Worship Order for
Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
February 8, 2004
Worship 10:00 am Sunday School for all ages 11:15 am
"... by the
grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has
not been in vain..."
(1 Corinthians 15:10a)
Morning Praise (9:45 am)
Call to Worship
God, we praise thy name"
Words of Confession and Calling
Refrain (only) to:
"Here I am,
"A fishing story
"Lord, you have come to the
(Pre-schoolers leave for playful worship as we sing)
Sharing a joy, a concern, a word of testimony or praise
Returning our Tithes and Offerings
" Lord of light, your name outshining"
#'s are from Hymnal:
A Worship Book
Worship leaders - see basic
Like a fisherman, God has cast his net upon the sea, and has drawn
us into his boat. But we are not like fish out of water. We are not
caught to be food. Rather, we have been drawn up into this moment to
be fed. The One who is greater than all our struggles, whose
holiness is like a fire cleaning away the debris of our of lives, is
here with us now. So, brothers and sisters in Christ, stand up if
you are able, in this boat called the "church," and praise
the Lord your God - who was, and is, and is to be. The whole earth
is full of his glory.
praise your name, O God, and pray that we might catch a glimpse of
your glory today. We open the door of our lives to you, even if just
a crack. So come, Holy Spirit, blow through this gathering, and make
us your people. Touch the lips of those called to speak, the ears of
those who listen, and the hearts of every person here, that your
Word might become flesh and dwell among us, that we might see Jesus and
follow him now. Amen.
of Confession and Calling
(preface to confessesion):
be seated and turn with me in your bulletin to the
"Words of Confession and Calling" found there,
and letís together make this scripture from Isaiah,
chapter 6, come alive in our worship. With these words,
Isaiah was called as a prophet to the nations. May we,
like he, hear that calling and confess our unworthiness at
the start of our worship. Like Isaiah, may we also hear
and respond to Godís empowering call. Join with me...
One: In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting
on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the
temple. Heavenly creatures stood above him... and they called to
one another, saying:
All: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole
earth is full of his glory."
One: Their voices caused the frame around the door to shake.
The Temple filled with smoke.
All: I said: "Woe is me! I am lost, I have unclean
lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips. But my eyes have
seen the King, the LORD of hosts!"
One: Then one of the heavenly creatures flew to me, holding a
live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs.
He touched my mouth with it and said:
All: "Look, your guilt is burned away. Your sin is
One: Then I heard the Lordís voice say, "Whom shall I
send? Who will go for us?"
All: So I said, "Here am I; send me!"
followed by the refrain (only) to:
"Here I am,
story (or two)"
Objects needed - fishing pole, fishing net, handouts with fish
Any of you
ever used one of these? (Show fishing pole) Good. Now,
forget about that kind of fishing. I want to talk about using one
of these. (Show fishing net) A long time ago, I had the
opportunity to fish with one of these up in Alaska. I was fishing
with some friends from a boat on Cook Inlet. Every summer they
lived on a island catching Salmon and selling what they caught. I
spent a few days fishing with them. It was fun, as well as a lot
had what is called a "set net" operation. They had long
nets - not like this one. One end of the net was "set"
to a line going from a buoy anchored to the sea bottom (not a
"boy," but a "buoy" - something that floats).
The net was stretched across the water to another buoy many yards
away. Fish would swim into this net and get stuck.
We went out in
our boats to one end of the set net, lifted it on top of the boat,
and pulled our way to the other end. As we did, we pulled
different kinds of salmon and other fish off the net and dropped
them in the boat. One fish we didnít keep were
"Flounder." These are flat fish who live on the bottom
of the sea. Both their eyes are on the same side of their flat
body. They look kind of weird. After we took them off the net, we
threw them like frisbees into the water. It became a game to sea
who could make them go the farthest or make the most bounces (like
a skipping stone). As I said, it was fun!
