Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
April 6, 2003
Worship 10:00 am Sunday School for all ages 11:15 am

Fifth Sunday of Lent

      "And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."    (John 12:32)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)
  Announcements
  Prelude

  Call to Worship

*Hymn                              "New earth, heavens new"                                  299

*Responsive Confession                                                                                                       690

*Hymn                           (vs. 2) "Praise him, praise him!"                               100

  For Children                          "Coming Clean"
                               (children then leave for choir practice or pre-school play)

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory

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

  Hymn                       "When I survey the wondrous cross"                          259

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture                                  John 12:20-26

  Message                           "It's all Greek to me"

  Closing Prayer                                                                 (see back of bulletin)

*Hymn                                    "Lift high the cross"                                       321

*Benediction


#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship
Jeremiah 31:31-34 NRSV
(read by 2 voices as the organ softly plays "New earth, heavens new")

1 - The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.

2 - It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt -

1 - a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the LORD.

2 - But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD:

1 - I will put my law within them,

2 - and I will write it on their hearts;

1 - and I will be their God,

2 - and they shall be my people.

1 - No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other,

2 - "Know the LORD,"

1 - for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the LORD;

2 - for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.

(motion for congregation to stand)

Responsive Confession
(based upon Psalm 51)

Leader: Have mercy on us, O God,
                     according to your unfailing love;
People: Blot out all our transgressions,
                     according to your great compassion;
Leader: Wash away all our iniquities
                     and cleanse us from our sin.
People: For we know our transgressions,
                     and our sin is always before us.
Leader: We have sinned against you
                     and have done what is evil in your sight.
    ALL: as sacrifice we bring out broken and contrite hearts.

                         (pause for silence)

Leader: God will create in each of us a pure heart.
             God will not take the Holy Spirit form us.
             God will restore to us the joy of salvation
                     and grant us willing spirits to sustain us.
    ALL: Praise to the God of mercy who loves and forgives us.

Hymnal #690
©1988, Ruth A. Yoder
26175 Woodridge Dr., Elkhart, IN 46517.
   

For Children:
"Coming Clean"

         In this children's message, taken from "Sitting on the Rainbow," by Ruth Gilmore, the storyteller uses some vegetable or olive oil to reveal something about sin. "Have you ever gotten oil on your hands and then tried to wash it off with water? Does the oil rinse off? No it doesn't come off with just water, does it? What else do you need to get oil off your hands? Right: you need soap" (which the storyteller also has, along with a damp cloth).
         Linking to Psalm 51, the rest of the message focuses upon forgiveness, and how God helps us to come clean - a process of show and tell with the children, using the oil and letting them feel the storyteller's hand before and after the soap is then applied... You need to buy Gilmore's book if you want to read more.
       

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

         "While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could deliver him out of death. And God heard his prayers because of his reverence for God. So even though he was Godís Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. In this way, God qualified him as a perfect High Priest, and he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him." (Hebrews 5:7-9, New Living Translation)

Please pray with me:

         Lord, we thank you for giving us, in your Son Jesus, someone who fully understands what itís like to walk in our shoes. He could have chosen a different way, but he didnít. And his path led him to the cross, where he didnít just offer some animal or grain to make things right between your people and you. No, he became the sacrifice - the lamb slain for the salvation of the world.
         God, in the moments that follow we return to you a portion of what you have first given us. We donít bring these offerings to make things right between us and you. Jesus has already done that. Even so, as we give help us learn how to live sacrificially - to give of ourselves in ways that glorify Jesus and you. For you donít desire only a "portion" of who we are. You want all. Help us to step into your kingdom promise with both feet, following "Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2). In his name we pray. Amen.

Will the ushers now come forward to receive our offerings?
   

Pastoral Prayer

         O God, who sent your only Son that all might believe, may we never cease to be amazed as we survey the wondrous cross upon which he died. And when we think we have it all figured out, Lord, blow open our perceptions so that your amazing love might take our breath away, and your awesome demand pull us toward you with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Help us to lift high the cross this day, not to again crucify Jesus, but that all might see him and be drawn to him. As you raised him from death, and given to us the promise of resurrection on the last day, so also raise us up now that we might catch just a glimpse of your glory.

         Lord God, whose amazing love encompasses all people, we pray for those - just now - on the battlefields of Iraq. War is terrifying for both winners and losers. Surround those who call upon you in their need, even if they do not know your name. We pray this conflict end quickly, and those whose loved ones anxiously await them may return home, safe and sound. We worry over the aftermath - the tensions which continue to mount in that "powder-keg" part of the world, the post-war syndromes which may haunt those who fight for the rest of their lives, the grieving of those on either side who must continue on. Bless them all, O Lord. Again, we pray for wisdom for those who lead us. Lift the eyes of every world leader beyond their own schemes, that your justice and your peace might prevail on earth.

         You have heard what we have shared this day, O Lord. You know every name we have mentioned, better than we ourselves. You cry with those who mourn, suffer with those on beds of pain, rejoice with those who step out in faith, laugh with those who are filled with good humor. We thank you for hearing our sharing. May you be glorified in every situation we have lifted up. May we see a bit of your glory in those places and lives which we have not mentioned this morning. Indeed, may we behold your glory in the places and people to whom we will return when we leave this place - wherever we go this week.

         All this we pray in the name of the One who revealed your amazing love to us. May we be drawn to you through him. Amen.
     

Closing Prayer

         Gracious God, we want to see Jesus. We know the temptation to see what we want to see and to be blind to those aspects of Jesus that raise our doubts and threaten our security. Heal us of our blindness. Give us eyes to see your glory manifest in self-giving love, even on a cross. Give us courage to follow Jesus where he would lead us. Give us a heart, like Philipís and Andrewís, to bring outsiders to Jesus, so that God may be glorified. Amen.

by Estella B. Horning, Goshen, Indiana
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"
   

Benediction

 

 

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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

 

©2003 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)

 

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