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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
March 29, 2015
Palm Sunday

PRELUDE  

GREETING AND PREPARATION

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


CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: God has ascended amid shouts of joy, the LORD amid the sounding of trumpets. 
People: Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises. 

Leader: For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise. 
People: God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne. 

—Psalm 47:5-8, NIV

PRAYER OF INVOCATION 


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ALL HAIL THE POWER 

All hail the power of Jesus' name
Let angels prostrate fall
Bring forth the royal diadem
And crown Him Lord of all
Bring forth the royal diadem
And crown Him Lord of all

Ye chosen seed of Israel's race
Ye ransomed from the fall
Hail Him who saves you by His grace
And crown Him Lord of all
Hail Him who saves you by His grace
And crown Him Lord of all

O that with yonder sacred throng
We at His feet may fall
We'll join the everlasting song
And crown Him Lord of all
We'll join the everlasting song
And crown Him Lord of all


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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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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: Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and forgive our sins, for your name’s sake. 

—Psalm 79:9, NRSV 

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

People: Our Father in heaven, we come to you now, as our King. And we can only come to you because you welcome the needy and the afflicted. And that is who we are. 

Father, our central need is for your reign. Yet, we run from it. We are afraid of being weak, because we don’t trust you to carry us. Many are the times in this past week where we have wrestled control of our lives away from you. In those times, we have turned our hearts away from your heart and our feet away from your commandments.  

So, receive us now as your children. Receive us, not because we’re good or because we vow to do better; but receive us because you rejected your Son in our place. We pray in His name. Amen.

SILENT CONFESSION 

WORDS OF PARDON

Leader: For God has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 

— Ephesians 1:13-14  

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 21:1-11, NRSV 

 1As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples,2saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” 

 4This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: 

5“Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’” 

 6The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,  

“Hosanna to the Son of David!” 
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

10When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” 11The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

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 King
Speaker: Jared Ayers


REFLECTIONS 

The way of Jesus is not the way of being relevant, spectacular, and powerful.  Rather it’s the way of downward mobility.  

- Henri Nouwen, from In the Name of Jesus


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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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BE THOU MY VISION

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.


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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     

HOW GREAT THOU ART

O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works Thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed. 

CHORUS
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee;
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee;
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!


When through the woods, the forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees,
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze.

 CHORUS 

And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin. 

CHORUS

 When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration
And there proclaim, my God how great Thou art!

 CHORUS


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BENEDICTION

Minister: May you be strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully give thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. 

- Adapted from Colossians 1:11-12

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. On April 2, we’ll observe Maundy Thursday with a potluck dinner at 7:00 PM in the Main Building. Then, on April 3, we’ll have a service for Good Friday here in the Rotwitt Theater, also at 7:00 PM. 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. After church today, we’ll begin packing some of those meals right here at Rosemont College. This is a great chance for busy families to get involved in this project. We’ll also be delivering the meals on April 4 from delivery sites throughout the region. 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.

CURT THOMPSON SEMINAR
2200 Arch Counseling Services, one of Liberti’s ministry partners, is hosting psychiatrist Dr. Curt Thompson for a day-long seminar on April 24 at the First Baptist Building. The topic for the day will be “Anatomy of the Soul: Renew You Mind, Change Your Brain.” This is an educational opportunity for clinicians, social workers, lay-leaders, and anyone interested in the relationship between neurobiology and the biblical narrative. Early registration is $25, or $10 for grad students. For more information, and to register, please visit http://bit.ly/curtthompson.


PRAYER REQUESTS
This week, please pray alongside us for…
 
Our Church — For contributors, dispatchers, drivers, helpers, and community partners who will make it possible to deliver 3,000 meals this Saturday in celebration of the resurrection.
 
Our City — For teachers of the city to empower the youth of today to grow in their gifts and abilities to strong leaders of the future.
 
Our World — For women and female children, who do not have equal status or opportunity in China, Hong Kong, and Macau.

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