Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
December 5, 2004
Worship 10:00 am, Sunday School 11:10 am

Second Sunday in Advent

      "May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify God..." (Romans 15:5-6)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)
  Announcements
  Prelude

  Call to Worship

  Hymn                       (vs. 2) "O come, O come, Immanuel"                         172

  Lighting the Second Advent Candle

*Hymn                           "It came upon a midnight clear"                             195

*Opening Prayer

  For Children              "The Lion and the Mouse"
                                         (Pre-schoolers then leave for playful worship)

  Scripture                                   Isaiah 11:6-10

  Witness Christmas Project

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings          Matthew 3:1-3

  Offertory

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

  Hymn                              "O little town of Bethlehem"                                191

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture                                 Romans 15:4-13

  Message                          "Living in harmony"

*Hymn                            "Bless'd be the God of Israel"                               174

*Benediction


#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship
(based upon Isaiah 11:1-2, 5)

         In the scorching heat of summer, deep in fire-ravaged bush charred and apparently lifeless tree stumps incredibly produce new shoots. Transformation and renewal takes place.

         Isaiah prophesies the coming of one who will renew people's faith and transform the values by which they live.

                  A shoot will come out from the stump of Jesse,
                           and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
                                    The spirit of the Lord will rest on him...
                                    the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
                                    the spirit of counsel and might,
                                    the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
                           Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist,
                                             and faithfulness the belt around his loins.

 borrowed from LiturgiesOnline
   

Lighting the First Advent Candle

         (One of our church families will come forward during the previous hymn, dividing up the following lines to read aloud before they light the first candle.)

         Today - the second Sunday in Advent - we hear about Isaiahís vision of a new and transformed world.
         A world where all creatures live together in harmony and peace.
         We wait with hope for this vision to become reality.
         The God of hope fills us with joy and peace in believing. We light the candle of hope.

(The first candle is relit)

         We proclaim our belief in Godís faithfulness in keeping promises, as we light the candle of peace.

(The second candle is lit)

adapted from LiturgiesOnline
  

Opening Prayer

         O God, who sent Jesus to us as the Shoot of Jesse, open us to a new vision of what it means to be grasped by the spirit of such a one. With complete openness to your Spirit and reverence to your way, may we seek insight by undertaking serious discussion with both our friends and our enemies. Help us to be sensitive and courageous as we seek to guide with judgments so righteous and just that the lamb will not fear to lie down with the lion. Amen.

Bob W. Dell, pastor
Codorus (Loganville, PA) Church of the Brethren
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"
   

For Children
"The Lion and the Mouse"

Props Needed:
         A piece of heavy rope, as might be used in a net to trap a lion You may want to secure an illustrated version of Aesopís Fable, "The Lion and the Mouse," reading this portion of the message and sharing the pictures with the children

         This morning I want to tell you a fable. A fable is a make-believe story that teaches a moral or a lesson. Most of the time the characters in the story are animals who talk and act like people. This fable was first told years ago by a man named Aesop. Itís called "The Lion and the Mouse."

         One day a mouse was running through the grassy field where she lived. As she raced toward her hole, she happened to run across the front paws of a sleeping lion. The lion awoke with a grunt, and angrily snatched up the pesky mouse. "How dare you interrupt my rest!" roared the lion. "For that, you shall surely die!" The lion was bringing the tiny mouse to his mouth when he heard her squeak, "Please, Your Majesty, do not eat me. I am so small, you wonít even taste me before Iím gone. And besides, if you spare my life, there might be a day when I can help you. You never know."

         This idea made the lion roar with laughter. He thought the mouse was so funny - suggesting that such a small creature could someday help a huge beast such as himself - that he let her go. She wasted no time in scurrying down her hole.

         Time passed. One day the lion was in the mouseís field again, hunting for food. Before he knew what had happened, he was hanging from a tree, caught in a hunterís net. The net was made of thick rope, like this. (Show the rope.) The more the lion struggled to free himself, the more tangled in the rope he became. He let out a mighty, miserable roar.

         The mouse, who was nearby, heard the lionís cry and came to his rescue. With her sharp teeth, she gnawed and chewed at the ropes that held the lion, and before long the lion escaped to freedom.

         Aesopís moral for this fable is: ĎDon t judge a person, or a friend, by his or her size. But there is another lesson I would like to draw from this story.

         God promises us a time when the whole world will be at peace. There will be no wars and no fighting, not even arguments. Everyone will get along, and people will treat each other fairly. Even the animals will be friends. Animals who usually kill and eat each other - wolves and sheep, leopards and goats, even lions and mice - will live together in peace.

         This place will be called ĎThe Realm of God,í and it will be so special because the whole world will finally live as God wants us to live. God will send a special ruler to lead the people in this peaceable realm. That ruler will be Jesus.

         People have been waiting for Godís Realm for thousands of years. No one knows exactly when or how God will set it up, but looking forward to that time of peace, love, and fairness is one of the things we do during Advent. We can get ready for God s Realm by being the very best people we can be. We can help God by being fair and kind and generous to other people. If you disagree with someone, try to see things from his or her side. And remember that each person, no matter how big or how small, can do something good for others....Letís Pray

         Dear God, we thank you for your many promises to us. In this Advent season, we look forward with hope and anticipation to the fulfillment of your Realm. In Jesus name. Amen.

from A Time with our Children: Stories for Use in Worship, Year A,
by Diane E. Deming, ©1992, The Pilgrim Press, Cleveland, p. 4-5
   

Witness Christmas Project

         This year, the Witness commission has planned a project in conjunction with the Family Crisis Center of Baltimore Co. (a ministry with which we are heavily involved), helping families currently in or recently released from the shelter. Beginning next Sunday, there will be a Christmas tree in the area behind the sanctuary. On it will be paper "ornaments" of various colors. On each is listed a gift to purchase and donate, many with the first name of the person. The colors determine the approximate cost of the suggested gift. You are invited to pick up as many of these as you wish, bringing the gift, with the ornament attached, back on or before Sunday, December 19th, and place it under the tree. Wrapping paper will be provided for each family in crisis, so that they can wrap and give the gifts to each other.
   

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

         After gospel storyteller Matthew tells his version of the Christmas story, he fast-forwards us many years down the road. Listen.

         "In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, ĎRepent, for the kingdom of heaven has come nearThis is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said, ĎThe voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ĎPrepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.íí" (Matthew 3:1-3)

         With our Witness Christmas project, we seek to prepare the way of the Lord for a family who is struggling through a wilderness experience. We pray that out of their crisis time something new may sprout and grow, rooted in Godís promise. Our regular offerings are much the same. With them we seek to prepare a path for God not only to affect the lives of others, but also for the Lord to walk with us along the way of our own daily decisions. Pray with me.

         Holy One of Israel, you have said that: "in returning and rest (we) shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be (our) strength" (Isaiah 30:15). Open our ears to your voice, calling us to turn to you, to repent, and to become aware every day how incredibly near your kingdom has come. With these offerings we seek to prepare your way ... today. AMEN

         As the ushers receive our offerings, please sign and pass the attendance pads found on the center aisle side of each pew. Ushers?
   

Pastoral Prayer

 

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

 

Benediction

Go now and prepare the way of the Lord.
Welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you,
and bear fruits worthy of repentance.

And may God grant you harmony with one another;
May Christ Jesus fill you with joy and peace in believing;
And may the Holy Spirit empower you and fill you with hope.

borrowed from Laughingbird resources
   

 

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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