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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
December 7, 2014
Second Sunday of Advent

PRELUDE

GREETING AND PREPARATION

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

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
People: The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Leader: I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
People: Wait for the Lord;
 be strong, and let your heart take courage. Wait for the LORD!   

— From Psalm 27:1, 13-14, NRSV

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


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ANGELS FROM THE REALMS OF GLORY

Angels, from the realms of glory,
Wing your flight o'er all the earth, 
Ye who sang creation's story,
Now proclaim Messiah's birth:
Come and worship, Come and worship,
Worship Christ the newborn King!

Shepherds, in the fields abiding,
Watching o'er your flocks by night,
God with us is now residing,
Yonder shines the infant Light:
Come and worship, Come and worship,
Worship Christ the newborn King!

Sages, leave your contemplations,
Brighter visions beam afar;
Seek the great Desire of Nations;
Ye have seen His natal star:
Come and worship, Come and worship,
Worship Christ the newborn King!

Saints, before the altar bending,
Watching long in hope and fear,
Suddenly the Lord, descending,
In His temple shall appear:
Come and worship, Come and worship,
Worship Christ the newborn King!


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OUR GREAT GOD

Eternal God, unchanging, mysterious and unknown.
Your boundless love unfailing, in grace and mercy shown.
Bright seraphim in endless flight around your glorious throne.
They raise their voices day and night in praise to you alone.

CHORUS
Hallelujah! Glory be to our great God!
Hallelujah! Glory be to our great God!

Lord, we are weak and frail, helpless in the storm.
Surround us with your angels, hold us in your arms.
Our cold and ruthless enemy, his pleasure is our harm.
Rise up, oh Lord, and he will flee before our Sovereign God.


CHORUS

Let every creature in the sea and every flying bird;
Let every mountain, every field and valley of the earth;
Let all the moons and all the stars in all the universe
Sing praises to the living God, who rules them by His word.

CHORUS


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CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader: Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. 

 — Based on Psalm 139:23-24, NRSV

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

People: God of salvation, in Christ you have done great things; our hearts are filled with joy. By your power you lifted us out of the wasteland of sin and brought us with joy and laughter into your kingdom. Salvation is your gift to us.

But we confess that often we try to replace your gift with our own efforts. We try to complete what is  already perfect; we try to add to what is already full; we try to earn what we already have. Forgive us for our foolishness. Help us to focus on your grace. Help us to live grateful lives in return. For Jesus’ sake alone, Amen. 

 — Based on Psalm 126

SILENT CONFESSION

WORDS OF PARDON

Leader: Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem! The LORD has taken away the judgments against you, he has turned away your enemies. The king of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall fear disaster no         more. 

 — Zephaniah 3:14-15 NRSV

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.
(REPEAT)


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IN COVENANT MEMBERSHIP

STORIES OF GOD’S WORK & VOWS

CANDIDATES


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?  Do your promise to instruct your child in the truth of God’s word, in the way of salvation through Jesus Christ; to pray for him, to teach him to pray; and to train him in Christ’s way by example, through worship, and in the nurture of the church?
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 this family 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.


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

PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING

Minister: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.

Minister: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People: It is right to give our thanks and praise. 

BAPTISM 

CLOSING PRAYER

PASSING THE PEACE

ANNOUNCEMENTS


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THE WORD OF GOD

SCRIPTURE READING    

Matthew 1:1-7, 12-17 NRSV

1An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham. 2Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, 3and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Aram, 4and Aram the father of Aminadab, and Aminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, 5and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, 6and Jesse the father of King David. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, 7and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, 12And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Salathiel, and Salathiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, 14and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, 15and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, 16and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah. 17So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah, fourteen generations.

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

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION 

SERMON
Sermon series: The One: Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew
Sermon title: Meeting Jesus' Family
Speaker: Jared Ayers


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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, for you have created heaven and earth, made us in your image, and kept covenant with us — even when we fell into sin. We give you thanks for Jesus Christ, our Lord, who came among us as the Word made flesh to show us your glory, full of grace and truth. Therefore 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! 
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, and blessed is Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Born in humility, he came to rule over all. Helpless as an infant, he showed the power of your love. Poor in things of the world, he brought the wealth of your grace. Rejected by many, he welcomed all who sought him. In his dying and rising, you gave birth to your church, delivered us from slavery  to sin and death, and made with us a new covenant by water and the Spirit. 


