Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
March 24, 2002
Worship 10:00 am Sunday School for all ages 11:15 am

Palm Sunday

      "so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend ... and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
                                (Philippians 2:10-11)

The Palms

  Refrain to:                       "All glory, laud, and honor"                                   237
                                                  ("Shalom!" - the adult choir - only)

  Call to Worship                     Psalm 118:24-27

  Refrain to:                       "All glory, laud, and honor"                                   237
                                                         (all the congregation sings)

  Scripture                                Matthew 21:1-9

(*congregation joins in as led, standing, waving palms and shouting:)
"Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!"

*Hymn                                "Hosanna, loud hosanna"                                    238

*Opening Prayer

  Children’s Time   
                                                (Pre-schoolers then leave for playtime)

The Passion

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

  Call to Prayer        (vs. 1) "Beneath the cross of Jesus"                                  250

  Pastoral Prayer

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings


  Shalom!                                    "Agape Love"                                     O’Bryon

  Invitation to Love Feast

  The Word from the Prophet      (see preface to reading)  Isaiah 50:4-9

  Hymn                    (vs. 2-3) "Beneath the cross of Jesus"                               250

  The Word from the Apostle      (see preface to reading)  Philippians 2:1-5

  Continued in Song                 "The Christ Hymn"                 (Philippians 2:6-11)

  Message            "Singing the Song of the Suffering Servant"

  Confessing our faith before Jerusalem                                      (back of bulletin)

*Hymn                         "All hail the power of Jesus’ name"                           106

*Closing Unison Prayer                                                             (back of bulletin)

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Matthew 21:1-9

1 - When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage,
           at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them,

2 - "Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find
           a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me.
           If anyone says anything to you, just say this,

1 - 'The Lord needs them.' And he will send them immediately."

2 - This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,

1 - "Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you,
           humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey."

2 - The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them;

1 - they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them,
           and he sat on them.

2 - A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others
          cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.

1 - The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,

3 - "Hosanna to the Son of David!"

4 - "Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!"

5 - "Hosanna in the highest heaven!"

3&1 - "Hosanna to the Son of David!"

4&2 - "Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!"

5&1 - "Hosanna in the highest heaven!"

All 5 - "Hosanna to the Son of David!"
            Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
            Hosanna in the highest heaven!"
                                  (Repeat, urging congregation to join in, repeat again)

(congregation joins in as led, waving palms and shouting:)
"Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!"

(Organ begins as congregation shouts - #238)

Opening Prayer
(based upon Psalm 118:24-27)

You are our God, and we give thanks to you;
 you are our God, and we praise you above all else.
         Yes, we give thanks to you, O LORD,
                       for you are good,
                      and your steadfast love endures forever.
                                                   And all the people say, Amen.

Children’s Time

         Did you bring your palm branch with you? Good. Did you have fun waving it as we sang? In the story of "Palm Sunday" as we just heard it from Matthew's gospel what did the people do with their branches? Yes, they laid them on the ground in front of Jesus, along with the coats off their backs. Why did they do that? (the children may have some interesting answers)
         A long time ago, during special festivals, God's people in worship would each carry a "lulab," a bundle of branches made up from myrtles, willows, and palms with them to the Temple. They would march around the altar with these branches, waving them. Now, the altar was very holy, and as they touched it with their "lulab" and then brushed against each other, some of that holiness rubbed off on them. Eventually the altar was covered with all these branches.                          (for more on this see Psalm 118)
         I wonder if those people had that in mind as they laid their branches before Jesus. Of course, maybe they were just doing it for fun (or ... list some of the children's ideas). As it turned out, Jesus' path that day, and the days that followed, were aiming for the altar. Only it it wasn't a "festive procession" any more, was it?. What was going to happen to him?  (arrested, put on trial, whipped, crucified ... only let the children come up with it in their own words). We sometimes call this Jesus' "passion."
         Today is "Palm Sunday," a happy day, a time for celebration, remembering how Jesus entered Jerusalem long ago. It's also the first day of a week full of "passion," when we remember how Jesus suffered and died. Later at home, when you look at your palm branch, be sure to remember both the happiness and the sadness. Okay? Okay!

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

         Suffering is a part of life, though we wish it wasn’t. We’d much rather celebrate. Just now, as we shift from the waving palm branches and "hosannas" of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, to the sting of the whip, and the cry to "Crucify!" we come face to face with the "bad news" behind the "good news." As you return your offering to God, ponder this - without Christ’s "passion," his suffering and death, there would be no "promise" of resurrection. No passion ... No promise. Chew on that thought as you give. Will the ushers come forward.

Invitation to Love Feast

         As we have done so many times before, we will again share in Love Feast this Thursday evening, starting at 7:00 pm. Following a period of quiet self-examination, we will wash one another's feet as servants of the Lord. Around his table we then will eat an "agape meal," sharing our love for one another. Finally, with bread and cup we will remember and proclaim his death upon the cross.
         Brothers and sisters, it is the love of God in Jesus Christ that draws us to the Lord's table. Come, a place is seat at the table for you. Even if you just wish to watch.  Come, the feast of the Lord awaits.

Preface to "The Word from the Prophet"

         In our worship today we have moved from "Palms" to "Passion," from celebration to suffering. Isaiah 50:4-9 has been called by some the "third song of the suffering servant." Who was Isaiah referring to as the "suffering servant?" Was it himself, a prophet called to speak God’s Word to a people who wouldn’t listen, who turned on the speaker? Was it Israel, or at least that small remnant of this nation who remained faithful, often persecuted by those who rebelled against God? Or was this "suffering servant" someone else altogether, perhaps the Messiah? As you listen to this scripture, hear the absolute trust in God found within these words - a trust that transforms rejection and suffering.   Isaiah 50:4-9

(vs. 2-3) "Beneath the cross of Jesus" #250

Preface to "The Word from the Apostle"

         There is another "song of the suffering servant." This one leaves no doubt as to the identity of this servant. It, also, is full of absolute trust in God. When the apostle Paul "sings" it in his letter to the Philippians, he invites us to enter the melody, or should I say, to let the melody enter us. Listen.
         Philippians 2:1-5, followed by "The Christ Hymn" (Philippians 2:6-11)   

Confessing our faith before Jerusalem

One: His journey nearly finished, Jesus stands before the city of Jerusalem. The cross is in front of him. We know what he will do.

All: In these last weeks, we have been reading his story. We have tried to listen, to follow him. Now the city is before us. What will we do?

One: He went before us. He taught us so much, yet a message very simple. God asks not for help; God asks for you. Jesus came not to help out, but to be poured out.

All: We are afraid.

Silence for reflection

One: Are you still afraid?

All: We are afraid - yet by the name of Jesus, we enter the city.

Hymn - "All hail the power of Jesus’ name" - #106

Closing Unison Prayer

         God, I pray for the mind of Christ. It takes time to learn that you do not ask for my help; you ask for me. Let me be yours.

written by David R. Miller, pastor           
First Church of the Brethren              
Roanoke, VA                            
for the                                  
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin


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)


return to
Worship Orders

return to

return to

return to
Long Green Valley Church