Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
December 6, 2009
Worship 10:00 am              Sunday School 11:10am
The Second Sunday of Advent

      And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that on the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.”  (Philippians 1:9-11)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)

  Call to Worship                         Malachi 3:1-4

*Hymn                        "On Jordan's stormy banks I stand"    183

*Opening Prayer

  Lighting the Second Advent Candle

  Song                                    "The Lord is coming"                           (see insert)


  For Children            "Getting ready for a journey"

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory                 (Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)


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

  Sharing a joy, a concern, a word of testimony or praise
                                 (please be brief, and aware of God's listening presence)

  Prayer song                            (vs. 3) "Away in a manger"                                  194

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture                                Philippians 1:3-11

  Message                                  "Tough Love" (mp3)

*Hymn                                     "What child is this"                                      215



*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Opening Prayer

         You are the One who makes ready to road, Lord, even before the thought of traveling it enters our minds. You are the One who begins the journey, coming to us long before we start packing. As we prepare, help us to both lighten our load and take on what we truly need, to pare back and be properly equipped. We’re tempted to take everything and nothing, to stuff our life bags with what’s ultimately unimportant and leave out the essentials. We need the prophet’s cry to turn us in your direction and to prepare us to travel light. That requires of us a listening ear. Okay, Lord, you have our attention. Blow your Spirit through this gathering this morning, and in so doing make this work of your people into heartfelt, real worship. With Jesus leading the way, we pray. Amen.

Lighting the Second Advent Candle
(Isaiah 40:3,6a, 9)

(The advent candlelighter comes forward during the first hymn and stands to the side of  the worship center. On the way, she picks up the microphone from the stand up front and brings it forward. After the Opening Prayer, the candle lighter is voice 2 below. The worship leader is voice 1. Wait to being until the congregation is seated.)

1 - Watch

2 - Estén siempre vigilante

(The candle lighter lights the first candle, the one in front that was lit last week. Only when she is done, continue.)

 1 - A voice cries out:

2 - “Preparen en el desierto un camino para el Señor; enderecen en la estepa un sendero para nuestro Dios.”

1 - “In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.”

2 - Una voz dice: “Proclama.”

1 - A voice says “cry out!”

2 - “¿Y qué voy a proclamar?”, respondo yo.

1 - And I said, “What shall I cry?”

2 - Sión, portadora de buenas noticias, ¡súbete a una alta montaña! Jerusalén, portadora de buenas noticias, ¡alza con fuerza tu voz!

1 - Zion, bearer of good news, climb up a high mountain! Jerusalem, bearer of good news, Lift up your voice with strength!

2 - Álzala, no temas; di a las ciudades de Judá: “¡Aquí está su Dios!”

1 - Lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!”

2 - “Preparen un camino para el Señor.”

1 - “Prepare the way for the LORD.”

2 - Preparen.

1 - Prepare.

(The second Advent candle is lit as the word “Preparen” is spoken two times above. The candle lighter quietly returns to her seat as we sing the next song. Along the way, return the microphone to the stand.)

(Spanish is from the Nueva Versión Internacional)

listen to an mp3 file of the above

Preface to Scripture reading

On our Advent journey this day, we turn from the Hebrew prophets, Malachi and Isaiah, to the prophet of the new age. From the banks of the Jordan river, John the Baptist called God’s people to turn and step into the stream of the Lord’s redeeming work, to be immersed in the healing water as preparation for the coming of the Messiah. Listen to how gospel storyteller Luke describes it.

read Luke 3:1-6

For Children
"Getting ready for a journey"

Again this Sunday, I’d like to meet with our children … but not up front. How about over to the side toward the back? Would all our little ones join me…

Now, some of you were not here last week when we met in the back, and while there we looked all over the sanctuary to notice things we hadn’t seen before. Do any of you see anything different? Yes, there is the advent wreath up front, and the greens and candles in the windows. More decorations will be added as Christmas gets closer.

Do you notice anything else? Yes, there is a light shining way up in the ceiling of the sanctuary. It was there last week, and we talked about how the wise men looked and saw a star in the night sky that they’d never seen before, and they followed it to Bethlehem. The advent word for last week was “Watch.” That’s what the wise men did first. They “watched.”