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Minister: Remembering your gracious acts in Jesus Christ, we take from your creation this bread  and wine and joyfully celebrate his dying and rising as we await the day of his coming. With thanksgiving we offer our very selves to you to be a living and holy sacrifice, dedicated to your service. Together 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.
(REPEAT)

Minister: Lord, our God, send your Holy Spirit so that this bread and cup may be for us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. May we and all your saints be united with Christ and remain faithful in hope and love. Gather your whole church, O Lord, into the glory of your kingdom.

 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.


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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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COME THOU LONG EXPECTED JESUS

Come Thou long-expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
Hope of all the saints Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Come to earth to taste our sadness,
He whose glories knew no end;
By His life he brings us gladness,
Our Redeemer, Shepherd, Friend.
Leaving riches without number,
Born within a cattle stall;
This the everlasting wonder,
Christ was born the Lord of all.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.


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COMMUNION PRAYER
    
People: God of grace, you renew us at your table with the bread of life. May this food strengthen us in love and help us to serve you in each other. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. 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.


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SENDING INTO GOD’S WORLD

OFFERING      

O COME ALL YE FAITHFUL

O come all ye faithful
Joyful and triumphant
O come ye, o come ye to Bethlehem
Come and behold Him

Born the King of angels

REFRAIN
O come, let us adore Him

O come, let us adore Him
O come, let us adore Him
Christ the Lord

Sing choirs of angels
Sing in exultation
O sing all ye citizens
Of Heaven above
Glory to God
O glory in the highest

REFRAIN

Yea Lord, we greet Thee
Born this happy morning
Jesus to Thee be all glory
Word of the Father
Now in flesh appearing

REFRAIN 


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BENEDICTION

Minister: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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 the families who will receive Christmas gifts through Small Fry and Cityteam to also receive the gift of the gospel.

Our City — For the support organizations that care for our city’s homeless population.

Our World — For those in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

ADVENT & CHRISTMAS PRAYERBOOK
During Advent, we reflect on God’s coming to earth in Jesus, and look forward to his second coming. At Liberti, one of the ways that we do this is through the use of a prayerbook that we’ve developed for the season. You can download your free copy, and learn more about Advent and Christmas at Liberti at libertichurch.org/christmas.

SMALL FRY TOY DRIVE
Small Fry, one of our mercy partners, is collecting Christmas gifts to give to the children that they serve. Please visit the Liberti Connect table during coffee hour to pick up one of their wish lists, and then bring your wrapped gifts to church on 12/14. For more information, please email Alissa McLaughlin (alissa@rm-events.com).

EMMANUEL HOMELESS MINISTRY CLOTHING DRIVE
This Christmas season, we will be giving away gift bags to our homeless friends and neighbors. We will be collecting large and x-large underwear, white t-shirts, socks, and travel size toiletries from 11/30 - 12/21, which can be dropped off at one of the bins near the doors of the First Baptist Building.

LIBERTI KIDS CHOIR
The kids of Liberti have been working hard to prepare a special song for Advent, which they will perform during the service next Sunday, 12/14. You won’t want to miss it!

AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS
Liberti is partnering with Poor Richard’s Opera to host the Christmas classic, Amahl and the Night Visitors. Join us at the First Baptist Church Building on Saturday, 12/20 at 4:00 or 7:00 PM for this free performance. For more info, visit poorrichardsopera.org

EMMANUEL HOMELESS MINISTRY CHRISTMAS LUNCH
Emmanuel is hosting a Christmas lunch at the First Baptist Building (17th & Sansom Sts.) on Wednesday, 12/24. Volunteers are needed throughout the day to help prepare food, cook, set up, and serve. For more details, and to sign up, please email emmanuelministryliberti@gmail.com.

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