Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
March 10 , 2002
Worship 10:00 am Sunday School for all ages 11:15 am

Fourth Sunday in Lent

      Jesus said to him, "You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he." He said, "Lord, I believe." And he worshiped him.        (John 9:37-38)

  Gathering                                     "Awake"                                       (see insert)

  Call to Worship                     Ephesians 5:8-14

*Praising                       "When morning gilds the skies"                                  644

*Opening Prayer

  Scripture                                    John 9:1-7

  Childrenís Message                  "Eew!  Gross!"

  Hymn                            (vs. 1) "Anoint us, Lord"                                          631
                              (children leave for choir or pre-school play )

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

  Hymn                         (vs. 2-3) "Anoint us, Lord"                                           631

  Pastoral Prayer

  Moment for Mission                "Meat Canning"

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory

  Scripture                                    John 9:6-15

  Message                      "Hereís mud in your eye"

*Hymn                        "Ask ye what great thing I know"                                337

*Benediction


#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Opening Prayer

         Good morning, God! Thank you for the blessing of this new day. Help us to become more fully awake and alive to your presence. While there are a multitude of reasons why we have come to "church" this hour, at the top of the list is our desire to rejoice and be glad in you. Fill this time and space with your glory and praise. Open our eyes that we might see you, Lord. Open our ears that we might hear you. Open our hearts that we might receive you. Open our mouths that we might speak your truth. Open our arms that we might serve you. This we pray in the name of the One who came, not to condemn, but to save - our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen

Childrenís Message
"Eew!  Gross!"

         John 9:1-41 is a complicated healing story. Is it about the man who was born blind, or about the blindness of those who see him - and the One who healed him, Jesus - through eyes that could not see? Issues of "sin" and "Sabbath," doubt and belief weave through a conversation in which no one seems to be listening (not only blind, they are deaf). Much of this is not ground upon which children tread. However, this story is full of "stuff" that will capture their attention, especially the healing itself (John 9:1-7).

        When they come forward, ask if they heard the story that was just read. What do they remember from it? This not only encourages them to listen (if done regularly), but also helps you know what they considered important. Ask them what people in the story said was the reason this man was blind (he sinned or his parents sinned). Do the children think that blindness is caused by bad things someone does? Get from them what they think. What did Jesus say about why he was blind? ("he was born blind  so that God's works might be revealed in him.") What does that mean? The children may have some very interesting insights.

         Now comes the fun part. Bring out a container of dirt. Ask if they ever play in dirt. When you play in dirt, what happens? (You get "dirty.") Come inside after playing in dirt and what happens? (Take a bath!) You have to wash your hands before you eat, for who knows what was in that dirt - all sorts of germs and stuff. After you've had fun really playing up the "dirty-ness" of the dirt, spit in it. As you do, talk about what Jesus did in healing that man. Ask if anyone wants to pretend and let you put some of that "Eew!  Gross!" dirt on their eyes. No doubt some wise-cracker will offer, but don't do it, though you might come close enough to have them change their mind.

         What happened next? Play with the story, and with the children. Jesus told the man to go wash up in the pool of Siloam. And when he did, he could see. Of course, there's much more to the story, but that's enough for now. Caution, this episode as John tells it is full of symbolism (like "dirt" being used to heal a man whose impairment was blamed by others on some past "dirt"). Don't go there! Symbolism is pretty much lost on young children. Just stick with the story and the fact that Jesus healed him. The way he did it may have been  "Eew!  Gross!" but it was real. ... Have fun with this story!

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

          We are thankful, Lord, for the ability to do something very simple that helps to feed someone, somewhere. We ask your blessing upon this ministry of our district, upon those who will process the food, as well as upon those who will distribute it. Most importantly, we ask your blessing upon those who will one day eat it. Add to this meat your daily bread.
          Yes, Lord, we are thankful for the ability to do something very simple... In the simple grace of this moment of giving, we ask your blessing upon the ministry of this church, and upon us as its ministers. Yes, Lord, add to this "meat" your daily bread. This we pray in the name of the One who multiplied the loaves and fishes. Amen.

 

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

 

©2002 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)

 

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