Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
April 1, 2001                Worship 10:00 am Sunday School 11:10 am

      "Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil."             (John 12:3, NKJV)

  Call to Worship               (from 2 Chronicles 6:40 & Psalm 18:1-3)

*Song                                     "I love you, Lord"                                (see insert)

*Hymn                               "My Jesus, I love thee"                                       522

*Opening Prayer

  Catching the Scent

  Childrenís Time                "Oil for Anointing"

  Special Music                     "Love found a way"                                    Mattagh
                  (children and youth then leave for choir or pre-school playtime)

  Sharing a joy, a concern, a word of testimony or praise

  Hymn                                 "Man of sorrows"                                              258

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture                                Luke 12:1-8

  Message                   "For the day of my burial"

  Chorus                        "The Messiah has loved us"                            (see insert)

  Responding with our Tithes and Offerings         2 Corinthians 2:14-16a

  Offertory

*Hymn                                "Lord, thou dost love"                                        387

*Benediction


#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship note

An arrangement of aromatic votive candles are on the worship center. As each person having a special responsibility in the service does their part, they light one of the candles.
            - the Worship Leader before the Call to Worship
            - the Childrenís storyteller before calling them forward
            - the soloist before she sings
            - the Pastor before Joys and Concerns/Prayer
            - the Worship Leader before the main scripture reading
            - the Pastor before the Message
            - the ushers, when they bring the offering forward

 

Call to Worship

Now, my God, may Your eyes be open
and Your ears be attentive to the prayers offered in this place.
I love You, O LORD, my strength.
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer.
I call upon the LORD, who is worthy of praise.

(from 2 Chronicles 6:40 & Psalm 18:1-3, see Celebration Hymnal, #77)

 

Opening Prayer

For all that You are,
                      beyond our ability to comprehend;
          and for all that You have done and continue to do,
                      beyond our feeble awareness,
                                   we offer our praise, O God.
Words cannot fully express what needs to be spoken, O Lord.
          May this worship move beyond words,
                      as your Spirit moves among us.
                                   In Jesusí name we pray. Amen.

 

Catching the Scent

         In likening the church to a human body, the apostle Paul once wrote, "If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling?" (1 Cor 12:17) Where is our sense of smell when it comes to the aroma of Godís love? Believe it or not, "smell" is important. Do you remember the story of Noah? After the ark withstood the flood and landed on dry ground, Noah built an altar and made a burnt offering to God. The Bible then says that "when the LORD smelled the pleasing odor, he said, ĎI will never again curse the ground because of humankind ... never again will I destroy every living creature...í" (Gen 8:21)

         The odor of offerings burnt on the altar were an important part of the instruction God gave to Moses. Apparently, as it says in the Psalms, all the false gods in this world "have mouths, but they do not speak; eyes but they do not see, ears but they do not hear, noses but they do not smell, hands but they do not handle, feet but they do not walk... Those who make them are like them; So is everyone who trusts in them." (Psalm 115:5-8) Our God is different. Our God speaks, sees, listens, feels, moves, ... even smells. That is, what people do here on earth, whether itís rotten or pleasant, reaches the "nose" of God.

         When Jesus gave himself up for us, dying upon the cross, this expression of love was, as the apostle Paul also wrote, "a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." (Ephesians 5:2b) The aroma of it still lingers in this world. In fact, we could say that the "scent" of his love is what has attracted us here today. Have you caught the scent? This "fragrance" sticks to our clothing, so to speak, to our very lives. Others will know us by this love. Our business, then, as followers of Jesus? Call it "aromatherapy," if you will - sharing the "pleasant odor" of his love in world that all too often stinks.

 

Childrenís Time
"Oil for Anointing"

(As always, flow with the children. The important element is not so much the words spoken, but the touch and smell of the oil. Allow them to experience more than comprehend.)

         Thereís something we do here as Jesusí church. When somebody has a special need, and really need Godís help - like when theyíre sick - we anoint them. Have you heard about this? It comes from the Bible, where it says that weíre supposed to anoint those who are sick with oil, and pray for them (James 5:14-16). When they ask for it, that is. We donít force anybody to be anointed.

         What is anointing? Anyone know? Have any of you ever seen someone anointed? What do we do? Thatís right, we put a little oil on their forehead. As we do, we say something like: "You are anointed for forgiveness, for strength, and for healing." And we pray for them. Thereís more to it than that, of course. But thatís the big part.

         Thereís nothing special in the oil. Do you want to feel it? See, itís just oil. Itís not really the oil that does anything. Just something we can touch, to help us know that God is very near. Sometimes the oil has a special smell. Can you smell it? Does it smell good? The smell helps us remember how good God is.

         One more thing. I called it "anointing," right? Anointing is putting oil on somebody. In the Bible, they put oil on kings when they became kings. They just poured oil on their heads and let it run down all over them. Does that sound weird? Why do you think they did that? It was just part of the ceremony making them a king. They were "anointed."

         Does anyone know what the word "Messiah" means? "One who is anointed" by God. In another language the word is "Christ." Have you heard that word? Yes, Jesus was "Christ," anointed by God, like a king. And what do we sometimes call ourselves as people who follow him? "Christ-ians." People who are anointed by God.

         Well, enough of this smelly oil. Thank you for being so good. Can you be good a little longer? Letís sit together and listen to Ms. Judy sing a song, and then you can head back to practice up for next week when youíll lead us in singing to God. Shh!

 

Responding with our Tithes and Offerings

         "Now thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads in every place the fragrance that comes from knowing him. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life."          (2 Corinthians 2:14-16a)

Benediction

         I challenge you, as April Fools for Christ, to sniff out the fragrance of his love wherever you find yourself this week, and in some fashion point the way to the Kingdom of God for those around you. Being a hound of heaven is not just my job, you know. May His Holy Spirit go with you, ministers of God.

 

Interested in Sunday School?
Below is a growing list of possible sites to visit. As you discover others, please let us know.

International Lesson thoughts
from the
Mennonite Publishing House

International Lesson
Commentary by
Richard Hughes
(posted on Saturday)

International Lesson
Commentary by
Edwin Elliott

 

©2001 Peter L. Haynes

 

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