Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Freedom in the Spirit Series | Free to Disciple & Baptize into the Household of God + Saturday, April 27

Holy Spirit Sky by Theresa Dedmon

Baptism sets apart a dynamic community of people of all ages that challenges and critiques the social hierarchies of this world. Today we get to wonder again at how God is wondrously creating a new humanity in Christ Jesus with children, women, and men from every tribe, tongue, and nation. 

Sermon Audio | Eastertide Baptism Celebration: Free to Disciple & Baptize into the Household of God

Sermon Scriptures | Ezekiel 36:25-26; Hebrews 10:19-23; Acts 2:17-18, 38-39Galatians 3:27-29; Acts 16:14-15, 30-33

Welcome! Bienvenido! Akwaaba! Mirë se vjen!
خوش آمدید Bem-vindos! 歡迎光臨!

Thank you for joining us for this special baptism mass today. We baptize to obey Jesus in forming and discipling a new family in relation to His family – the Father, the Son, and the Spirit – and His people throughout the ages. Baptism is recognition of God’s promises for us and our children (Acts 2:38-39); one of His divinely ordained means of grace (1 Peter 3:18-22); a personal, familial, and public submission to the once crucified and now resurrected King Jesus (Acts 16:25-34); and a recognition of His power to be with us until He returns to make all things new (Matthew 28:18-20).

In baptism, Jesus is forming His family of Kingdom servants and witnesses where the age, ethnic, and class distinctions of ancient Rome, or historic India or China, or the modern U.S. no less no longer matter. In this sacrament of baptism, we get to personally and communally declare that we all are eternally valued, and remember again that God is pursuing us and has the power to welcome us home into His growing family.

Call to Worship | Genesis 1:1-3

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness covered the surface of the watery depths, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

Baptism Vows

On behalf of Emmaus City Church, we welcome these families who bring their children to receive the sacrament of baptism. Beloved of God, do you promise to share with your children the truth of God’s Word and the way of salvation through Jesus Christ; to pray for them and to teach them how to pray; and to disciple them in Christ’s words, works, and ways by the power of the Holy Spirit as you go in the nurture of Jesus’ Church for the good of your neighbors and the life of the world? We do, and we ask God to help us.

Emmaus City Church, and all present here, do you promise to love, encourage, and support these precious ones by teaching them the Story of God and Jesus’ Good News of the Kingdom; by being an example of how to receive and give His grace and truth, His mercy and justice; and by giving generously to them the love and support of God’s family in community, witness, prayer, and service? We do, and we ask God to help us.

Prayers for Families

Our Father who art 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, and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil
for Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory
now and forever. Amen.

Opening Prayer
Father, we praise You for the promises You have given concerning us and our children – that You declare we belong to You. Graciously call these children to Yourself as Your own by Your Spirit as this sacrament of baptism witnesses to Your redeeming and cleansing love. Jesus, set apart this water from a common use to a sacred use and grant that what we now do on earth may be confirmed in Your Kingdom.

Names of children, for you Jesus Christ came into the world; for you He died; and for you He rose and conquered death. All this He did for you because of His great love.

Name of each child during baptism, we baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Children of the covenant, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, today you are received into the visible membership of His holy catholic Church, discipled to confess faith in Him and called to be His Kingdom servants and witnesses until life’s end. May you never live a day without knowing and abiding in Him. Amen.

Closing Prayer
Gracious God, we thank You that You cleanse and renew Your children. Bless and strengthen us all here today. Unfold to us the riches of Your love, deepen our faith, keep us from the power of evil, and enable us to live a holy, just, and righteous life with Your Church for the glory of Jesus and for the good of our neighbors and world until Your Kingdom fully comes. Look with kindness upon the newly baptized today. Let them always rejoice in this gift You have given them. Fill them with the presence of Your Holy Spirit, that they may grow up into maturity in Christ to know You, to love You, and to serve You. Amen.

