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REFLECTIONS

The Christian principle, “Love your enemies” is good… There is nothing to be said against it except that it is too difficult for most of us to practice sincerely.    -Bertrand Russell

[Is Jesus’ command to love one’s enemies] impossible?  Well, yes, at one level.  But again Jesus’ teaching isn’t just good advice, it’s good news.  Jesus did it all himself, and opened up the new way of being human so that all who follow him can discover it.  When they mocked him, he didn’t respond.  When they challenged him, he told quizzical, sometimes humorous, stories that forced them to think differently.  When they struck him, he took the pain.  When they put the worst bit of Roman equipment on his back- the heavy cross-piece on which he would be killed- he carried it out of the city to the place of his own execution.  When they nailed him to the cross, he prayed for them.    -NT Wright, from Matthew for Everyone

The only way to overcome our enemy is by loving him.   -Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship


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GATHERING BEFORE GOD
July 10, 2016
8th Sunday after Pentecost
Center City Campus

OPENING SENTENCES

Leader: Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
 — Psalm 124:8

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.

Text: Mary Bowley Peters, Music: Matthew S. Smith


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GREETING AND PREPARATION

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

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader:     Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty.
People:     Just and true are your ways, King of the nations.
Leader:     Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name?
People:     For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you.

—Revelation 15:3-4, NIV


PRAYER OF INVOCATION


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ALL TO JESUS I SURRENDER

  All to Jesus, I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.

REFRAIN
I surrender all, I surrender all,
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus, I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.

REFRAIN

All to Jesus, I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Let Thy blessing fall on me.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Now I feel the sacred flame.
O the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to His Name! 

Music by W.S. Weeden. Lyrics by J.W. Van Deventer, 1896/

 


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FROM THE INSIDE OUT

A thousand times I’ve failed
Still Your mercy remains
And should I stumble again
I’m caught in Your grace
Everlasting
Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame

Your will above all else
My purpose remains
The art of losing myself
In bringing You praise
Everlasting
Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame

PreCHORUS
In my heart and my soul
Lord I give You control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise
Become my embrace
To love You from the inside out (repeat)

CHORUS
Everlasting
Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart
Is to bring You praise
From the inside out
Lord my soul cries out

music and lyrics: Joel Houston. Hillsong United. 


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SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON  

Leader: Through Jesus Christ forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. In Christ we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.                                               — from Acts 13:38; Ephesians 1:7, NRSV

SONG OF RESPONSE - TRISAGION
 
Holy God. Holy and Mighty.
Holy immortal One, have mercy, have mercy on us.
REPEAT

Holy God. Holy and Mighty.
Holy immortal One, have mercy, have mercy
Have mercy, have mercy on us. 


PASSING THE PEACE & ANNOUNCEMENTS


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THE WORD OF GOD

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION

SCRIPTURE READING
Matthew 5:43-48 NRSV

43“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Minister: This is the gospel of the Lord.

People: Praise to you O Christ! 

SERMON
Sermon Series: The Greatest Sermon Ever
Sermon Title: Sacrificial Love  
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 catholic1 church,         
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,         
and the life everlasting. Amen.  
                                                   
(1that is, the true Christian church of all times and all places)


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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: Holy and right it is, and our joyful duty to give thanks to you at all times and in all places, O Lord our Creator, almighty and everlasting God! You created heaven with all its hosts and the earth with all its plenty. You have given us life and being, and preserve us by your providence. But you have shown us the fullness of your love in sending into the world your Son, Jesus Christ, the eternal Word, made flesh for us and for our salvation. For the precious gift of this mighty Savior who has reconciled us to you we praise and bless you, O God. With your whole Church on earth and with all the company of heaven we worship and adore your glorious 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: Most righteous God, we remember in this Supper the perfect sacrifice offered once on the cross by our Lord Jesus Christ for the sin of the whole world. In the joy of his resurrection and in expectation of his coming again, we offer ourselves to you as holy and living sacrifices.

Minister: Together we proclaim the mystery of the faith.


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Your death, O Christ, we proclaim
Your rising celebrate!
Your coming Lord we await, to make all things new. 
REPEAT

Minister: 
Send your Holy Spirit upon us, we pray, that the bread which we break and the cup which we bless may be to us the communion of the body and blood of Christ. Grant that, being joined together in him, we may attain to the unity of the faith and grow up in all things into Christ our Lord. And as this grain has been gathered from many fields into one loaf, and these grapes from many hills into one cup, grant, O Lord, that your whole Church may soon be gathered from the ends of the earth into your kingdom. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

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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I NEED THEE EVERY HOUR

I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.
 
CHORUS
I need Thee, O I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
O bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.

 
I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby;
Temptations lose their
power when Thou art nigh.
 
CHORUS
 
I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide, or life is in vain.
 
CHORUS
 
I need Thee every hour, most Holy One;
O make me Thine indeed, Thou blessed Son.
 
CHORUS  

Music by Robert Lowry. Lyrics by Annie S. Hawks, 1872.


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PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

Minister: Lord, in your mercy,
People: Hear our prayer.

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

WONDERFUL MERCIFUL SAVIOR

Wonderful, Merciful Savior
Precious Redeemer and Friend!
Who would have thought that a Lamb could
rescue the souls of men, 
Oh You rescue the souls of men. 

Counselor, Comforter, Keeper,
Spirit we long to embrace.
You offer hope when our hearts have
Hopelessly lost the way, 
oh we've hopelessly lost the way. 

You are the One that we praise,
You are the One we adore.
You give the healing and grace our
hearts always hunger for, 
oh our hearts always hunger for 

Almighty infinite Father
Faithfully loving your own
Here in our weakness you find us
falling before Your Throne, 
oh we're falling before Your throne.


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BENEDICTION

 

Minister: The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, remain with you always.   —based on Philippians 4:7
People:    Amen.


DISMISSAL

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

 

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