Worship Order for
God has led us
to this place and time. We have come into the Lordís house. Make
no mistake, however. Our true sanctuary is not make of brick and
wood, unlike this building. In this place we sing our praise. Here
we listen and respond to Godís Word. Here we offer ourselves to
the Lord. As we do so, though, we are looking through eyes of faith
toward another holy place, one not made with human hands. Listen to
what it says in the letter to the Hebrews:
"Christ didnít mess around
with replicas and enactments. He was for real. He went into
the real Holy Place ó not our home made model, but heaven
itself ó and there he is now, in the presence of God,
appearing on our behalf. It is not that Jesus has to offer
himself to God over and over again. The old high priest had
to go into the Holy Place in the temple again every year to
offer a sacrifice of blood ó not his own, but that of an
animal. If Jesus had been required to follow the same
system, he would have needed to come back and suffer on
earth over and over again, from the day of creation to the
end of time. It is not like that though. Jesus waited until
time was almost up and then appeared once and for all. He
came to remove sin, permanently, and he made the ultimate
sacrifice to see the job through. Everyone has to die once
ó thatís just part of being human ó and after that we
face the music. Christ died once too ó he absorbed into
himself all the guilt and grief of the whole dysfunctional
human race and sacrificed his own life to save them from it.
Having done that once, he will appear again, but not to do
the same thing all over again. This time he will appear for
the grand finale ó the great liberation of all those who
have been eagerly anticipating his promised arrival."
©2000 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net
compare to NRSV)
This is the hope upon which we build our lives. This is why we
are gathered here. So, then, letís sing our praise. Letís open
our ears to Godís Word. Letís offer ourselves to the Lord.
Lord, hear and accept the praises we sang to you, acknowledging our
faith and trust in you, and appreciating all you have done for us.
We strive to live for you. In Jesus' name, Amen.
(written by Eva Simmons, worship
Theme: Jesus wants us to give generously from what we have.
It is never too
early to learn stewardship, and not just of money, but of all the
things God has given us. Many children witness their parents
giving to the church grudgingly, sparingly, after all other
expenses and luxuries have been provided. This is not what Jesus
teaches. He teaches us to give generously, dedicating all we have
to God s use rather than to ourselves.
Scripture: Mark 12:41-44
Device: A piece of bubble gum for each child
Goals: To educate about unselfish giving
experience being given to
rewarded for being in the church
Technique: Have enough pieces of bubble gum so you can
reasonably expect to give each child a piece. The object is to
have enough so that no one gets left out. Have the gum in your
pocket, giving the impression that there is just enough to go
what Jesus meant by what he said in this story. The poor widow who
gave only a few pennies offered more than the men who gave $100,
because she gave from the money she needed to live on; the others
gave from their bank accounts. Jesus teaches us to give
generously, not simply to provide for ourselves.
Tell the children
you have some bubble gum which you were looking forward to
chewing, but you are willing to share. Ask those who would like a
piece of bubble gum to raise their hands. Give gum to those
children whose hands are raised, encouraging the others to take
some also. Children will be shy about asking, or they may have
been taught not to take from other people. However, I have yet to
meet a child who dislikes bubble gum and who truly doesn't want
any if it is offered. Try to leave no one out. Most likely, as you
begin to hand out the gum and the children see that you are
serious, they will start to raise their hands. As you hand it out,
comment upon how many of them want gum, asking out loud if you
have to give all of them gum. Would Jesus want you to give all of
them gum? It s amazing how quickly children can answer yes. As you
near the end, begin to grumble a little about having given away so
much. When you are down to the last child, ask if Jesus means that
you must give that child a piece too. Do we have to share and give
generously? The answer is yes.
This is what
Jesus teaches us: to give generously from what we have. We are to
share with all people.
Notes: This is a good example of church being fun, and
providing fun is as important as communicating the message. When
children enjoy themselves and come away with something tangible
and good, other children, reluctant to participate, may be
encouraged to come.
Be sure to stress
that the pieces of gum are to be taken home unwrapped and unused.
by Bucky Dann,
pp. 72-73 in Creating
our Tithes and Offerings
referring to write-up on back of bulletin) God accepts gives
from our wealth and also gifts from our poverty. Let us give.
(written by Eva Simmons, worship
Father, accept these gifts given to you from our hearts. May they be
used to further Thy kingdom. Amen.
(written by Eva Simmons, worship leader)
written closer to the time (if not at the
"As you therefore have received Christ Jesus
live your lives in him,
rooted and built up in him
and established in the faith,
just as you were taught,
abounding in thanksgiving."