Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
February 29, 2004
Worship 10:00 am Sunday School for all ages 11:15 am

First Sunday of Lent

      "The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone." (Psalm 118:22)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)
  Announcements
  Prelude

  Responsive Call to Worship                                                                       858

*Hymn                               "Christ is our cornerstone"                                    43

*Opening Prayer

  Scripture                                  John 16:20-24

  For Children                    "I can have anything"
                                         (Pre-schoolers then leave for playful worship)

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

  Pastoral Prayer

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory

*Hymn                                  "Lord, thou dost love"                                     387
                                        (bring forward your Heifer offering as we sing)

*Dedication

  Scripture                                Psalm 118:21-27

  Message                             "the stone rejected"
               Fragile, living stones - a "Passion" series based upon 1 Peter 2:4-10

*Hymn                                       "Cornerstone"                                  (see insert)
                                           followed by 1st verse of
                                             "My hope is built on nothing less"
                                      (in key of F, sung from memory)

*Benediction


#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Responsive Call to Worship
1 Peter 2:4-5, 9-10

Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God's sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Once you were not a people,
but now you are God's people;
once you had not received mercy,
but now you have received mercy.

Hymnal #858, New Revised Standard Version
    

Opening Prayer

         O Lord, you are the firm foundation upon which our lives depend; you are the rock of our salvation; you are the cornerstone so important to the building - the construction, the growth - of this congregation, and of each person and family gathered here. Yes, once we were not a people, but now we dare to believe that we are your people. Once we had not a clue about what mercy is all about, but now confession and forgiveness are not only a part of our vocabulary, they are woven into the fabric of our very lives.
         You know us through and through, our sins as well as the spark of the Spirit which you have implanted within us. In these moments of worship, we turn from our darkness and step toward your light in Christ. Therefore, may the words we speak this hour, as well as all that remains unspoken in our minds and hearts, be pleasing to you, O Lord, for you are our rock and our redeemer. In Jesusí name, we pray. Amen.
    

Preface to John 16:20-24 reading:

         This past week, Christians around the world marked an important transition, beginning the great cycle of Easter that extends from Ash Wednesday to Pentecost. The season of Lent is a time of penitence and prayer, reflection and renewal, preparing us for the remembrance of Christís death, and for the celebration of his resurrection on Easter.

         Our gospel reading on this first Sunday of Lent is taken from John, chapter 16. It should be noted that a third of Johnís gospel - seven chapters - is devoted to the last hours leading up to Christís crucifixion, a time period often referred to as "the passion." Four of those seven chapters are full of Jesusí last words to his disciples. Within this Ďfarewell discourse,í we hear Christ calling them (and us) to wash each otherís feet. We hear him telling them (and us) not to be afraid because "in my Fatherís house there are many mansions," and "I am the way, and the truth, and the life." We hear him encouraging them (and us) to grow in faith because "I am the vine and you are the branches," "abide in my love," and "love one another as I have loved you" - even when the world turns violent and loveless.

         Through all the difficult times, Jesus promised them (and us) that Godís Spirit - "the Advocate" - would be present to help. Listen now to what our Lord had to say about facing into difficulty. The last couple of verses will provide a jumping off point for our childrenís message.

John 16:20-24
   

For Children
"I can have anything"

to be written and shared by Ed Lewis,
a church member gifted in children's stories

  

Pastoral Prayer

 

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

 

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

         Several weeks ago, our children passed around little plastic arks for you to save up an offering for our February special offering to be given to Heifer International. This worldwide ministry, begun by Brethren but now embraced by Christians of every stripe, is still simple in design - even though it has moved far beyond sending only female cows to needy people. The idea is the same - pass on the gift you have received.

         Isnít that what "stewardship" (a big word for a simple idea) is all about: passing on what we have received? Yes, we take care of what we have been given by God. But our care of it is always for the purpose of passing it on. The same can be said of everything we do as followers of Jesus. "Evangelism," for instance - another big word - is also simply a matter of passing on what we have received: good news for all.

         Our offering time this morning involves some action beyond just passing the plates. After the ushers collect our regular tithes and offerings, you are invited to bring forward your ark and place it on the worship center while we sing about God loving a cheerful giver. Now, if you donít have one of those arks, but still plan to give, your offering can go in one of the manilla envelopes found in the pew racks. Write "Heifer" on it and either bring it forward during the hymn, or place it in the offering plate.

Letís pass along what we have received. Ushers?
    

Dedication

         Lord, with these offerings, we freely pass along what you have most graciously provided for us. May the animals and plants purchased with the contents of our arks bless a multitude of families, allowing them to - in turn - bless even more families, passing along the gift. Help us to make wise use of those offerings which are to be used locally. May it all be done for your glory and our neighborís good. Amen.
   

Benediction
(connects to message and last hymns)

We donít stand still upon this "solid rock."
Therefore, go forth and live passionately.
Remember that in Christ,
"fragile" stones become "living" stones.
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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