Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
February 10, 2013
Worship 10:00 am          Sunday School 11:10am

Transfiguration Sunday

          And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

   Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)          "Christ upon the mountain peak"         232
  Prelude                        "Prelude and Fugue in G Major"                    J.S. Bach

   Call to Worship

*Hymn                                  "O worship the King"                                       66

*Opening Prayer


  Notes along the way

  Scripture                                 Exodus 34:29-35

  Unison Confession                                                                                    703

  Assurance of Forgiveness

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

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

Bright as a flash of lightning

  Notes along the way

  Scripture                                   Luke 9:28-36

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

   Hymn                                    "Be thou my vision"                                      545

  Pastoral Prayer


  Notes along the way

  Scripture                            2 Corinthians 3:17 – 4:7

  A Testimony (mp3)                                                                        Frank Moses
from the Helping Up Mission

*Song                                    "Shine, Jesus, Shine" (Chords)                        (insert)


*Postlude                                   "Postlude in C"                                 Scarmolin

*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship
(based upon Psalm 99)

The awesome love of God rules;
            let all nations and rulers tremble!

God wears the light of galaxies;
            let our little earth shake!
Greater than the holiest temples,
            shaper of time and space;
let humanity tremble in awe
            and worship such Otherness!

Exquisite lover of justice,
            you uphold sincere goodness.
Wherever there is impartial love
            it is your doing.
Let everyone sing your praises
            and fall at your holy feet.

Among today’s prophets
            you still have a Moses and Elijah.
Where there are sincere priests,
            there is found a new Samuel.
Pillars of fire still guide,
            and the law of love still stands.

O unspeakable Name,
            even now you hear your people.
You take evil to task,
            yet you are forgiving God.
We celebrate such awesome love,
            we exult in the Lord our God!

by Bruce D. Prewer ©2000,
Uniting Church in Australia

Opening Prayer

Transforming God,
     you come to us in expected and unexpected ways,
          desiring to be known yet remaining a mystery.
Make your presence known among us.
Confront us.
Wrestle with us.
Change us, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. AMEN

Hymnal #735
by Rebecca J. Slough
adaptation copyright © 1992 The Hymnal Project

Notes along the way

             Two stories from scripture bring light to our worship this day, one from the Hebrew portion of the Bible, the other from the New Testament. As we listen to them, one season in the life of the church is drawing to a close, and another is about to open. The season of Epiphany began five weeks ago with the story of wise men following a star to Jesus, and it has been a time for us of seeking the light of Christ in the world around us, and pondering how God is shining even in places we least would expect. The season of Lent begins this week, and it is a time for us to focus intentionally upon the journey Jesus traveled to the cross, preparing ourselves along the way.

             Our first story, like the second, takes place upon a mountain. Moses, who earlier led his people out of slavery in Egypt, ascended Mount Sinai alone to encounter God and receive the commandments of the Lord. This scripture from the book of Exodus involves his return, coming down the mountain to God’s people. However, something is different about Moses. It says his face was shining. As you listen, try to imagine what that might have been like. By the way, here is a case where a picture or a video is not worth a thousand words. Listen, also, to the fear of those who saw Moses’ face shining brightly. Light exposes our darkness. Prepare yourself for confession.

Hear, the Word of God.

Exodus 34:29-35

1 - Moses came down from Mount Sinai.

2 - As he came down from the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant in his hand,

1 - Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God.

2 - When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, the skin of his face was shining,

1 - and they were afraid to come near him.

2 - But Moses called to them;

1 - and Aaron and all the leaders of the congregation returned to him,

2 - and Moses spoke with them.

1 - Afterward all the Israelites came near,

2 - and he gave them in commandment all that the Lord had spoken with him on Mount Sinai.

1 - When Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil on his face;

2 - but whenever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him,

1 - he would take the veil off, until he came out;

2 - and when he came out, and told the Israelites what he had been commanded,

1 - the Israelites would see the face of Moses, that the skin of his face was shining;

2 - and Moses would put the veil on his face again, until he went in to speak with him.

from the New Revised Standard Version,
copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the
National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved

Unison Confession

Gracious God, hear our confession.
Our faith is uncertain,
      our forgiveness slow,
      our conviction weak,
      our compassion wavering.
We have exalted the proud and powerful,
      put down the weak,
      saturated the rich with good things,
      neglected the poor,
      sent the hungry away empty-handed.
We have helped ourselves.

Show us your mercy,
Help us show mercy,
      through your Son, our Savior. AMEN

Hymnal #703
Adapted from the musical "Prayer Phrases"
by Harris J. Loewen, ©1986

Assurance of Forgiveness

There is therefore now no condemnation
         for those who are in Christ Jesus.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus
         has set us free from the law of sin and death.

Hymnal #709
Romans 8:1-2, adapted from
the New Revised Standard Version,
copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the
National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

             The season of Lent begins this week, starting with Ash Wednesday. There are two resources we’d to offer you for these 47 days. One is a devotional booklet published by Brethren Press. Entitled, “The Practice of Paying Attention,” the author is a minister in our own Mid-Atlantic district. Perhaps you already picked up a copy on your way into the sanctuary. They are on a table in the narthex.

             The second resource is not from our tradition, but may be helpful for you this week. On Ash Wednesday in many churches, believers place ashes upon their forehead as a reminder that from dust we came, to dust our bodies will return, and that there is that in us which needs the consuming fire of God. These ashes were made from dried Palm branches used in this church. While we won’t have a special service here on Wednesday, you are invited to use these ashes as part of your own devotion that day. A basket with packets of ash is sitting on the same table in the narthex as the devotional booklets. Feel free to take one.

