Gathering Before God
March 31, 2019
4th Sunday of Lent
Main Line Campus

Opening Sentences

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

Crown him with many crowns

Crown him with many crowns, 
The Lamb upon his throne, 
Hark! how the heav’nly anthem drowns 
All music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing
Of him who died for thee,
And hail him as thy matchless King 
Through all eternity.

Crown him the Lord of love; 
Behold his hands and side, 
Those wounds, yet visible above, 
In beauty glorified.
All hail, Redeemer, hail!
For thou hast died for me; 
Thy praise and glory shall not fail 
Throughout eternity

Crown him the Lord of life, 
Who triumphed o'er the grave, 
And rose victorious in the strife 
For those he came to save. 
His glories now we sing, 
Who died, and rose on high, 
Who died, eternal life to bring, 
And lives that death may die.

Crown him the Lord of Heav’n 
One with the Father known
One with the Spirit through him giv’n 
From yonder glorious throne.
To thee be endless praise
For thou for us has died
Be thou, O Lord, through endless days 
Adored and magnified


Greeting & Preparation

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

Call to Worship 

Leader: O give thanks to the Lord, who is good; 
People: God's steadfast love endure forever. 

Leader: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; 
People: God's steadfast love endures forever. 

—from Psalm 107

Prayer of Invocation


By Thy Mercy

Jesus, Lord of life and glory,
Bend from heaven thy gracious ear;
While our waiting souls adore thee,
Friend of helpless sinners, hear:

From the depth of nature's blindness,
From the hardening power of sin,
From all malice and unkindness, 
From the pride that lurks within,

By thy mercy, O deliver us, good Lord,  good Lord.
By thy mercy, O deliver us, good Lord, good Lord.

When temptation sorely presses, 
In the day of Satan's power,
In our times of deep distresses,
In each dark and trying hour.

When the world around is smiling,
In the time of wealth and ease,
Earthly joys our hearts beguiling, 
In the day of health and peace. 


In the weary hours of sickness,
In the times of grief and pain,
When we feel our mortal weakness, 
When all human help is vain.

In the solemn hour of dying, 
In the awful judgment day,
May our souls, on thee relying,
Find thee still our Rock and Stay. 



Before The Throne of God Above

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong, a perfect plea,
A great High Priest whose name is Love,
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart;
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart,
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God the Just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me,
To look on Him and pardon me.

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Praise the One, Risen Son of God!

Behold Him there! the risen Lamb,
My perfect, spotless Righteousness;
The great unchangeable I Am,
The King of glory and of grace!
One with Himself I cannot die,
My soul is purchased by His blood;
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ, my Savior and my God,
With Christ, my Savior and my God.



Call to Confession

Leader: Light has come into the world,
but people have loved darkness rather than light
because their deeds were evil. 

—John 3:19

Prayer of Confession

People:  Everlasting God,
fountain of all life and the true home of every heart:
our hearts are restless until they rest in you.
Yet we confess that our hearts have been enslaved
by selfish passion and base desire.
We have sought after many things
and have neglected the one thing needful.
We have not loved you with our whole hearts;
help us to turn to you and find forgiveness.
Lead us home, that we may again find in you
our life and joy and peace. Amen.

Silent Confession & Words of Pardon

Leader: God did not send the Son into the world
to condemn the world,
but in order that the world might be saved through him.
In the name of Christ, you are forgiven! 

—John 3:17

Song of Response-  Kyrie Eleison

Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy
Lord have mercy, on us.

Passing the Peace & Announcements


The Word of God

Prayer for Illumination & Scripture Reading
Psalm 32, NRSV

1Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.

2Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

3While I kept silence,
my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.

4For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; 
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah

5Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not hide my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah

6Therefore let all who are faithful offer prayer to you;
at a time of distress,
the rush of mighty waters shall not reach them.

7You are a hiding place for me;
you preserve me from trouble; 
  you surround me with glad cries of deliverance. Selah

8I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

9Do not be like a horse or a mule,
without understanding,
     whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle,
else it will not stay near you.

10Many are the torments of the wicked,
but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the Lord.

11Be glad in the Lord and rejoice,
O righteous, and shout for joy,
     all you upright in heart.

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

Sermon Series: A Praying Life
Sermon Title: Confession
Speaker: Don Overton


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.

(1that is, the true Christian church of all times and all places).


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!

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

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. 


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.


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.  


Lift up Thy bleeding hand, O Lord

When wounded sore, the stricken heart 
Lies bleeding and unbound, 
One only hand, a pierced hand, 
Can salve the sinner's wound.

When sorrow swells the laden breast, 
And tears of anguish flow, 
One only heart, a broken heart, 
Can feel the sinner's woe.

Lift up Thy bleeding hand, O Lord, 
Unseal that cleansing tide; 
We have no shelter from our sin 
But in Thy wounded side.

When penitential grief has wept 
O'er some foul dark spot, 
One only stream, a stream of blood, 
Can wash away the blot.

'Tis Jesus' blood that washes white, 
His hand that brings relief, 
His heart that's touched with all our joys, 
And feels for all our grief.



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.


Sending into God’s World



Minister: May God, who gives us a new vision of life through the cross, enlighten our understanding,
inflame our affections, and enable us to walk the way of the cross.
And may the love of God—the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit—
surround us as we seek to discern that love.
People: Amen


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