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Reflections

One of the most interesting and remarkable things Christians learn is that laughter does not exclude weeping. Christian joy is not an escape from sorrow. Pain and hardship still come, but they are unable to drive out the happiness of the redeemed… joy comes because God knows how to wipe away tears, and, in his resurrection work, create the smile of new life. Joy is what God gives, not what we work up.

Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction:
Discipleship in an Instant Society


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Gathering Before God
April 7, 2019
5th Sunday of Lent
Main Line Campus

Opening Sentences

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

Nothing But The Blood 

What can wash away my sin?
 Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Chorus:
Oh, precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow,
No other fount I know
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For my pardon, this my plea! 
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
For my cleansing this I see
 Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Chorus

Nothing can for sin atone,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Naught of good that I have done,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Chorus

This is all my hope and peace
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
This is all my righteousness
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Chorus


Music and lyrics by Robert Lowry and William Doane, 1876.


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Greeting & Preparation

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


Call to Worship 


Leader: Let us worship God.
People: “He is our refuge and our fortress,
our God, in whom we trust.”

Leader: Let us confess with our mouths, “Jesus is Lord,”
and believe in our hearts that God raised him
from the dead. 
People: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Let us call upon our true God,
believing him in our hearts,
confessing him with our mouths,
worshiping him in spirit and in truth.

—based on Psalm 91:2; Romans 10:9, 13

Prayer of Invocation


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


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Call to Confession

Leader: 3If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
Lord, who could stand?
4But there is forgiveness with you,
so that you may be revered.

—Psalm 130:3-4


Prayer of Confession


People:  Merciful God,
for the things we have done that we regret, forgive us.
For the things we have failed to do that we regret, forgive us.
For all the times we have acted without love, forgive us.
For all the times we have reacted without thought, forgive us.
For all the times we have withdrawn care, forgive us.
For all the times we have failed to forgive, forgive us.
For hurtful words said and helpful words unsaid,
for unfinished tasks and unfulfilled hopes,
God of all time,
forgive us and help us to lay down our burden of regret. Amen.


Silent Confession & Words of Pardon

Leader: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him
may not perish but may have eternal life.
Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world,
but in order that the world might be saved through him.” 

—John 3:16-17


Song of Response-  Kyrie Eleison


Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy
Lord have mercy, on us.
(Repeat)


Passing the Peace & Announcements


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The Word of God

Prayer for Illumination & Scripture Reading
Psalm 126, NRSV

1When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, 

we were like those who dream.

2Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”

3The Lord has done great things for us,
and we rejoiced.

4Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
like the watercourses in the Negeb.

5May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy.

6Those who go out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
carrying their sheaves.


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

Sermon
Sermon Series: A Praying Life
Sermon Title: Joy
Speaker: Vito Baldini


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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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We Will Feast in the House of Zion

Chorus:
We will feast in the house of Zion
We will sing with our hearts restored
He has done great things, we will say together
We will feast and weep no more

We will not be burned by the fire
He is the LORD our God
We are not consumed, by the flood
Upheld, protected, gathered up 

Chorus

In the dark of night, before the dawn
My soul, be not afraid
For the promised morning, oh how long?
Oh God of Jacob, be my strength

Chorus

Every vow we’ve broken and betrayed
You are the Faithful one
And from the garden to the grave
Bind us together, bring shalom.


Chorus


© 2015 Drink Your Tea Music (Admin. by Music Services, Inc.) and joshmooreownsthismusic (Admin. by Music Services, Inc.) 


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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

On Jordan’s Stormy Banks

On Jordan’s stormy banks I stand,
And cast a wishful eye
To Canaan’s fair and happy land,
Where my possessions lie.

All o’er those wide extended plains,
Shines one eternal day;
There God the Son forever reigns,
And scatters night away.

Chorus:
I am bound (I am bound)
I am bound (I am bound)
I am bound for promised land,
I am bound (I am bound)
I am bound (I am bound)
I am bound for promised land.

No chilling winds nor poisonous breath
Can reach that healthful shore;
Sickness, sorrow, pain and death,
Are felt and feared no more.

Chorus

When shall I reach that happy place,
And be forever blessed?
When shall I see my Father’s face,
And in His bosom rest?

Chorus



Words: Samuel Stennett. Music: Christopher Miner.
©1997 Christopher Miner Music.


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Minister: May the love of the cross, 
the power of the resurrection, 
and the presence of the living Lord 
be with you always. 
And the blessing of the eternal God, 
creator and sustainer, 
risen and ascended Lord and Savior, 
giver of holiness and love, 
be upon you now and evermore.
People: Amen

Dismissal

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

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