Most High God
K. Thompson & Crown of Glory, 2010 A.D.

All other gods, they are the works of men.
You are the most high God, there is none like You!
Jehovah, You are the most high!
You are the most high God!

Jehovah, eh-eh! Jehovah, ah-ah!
Jehovah, eh-eh! You are the most high God!

You are good and Your mercy is forever, Hallelujah!

So Will I (100 Billion X)
Hillsong United, 2017 A.D.

God of creation, there at the start
Before the beginning of time.
With no point of reference,
You spoke to the dark
And fleshed out the wonder of light.

And as You speak a hundred billion galaxies are born.
In the vapor of Your breath the planets form.
If the stars were made to worship so will I.
I can see Your heart in everything You’ve made,
Every burning star a signal fire of grace.
If creation sings Your praises so will I.

God of Your promise, You don’t speak in vain,
No syllable empty or void.
For once You have spoken, all nature and science
Follow the sound of Your voice.

And as You speak
A hundred billion creatures catch Your breath,
Evolving in pursuit of what You said.
If it all reveals Your nature so will I.
I can see Your heart in everything You say,
Every painted sky a canvas of Your grace.
If creation still obeys You so will I.

If the stars were made to worship so will I!
If the mountains bow in reverence so will I!
If the oceans roar Your greatness so will I!
For if everything exists to lift You high so will I!
If the wind goes where You send it so will I!
If the rocks cry out in silence so will I!
If the sum of all our praises still falls shy
Then we’ll sing again a hundred billion times!

God of salvation, You chased down my heart
Through all of my failure and pride.
On a hill You created, the Light of the world
Abandoned in darkness to die.

And as You speak a hundred billion failures disappear
Where You lost Your life so I could find it here.
If You left the grave behind You so will I!
I can see Your heart in everything You’ve done,
Every part designed in a work of art called love!
If You gladly chose surrender so will I!

I can see Your heart eight billion different ways.
Every precious one a child You died to save.
If You gave Your life to love them so will I
Like You would again a hundred billion times,
You're the One who never leaves the one behind.

Death Was Arrested
NP InsideOut, 2017 A.D.

Alone in my sorrow and dead in my sin,
Lost without hope with no place to begin.
Your love made a way to let mercy come in
When death was arrested and my life began.

Ash was redeemed, only beauty remains.
My orphan heart was given a name.
My mourning grew quiet, my feet rose to dance
When death was arrested and my life began!

Oh, Your grace so free washes over me,
You have made me new, now life begins with You!
It's your endless love pouring down on us
You have made us new, now life begins with You!

Released from my chains, I'm a prisoner no more.
My shame was a ransom He faithfully bore.
He cancelled my debt and He called me His friend
When death was arrested and my life began! (Chorus)

Our Savior displayed on a criminal's cross.
Darkness rejoiced as though heaven had lost.
But then Jesus arose with our freedom in hand;
That's when death was arrested and my life began! (Chorus)

Oh, we're free, free, forever we're free!
Come join the song of all the redeemed!
Yes, we're free, free, forever, amen,
When death was arrested and my life began!
(Repeat Bridge)

Ike Ndolo, 2013 A.D.

My bones are weak in me
And my eyes are closed
Because of what they've seen.
I'm stuck in smoke and fire
And it's getting hard to breathe.
My spirit chokes in me
And now I cannot stand,
I'm on my knees.
Hope is coming again!

Come on down to the riverside!
Come on down and get baptized!
Come on down to the riverside
'Cause we've got to die
To make it out alive.

This water brings me life,
Renews my soul
And returns my sight.
My heart was cold as ice
But you made it beat again.
My days had turned to night
But You called my name
And gave me back the Light.
You're bringing hope back again!

I've seen the sum of my tragedies,
Cripple me, so come and set me free!
'Cause everyone needs a remedy
Love can bring, let it wash us clean!

Come Thou Fount
Robert Robinson, 1758. A.D.

