Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
December 22, 2002
Worship 10:00 am Sunday School for all ages 11:15 am

Fourth Sunday in Advent

      "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel."   (Isaiah 7:14 NIV)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)
  Announcements
  Prelude

  Call to Worship

*Hymn                            "Hark! the herald angels sing"                                201
                                    Lighting the fourth Advent Candle

*Opening Prayer

  Responsive Affirmation of faith                                                                  714

  Alleluia Choir                         "I need your love"                                 arr. Linn
                                   (children leave for choir practice or pre-school play)

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

  Hymn                                    "What child is this"                                        215

  Pastoral Prayer

  Responding with our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory

  Hymn                         "The virgin Mary had a baby boy"                           202

  Scripture                                 Luke 1:26-38

  Message                    "In the hands of a teenager"

  Scripture                                  Luke 1:46-55

*Hymn                         "My soul proclaims with wonder"                             181

*Benediction                           Romans 16:25-27


#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

         "Hark!" In old English, this word means "Listen!" Itís a command, however, with a bite. When the angels suddenly appeared that first Christmas night, those shepherds out in their fields were too frightened to do anything else but pay close attention to what was said and sung in the sky. They harkened!

         What about us? Has this story we have received grown so familiar that it no longer bites us? Or do we allow it to grab our attention such that all we can do is turn away from every distraction and listen?

         Hark! Open your ears and eyes! Pay attention this hour! Donít let the familiarity of the music lull you to sleep. Instead, listen to what you sing. This first hymn, for instance, is packed with meaning. Charles Wesley wrote the words to teach about the "Incarnation of Christ." Originally, there were ten verses. We will only sing the three found in our hymnal.

         As we sing them, however, "Hark!Pay attention!  Listen as, perhaps, you have never listened before! "The herald angels sing ... GLORY!"
                

Opening Prayer

         Weíre listening, Lord. You have our attention. We open not only our ears and eyes, but also our heart, mind, and strength to the awesome glory of King Jesus, our Immanuel. May you be "newborn" in us right now through your Holy Spirit.

         Forgive the ways in which we have turned from you, O God, and how we have been distracted from what is most important. May the words we have just sung reveal the truth - "God and sinners reconciled" in Christ Jesus, your Son, who was "born to raise us from the earth, born to give us second birth."

         We hearken to you, Lord. Speak to us. In Jesusí name we pray. Amen.
      

Affirmation of faith

         Please be seated and turn to the back of your hymnal to #714. May we continue to "hark!" to listen, as we speak together some of the basics of the faith we have received. Please read the words that are in bold print. Donít, however, let them just slip from your lips. As you speak, you also become a messenger of the message. So pay attention.

He was the Son of God.
         He was the Son of Man.
He came down from heaven.
         He was born in a stable.
Kings came to his cradle.
         His first home was a cave.
He was born to be a king.
         He was a child of Mary.
He was the greatest among rulers.
         He was the least among servants.
He was loved and honored.
         He was despised and rejected.
He was gentle and loving.
         He made many enemies.
He counseled perfection.
         He was a friend of sinners.
He was a joyful companion.
         He was a man of sorrows.
He said, "Rejoice."
         He said, "Repent."
"Love God with all your heart."
         "Love your neighbor as yourself."
"Don't be anxious."
         "Count the cost."
"Deny yourself."
         "Ask and receive."
In him was life.
         He died on a cross.
He was a historic person.
         He lives today.
He was Jesus of Nazareth.
         He is Christ the Lord.

Hymnal #714
adapted from We Gather Together, Kenneth I. Morse,
©1979 Brethren Press.

Responding with our Tithes and Offerings

         This week there will be gifts under the tree in most of our homes. Weíve spent a lot of time and effort (if not also a great deal of money) looking for just the right gift for a loved one. No doubt, others have been doing the same for us. Maybe weíre still in the middle of the search.

         Just now, letís hearken, letís pay attention to another kind of gift. Let me ask, is there a present under your tree for Jesus? Maybe not one which is wrapped in pretty paper with a ribbon and bow. This is, perhaps, not something that can fit into any box you have stored in your house for such a time as this. Even so, is there a gift for Jesus from you?

         Think back over this year which will soon draw to a close. What have you done to give glory to the newborn King? In what ways has this King been newborn in you? Think "outside the box." You might be surprised. The gifts we give to those we love, after all, are more than what can be boxed and shared on one day this week. So, also, our offerings to Christ arenít solely what we wrap in an envelop and place in the plate.

         Christmas is a time to remember Godís awesome gift to us in Jesus. But itís a gift that keeps on giving year-round. In return, are our gifts to him year-round? Are you making a connection between Christmas and the rest of the year? Thatís something to ponder as the offerings plates are passed. As you give, be in prayer, responding to these questions. Donít, however, leave the questions in the plate. Take them with you. May the same be said of you as was said of the mother of Jesus, "Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart." (Luke 2:19)

         Will the ushers come forward to serve.
         

 

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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