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REFLECTIONS

The Lord… suffered for the sake of him who suffered, and was bound for the sake of him who was imprisoned, and was judged for the sake of the condemned, and buried for the sake of the buried. So come, all families of human beings who are defiled by sins, and receive remission of sins. For I am your remission, I am the Passover of salvation. I am the Lamb sacrificed for your sake. I am your ransom.  I am your life.
-Melito of Sardis


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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
March 20, 2016
Palm Sunday
Main Line Campus


OPENING SENTENCES
Leader: Bless the Lord who forgives all of our sins; His mercy endures forever. Amen. 

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!

Words and Music by Reginald Heber, 1861. 


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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.



PRAYER OF INVOCATION


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OUR GREAT GOD

Eternal God, unchanging, mysterious and unknown
Your boundless love unfailing, in grace and mercy shown.
Bright seraphim in endless flight around your glorious throne
They raise their voices day and night in praise to you alone.

CHORUS
Hallelujah! Glory be to our great God!
Hallelujah! Glory be to our great God!

Lord, we are weak and frail, helpless in the storm.
Surround us with your angels, hold us in your arms.
Our cold and ruthless enemy, his pleasure is our harm.
Rise up, oh Lord, and he will flee before our Sovereign God.

CHORUS
Hallelujah! Glory be to our great God!
Hallelujah! Glory be to our great God!

Let every creature in the sea and every flying bird;
Let every mountain, every field and valley of the earth;
Let all the moons and all the stars in all the universe
Sing praises to the living God, who rules them by His word.

CHORUS
Hallelujah! Glory be to our great God!
Hallelujah! Glory be to our great God! x 4

 

Music and lyrics by Fernando Ortega and Mac Powell, 1997.


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DEAR REFUGE OF MY WEARY SOUL

Dear refuge of my weary soul,
On Thee, when sorrows rise
On Thee, when waves of trouble roll,
My fainting hope relies
To Thee I tell each rising grief,
For Thou alone canst heal
Thy Word can bring a sweet relief,
For every pain I feel

But oh! When gloomy doubts prevail,
I fear to call Thee mine
The springs of comfort seem to fail,
And all my hopes decline
Yet gracious God, where shall I flee?
Thou art my only trust
And still my soul would cleave to Thee
Though prostrate in the dust

Hast Thou not bid me seek
Thy face, And shall I seek in vain?
And can the ear of sovereign grace,
Be deaf when I complain?
No still the ear of sovereign grace,
Attends the mourner’s prayer
Oh may I ever find access,
To breathe my sorrows there

Thy mercy seat is open still,
Here let my soul retreat
With humble hope attend Thy will,
And wait beneath Thy feet,
Thy mercy seat is open still,
Here let my soul retreat
With humble hope attend Thy will,
And wait beneath Thy feet

Words and Music by Anne Steele and Kevin Twit, 1998.


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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-LORD HAVE MERCY

Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy
Lord have mercy on us
REPEAT
 

PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS


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THE WORD OF GOD

SCRIPTURE READING


Isaiah 52:13-53:12, NRSV

52:13See, my servant shall prosper; he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high. 14Just as there were many who were astonished at him—so marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of mortals— 15so he shall startle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which had not been told them they shall see, and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate.
53:1 Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 3He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account. 4Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. 5But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed. 6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 8By a perversion of justice he was taken away. Who could have imagined his future? For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people. 9They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain. When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days; through him the will of the Lord shall prosper. 11Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. 12Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Minister: This is the word of the Lord. 
People: Thanks be to God! 

SILENT REFLECTION
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION & SERMON


Sermon Series: What Lies Beneath: Recovering the Lost Language of Sin
Sermon Title: By His Wounds We are Healed
Speaker: Jared Ayers


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APOSTLES' CREED

Minister: Let us say what we believe. 
People: 
We believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
We believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand
of God the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge
the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
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, by whose grace we may triumph over temptation, be more fervent in prayer, and be more generous in love. 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. He took upon himself the weight of our sin and carried the burden of our guilt. He shared our life in every way, and, though tempted, was sinless to the end. Baptized as your own,
he went willingly to his death and by your power was raised to new life. In his dying and rising, you gave birth to your church, delivered us from slavery to sin and death 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: God of all power, send your Holy Spirit upon us, that in sharing the bread we may share in the body of Christ, that in sharing the cup we may share in his blood. Grant that, being joined together in Christ Jesus, we may become united in faith and in all things become mature in the one who is our head. 

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.

Words: William True Sleeper, Music: Greg Thompson, © 2000 Greg Thompson Music


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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

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.

Music by Stuart Townsend, 2001. Lyrics by Keith Getty, 2001.


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

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