Back in Jesusí
day, his first followers were fisherman. Before he came along,
they spent their days out in boats on the Sea of Galilee, fishing
with nets (not fishing poles). Now, they didnít use "set
nets," like I did in Alaska. They "tossed," rather
than "set" their nets. But it was kind of the same,
because the fish would get stuck in the net, and the fishermen
would collect these fish when they pulled in the net. It was hard
work, but it also was probably fun at times.
If you were
listening to the Bible story that was just read, Simon Pete, and
James, and John had just finished fishing when Jesus came along.
They hadnít had much luck. They didnít catch many fish. Jesus
jumped into the boat while they were cleaning their nets (a chore
you have to do every time you go fishing). He then told Simon
Peter and the others to take their nets and go out fishing again,
something they didnít want to do because they were tired.
Besides, it just wasnít a good fishing day. But he was
persistent, and they gave in.
Did you hear
what happened? Thatís right. They caught lots of fish. So many,
in fact, that their boats were full to the point of capsizing -
that means they were almost ready to sink. I never caught that
many in Alaska! All these fish flopping around at their feet.
Simon Peter got scared. Not about the boat sinking, but about what
this big catch might say about Jesus. Who was this guy? To Simon
Peter this was a miracle. God was somehow involved. And when Peter
looked at himself, he thought, "Iím not the kind of man God
would like. I stink of fish, for one thing. Iím unclean. Iím a
"Donít be afraid." And then he said something else.
What was it? Some of you learned it in Sunday School or camp. Thatís
right. "Follow me and Iíll make you fishers of men."
... Hmmmm! .... Fishing for people - men and women, girls and
boys. Jesusís first disciples went from fishing for fish to
fishing for people. Later on, Peter and James and John would
"catch" people, and lead them to God. In fact, everyone
who follows Jesus, even today, is called to fish for people, just
like those first disciples.
Now, I donít
think you fish for people the same way that you fish for fish.
What do you think? I donít think this kind of net works. (Show
fishing net) But there is a "net" called
"love" which really does the job. With love as your net,
I donít think you treat people like I tossed those Flounder.
People arenít frisbees (fish arenít either). You love people
and lead them to Jesus. Now, believe it or not, fishing for people
is a whole lot of fun, just like fishing for fish. Itís also a
lot of work.
Let me send
you back to your seats with a fish. Actually, itís a symbol of a
fish. The first Christians used this symbol a lot. In the language
they spoke back then, each letter of the word for "fish"
reminded them about who they were catching people for when they
went fishing: "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior."
(teach the following tune at
beginning of joys and concerns,
which then becomes
a refrain responding to items shared,
as well as ends the prayer)
"Surely it is God who saves me:
I will trust in him and not be afraid.
For the Lord is my stronghold and my sure defense,
and he will be my Savior."
listen to the
from "The First Song of
Isaiah 12:2, music by Jack Noble White
A young mother in our fellowship has just
discovered she has breast cancer, and has asked for laying on of
hands and prayer. All who wish are invited to come forward and we
will pray for her and her family. A space will be left within the
prayer for those who feel led to pray in addition to the pastor.
This prayer from the heart will begin by connecting all the joys
and concerns raised to the specific request of this woman (we
bring them all to the Lord), and end with the above chorus.
our Tithes and Offerings
As you return
your offering just now, please pass the attendance pads down your
pew from the center aisle, signing your name, as well as the name of
any young children with you. If you are a visitor, would you include
your address? If you can, please stay for some refreshments after
our service that we might welcome you personally.
Pray with me just now.
Yes, Lord, we
give thanks to you, with our whole heart - not just a little piece
of who we are. You do answer our prayers. Maybe not when and
how we think, but your deliverance is as sure as the sun shining
above, even on a cloudy day. Fulfill your purpose in each of us, and
help us to see what that purpose might be. We are the work of your
hands. With these offerings, we add our hands to yours. In Jesus
name we pray. Amen.