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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
March 22, 2015
Fifth Sunday of Lent 

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.

— From Psalm 67:4-6, NRSV

PRAYER OF INVOCATION 


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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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ALL MUST BE WELL

Through the love of God our Savior, all will be well;
Free and changeless is His favor; all is well.
Precious is the blood that healed us;
Perfect is the grace that sealed us;
Strong the hand stretched out to shield us;
All must be well.

Though we pass through tribulation, all will be well;
Ours is such a full salvation; all is well.
Happy still in God confiding,
Fruitful, if in Christ abiding,
Holy through the Spirit’s guiding,
All must be well.

We expect a bright tomorrow; all will be well;
Faith can sing through days of sorrow, all is well.
On our Father’s love relying,
Jesus every need supplying,
Yes in living, or in dying,
All must be well.


On our Father’s love relying,
Jesus every need supplying,
Yes in living, or in dying,
All must be well.


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THIS I BELIEVE

Our Father everlasting, the all creating One
God Almighty, through Your Holy Spirit
Conceiving Christ the Son, Jesus our Savior

CHORUS

I believe in God our Father
I believe in Christ the Son
I believe in the Holy Spirit
Our God is three in one
I believe in the resurrection
That we will rise again
For I believe in the name of Jesus

Our Judge and our Defender, suffered and crucified
Forgiveness is in You, descended into darkness
You rose in glorious life, forever seated high

CHORUS

I believe in You
I believe You rose again
I believe that Jesus Christ is Lord

CHORUS

I believe in life eternal
I believe in the virgin birth
I believe in the saints' communion
And in Your holy Church
I believe in the resurrection
When Jesus comes again
For I believe, in the name of Jesus

CHORUS


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CALL TO CONFESSION 

Leader: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. In humility and faith let us confess our sin to God. 

 —Based on 1 John 1:8-9, 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 out 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: God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

 — Romans 5:8, NIV

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)

PASSING THE PEACE


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THE WORD OF GOD

SCRIPTURE READING

Matthew 25:31-46, NRSV

31“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ 41Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ 45Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

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: The Judgement that Saves
Speaker: Paul Burkhart


REFLECTIONS
 

We are all beggars; this much is true. 

— Martin Luther

ESTRAGON: I can’t go on like this…
VLADIMIR: We’ll hang ourselves tomorrow. [Pause.] Unless Godot comes.
ESTRAGON: And if he comes?
VLADIMIR: We’ll be saved….Well, shall we go?
ESTRAGON: Yes, let’s go.

[They do not move.]

[Curtain.] 

— Samuel Beckett, Waiting For Godot


I don't know the sufferings of people outside my front door;
And i join the oppressors of those I choose to ignore.
I'm trading comfort for human life,
and that's not just murder, it's suicide.
But this too shall be made right.
— Derek Webb, "This Too Shall Be Made Right"


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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, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human. 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], who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. 

We believe in one holy catholic 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: 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, in whom you have revealed yourself, our light and our salvation. Baptized in Jordan’s waters, Jesus took his place with sinners, and your voice proclaimed him your Beloved. Your Spirit anointed him to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim release to captives, to restore sight to the blind, to free the oppressed.


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Minister: He lived among us in power and grace, touching broken lives with your healing peace. By the baptism of his suffering, death, and resurrection, you gave birth to your church and made with us a new covenant by water and the Spirit. 

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

Minister: Gracious God, pour out your Holy Spirit upon us and upon these your gifts of bread and wine, that the bread we break and the cup we bless may be the communion of the body and blood of Christ. By your Spirit make us one with Christ, that we may be one with all who share this feast, united in ministry in every place. 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.  

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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10,000 REASONS

CHORUS
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name


The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

CHORUS

You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

CHORUS

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

CHORUS x2 


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COMMUNION PRAYER
    
People: Lord, you have put gladness in our hearts; you have satisfied our hunger with good things. In giving all, you have not withheld from us your own dear Son. How can we withhold anything from you, our Lord and our God? Renew us day by day with the gift of your Spirit, that we may give ourselves completely to your service and walk with joy in the footsteps 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   

COME THOU FOUNT

Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing Thy grace.
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
 call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise His mount! I'm fixed upon it,
mount of Thy redeeming love.

Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
hither by Thy help I'm come;
and I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
interposed His precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor,
daily I'm constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for Thy courts above.


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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. Amen.

People: Amen.

DISMISSAL

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


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ANNOUNCEMENTS

NEW HERE?
We'd love to connect with you, to let you know about all that's happening at Liberti and how you can be a part of it. Just fill this out and we'll be in touch!

HOLY WEEK AT LIBERTI CHURCH
During Holy Week, we try to draw closer to Christ is his journey to the cross. Join us on April 2 for a community Maundy Thursday potluck dinner and on April 3 for a Good Friday service. Both events will take place at 7:00 PM here at the First Baptist Building. Free parking will be available. For further details, please visit libertichurch.org/lent-and-easter.

EASTER OUTREACH 2015
We’re partnering with 30 other churches throughout the region to distribute 3,000 Easter dinners to neighbors and build three wells in South Sudan. To do this, we need to raise $75,000 and recruit hundreds of volunteers. We’ll be delivering these meals on April 4 from delivery sites throughout the region, including three in South Philly (11th & Mifflin, 17th & Tasker, and 29th & Dickinson). If you are interested in being a driver or a helper on April 4, please visit  easteroutreach.org/volunteer to learn more and sign up.

WOMEN'S RETREAT 2015

The women's retreat is a fun and relaxing weekend away where we connect more intimately with God and each other - you don't want to miss it! We'll be heading to Ocean City, NJ again from May 15 - 17, where Julie Van Til will be speaking to us on the topic of "Rhythms of Life - Rhythms of the Sabbath." To learn more and sign up, visit libertichurch.org/womensretreat.

FINANCE UPDATE

*These figures represent Liberti’s operating budget, and exclude For The City donations and expenses.

PRAYER REQUESTS
This week, please pray alongside us for…
 
Our Church — For dispatchers, drivers, helpers and community partners who will make it possible to deliver 3,000 meals in celebration of the resurrection.
 
Our City — For the family and community of Cayman Naib to receive comfort and peace from God as they grieve the loss of this young life.
 
Our World — For the children of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, that they may know peace, and that they be able to play and attend school instead of making war.

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