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REFLECTIONS

We who have seen the light of Christ are obliged,
by the greatness of the grace that has been given us,
to make known the presence of the Savior to the ends of the earth... not only by preaching the glad tidings of His coming;
but above all by revealing Him in our lives...
Every day of our mortal lives must be His manifestation,
His divine Epiphany, in the world which He has created and redeemed.
                                                                                                                                     -Thomas Merton


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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
January 24, 2016
Third Sunday of Epiphany

Center City Campus


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

 

WHEN I THINK ABOUT THE LORD

When I think about the Lord
How He saved me, how He raised me
How He filled me with the Holy Ghost
How He healed me to the uttermost

When I think about the Lord
How He picked me up
and turned me around
How He set my feet on solid ground

CHORUS
It makes me wanna shout
Hallelujah, thank You Jesus
Lord, You're worthy of all the glory
All the honor and all the praise!
(2x)



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

CALL TO WORSHIP
Minister: How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
People: How long will you hide your face from me?
Minister: How long must I take counsel in my soul, and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
People: How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Minister: Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes lest I sleep the sleep of death. 
People: Lest my enemy say, 'I have prevailed over him,' lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken. 
Minister: But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
People: I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me. 
                                                                                   -Psalm 13, NRSV


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I STAND AMAZED/HOW MARVELOUS

I stand amazed in the presence
Of Jesus the Nazarene,
And wonder how He could love me,
A sinner, condemned, unclean.

CHORUS
How marvelous! How wonderful!
And my song shall ever be,
How marvelous! How wonderful!
Is my Saviors love for me!


He took my sins and sorrows,
He made them His very own;
He bore the burden to Calvary,
And suffered and died alone.

CHORUS
BRIDGE
When with the ransomed in glory
His face I at last shall see,
Twill be my joy through the ages
To sin of His love for me.


CHORUS

I stand amazed in the presence
Of Jesus the Nazarene,
And wonder how He could love me,
A sinner, condemned, unclean.

CHORUS
BRIDGE



 


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IT IS WELL

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
"It is well, it is well with my soul"

CHORUS
It is well (it is well)
with my soul (with my soul)
It is well, It is well with my soul

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come
Let this blessed assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

CHORUS

My sin, oh the joy of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

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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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, our Father, we thank you for permitting us to take part in your holy mysteries; through the working of your Spirit, may the life of Christ turn our fears to freedom and help us to live for others. May the strength of Christ lead us in our living through whatever of joy or sorrow awaits us. To Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be glory and praise for ever. Amen. 

-Book of Common Order (1979), Third Order

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
 

BEAUTIFUL

I see your face in every sunrise
The colors of the morning are inside your eyes
The world awakens in the light of 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
Its all proclaiming who you are
You're beautiful

I see you there hanging on a tree
You bled and then you died and then rose again for me
Now you are sitting 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 the wedding bells ring
Your bride will come together and we'll sing
You're Beautiful


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BENEDICTION

Minister: May Jesus Christ, the sun of righteousness, comes with healing in his wings, fill you with the joy and peace that passes all understanding. The blessing of God almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you always.

People: Amen. 

DISMISSAL

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

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