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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
July 27, 2014
Seventh Sunday After Pentecost  

PRELUDE

GREETING AND PREPARATION

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

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: Your steadfast love, O Lord, is better than life.
People: Therefore our lips will praise you.

Leader: We will bless you as long as we live.
People: We will lift up our hands and call on your name.

Leader: For you have been our help
People: and in your presence we sing for joy.

 — From Psalm 63

PRAYER OF INVOCATION


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FOR THE BEAUTY OF THE EARTH

For the beauty of the earth,
   For the glory of the skies,
    For the love which from our birth
    Over and around us lies.

REFRAIN
Lord of all to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.


For the joy of human love,
    Brother, sister, parent, child,
    Friends on earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild.

(REFRAIN)

For the church, that evermore
    Lifteth holy hands above,
    Offering up on every shore
    Her pure sacrifice of love.

(REFRAIN)

For Thyself, best Gift Divine.
    To our race so freely given,
     For that great, great love of Thine,
     Peace on earth and joy in Heaven.

(REFRAIN)


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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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GOD BE MERCIFUL TO ME
 
 God, be merciful to me, On Thy grace I rest my plea;
Plenteous in compassion Thou, Blot out my transgressions now;
Wash me, make me pure within, Cleanse, O cleanse me from my sin.

 My transgressions I confess, Grief and guilt my soul oppress;
I have sinned against Thy grace And provoked Thee to Thy face;
I confess Thy judgment just, Speechless, I Thy mercy trust.
 
 I am evil, born in sin; Thou desirest truth within.
Thou alone my Savior art, Teach Thy wisdom to my heart;
Make me pure, Thy grace bestow, Wash me whiter than the snow.
 
Broken, humbled to the dust, By Thy wrath and judgment just,
Let my contrite heart rejoice, And in gladness hear Thy voice;
From my sins O hide Thy face, Blot them out in boundless grace.
 
Gracious God, my heart renew, Make my spirit right and true;
Cast me not away from Thee, Let Thy Spirit dwell in me;
Thy salvation’s joy impart, Steadfast make my willing heart.

 Sinners then shall learn from me And return, O God, to Thee;
Savior, all my guilt remove, And my tongue shall sing Thy love;
Touch my silent lips, O Lord, And my mouth shall praise accord.


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CALL TO CONFESSION
 
Leader: This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all.

 — 1 John 1:5, NRSV

PRAYER OF CONFESSION
People: Eternal and merciful God, you have loved us with a love beyond our understanding, and you have set us on paths of righteousness for your name’s sake. Yet we have strayed from your way; we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, through what we have done and what we have left undone.

As we remember the lavish gift of your grace symbolized in baptism, O God, we praise you and give you thanks that you forgive us yet again. Grant us now, we pray, the grace to die daily to sin, and to rise daily to new life in Christ, who lives and reigns with you, and in whose strong name we pray. Amen.

SILENT CONFESSION

WORDS OF PARDON
Leader: If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered. O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem. It is he who will redeem Israel from all its iniquities. 

– Psalm 130:3-4, 7-8

 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.


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THE WORD OF GOD
 

SCRIPTURE READING

Exodus 20:1-2, 13, NRSV

1Then God spoke all these words: 2I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery;

13You shall not murder.

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

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION

SERMON
Sermon series: Finding Freedom: The 10 Commandments
Sermon title: The Freedom of Love
Speaker: Mike Harder


REFLECTIONS PAGE

21You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, “You shall not murder”; and “whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.” 22But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, “You fool,” you will be liable to the hell of fire. 23So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.

 — Matthew 5:21-24

Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be. 

 — Thomas A’ Kempis

Question: What are the duties required in the sixth commandment?
Answer: The duties required in the sixth commandment are all careful studies and lawful endeavors to preserve the life of ourselves and others by resisting all thoughts and purposes, subduing all passions, and avoiding all occasions, temptations, and practices which tend to the unjust taking away of the life of any. By the patient bearing of the hand of God, by the quietness of mind and cheerfulness of spirit, by a sober use of meat and drink and exercise and sleep and labor and recreation, by charitable thoughts, love compassion, meekness, gentleness, kindness, peaceable, mild and courteous speech and behavior, forbearance, readiness to be reconciled, patient bearing and forgiving of injuries and requiting good for evil, comforting and aiding those who are distressed, and protecting and defending the innocent.

— The Larger Catechism, question 135


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THE 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.


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 THE LORD’S TABLE

PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
Minister: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.

Minister: Lift up your hearts!
People: We lift them up to the Lord!

Minister: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People: It is right to give him thanks and praise.
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:
People: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. 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.
Minister: Together we proclaim the mystery of the faith.

People: Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.


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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!

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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JESUS I COME  

Out of my bondage, sorrow and night,
Jesus, I come; Jesus I come.
Into Thy freedom, gladness and light,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of my sickness into Thy health,
Out of my wanting and into Thy wealth,
Out of my sin and into Thyself,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of my shameful failure and loss,
Jesus, I come; Jesus, I come.
Into the glorious gain of Thy cross,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of earth’s sorrows into Thy balm,
Out of life’s storms and into Thy calm,
Out of distress into jubilant psalm,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of unrest and arrogant pride,
Jesus, I come; Jesus, I come.
Into Thy blessed will to abide,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of myself to dwell in Thy love,
Out of despair into raptures above,
Upward forever on wings like a dove,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of the fear and dread of the tomb,
Jesus, I come; Jesus, I come.
Into the joy and light of Thy home,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of the depths of ruin untold,
Into the peace of Thy sheltering fold,
Ever Thy glorious face to behold,
Jesus, I come to Thee.


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COMMUNION PRAYER
    
People: God of unfailing love, in your holy mysteries you have graciously fed us with the body and blood of your dear Son. We pray that we and all who faithfully receive him may grow together in the communion of the body of Christ and finally attain to the glory of the resurrection, through Christ, our 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

THIS IS MY FATHER'S WORLD

This is my Father’s world,
And to my listening ears
All nature sings and round me rings
The music of the spheres.

This is my Father’s world,
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas,
His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world
The birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white,
Declare their Maker’s praise.

This is my Father’s world
He shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass, I hear Him pass,
He speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father’s world,
O let me ne’er forget:
That though the wrong seems oft’ so strong,
God is the ruler yet.

This is my Father’s world,
The battle is not done
Jesus who died shall be satisfied,
And earth and heaven be one.


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BENEDICTION

Minister: May Christ the Sun of Righteousness shine upon you, scatter the darkness from before your path, and make you ready to meet him when he comes in glory; and the blessing of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us     all evermore.
People: Amen.

DISMISSAL

Minister: Let us go forth in the name of Christ.
People: Thanks be to God!


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ANNOUNCEMENTS

ALL CHURCH PICNIC
Please join us on Saturday, August 16 at 3:00 PM in West Fairmount Park for a picnic with both our Center City and Main Line campuses! We will be gathering in the grassy area near Memorial Hall (43 S Concourse St.). Bring a picnic blanket and a friend! Additionally, if your last name starts with A-M, please bring a side dish, and N-Z, please bring a dessert. For detailed directions and parking information, and to sign up, click here.

FIRST BAPTIST BUILDING UPDATE
It’s official! Earlier this week, we signed the purchase of sale agreement with First Baptist Church, and the building at 17th & Sansom will soon be our permanent home! We are thankful for this opportunity and invite you to be a part of it. For more details, our story, and how you can get involved, please click here.

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