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REFLECTIONS

Beauty only emerges through the pain of carving, of stripping, of tearing, of pruning. The stripping sets us free to be who God made us to be. 

-Chuck Degroat, Leaving Egypt

 

"Dumbledore's man through and through, aren't you Potter?"
"Yeah I am," said Harry. "Glad we straightened that out."

-JK Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

 


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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
January 10, 2016
Epiphany Sunday

Main Line Campus



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

                                            ALL CREATURES OF OUR GOD & KING

All creatures of our God and King
Lift up your voice and with us sing
O praise Him, Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam
thou silver moon with softer gleam
O praise Him, O praise Him
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou rushing wind that art so strong
ye clouds that sail in Heav'n along
O praise Him, Alleluia!
Thou rising moon, in praise rejoice
ye lights of evening, find a voice
O praise Him, O praise Him
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Let all things their Creator bless
and worship Him in humbleness
O praise Him, Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son
and praise the Spirit, three in One
O praise Him, O praise Him
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!


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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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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 forth 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,
Steadfast 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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FOREVER REIGN

You are good, You are good, When there's nothing good in me
You are love, You are love, On display for all to see
You are light, You are light, When the darkness closes in
You are hope, You are hope, You have covered all my sin

You are peace, You are peace, When my fear is crippling
You are true, You are true, Even in my wandering
You are joy, You are joy, You're the reason that I sing
You are life, You are life, In You death has lost its sting

CHORUS
Oh, I'm running to Your arms,
I'm running to Your arms. 
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign


You are more, You are more, Than my words will ever say
You are Lord, You are Lord, All creation will proclaim
You are here, You are here, In Your presence I'm made whole
You are God, You are God, Of all else I'm letting go

CHORUS

BRIDGE
My heart will sing
No other Name
Jesus, Jesus

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

21 Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, 22 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.”

4 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness 2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. 3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” 4 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” 5 And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, 6 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. 7 If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” 8 And Jesus answered him, “It is written,

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’”
9 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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BEFORE THE THRONE

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in Heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace,
One in Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God!


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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
 

DOXOLOGY

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow
Praise Him, All creatures here be-low
Praise Him Above, Ye Heavenly Host
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost

Amen, Amen,
Amen, Amen. 


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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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