Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
December 7, 2003
Worship 10:00 am Sunday School for all ages 11:15 am

Second Sunday of Advent

      "The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold."
                                              (Psalm 18:2)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)
  Announcements
  Prelude

  Call to Worship

*Hymn                           "It came upon a midnight clear"                              195
                                   (lighting the second advent candle)

*Opening Prayer

  Confession                                                                                                697

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

  Hymn                                "Infant holy, infant lowly"                                  206

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture                                Matthew 1:18-21

  For Children                            "In a dream" 
                                              (Pre-schoolers leave for playful worship)

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory

*Response                                                                         refrain (only) to 181
                 "My soul proclaims with wonder the greatness of the Lord,
                        rejoicing in Godís greatness my spirit is restored."

*Dedication

  Scripture                                Matthew 2:13-21

  Song                                        "My Deliverer"                                    Mullens
                                                                      (with chords)

  Scripture                                   Malachi 3:1-4

  Message                        "My deliverer is coming"

*Hymn                           "Christ is coming! Let creation"                              295

*Benediction


#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

1 - With the recent snow, it is "beginning to look a lot like Christmas"

2 - at least the Christmas of our dreams.

1 - Last week in worship, we lit the candle of "Hope"
          on the Advent wreath.

2 - This is a season for those who dream of "peace on earth,"

1 - who live with hope that the way things are

2 - will not be the way things will always remain.

1 - Today, we light the candle of "Peace."

2 - As we do so, we place our hope in the "Prince of Peace."

1 - It wasnít "beginning to look a lot like Christmas" when our first hymn
          was written over 150 years ago.

2 - The storm clouds of civil war were forming above our country.

1 - Soon, north and south would be locked in a deadly conflict.

2 - A minister in Massachusetts penned these words.

1 - If you listen as you sing, the third verse speaks of the nightmare of
          "two thousand years of wrong,"

2 - of "warring humankind" which "hears not the tidings" of the gospel.

1 - However, "upon the midnight clear" of a nation heading into war,

2 - the dream of "peace on earth, good will to all
          from heavenís gracious king"

1 - rang out once again on the wings of this song.

2 - As we light the candle of "Peace," worshiping the Prince of Peace,

1 - letís take seriously the call to "hush the noise and cease (our) strife
          and hear the angels sing,"

2 - and with this hymn "send back" (or echo with our voices)
          the angelsí song of peace.

1 - Please stand if you are able.

2 - #195 - "It came upon a midnight clear"
    

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father,
         it is your dream of "peace on earth"
                  which has drawn us
                           to this place and time.
         It is the flame of your Spirit
                  that burns within us.
         And it is in your Sonís name
                  that we pray just now.
                           Amen.
   

Confession

Leader: O Prince of peace,
                    from peace that is no peace,
                    from the grip of all that is evil,
                    from a violent righteousnessÖ
People: deliver us.
Leader: from paralysis of will,
                    from lies and misnaming,
                    from terror of truthÖ
People: deliver us.
Leader: From hardness of heart,
                    from trading in slaughter,
                    from the worship of deathÖ
People: deliver us.
Leader: By the folly of your gospel,
                    by your choosing our flesh,
                    by your nakedness and painÖ 
People: heal us.
Leader: By your weeping over the city,
                    by your refusal of the sword,
                    by your facing of horrorÖ
People: heal us.
Leader: By your bursting from the tomb,
                    by your coming in judgment,
                    by your longing for peace Ö
People: heal us.
All: Grant us peace. AMEN

Hymnal #697 - Peace litany, 20th c., source unknown
   

Pastoral Prayer

 

written closer to the time (if not at the moment)

 

For Children
"In a dream"

Do any of you know this song?:

                    C    Dm7    C     B   C    Dm7      F#7     G7
                   Iím dream-ing  of    a    white  Christ-mas
                                   F                    G7                   C
                                      just like the ones I used to know...

         I thought you might. If the snow we just received stays on the ground, we may just have a "white" or "snow-filled" Christmas. Speaking of dreaming, have any of you started dreaming about Christmas? What are some of your dreams?......

         Let me tell you about Jesusí Dad, the father who raised him in the town of Nazareth. Once upon a time, Joseph was engaged to a young woman named Mary. Something happened, though, that made him think about not marrying her. In fact, he all but decided not to become Maryís husband. And then he had a dream.

         In that dream, an angel (the word "angel" means a "messenger" from God) told Joseph not to be afraid to make Mary his wife. In that dream, the angel told him about Jesus - about how the baby in Maryís tummy would one day save everybody. Joseph paid attention to that dream, as well as to another dream he had after Jesus was born, and he did what the angel - the messenger of God - said.

         I just want you to know that itís okay to dream. The Christmas story is full of dreams - dreams that came true. One thing, if an angel tells you something in a dream, pay attention.

         Iíve got another song about the baby Jesus. Perhaps some of you know it:

                      F          Bb    F   G           C     F
                   You, my God,  a  Babe of won-der,
                                      Bb     C7           F
                                      All through the night;
                        F               Bb      F      G               C     F
                   Dreams you dream canít break from thund-er,
                                      Bb     C7           F
                                      All through the night;

                     Gm     F      Gm     Am   Bb  Am  Gm    F
                   Child-renís dreams  can - not   be   bro -ken;
                            Gm   F    C7   Dm    F     C7   Dm    C
                            Life   is   but      a    love - ly     tok - en.

                      F              Bb     F    G       C
                   Christmas should  be  softly spoken
                                      Bb     C7           F
                                      All through the night;

("All Through the Night" by Nick Reynolds)
       

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

         Joseph wasnít the only dreamer in that family. When Mary visited her Aunt Elizabeth, the Bible says that she just started singing a song about her own dream. Teenagers do that. You may not like the music they sing, or the volume, but singing and playing is important. Iím glad an older adult understood and listened to Mary, and remembered her song.

         As you return your offering, remember Maryís song, too. Think about the song thatís inside of you, needing to come out. By the way, hymn #181, of which weíll just sing the refrain, is a rendition of Maryís song. It might have sounded different, though, because Elizabeth didnít remember the tune, just the words.

Will the ushers come forward to receive what we have to give?
   

Dedication

         God, thank for the dream you plant within us. Thank you for the song that brings it out of us. Thank you for the ability to share what we have, for every gift, all the best dreams, the real songs, come from you. Amen.
   

Benediction

 

 

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

 

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

 

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