Come Thou fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace.
Streams of mercy never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above.
I'll praise the mount, I'm fixed upon it;
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Here I raise my Ebenezer
Hither by thy help I come.
And I hope by thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the fold of God.
He to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee!
Prone to wander Lord I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love!
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above!

Land of the Rising Sun
Ike Ndolo, 2012 A.D.

The dark is groaning, the tomb is reaching out.
Oh, but they can't have me!
Oh, but they can't have me!
The crows are circling, the jackal waits in the dark.
Oh, but they can't have me!
Oh, but they can't have me!

I belong to the land of the rising Son
Where the grave is no more,
The war has been won!
I belong to the land of the rising Son,
I belong to You, I belong!

The world is in my bones, it makes me wrestle with You.
Oh, but You have claimed me!
Oh, but You have claimed me!
No matter how far I've gone, even to the devil's table.
Oh, my God, You've claimed me!
Oh, my God, You've claimed me! (Chorus)

Through my wandering, and my failing,
And my doubting, I belong!
Through the fire, and the darkness,
Through the sadness, I belong!
I'm just a rebel who's tired of fighting,
So I'm laying down these arms.
The sun is rising, the sun is rising,
The sun is rising! (Chorus)

Nicene Creed | 385, 451 A.D.

We believe in one God, the Father almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God,
begotten from the Father before all ages,
God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,
begotten, not made; of the same essence as the Father.
Through Him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation He came down from heaven;
He became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary,
and was made human. He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate;
He suffered and was buried. The third day He rose again,
according to the Scriptures. He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead.
His Kingdom will never end.
And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of life.
He proceeds from the Father and the Son,
and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified.
He spoke through the prophets.
We believe in one holy *catholic and apostolic Church.
We affirm one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look forward to the resurrection of the dead,
and to life in the world to come. Amen.

*Catholic stands for Jesus' Church "according to the whole,"
across time, cultures, and nations that He established
and continues to build by His grace, truth, and resurrection power.

Prayers of Preparation for Eucharist
Matthew 26:26-291 Corinthians 11:23-26

Prayer Asking for Jesus' Help
Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.
I want to see. Please reveal to me who You are.
Give me ears to hear You, and understanding for
the Good News You are saying to me today. Amen.

Prayer for Communion with Jesus and Each Other
Jesus, by Your Spirit, fill us with Yourself,
the true Bread and Vine. We turn to You now to
unite us, strengthen us, and empower us
to be Your Kingdom family of servants and witnesses
together until You return and make all things new. Amen. 

Eucharist | Thanking God for Communion with Christ and His Church

Benediction | Matthew 28:18-20

Celebrant: He is risen! People: He is risen indeed!
Celebrant: All power in heaven and on earth is given to Jesus.
Now go in the peace and power of His Holy Spirit to make
disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son,
and the Holy Spirit, teaching them how to listen to and obey
every good, true, and beautiful thing Jesus said. And remember, He is with you always. You are sent out in Jesus' grace and peace!

Next sermon audio and liturgy notes in Freedom in the Spirit Series: Free to Flow & Grow as the Temple of the Holy Spirit

Emmaus City Church is a local church made up of City Groups.

City Group (CG) is a group of 10-30 people – children, women, and men included – who are befriending, serving, and loving a community together in Jesus' name in Worcester. CGs are small enough that people can know you and value you, but large enough to make an impact in communities throughout Worcester. Each CG gets together throughout a month (i.e. dinners, times of prayer or learning from the Story of God in the Bible, acts of service, parties, etc.) to see Worcester become a city of neighbors and friends that showcase Jesus' love and compassion to all. Those who are cautious or curious to hear and see what it means to follow Jesus are just as welcome as those who believe Jesus is Lord and God and seek to follow Him in every area of life.

Current City Groups: Lincoln Street City Group | W.R.A.P. City Group

To connect with one of the City Groups above, please contact

Christ is all,

Rev. Mike "Sully" Sullivan

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