            Now, as a response to the steadfast love and mercy of God, I invite you to return your tithes and offerings. Ushers, would you serve by receiving what we have to share?

Notes along the way

             We come to the second Bible story around which our worship revolves this morning, one we often call, “the Transfiguration.” This word - transfiguration - is not often used in our everyday conversation. It speaks of change, which is a journey most of us would rather avoid. Our preference is for things to remain the same, even if what we’ve grown used to, that which we find comfortable is not doing us any good, or perhaps is even proving to be harmful.

             This gospel story involves Jesus and three of his closest disciples. Again, there is a mountain, and here we encounter a character from our first Bible story. On the surface, what is changed is the appearance of Jesus, how his disciples saw him. Deeper down, however, something is happening that uncomfortably shifts the lives of these men. On the horizon looms another mountain, where Jesus is headed from here – Jerusalem, that city on a hill, Zion. Something will happen there which will change everything.

             What do we do with change? How do we handle it? Can it even be handled, or do we ride it like a boat traveling through rapids? Certainly those three disciples hadn’t a clue in that moment they perceived Jesus transfigured on the mountain. Soon, they will follow him down the hill, and the journey from there will transfigure them.

             As you listen to this gospel scripture, imagine yourselves in the sandals of those three disciples. Allow yourself to be unnerved by what you hear. Sit on the edge of your seat, as if preparing to stand. Change is coming. As we shift seasons from Epiphany to Lent, don’t be satisfied with being comfortable. We don’t travel through Lent in an easy chair. Be ready to move, for soon we embark on a journey of faith that will bring us to a cross and an empty tomb. Are you truly listening?

Luke 9:28-36

1 - About eight days after Peter made a leap of faith and declared Jesus to be the Messiah,

2 - and Jesus then spoke of how he would suffer and be rejected and killed,

1 - and how true discipleship involves denying yourself, taking up your cross, and following,*

2 - Jesus took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray.

1 - As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed,

2 - and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning.

1 - Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus.

2 - They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.

1 - Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake,
          they saw his glory and the two men standing with him.

2 - As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him,

1 - “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”

2 - (He did not know what he was saying.)

1 - While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them,

2 - and they were afraid as they entered the cloud.

1 - A voice came from the cloud, saying,

2 - “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.”

1 - When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone.

2 - The disciples kept this to themselves and did not tell anyone at that time what they had seen.

scripture text from

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

*these words in italics summarize Luke 9:18-27 and are inserted here.
They are not part of verse 28 in the NIV.

Pastoral Prayer


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


Notes along the way

             The folks in the Corinthian church were a contentious bunch. They must have argued incessantly over which person was the most important, or who had the best gifts. Otherwise, why would the apostle Paul have gone to such lengths in his first letter to them to emphasize that no part of the body of Christ is insignificant, and that what seems the least is perhaps the greatest? These people also had some bad habits when it came to sharing. At pot lucks, the richer folks conspired to arrive earlier so as not to have their food gobbled up by the poorer folks. “You are eating and drinking judgment upon yourself,” Paul pointed out. Furthermore, that beautiful chapter Paul wrote to them about love, the one we read last week, was sent to these people for a reason. They lacked it. And, they were super critical of everyone, especially Paul himself.

             Thus it comes as a bit of a surprise for Paul to claim in the passage of his second letter to the Corinthian church we will soon hear, that even these people are being transformed to reflect God’s glory. This is God’s habit, you know – to be at work in places and among people we least would expect, bringing out the best in folks we might be tempted to see as lost causes. The truth is – all of us have dark places within us in need of God’s light. All of us struggle to see clearly, blinded by some veil that needs to be pulled aside. All of us are fragile, if not cracked or broken in some way, in need of the potter’s hand to transform us.

             As I listen to the following scripture, I hear the good news that God does not transform us into something we are not. “Glory” isn’t about erasing our human-ness. Change is a journey - one degree, one step at a time. When we look in the mirror, we still see ourselves – ourselves, however, as God created us to be. We remain clay jars, earthen vessels, still cracked and broken in some places, though now these imperfections make us more valuable, since God’s treasure within is shining through them. Be listening, and see if you hear what I hear in these words.

2 Corinthians 3:17 – 4:7

1 - Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

2 - And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror,
           are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another;

1 - for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.

2 - Therefore, since it is by God’s mercy that we are engaged in this ministry, we do not lose heart.

1 - We have renounced the shameful things that one hides;

2 - we refuse to practice cunning or to falsify God’s word;

1 - but by the open statement of the truth we commend ourselves to the conscience of everyone in the sight of God.

1 - And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.

2 - In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers,

1 - to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

2 - For we do not proclaim ourselves;

1 - we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake.

2 - For it is the God who said,

1 - “Let light shine out of darkness,”

2 - who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

1 - But we have this treasure in clay jars,

2 - so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God

1 - and does not come from us.

from the New Revised Standard Version,
copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the
National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved


The Lord bless you and keep you;
  the Lord make his face to shine upon you,
          and be gracious to you;
  the Lord lift up his countenance upon you,
          and give you peace. Amen.

Numbers 6:24-26


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:
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)

International Lesson:
International Bible Lesson
a weekly column by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.
in "The Oklahoman" newspaper
also found

International Lesson:
Living Web Sunday School Project

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.

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


©2012 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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