloomy fears rise dark between 
And I again complain, 
Oh and I again complain

Jesus, my Lord, my life, my light 
Oh come with blissful ray 
Break radiant through the shades of night 
And chase my fears away, 
Wont You chase my fears away

Then shall my soul with rapture trace 
The wonders of Thy love 
But the full glories of Thy face 
Are only known above, 
They are only known above


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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

Rejoice

Come and stand before your Maker
Full of wonder, full of fear
Come behold His power and glory
Yet with confidence draw near
For the one who holds the heavens
And commands the stars above
Is the God who bends to bless us
With an unrelenting love

Chorus: 
Rejoice, come and lift your hands and
Raise your voice, He is worthy of our praise
Rejoice, sing of mercies of your King
And with trembling, rejoice

We are children of the promise
The beloved of the Lord
Won with everlasting kindness
Bought with sacrificial blood
Bringing reconciliation
To a world that longs to know
The affections of a Father
Who will never let them go

Chorus

All our sickness, all our sorrows
Jesus carried up the hill
He has walked this path before us
He is walking with us still
Turning tragedy to triumph
Turning agony to praise
There is blessing in the battle
So take heart and stand amazed

Rejoice, when you cry to Him He hears
Your voice, He will wipe away your tears
Rejoice, in the midst of suffering
He will help you sing

Chorus


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Minister: May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely;
and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord
Jesus Christ.
People: Amen

—1 Thessalonians 5:23, NRSV

Dismissal

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

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