Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
April 15, 2001                Worship 10:00 am Sunday School 11:10 am

Easter

      "Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"; and she told them that he had said these things to her."     (John 20:18)

first draft (to be amended, & materials added)

  Prelude                                    "Panis Angelicus"                          Cťsar Franck

  Call to Worship

*Hymn                                  "Low in the grave he lay"                                  273

*Opening Prayer

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

  Pastoral Prayer

  Childrenís Story               "Terror and Amazement"

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory

*Response           (last vs.) "Come, ye faithful, raise the strain"                         264

*Dedication Prayer

  Shalom!                                     "The Resurrection"                          Arr. Fettke
                             (leads into and concludes after the following hymn)

  Hymn                               "Christ the Lord is risen today"                            280

  Scripture                                       John 20:1-18

  Message                             "I have seen the Lord"

*Responding to the Call        "Lord, I want to be a Christian"                         444

*Unison Prayer          (the words to "I believe in you, Lord Jesus" - 440)

*Song                                "My Life is in You, Lord"                 - Daniel Gardner
                                           (words/chords - music/midi)

*Benediction


#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Call to Worship

         In many ways, Easter Sunday is like a homecoming, isnít it? Some of us havenít been around for a while - but here we are, warmed by the fire of this special celebration. Others of us may never have been here before - but here we are, drawn to this time and place by the good news of this day. And then thereís the rest of us, who are so glad to see all of us (new and old) together. Welcome! You are a treasured guest.
         Weíve something important to remember today - a story that lies at the heart of our faith, a life-giving word that needs to be spoken, a truth to which we are called to bear witness: to proclaim with our voices, as well as our lives; in song and in silence; in prayer and praise and profession.
         I invite you to stand, right now, and sing from the heart the story behind this day, from the dark valley of death to the mountaintop of the resurrection. As you lift your voice, sing your song to the Lord, who is not some long-gone character in a book, but is alive and here among us through His Holy Spirit. Welcome Him into your life, for He is our most treasured guest - the reason we are here. #273.

Opening Prayer

O living Christ,
         come to us in the glory of your risen power;
         come to us in the humility of your wondrous love.
Come and reign among us!
Let new life course through our veins,
         new love bind us together,
         and new vision spur us on to follow you forever.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus. Amen.

Hymnal #677, from The New Book of Christian Prayers, ©1986,
ed. Tony Castle, Crossroad/Continuum Publishing Co.

Childrenís Story

         Slightly adapting a suggestion from Welcoming the Children: Experiential Childrenís Sermons (by Brant D. Baker, ©1995, Augsburg Fortress, p.61-62), the children will be the women headed to the tomb to anoint Jesusí body - along the lines of Mark 16:1-8. After talking about how they might have felt, and wondering how they were going to roll the stone away, weíll head down the aisle toward the back of the sanctuary, as if this is where the tomb is. Part way back, one of the men in our church (a massive young fellow not well known by most of the children) will dramatically stand up in front of them.
         At that point Iíll say, "When they arrived, the tomb was already open and Jesus wasnít there, but someone else was. Who do you think it was? An angel. Do you think they were scared? Yes?" At this point this fellow says, "Donít be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you." (Mark 16:6-7) Then he walks out of the sanctuary while we run back up front ("Run!").
         "The Bible says they were afraid and amazed! What do you say when youíre scared? Aaaaah! (Kids: "AAAAAAH!") Letís pray! Dear Lord, help us to realize how scary it must have been for your disciples when at first they didnít understand that you were risen from the grave. Help us not to be afraid, as the angel said, and truly to celebrate you resurrection. Amen."

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

         Yes, the Bible says that those who first witnessed the resurrection of Jesus were frightened by what they saw. Discovering something totally unexpected can do that... Well, brothers and sisters in Christ, we now come to an "expected" part of worship. After all, taking up an offering for the work of the church is something we do every week. Today, however, as you reach for your offering and place it in the plate, think about that first Easter. Give your offering as if this was the beginning of something brand new. Step out in faith. Faith, after all, is a risk. Donít allow this moment to be just "business as usual."
         It could well be that your offering today may represent a real stretch for you, as you seek to give as God calls you to give. You may even wonder whether there will be enough to cover all the bills - whether these be the expenses of your home or of this church. Maybe, just maybe, we all need to hear that angel say to us, "Donít be afraid. Just go where Jesus is calling you to go!"
         Will the ushers come forward and serve.

Dedication Prayer

          Thank you, Lord, when things turn out as we expect them to. Itís hard to live without knowing some of what lies ahead. However, thank you, also, for the unexpected moments. We realize that often your good news comes to life in such times. Help us to live by your hope, and not by our fear. Help us to go where you are calling us to go, powered by your resurrection promise. In Jesusí name we pray. Amen.

 

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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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