            The advent word for this week is “Prepare.” Now, once the wise men saw that star, before they went to follow it, they needed to get ready. What do you suppose they had to do to get ready to leave on their trip? When you go somewhere, like to visit family who lives far away, or to go on vacation, what do you do to get ready? (get all sorts of answers from them) Do you think those are some of the things the wise men had to do? Of course, they didn’t have cars to travel in. Think about how it might have been different for them (get their answers, which may involve camels and such – like food for a long journey, but also maps and charts and writings).

The Bible says they brought something else. Three things are mentioned, anyone know what they were. That’s right: gold, frankincense, and myhhr. One of the ways they got ready was to decide what gift they were going to bring. Are you going to give a present to anyone for Christmas this year? I know, when we think about Christmas, we imagine all the things we want to get as gifts. Maybe we get in line and sit on Santa’s lap and ask him for something, or send him a letter. It’s fun to imagine, isn’t it?

Let’s imagine something else. If you could give a gift to someone else, what would it be? Like your mom or dad, what would you like to give them for Christmas? I think that it’s fun to think about giving, just like it’s fun to think about receiving. That’s one way we prepare for Christmas – by thinking about giving. That’s what the wise me did. Before they ever left on their journey, they each decided what gift they were going to bring. And they packed it away for the trip.

Next week, we may meet somewhere else in the sanctuary. Would that be okay? We’ll talk about the wise men some more. Thank you for sharing with me. Please return to your seat.

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

Pray with me:

Gracious and Giving God, we once again prepare for the birth of your chosen Son. Through the voices of prophets and preachers, you have been heard in the driest deserts and the steepest valleys. Unfurl our hearts and open our minds so that we may hear your salvation story anew. Giving this money is a worshipful gesture of our unending alleluias to you. We dedicate this offering to your Kingdom work. Amen.


from the Center for Stewardship, UMC
written by David S. Bell, currently Vice-President of Stewardship
with the United Methodist Foundation of Michigan.
Copyright 2009 David S. Bell.

Preface to Scripture reading

            Every good story has a beginning. During Advent we’re preparing to hear the beginning of the Jesus story, to listen once more to something many of us have heard many times before. We’re also preparing for the beginning of another story about the second Advent and God’s new heaven and new earth breaking loose and becoming reality.

            Everyone has a beginning. Even those wise men who visited Bethlehem long ago were babies at one time. Parents dreamed of them. Mothers nursed them. John the Baptist is no different. We remember him as a fire-breathing rabble-rouser who preached repentance. But he, too, was once the infant son of Elizabeth and Zechariah. On the eighth day after his birth, his father finally opened his mouth and spoke (which is a whole other story) the following words of blessing and prophecy. Listen.

read Luke 1:68-79

Pastoral Prayer


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




Go now and prepare the way for the Lord.
Share in the gospel of God’s grace;
Proclaim salvation and the forgiveness of sins;
Make straight paths for justice and mercy. 

And may God complete the good work begun in you;
May Christ Jesus rejoice in your faith and compassion;
and may the Holy Spirit fill your love with wisdom,
and produce in you a harvest of righteousness.

©2000 Nathan Nettleton, www.laughingbird.net

(para traducir a español, presione la bandera de España)


Interested in Sunday School?
Below is a growing list of possible sites to visit. As you discover others, please let us know.

International Lesson:
Faith and Life Resources
Mennonite Publishing House

International Lesson:
Mennonite Weekly Review

(scroll down on left to "Sunday School lessons)

International Lesson:
Christian Standard
(one week ahead)

International Lesson:
Living Web Sunday School Project

International Lesson:
Adult Bible Studies
from The United Methodist Publishing House
(click "supplemental resources" and "current events supplement" under both the "Student" and "Teacher" sections in the left hand column)

While one of our adult classes follows the International lesson above (see also), using
A Guide for Biblical Studies,
published quarterly by our denomination,
another class often uses one of the
Good Ground series,
also published by Brethren Press.

For children and youth, we use the new
Gather Round curriculum
(developed jointly by the Church of the Brethren and the Mennonite Church)


©2009 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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