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REFLECTIONS

"I have drunken deep of joy, And I will taste no other wine tonight."

-Percy Bysshe Shelley

 

Is it shocking to think of God as a pursuing lover? Then Christianity is shocking. 

-Joy Davidman, Smoke on the Mountain


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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
January 17, 2016
Second Sunday of Epiphany

Main Line Campus


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

 

SOLID ROCK

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' name. 
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
All other ground is sinking sand. 

When darkness veils His lovely face, 
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil. 
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; 
All other ground is sinking sand. 
All other ground is sinking sand. 

His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand. 
All other ground is sinking sand. 

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found,
Clothed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne!
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand. 
All other ground is sinking sand. 


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

CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: Arise, shine, for your light has come! The glory of the Lord has risen upon us.
People: Let us praise the Lord together.
Leader: The sun shall no longer be our light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on us,
People: for the Lord will be our light, and our God will be our glory.
Leader: The Lord will be our everlasting light and our days of sorrow will end. 
People: Come, let us sing to our light and salvation!
                                                                                   -based on Isaiah 60


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HOLY, HOLY, HOLY

Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, Holy, Holy, Merciful and Mighty!
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, Holy, Holy, all the saints adore Thee. 
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
who wert and art and ever more shall be.

Holy, Holy, Holy, Though the darkness hide Thee,
Tho' the eye of sinful man your glory may not see,
Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee
Perfect in power, in love and purity. 

Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy name
In earth and sky and sea. 
Holy, Holy, Holy! Merciful and Mighty!
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!


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FATHER LONG BEFORE CREATION

Father long before creation
Thou had chosen us in love
And that love so deep so moving
Draws us close to Christ above
Still it keeps us, still it keeps us
firmly fixed in Christ alone

CHORUS
And the world will sing His love,
Yes the world will sing His love,
And we'll all join hands,
every woman, every man
to sing his love
to sing His love.


Though the world may change its fashion
Yet our God is e're the same
His compassion and His covenant
Though all ages will remain
God's own children, God's own children
Must forever praise His name

CHORUS

God's compassion is my story
Is my boasting all the day
Mercy free and never failing
Moves our will directs my way
God so loved us, God so loved us
That His only Son He gave

CHORUS

Loving Father now before Thee
We will ever praise thy love
And our songs will sound unceasing
Til we reach our home above,
Giving glory, giving glory
To our God and to the Lamb

CHORUS


DAY 7

CALL TO CONFESSION

Leader: And this is the judgement, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. 

                                                                                                                    -based on John 3:19, NRSV
PRAYER OF CONFESSION

People: Holy God, you sent a star to guide the Magi to the child Jesus. We confess that we have not followed the light of your Word. We have not searched for signs of your love in the world or trusted your good news to be good. We have failed to praise your Son's birth and refused his peace on earth. We have expected little and hoped for less. Forgive our doubt and renew in us all fine desires, that we may watch and wait and once more hear the glad story of our Savior, Jesus Christ, the Lord. Amen. 

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader: If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 

                                                                                                                                -I John 1:6-7, NRSV
SONG OF RESPONSE-GLORIA PATRI

Glory be to the Father
Glory be to the Son
Glory be the Spirit Three in One
As it was in the beginning
It will be forever
Amen, Amen, Amen

PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS


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THE WORD OF GOD

SCRIPTURE READING
Luke 3:21-22, 4:1-13, ESV

 Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness  for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry.  The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.”  And Jesus answered him, “It is written,

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’”
 And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written,
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
to guard you,'
and "On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.'"
and Jesus answered him, "It is said, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'" And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time. 

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

SILENT REFLECTION
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION & SERMON
Sermon Series: Ephiphany For Everyone
Sermon Title: Jesus' Baptism
Speaker: John Alexander


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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 as the light of the world to show us your way of truth in parables and miracles. 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. 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. 


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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.
REPEAT

Minister: Gracious God, pour out your Holy Spirit upon us and upon these 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. 


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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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BEAUTIFUL

I see Your face in every sunrise
The colors of the morning are inside Your eyes
The world awakens in the light of the day
I look up to the sky and say
You're beautiful

I see Your power in the moonlit night
Where planets are in motion and galaxies are bright
We are amazed in the light of the stars
It's all proclaiming who you are
You're beautiful

I see you there hanging on a tree
You bled and then you died and then you rose again for me
Now you are setting on Your heavenly throne
Soon we will be coming home
You're beautiful

When we arrive at eternity's shore
Where death is just a memory and tears are no more
We'll enter in as a wedding bells ring
Your bride will come together and we'll sing
You're beautiful
 


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COMMUNION PRAYER

People: O God, as you once claimed us in the Spirit's waters
and number us among your own beloved,
give us power to do your work,
to show your love,
and to live holy and joyful lives. 
Keep us faithful in your service
until Christ comes in final victory
and we shall feast with all your saints
in the joy of your eternal realm. 
Through Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honor are yours, almighty God,
now and forever. 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
 

GRACE THAT IS GREATER

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary's mount outpoured
there where the blood of the Lamb was split

CHORUS
Grace, grace, God's grace
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within
Grace, grace, God's grace
Grace that is greater than all our sin


Sin and despair like the seawaves cold
Threaten the soul with infinite loss
Grace that is greater--yes grace untold--
Points to the refuge the mighty cross

ark is the stain that we cannot hide
What can avail to wash it away?
ook! there is flowing a crimson tide.
Brighter than snow you may be today.

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?


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BENEDICTION

Minister: Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way; the Lord be with you all; And the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be with you and remain with you now and always. 

People: Amen. 

DISMISSAL

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


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