Page 3 

GATHERING BEFORE GOD
October 26, 2014
Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost  

PRELUDE

GREETING AND PREPARATION

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

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. 
People: Let all the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you. 

Leader: The earth has brought forth its increase; God, our God, has blessed us. 
People: Let all the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you. 

 — Psalm 67:4-6, NRSV

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


Page 4 

ALL CREATURES OF OUR GOD & KING

All creatures of our God and King
Lift up your voice and with us sing
O praise Him, Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam
thou silver moon with softer gleam
O praise Him, O praise Him
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou rushing wind that art so strong
ye clouds that sail in Heav’n along
O praise Him, Alleluia!
Thou rising moon, in praise rejoice
ye lights of evening, find a voice
O praise Him, O praise Him
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Let all things their Creator bless
and worship Him in humbleness
O praise Him, Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son
and praise the Spirit, three in One
O praise Him, O praise Him
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!


Page 5 

LORD I NEED YOU

Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You're the One that guides my heart

CHORUS
Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Where sin runs deep Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are, Lord, I am free
Holiness is Christ in me

CHORUS

Teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand I'll fall on You
Jesus, You're my hope and stay

CHORUS

You're my one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You 


Page 6

CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader: Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.  

 — Isaiah 55:6-7 NRSV

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

People: God of the future, you are coming in power to bring all nations under your rule. We confess that we have not expected you kingdom, for we live casual lives, ignoring your promised judgment. We accept lies as truth, exploit our neighbors, and refuse your grace. In your mercy forgive us. Grant us wisdom to welcome your way, and to seek things that will         endure when Christ comes to judge the world. Amen.

SILENT CONFESSION

WORDS OF PARDON

Leader: You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 

 — Romans 5:6-8

SONG OF RESPONSE - TRISAGION  

Holy God. Holy and mighty.
Holy immortal One, have mercy, have mercy on us. 
(Repeat)

Holy God. Holy and mighty.
Holy immortal One, have mercy, have mercy
Have mercy, have mercy on us.

 PASSING THE PEACE


Page 7

THE WORD OF GOD

SCRIPTURE READING   

John 12:44-50 NRSV 

44Then Jesus cried aloud: “Whoever believes in me believes not in me but in him who sent me. 45And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. 46I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness. 47I do not judge anyone who hears my words and does not keep them, for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 48The one who rejects me and does not receive my word has a judge; on the last day the word that I have spoken will serve as judge, 49for I have not spoken on my own, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment about what to say and what to speak. 50And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I speak, therefore, I speak just as the Father has told me.”

Minister: This is the gospel of the Lord.
People: Praise to you O Christ! 

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION 

SERMON
Sermon series: The Story of Everything (Apostles' Creed)
Sermon title: The Judge
Speaker: Jared Ayers


REFLECTIONS

For many years I looked at life like a case at law. It was a series of proofs. When you’re young you prove how brave you are, or smart; then, what a good lover; then, a good father; finally, how wise, or powerful or (whatever). But underlying it all, I see now, there was a presumption. That one moved...on an upward path toward some elevation, where...God knows what...I would be justified, or even condemned. A verdict anyway. I think now that my disaster really began when I looked up one day...and the bench was empty. No judge in sight. And all that remained was the endless argument with oneself, this pointless litigation of existence before an empty bench... Which, of course, is another way of saying- despair.”

 — Quentin, from Arthur Miller’s After the Fall

If God were not angry at injustice and deception and did not make a final end to violence — that God would not be worthy of worship...The only means of prohibiting all recourse to violence by ourselves is to insist that violence is legitimate only when it comes from God...My thesis that the practice of non-violence requires a belief in divine vengeance will be unpopular with many...in the West...(but) it takes the quiet of a suburban home for the birth of the thesis that human non-violence (results from the belief in) God’s refusal to judge. In a sun-scorched land, soaked in the blood of the innocent, it will invariably die...(with) other pleasant captivities of the liberal mind. 

— Miroslav Volf, Exclusion and Embrace


Page 8 

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 catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.


Page 9

 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: Holy and right it is, and our joyful duty to give thanks to you at all times and in all places, O Lord our Creator, almighty and everlasting God! You created heaven with all its hosts and the earth with all its plenty. You have given us life and being, and preserve us by your providence. But you have shown us the fullness of your love in sending into the world your Son, Jesus Christ, the eternal Word, made flesh for us and for our salvation. For the precious gift of this mighty Savior who has reconciled us to you we praise and bless you, O God. With your whole Church on earth and with all the company of heaven we worship and adore your glorious name, saying: 

Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest! 
Holy, holy, holy, God of power and might.
The whole earth is full of Your glory,
hosanna in the highest! 

