REFLECTIONS

Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend; That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new. I, like an usurp'd town to another due,
Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov'd fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy;
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me. 

John Donne, “Batter My Heart, Three-Person’d God,” from Holy Sonnets
 

We still need to feel that our life matters in the scheme of things. We still want to merge ourselves with some higher self-absorbing meaning in trust and in gratitude. But if we no longer have God how are we to do this? One of the first ways that occurred to the modern person... was the romantic solution. The self-glorification that we need in our innermost being, we now look for in the love partner. What is it that we want when we elevate the love partner to this position? We want to be rid of our faults. We want to be rid of our feeling of nothingness. We want to be justified. We want to know that our existence hasn’t been in vain. We want redemption; nothing less...

-Ernest Becker, from The Denial of Death, Ch. 8 

 


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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
NOVEMBER 8, 2015
24TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTACOST


 

OPENING SENTENCES
Leader: Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

 

WONDERFUL, MERCIFUL SAVIOR

Wonderful, Merciful Savior
Precious Redeemer and Friend!
Who would have thought that a Lamb could
rescue the souls of men, Oh You rescue the souls of men.

Counselor, Comforter, Keeper,
Spirit we long to embrace.
You offer hope when our hearts have
Hopelessly lost the way, oh we've hopelessly lost the way.

You are the One that we praise,
You are the One we adore.
You give the healing and grace our
hearts always hunger for, oh our hearts always hunger for


Almighty infinite Father
Faithfully loving your own
Here in our weakness you find us
falling before Your Throne, oh we're falling before Your throne.


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GREETING AND PREPARATION
Leader: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you. 

CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: Sing a new song to the Lord, who has worked wonders, whose right hand and holy arm have brought salvation. 
People: The Lord has made known salvation; has shown justice to the nations; has remembered truth and love for the house of Israel. 
Leader: All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. 
People: Shout to the Lord, all the earth, sing out your joy. 
Leader: Sing psalms to the Lord with the harp, with the sound of music. 
People: With trumpets and the sound of the horn acclaim the King, the Lord. 

-based on Psalm 98:1-6, NRSV

PRAYER OF INVOCATION
 


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GOOD GOOD FATHER

Oh, I’ve heard a thousand stories
Of what they think You’re like
But I’ve heard the tender whisper
Of love in the dead of night And You tell me that You’re pleased
And that I’m never alone

You’re a good good Father
It’s who You are, its who You are, its who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am


Oh, and I’ve seen many searching
For answers far and wide
But I know were all searching For answers only You provide
‘Cause You know just what we need
Before we say a word

CHORUS

Cause You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways to us
(2x)

Oh, it’s love so undeniable
I, I can hardly speak
Peace so unexplainable
I, I can hardly think
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
Into love, love, love

CHORUS

You are perfect in all Your ways
You are perfect in all Your ways
You are perfect in all Your ways


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PSALM 126
Our mouths, they were filled, filled with laughter.
Our tongues, they were loosed, loosed with joy.
Restore us, O Lord! Restore us, O Lord!

CHORUS
Although we are weeping,
Lord, help us keep sowing
The seeds of Your Kingdom
For the day You will reap them!
Your sheaves we will carry;
Lord, please do not tarry!
All those who sow weeping
Will go out with songs of joy!

The nations will say “He has done great things!”
The nations will sing songs of joy.
Restore us, O Lord! Restore us, O Lord!

CHORUS x2


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CALL TO CONFESSION
Leader: We know that nothing is able to separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ. Let us in freedom confess the wrong we have done. 

-based on Romans 8:39, 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. 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: Then I acknowledged my sin to you and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord," and you forgave the guilt of my sin.

-Psalm 32:5, NRSV

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
ANNOUNCEMENTS

 


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THE WORD OF GOD

SCRIPTURE READING
Genesis 29:15-35

15Then Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are my kinsman, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?” 16Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17Leah’s eyes were lovely, and Rachel was graceful and beautiful. 18Jacob loved Rachel; so he said, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.” 19Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to any other man; stay with me.” 20So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her. 21Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife that I may go in to her, for my time is completed.” 22So Laban gathered together all the people of the place, and made a feast. 23But in the evening he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob; and he went in to her. 24Laban gave his maid Zilpah to his daughter Leah to be her maid.25When morning came, it was Leah! And Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?” 26Laban said, “This is not done in our country—giving the younger before the firstborn. 27Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also in return for serving me another seven years.” 28Jacob did so, and completed her week; then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel as a wife. 29Laban gave his maid Bilhah to his daughter Rachel to be her maid. 30So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah. He served Laban for another seven years. 

31When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, he opened her womb; but Rachel was barren. 32Leah conceived and bore a son, and she named him Reuben; for she said, “Because the Lord has looked on my affliction; surely now my husband will love me.” 33She conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Because the Lord has heard that I am hated, he has given me this son also”; and she named him Simeon. 34Again she conceived and bore a son, and said, “Now this time my husband will be joined to me, because I have borne him three sons”; therefore he was named Levi. 35She conceived again and bore a son, and said, “This time I will praise the Lord”; therefore she named him Judah; then she ceased bearing. 

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

SILENT REFLECTION
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION & SERMON
Sermon Series: The Gospel According to Genesis
Sermon Title: The Search for Love
Speaker: Jared Ayers


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NICENE CREED

MINISTER: LET US SAY WHAT WE BELIEVE.

People: We believe in one God, the Father,                                                                    the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, 

the only Son of God, 
eternally begotten of the Father, 
God from God, Light from Light, 
true God from true God, 
begotten, not made, 
of one Being with the Father. 
Through him all things were made. 
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven: 
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, 
and was made man. 
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; 
he suffered death and was buried. 
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures; 
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, 

who proceeds from the Father and the Son. 
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. 
We believe in one holy catholic1 and apostolic Church. 
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. 
We look for the resurrection of the dead, 
and the life of the world to come. Amen. 
 


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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: 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. 


PAGE 11

Minister: 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. 

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.

 


PAGE 12

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 COMMITMENTLord 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 13
 

THERE IS A FOUNTAIN

There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.
Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.
Washed all my sins away, washed all my sins away;
And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.
Be saved, to sin no more, be saved, to sin no more;
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.

E’er since, by faith, I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.
And shall be till I die, and shall be till I die;
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.

Then in a nobler, sweeter song, I’ll sing Thy power to save,
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.
Lies silent in the grave, lies silent in the grave;
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.

Lord, I believe Thou hast prepared, unworthy though I be,
For me a blood bought free reward, a golden harp for me!
’Tis strung and tuned for endless years, and formed by power divine,
To sound in God the Father’s ears no other name but Thine.

 

 


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COMMUNION PRAYER

People: Loving God, we thank you that you have fed us in this sacrament, united us with Christ, and given us a foretaste of the heavenly banquet in your eternal kingdom. Send us out in the power of your Spirit to live and work to your praise and glory for the sake of Jesus 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
 

BLESSED ASSURANCE
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine
Heir of salvation, purchase of God
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
CHORUS
This is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long
This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long

Perfect submission, perfect delight;
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

CHORUS

Perfect submission, all is at rest;
I in my Savior am happy and blessed
Watching and waiting, looking above
Filled with His goodness lost in His love.

CHORUS

 


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BENEDICTION

Minister: May God's love sustain you, and may you love those who surround you. May God's Spirit empower you, and may you empower all those who you meet. May God's joy fill your hearts, and may this joy overflow to the ends of the earth for God's glory, now and forever. 

People: Amen. 

DISMISSAL

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


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