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Reflections

Through many dangers, toils and snares
We have already come.
T'was grace that brought us safe thus far
And grace will lead us home,
And grace will lead us home

—John Newton, from the hymn “Amazing Grace”


We look for relief among experts in medicine and psychology; we go to museums to get a look at beauty. (this psalm) is an instance of a person who digs deeply into… (their) trouble and finds there the presence of the God who is on our side. In the details of the conflict, in the minuteness of a personal history, the majestic greatness of God becomes revealed. Faith develops out of the most difficult aspects of our existence, not the easiest.

—Eugene Peterson, from A Long Obedience in the Same Direction


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Gathering Before God
March 10, 2019
1st Sunday of Lent
Center City Campus

Opening Sentences

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

Faith's Review And Expectation

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound 
That saved a wretch like me! 
I once was lost, but now am found; 
Was blind, but now I see.

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, 
And grace my fears relieved; 
How precious did that grace appear 
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils, and snares 
I have already come;
'Tis grace that brought me safe thus far, 
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.



© 2010 Drink Your Tea Music
CCLI Song # 5859193 -- CCLI License # 3040322


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Greeting & Preparation

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


Call to Worship 

Leader: God does not remember us according to our sins
and our transgressions. 
People: God remembers us according to his own
steadfast love! 

Leader: The God of our salvation teaches us right paths
and leads us in truth. 
People: God remembers us according to his own
steadfast love! 

Leader: Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit; 
People: God remembers us according to his own
steadfast love! 

—based on Psalm 25


Prayer of Invocation


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Jesus, Lover of My Soul

Jesus, lover of my soul,
Let me to Thy bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll,
While the tempest still is high.
Hide me, O my Savior, hide,
’Til life’s storm is past;
Safe into the haven guide;
Receive my soul at last.

Other refuge have I none,
I helpless, hang on Thee;
Leave, oh leave me not alone,
Support and comfort me.
All my trust on Thee is stayed,
All help from Thee I bring;
Cover my defenseless head
In the shadow of Thy wing.

Thou, O Christ, are all I want,
Here more than all I find;
Raise the fallen, cheer the faint,
Heal the sick, and lead the blind.
Just and holy is Thy Name,
I am all unrighteousness;
False and full of sin I am;
Thou art full of truth and grace.

Plenteous grace with Thee is found,
Grace to cover all my sin;
Let the healing streams abound;
Make and keep me pure within.
Thou of life the fountain art,
Let me take of Thee;
Spring Thou up within my heart;
For all eternity.



©2000 Greg Thompson.  Words:  Charles Wesley.  Music:  Greg Thompson.


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Go To Dark Gethsemane

Go to dark Gethsemane
Ye that feel the tempter’s pow’r
Your Redeemer’s conflict see
Watch with Him one bitter hour
Turn not from His griefs away
Learn of Jesus Christ to pray
Learn of Jesus Christ to pray
Learn of Jesus Christ to pray

See him at the judgement hall
beaten, bound, reviled arraigned
O the wormwood and the gall!
O the pangs His soul sustained!
Shun not suffering, shame, or loss;
Learn of Christ to bear the cross
Learn of Christ to bear the cross
Learn of Christ to bear the cross

Calvary’s mournful mountain climb
There, adoring at His feet
Mark that miracle of time,
God’s own sacrifice complete
“It is finished!” hear Him cry;
Learn of Jesus Christ to die
Learn of Jesus Christ to die
Learn of Jesus Christ to die

Early hasten to the tomb
Where they laid His breathless clay
All is solitude and gloom
Who has taken Him away?
Christ is risen! He meets our eyes;
Savior, teach us so to rise
Savior, teach us so to rise
Savior, teach us so to rise


Author James Montgomery, 1991. Music by Kevin Twit.


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Call to Confession

Leader: God remains faithful to the covenant of steadfast love;
even when we are unfaithful.
Without fear, then, let us confess our sins. 

—from Genesis 9


Prayer of Confession


People:  Holy One, we have not remembered you,
not remembered our neighbors,
and not remembered the poor.
O Lord, be gracious to us;
heal us, for we have sinned against you.
In Jesus name we ask it- Amen.


Silent Confession & Words of Pardon

Leader: Jesus Christ,
who is at the right hand of God,
forgives us and reconciles us
and all things in heaven and on earth.
Know that you are forgiven, and be at peace! 

—from 1 Peter 3:22




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
 Psalm 91, NRSV


1 You who live in the shelter of the Most High,
   who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, 
2 will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress;
   my God, in whom I trust.’ 
3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
   and from the deadly pestilence; 
4 he will cover you with his pinions,
   and under his wings you will find refuge;
   his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. 
5 You will not fear the terror of the night,
   or the arrow that flies by day, 
6 or the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
   or the destruction that wastes at noonday. 
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
   ten thousand at your right hand,
   but it will not come near you. 
8 You will only look with your eyes
   and see the punishment of the wicked. 
9 Because you have made the Lord your refuge,
   the Most High your dwelling-place, 
10 no evil shall befall you,
   no scourge come near your tent. 
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
   to guard you in all your ways. 
12 On their hands they will bear you up,
   so that you will not dash your foot against a stone. 
13 You will tread on the lion and the adder,
   the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot. 
14 Those who love me, I will deliver;
   I will protect those who know my name. 
15 When they call to me, I will answer them;
   I will be with them in trouble,
   I will rescue them and honour them. 
16 With long life I will satisfy them,
 and show them my salvation.

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

Sermon
Sermon Series: A Praying Life
Sermon Title: Trust
Speaker: Jared Ayers


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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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O the Deep Deep Love of Jesus

O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean
In its fullness o—ver me!
Underneath me, all around me,
Is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward
To Thy glorious rest above! 

O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth,
 Changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones,
Died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth,
Watcheth o’er them from the throne!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Love of every love the best!
’Tis an ocean vast of blessing,
’Tis a haven sweet of rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus,
’Tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory,
For it lifts me up to Thee! 


Words by Samuel Trevor Francis.
Music by Welsh Melody (adapt. Thomas John Williams)



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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

The Church’s One Foundation

The church’s one foundation
Is Jesus Christ her Lord,
She is His new creation
By water and the Word.
From heaven He came and sought her
To be His holy bride;
With His own blood He bought her,
And for her life He died.

Elect from every nation,
Yet one over all the earth;
Her charter of salvation,
One Lord, one faith, one birth;
One holy Name she blesses,
Partakes one holy food,
And to one hope she presses,
With every grace endued.

Mid toil and tribulation,
And tumult of her war,
She waits the consummation
 Of peace forevermore;
’Til, with the vision glorious,
Her longing eyes are blessed,
 And the great church victorious
Shall be the church at rest.

Yet she on earth hath union
With God the Three in One,
And mystic sweet communion
With those whose rest is won.
O happy ones and holy!
Lord, give us grace that we
Like them, the meek and lowly,
On high may dwell with Thee.

© Music by Samuel S. Wesley, 1864. Lyrics by Samuel J. Stone, 1866. 


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Minister: Glory to God whose power, working in us,
can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine:
Glory to him from generation to generation in the Church,
and in Christ Jesus forever and ever. 

People: Amen

—Ephesians 3:20-21

Dismissal

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

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