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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 10th, 2016
8th Sunday after Pentecost
Main Line Campus

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

 


10,000 REASONS

CHORUS
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name


The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

CHORUS

You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

CHORUS

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

CHORUS x2

Words and Music by Jonas Myrin and Matt Redman, 2011.
© 2011 Shout! Publishing

 


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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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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! 

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.


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THY MERCY MY GOD

Thy mercy, my God, is the theme of my song, 
The joy of my heart. and the boast of my tongue; 
Thy free grace alone, from the first to the last, 
Hath won my affections, and bound my soul fast.

Without Thy sweet mercy I could not live here; 
Sin would reduce me to utter despair; 
But, through Thy free goodness, my spirits revive, 
And He that first made me still keeps me alive.

Thy mercy is more than a match for my heart, 
Which wonders to feel its own hardness depart; 
Dissolved by Thy goodness, I fall to the ground, 
And weep to the praise of the mercy I’ve found.

Great Father of mercies, Thy goodness I own, 
And the covenant love of Thy crucified Son; 
All praise to the Spirit, Whose whisper divine
Seals mercy, and pardon, and righteousness mine. 
All praise to the Spirit, Whose whisper divine
Seals mercy, and pardon, and righteousness mine.

Lyrics by John Stocker; Music by Sandra McCracken
©2001 Same Old Dress Music (ASCAP).


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CALL TO CONFESSION 

Leader: No one who conceals transgressions will prosper, but one who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.  —Proverbs 28:13 NRSV

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

People: Holy and merciful God, in your presence we confess our sinfulness, our shortcomings, and our offenses  against you. You alone know how often we have sinned in wandering from your ways, in wasting your gifts, in forgetting your love. Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we are ashamed and sorry for all we have done to displease you. Forgive our sins, and help us to live in your light and walk in your ways, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.    

SILENT CONFESSION & WORDS OF PARDON

Leader: The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds. Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.
—Psalm 147:2-3, 5, 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 & ANNOUNCEMENT


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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:     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 by his  glorious resurrection overcame the power of sin and             gave us new life. 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:      By your power you raised Jesus from death to life. Through his victory over the grave we are set free from the bonds of sin and the fear of death to share the glorious freedom of the children of God. In his rising to life you promise eternal life to all who believe in him.We praise you that as we break bread in faith, we shall know the risen Christ among us.                


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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, 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 BELIEFLord 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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CHRIST IS RISEN

Let no one caught in sin remain
Inside the lie of inward shame
But fix our eyes upon the cross
And run to Him who showed great love
And bled for us
Freely You’ve bled for us 

CHORUS
Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave
Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

Beneath the weight of all our sin
You bowed to none but heaven’s will
No scheme of hell, no scoffer’s crown
No burden great can hold You down
In strength You reign
Forever let Your church proclaim 

CHORUS

Bridge
O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light
The glory of God has defeated the night
O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light
Our God is not dead
He’s alive! He’s alive!

CHORUS

© 2009 Thank you Music, spiritandsong.com, Unknown, and SHOUT! Publishing


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COMMUNION PRAYER

Minister:     We thank you, O Father, that through Word and Sacrament you have given us your Son, who is the true  bread from heaven and food of eternal life. So strengthen us in your service that our daily living may show our thanks, through 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

THIS IS MY FATHER’S WORLD

This is my Father’s world, 
and to my listening ears
All nature sings and round me rings  
the music of the spheres.

This is my Father’s world,
I rest me in the thought
of rocks and trees, of skies and seas,
His hands the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world;
the birds their carols raise.
The morning light, the lily white,
declare their Maker’s praise.

This is my Father’s world;
He shines in all that’s fair.
In the rustling grass, I hear Him pass.  
He speaks to me every - where.

This is my Father’s world,  
O let me ne’er forget:
That though the wrong seems oft’ so strong, 
God is the ruler yet.

This is my Father’s world,
the battle is not done.
Jesus who died shall be satisfied,
and earth and heaven be one

Words by Maltbie D. Babcock, 1901. Music by Terra Beata, 1915.


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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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