Minister: Most righteous God, we remember in this Supper the perfect sacrifice offered once on the cross by our Lord Jesus Christ for the sin of the whole world. In the joy of his resurrection and in expectation of his coming again, we offer ourselves to you as holy and living sacrifices. Together we proclaim the mystery of the faith.


Page 10

Your death, O Christ, we proclaim.
        Your rising celebrate!
Your coming Lord we await, to make all things new.
(REPEAT)

Minister: Send your Holy Spirit upon us, we pray, that the bread which we break and the cup which we bless may be to us the communion of the body and blood of Christ. Grant that, being joined together in him, we may attain to the unity of the faith and grow up in all things into Christ our Lord. And as this grain has been gathered from many fields into one loaf, and these grapes from many hills into one cup, grant, O Lord, that your whole Church may soon be gathered from the ends of the earth into your kingdom. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! 

 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.


Page 11

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.


Page 12 

HOW DEEP THE FATHER’S LOVE FOR US

How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give his only son,
And make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss!
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.

Behold the Man upon the cross,
My sin upon His shoulder.
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished!
His dying breath has brought me life;
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything:
No gifts no power no wisdom,
But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.
Why should I from His reward?
I cannot give an answer,
But this I know with all my heart:
His wounds have paid my ransom.


Page 13

COMMUNION PRAYER
    
People: Father in heaven, we come to your table today hoping to get a small taste of who you are. Grant through your Spirit that as we partake of this meal, we would grasp your beauty, glory and majesty. May we see in this meal your justice: for you did not lightly pass over our sins. May we see in this meal your mercy: for you have poured out your justice upon your only Son,         Jesus Christ.  

So fill our hearts, minds and wills with the grandeur of who you are. The God who loves us, pursues us and sacrifices on our behalf. May we not settle for anything less than this. We pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.


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.


Page 14

SENDING INTO GOD’S WORLD

OFFERING

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.

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 in the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death;
this is the power of Christ in me.
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man
can ever pluck me from His hand.
‘Til He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ, I'll stand.


Page 15

BENEDICTION

Minister: God the Father, who loved the world so much that he sent his only Son, give you grace to prepare for eternal life. God the Son, who comes to us as Redeemer and Judge, reveal to you the path from darkness to light. God the Holy Spirit, by whose working the virgin Mary         conceived the Christ, help you bear the fruits of holiness.

People: Amen.

DISMISSAL

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


PRAYER REQUESTS 

This week, please pray alongside us for....

Our Church — For God to lead our community and those in our networks to know how he wants us to pray, serve and give as a part of theFor the City initiative. Additionally, for the community Halloween Party at Hawthorne Park taking place this Friday, 10/31. 

Our City — For the government officials that lead our cities. 

Our World — For peace and harmony among different ethnic and religious communities in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. 

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

FOR THE CITY INITIATIVE
We’re excited to have launched For The City this fall - our church’s initiative to pray, serve, and give to raise funds to restore the First Baptist building in Center City that our church recently purchased.  To learn more, and sign up to pray, serve, and give, simply visit libertichurch.org/forthecity

COMMUNITY HALLOWEEN PARTY

You are invited to join us for a community Halloween party on Friday, Oct. 31 from 5:00 - 7:00 PM at Hawthorne Park (12th & Catharine). There will be a DJ, candy, food, games, and costumes, so please come join the fun! If you are interested in volunteering to help with the event, please contact Vito Baldini (vito@liberti.org).

LIBERTI YOUTH GROUP
Each week, Liberti youth gather before the service to hang out, read scripture, and pray. If you are in middle or high school, we would love for you to join us from 10:00 - 10:45 AM in room 215 (down the hall from the lobby). For more information, please email our Director of Youth Ministry, Carlos Corro (carlos@liberti.org).

COFFEE HOUR FOR MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS
The Liberti Network is hosting a coffee hour for medical professionals today at 4:30 PM at the home of Michael and Anna Kwon (444 Fairmount Ave., Apt. C, Philadelphia). This time will be used to dream and pray about how the Liberti Network could be more involved in medical short term missions. For more information, or to rsvp, please email mikekwon.orthodoc@gmail.com.    

A NIGHT FOR THE CITY - SAVE THE DATE
Join us on the night of Sunday, November 16 at the First Baptist Building as we conclude our For the City initiative and celebrate all that God has done and will continue to do through the purchase and renovation of this building.

Comment