Christ loved you before you existed; he created you; he predestined you before the foundation of the world; once created through the agency of your father and mother… he loved you, he created you… he gave himself up for you, he listened to insults for you, he endured wounds for you, he redeemed you with his blood. Aren’t you overwhelmed, and won’t you say, ‘What shall I give back to the Lord for all that he has given to me?’ What will you give back to the Lord for all he has given to you? …Why don’t you find something you can give back to the Lord? Give him back yourself, give him back what he has made. Give him back yourself…

—Augustine of Hippo

The way of Jesus is not the way of being relevant, spectacular, and powerful. Rather, it’s the way of downward mobility.

Henri Nouwen, from In the Name of Jesus:
Reflections on Christian Leadership


Gathering Before God
April 14, 2019
Palm/Passion Sunday
Center City Campus

Opening Sentences

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

Come Thou Fount

Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing Thy grace.
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
 call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise His mount! I'm fixed upon it,
mount of Thy redeeming love.

Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
hither by Thy help I'm come;
and I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
interposed His precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor,
daily I'm constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for Thy courts above.


Greeting & Preparation

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

Call to Worship 

Leader: Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! 
People: Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! 

Leader: Lo, your King comes to you; 
People: triumphant and victorious is he, 

Leader: humble and riding on a donkey, 
People: on a colt, the foal of a donkey. 

Leader: Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit; 
People: shout aloud, O daughter of Zion! 

—from Zechariah 9:9

Prayer of Invocation


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.


O Love That Will Not Let Me Go

O Love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be

CCLI Song # 2754679 -- CCLI License # 3040322


In Covenant Membership

Stories Of God’s Work & Vows


Minister:        Do you renounce sin and the power of evil in your life and in the world?
Candidate:    I renounce them.

Minister:        Who is your Lord and Savior?
Candidate:    Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior

Minister:        Will you be a faithful covenant member of Liberti Church,
                      and through a life of worship, community,
                      and mercy seek to advance God’s purposes here and throughout the world?
Candidate:    I will, and I ask God to help me. 

Minister:        Do you promise to accept the spiritual guidance of the church and its leaders,
                      to walk in a spirit of Christian love with this congregation,
                      and to seek those things that make for unity, purity, and peace?
Candidate:    I do. 

Liberti Church

Minister:        Do you promise to love, encourage, and support these brothers and sisters
                      by teaching them the gospel, by being an example of Christian faith and character,             
                      and by giving the strong support of God’s family in fellowship, prayer, and service?
People:          We do.



Confessions Of Faith—The Apostles’ Creed 

Minister:    Let us affirm our faith together in the words of the Apostles’ creed:
                  Do you believe in God the Father?
People:     We believe in God, the Father Almighty,
                 maker of heaven and earth. 

Minister:    Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?
People:     We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,       
                 who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
                 born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried.
                 He descended into hell the third day He rose again from the dead.
                 He ascended into heaven, and is seated on the right hand of God the Father almighty.
                 From there He will come to judge the living and the dead. 

Minister:    Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit?
People:     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) 

Prayer Of Thanksgiving

Minister:    Almighty God, by the love of Jesus Christ you draw people to faith,
                  and welcome them into the church family.
                  May we show your joy by embracing new brothers and sisters, who with us believe
                  and with us will work to serve you. Keep us close together in your Spirit,
                  breaking bread in faith and in love, one with Jesus Christ our Lord and Master. Amen. 

Passing The Peace & Announcements


The Word of God

Prayer for Illumination & Scripture Reading
Psalm 118, NRSV

1O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever! 2Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures forever.” 3Let the house of Aaron say, “His steadfast love endures forever.” 4Let those who fear the Lord say, “His steadfast love endures forever.” 5Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me in a broad place. 6With the Lord on my side I do not fear. What can mortals do to me? 7The Lord is on my side to help me; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me. 8It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in mortals. 9It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in princes. 10All nations surrounded me; in the name of the Lord I cut them off! 11They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side; in the name of the Lord I cut them off! 12They surrounded me like bees; they blazed like a fire of thorns; in the name of the Lord I cut them off! 13I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the Lord helped me. 14The Lord is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation. 15There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous: “The right hand of the Lord does valiantly; 16the right hand of the Lord is exalted; the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.” 17I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord. 18The Lord has punished me severely, but he did not give me over to death. 19Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord. 20This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it. 21I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation. 22The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. 23This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. 24This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. 25Save us, we beseech you, O Lord! O Lord, we beseech you, give us success! 26Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord. 27The Lord is God, and he has given us light. Bind the festal procession with branches, up to the horns of the altar. 28You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God, I will extol you. 29O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.

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

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


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.  


Before The Throne of God Above

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and 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.

Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace,
One in 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!

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
With Christ my Savior and my God


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


Solid Rock

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus' name 

On Christ the solid rock I stand

All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand 

When darkness seems to hide His face, 
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale, 
my anchor holds within the veil 


His oath, His covenant, His blood 
Support me in the whelming flood 
When all around my soul gives way, 
He then is all my hope and stay 


When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found
Dressed in His righteousness alone, 
Faultless to stand before the throne 


Music & lyrics by Isaac Wardell, 2012.


Minister: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
be with us all evermore.
People: Amen


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