Worship Order for
and Lord's Prayer
change this week, God. The hours of light tomorrow will be the
same as the hours of dark, and you are Lord of all. In our part
of your world, the time has come in earnest for harvesting the
grain from your fields and the fruit from your vineyards. Thank
you for providing such goodness. We confess we have grown
distant from the process of planting and reaping, forgetting
that our daily bread does not originate in a supermarket aisle.
Forgive us this “progress.” Remind us of the hands that feed us
- the hands of those who work the soil and who then gather in
the growth, … your hands.
Feed us with your
Word this hour, O God, amid all the changes of life. We open
ourselves to you, praying together those oh-so-familiar words:
Our Father, who art in heaven….
Our second scripture this morning is the tail end of the story
of Jonah, God's reluctant prophet. You might recall that Jonah
son of Amittai was called by the Lord to cry out against the
wickedness of the people in the city of Ninevah. Instead of
heading in that direction, however, be boarded a ship traveling
the other way. Perhaps you remember his encounter with a big
fish along the way, who belly-flopped him back to where God
wanted him to go. We pick up the story right after Jonah
half-heartedly preached God’s message to the folks of Ninevah
and, amazingly, they responded by changing their ways. Listen to
what happened next:
and the worm"
children come forward, whistle the tune to “We sail a ship with
a man named Jonah.”]
It was just one little worm. That’s all. But that itty-bitty
worm mad Jonah very unhappy. A worm! Sometimes we allow little
things to make us unhappy. Have you ever let something little
make you sad or mad? Like when you want to play outside and it
starts to rain. Have you ever been sad or mad because it’s
raining? I know I have. Even now that I’m a big person, I can be
sad on rainy days. When I think about it, it’s kind of silly. If
there was no rain, the ground would become really hard and dry,
the grass would become brittle and hurt my feet, plants wouldn’t
grow. What would I eat if there was no rain? Little drops of
water from the sky can be good things, when you think about it.
So can a little worm. It could have been for a man in the Bible
It’s a longer story than this, but I want to tell you about the
day he allowed a worm to make him unhappy. It wasn’t like he was
happy before that worm came along. No, he was miserable, and he
was mad at God because God was being good to people Jonah didn’t
think God should be good to. Jonah didn’t think God was being
fair. They should have been put in a time-out chair – for a
really long time, or made to eat everything on their plate (even
the broccoli), or had something special taken away from them, or
maybe even been spanked. That’s what Jonah thought. But God
didn’t. And Jonah was mad.
He was so mad at God (have you ever been mad at your parents?)
that he put himself in a time-out chair. Imagine that! Putting
yourself in a time-out chair to punish your parents. Isn’t that
silly? It was a hot day and Jonah sat in his time-out chair,
pouting. Because God loved Jonah, God made a bush grow to cover
him with shade. And this made Jonah happy. That’s right, a bush
made him happy. Now, there’s nothing wrong with bushes. I like
them, too. However, I think that happiness isn’t caused by a
bush. I think it is something that comes from inside of us.
So here is Jonah, happy because a bush is giving him shade. And
then along comes that little worm I mentioned earlier. God sent
the worm. That’s right. God uses worms. He did with Jonah. The
worm came and ate the bush. That worm must have been pretty full
after eating that bush! All of a sudden Jonah didn’t have shade
on a hot, hot, hot (did I say it was hot?) day. And this made
him angry, so angry he told God he wanted to die! Can you
believe that? All because of a little worm. Isn’t that silly?!
I think God was trying to teach Jonah a lesson. What do you
think that lesson was? (get responses)
I like how you’re thinking. Those are all good answers. You
know, the Bible doesn’t say whether or not Jonah learned his
lesson. The story just ends with God saying how much he cares
about everyone, even the people and the animals in Ninevah.
And that is the story of
Jonah and the worm.
Leader: Side by side,
People: it gets easier to recognize the still small voice of
Leader: Side by side,
People: it gets easier to admit our imperfections and mistakes.
Leader: Side by side,
People: it gets easier to forgive ourselves and be forgiven.
Leader: Side by side,
People: it gets easier to ask, "What are you teaching us, Lord?"
Leader: Side by side,
People: it gets easier to live a life that pours out gratitude
to Jesus, our friend and our guide.
