Worship Order for Sunday

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)
  Announcements
  Prelude

  Call to Worship

*Hymn                          "Holy God, we praise thy name"                              121

*Opening Prayer

  Words of Confession and Calling

  Refrain (only) to:                    "Here I am, Lord"                                         395

  Scripture                                    Luke 5:1-11

  For Children                "A fishing story (or two)"

  Hymn                    "Lord, you have come to the lakeshore"                         229
                                   (Pre-schoolers leave for playful worship as we sing)

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

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture                                      Psalm 138

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory

  Scripture                             1 Corinthians 15:1-11

  Message                                 "Not in vain"

*Hymn                       " Lord of light, your name outshining"                          410

*Benediction


#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

         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.
    

Opening Prayer

         We 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.
   

Words of Confession and Calling
Isaiah 6:1-8

(preface to confessesion):

         Please 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 blotted out."

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, Lord," #395
    

For Children
"A fishing story (or two)"
Luke 5:1-11

Objects needed - fishing pole, fishing net, handouts with fish symbol

         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 of work.

         Our friends 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 sinner."

         Jesus said, "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."
         

Pastoral Prayer

(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)

                C             Em          Am           (G bass)
"Surely it is God who saves me:
        F                                  G
I will trust in him and not be afraid.
         C              Am                       F        C
For the Lord is my stronghold and my sure defense,
 F        G         C  
and he will be my Savior."

listen to the tune

from "The First Song of Isaiah" (chorus)
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.
   

Returning 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.
     

 

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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