All: Side by side, we come.
by Gail Erisman Valeta
Prince of Peace Church of the Brethren Littleton, Colorado
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word
written closer to the time (if not at the
September 21, 1820 –Abraham Harley Cassel is
born. Cue the singing angels.
We Brethren don’t
canonize people, but if we did then Abraham Harley Cassel would
qualify as a saint. It’s hard to imagine what the writers of
Brethren history would do without him.
Born September 21,
1820 near Kulpsville, PA, his formal education was limited to
six weeks of schooling when he was eleven years old. Cassel’s
father, like many Brethren, believed that education, if not
outright evil, was of no benefit to a good Dunker. After all,
the thinking went, you couldn’t embezzle money if you didn’t
know higher mathematics.
But in the best
tradition of self-education, Cassel was a voracious reader and
once he was old enough, a collector. As he wrote to a friend
once, “My greatest delight from early infancy was in
Books and matters of former times. Consequently the pursuits of
my whole life were bent in that channel. I have therefore
amassed an amount of matter that is almost incredible.
Among which may be found Letters, Genealogies, and other
Manuscripts from many of the most ancient Brethren….I have
traveled thousands of miles and ransacked many old Bee-Boxes and
Flour Barrels in the garrets and Lofts of their
dispersed descendants to collect them….”
The fame of his
collection spread and attracted people from across the country
and even around the world. What the loss of these materials
might have meant is incalculable.
Cassel not only
collected these books and materials, he also read them. He
wrote many historical articles for Brethren magazines, and was
often asked to settle questions of history. He himself,
however, did not write a history of the Brethren because he
thought of himself as uneducated. Also, Brethren were not sure
they needed a history. At the 1895 Annual Meeting, for
instance, Landon West urged the defeat of a motion to authorize
a history because the church needed no book beyond the Bible.
collection became the focus of a race to write the first
Brethren history. At one time or another the peripatetic
writer, editor, missionary enthusiast Daniel Long Miller,
educator Solomon Z. Sharp, pastor and educator George N.
Falkenstein, H.R. Holsinger, who was the innovator and
separatist leader of The Brethren Church, church leader Jacob G.
Francis, and Julius F. Sachse, a non-Brethren historian and
haberdasher worked with or sought to work with Cassel’s
materials. In the end educator, college president, politician,
and future governor of Pennsylvania Martin Grove Brumbaugh, in
the words of Donald F. Durnbaugh, “…appeared like a hurricane
force in the later 1890s. In its course he swept aside previous
aspirants to the honor of completing the first substantial
Brethren history. This he accomplished in a relatively short
period; the actual writing of his pioneer history took him just
The history, which
appeared in 1899, was dedicated to Cassel with these words: “No
man ever lived or will live, who will do for the Dunkard Church
what Bro. Cassel has done. Our history was engraved and
preserved on the shelves of his library. He kept safe our
records as a denomination.”
Abraham Harley Cassel died on April 23, 1908.
And that’s the Tercentennial Minute for Sunday, September 21.
by Frank Ramirez, pastor of the Everett, PA
Church of the Brethren
posted by permission
The Everett church
graciously makes available these weekly vignettes from Brethren
to all who are interested during this
anniversary year of our denomination.
Frank will be the guest preacher for our Homecoming on October
(this is our congregation's 100th anniversary year)
our Tithes and Offerings
(quotes Phillippians 1:21, 27a and Matthew 20:16
“To live is
Christ, and to die is gain.” So wrote the apostle Paul from
prison to his fellow believers in Philippi. That’s not how we
usually think about such things. Death, after all, is a loss.
Yet here, Paul speaks of it as being in the profit margin of
life’s ledger. Is this fuzzy math, or is more going on here than
we realize? ... As you return your offering this morning, think
about the upside-down nature of God’s kingdom, where “the
last will be first and the first will be last,” where “those
who find their life will lose it and those who lose their life
for (Jesus’) sake will find it.”
Ponder also these other words
Paul wrote to encourage his friends in Philippi: “Live your
life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ…”
May your lives be blessed with
grace of God,
sacrificial love of Jesus Christ, and
power of the Holy Spirit.
Moira B Laidlaw
Uniting Church in Australia
(para traducir a español, presione la bandera de España)