Worship Order for
Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
May 18, 2014
Worship 10:00 am
Sunday School 11:10am
Fifth Sunday of Easter
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.”
(1 Peter 2:5)
Beginning with Praise
(9:50 am) “Cornerstone”
(refrain only) (insert)
*Call to Worship
“Christ is our cornerstone”
Rocks Could Sing”
a joy, a concern, a word of testimony or praise
(please be brief, and aware of God's listening presence)
“Lord, listen to your children”
our Tithes and Offerings
(Please sign the attendance pad and
pass it on)
1 Peter 2:1-10
“Come, come ye saints”
*Rise in body or in spirit
#'s are from Hymnal:
A Worship Book
Worship leaders - see basic
We begin worship this fifth Sunday of Easter by listening to
Jesus. As we read his words responsively, let’s take them to
heart. Since this comes from the lips of our risen Lord, please
rise in body or spirit and allow the Gospel to shift from ink on
a page to the living Word upon your own lips. Jesus said:
One: “Set your troubled hearts at rest.
Trust in God always; trust also in me.
All: “There are many dwelling-places in my Father's house; if it
were not so I should have told you; for I am going there on
purpose to prepare a place for you.
One: “And if I go and prepare a place for
you, I shall come again and receive you to myself,
All: “so that where I am you may be also; and my way there is
known to you.”
One: Thomas said, “Lord, we do not know where
you are going, so how can we know the way?”
All: Jesus replied, “I am the way; I am the truth and I am life;
no one comes to the Father except by me.”
John 14:1-6 from the
New English Bible
©1961, 1970 The Delegates of the
Oxford University Press
and the Syndics of the Cambridge
In you we trust, O Lord, even when we cannot see much more of the
path ahead than a few steps. In you we trust, O Lord, even when
the building of our lives is incomplete and the next floor is but
rebar sticking out of concrete. You are the foundation upon which
we toil, O God our Creator. You are the path we tread toward the
promised land, O Jesus our Savior. You are very air we breathe, O
Holy Spirit, our Sustainer. Forgive our stumbling steps and
half-hearted work. Live in us as we rest in you, that faith may
grow, and your kingdom come and your will be done, on earth as it
is in heaven. Amen
Rocks Could Sing”
While this simple alphabet picture book is read to the youngest
children (some of whom are still learning how to sit still for
story time), the older children will quietly pass baskets of
stones and rocks around the congregation. The instruction
beforehand is that everyone is invited to pick out a rock or stone
to hold throughout the service. In her book, “If
Rocks Could Sing: a discovered alphabet,” Leslie McGuirk
displays rocks of various shapes she has found along the seashore
that both look like the letters and illustrate the words that
these letters begin. For instance, “M is for mitten” has a stone
somewhat in the shape of an “m” and a rock in the shape of a
mitten, sitting beside a knitted mitten. The purpose for the
youngest is simply to involve them in worship. For the rest of us,
it is to open our imaginations – which is sometimes harder for
adults than for children.
(if there are no younger children, then sing "A
a song about Simon Peter, while plates are passed)
To begin the sharing of joys
and concerns that follows,
preface with these words:
You hold in your hand a stone. Does it say something about God?
Does it say something about you? If that rock could sing, what
would it say? You will note that the scriptures that give shape to
today’s worship contain various statements about stones. Psalm 31,
for instance, speaks of how God is our rock and our fortress.
Perhaps Jesus was quoting this Psalm in his last words on the
cross: “Into your hand I
commit my spirit” (31:5a).
Can a rock of refuge lovingly receive as it carefully protects?
Allow such questions and thoughts to ignite a fire within you this
day. Perhaps there will be an opportunity for you to let your rock
sing later, during my sermon. For now, simply ponder this: what
would that stone in your hands say?
written closer to the time (if not at the
The following scripture is part of a much longer story in the Acts
of the Apostles. You may recall that, in the early days of the
church, six persons were chosen to assist the apostles as deacons.
The first name on that list was a fellow named Stephen. Stephen
was not just gifted in caring for people and distributing daily
bread, which were the primary responsibilities of a deacon.
Stephen was also a good public speaker, which got him arrested.
Chapter 7 records his lengthy speech (52 verses worth) before his
accusers. His words so enraged his listeners, that they picked up
stones and …
(pause) … well, let’s
hear what happened next:
our Tithes and Offerings
Stones can be used to hurt people, even kill them... Take a
moment to feel the rock in your hand. How recent has there been a
time when you have wanted, literally or figuratively, to hurl
something at someone? I assume you did not do so. Now, it doesn’t
matter if your feeling was justified or not. Simply get in touch
with your anger.
Such an emotion is not, in itself, bad. Even Jesus got mad. There
was a time in God’s Temple when he was so angry that he physically
drove out some money changers who were profiting from people’s
19:45-48). In Luke’s gospel, this account is preceded
by Jesus standing before Jerusalem, weeping over it, saying that
the day would come when this city would be destroyed by her
enemies, and not one stone
would be left upon another (19:41-44).
And immediately before those words in Luke’s gospel, Jesus told
the Pharisees who complained about all the hoopla surrounding his
entry to Jerusalem, on what we remember as “Palm Sunday;” he said:
“if these were silent, the
stones would shout out”
Again, you were given a rock earlier to hold in your hands.
During this time of returning our tithes and offerings, pay
attention to this stone. Become familiar with its feel. There may
be edges that are broken, as well as some that are smooth. From
where might it have come? What could this rock be used for? Yes,
it is only a stone, but if it were to speak, what might it say?
Ponder this as you give your offering… Oh, and please don’t throw
it at the ushers when they pass the plates, or at the preacher
when he speaks. Don’t cover your ears, as those who heard the
deacon Stephen long ago. Open them, instead.
We invest much meaning into the inanimate objects we have placed
into these offering plates, O Lord. The coins, the bills, the
checks, all represent our labor, time we have spent earning a
living. We confess that sometimes we give too much meaning to
money, and at other times we do not take it seriously enough. What
we have given just now says something about us, and about what we
value. We believe you are listening, O God. You hear what we are
saying with our money, how we use it, how we spend it, how we give
it. Our desire, all-too-inadequately lived out at times, is to do
what is right with it. Help us to be wise stewards - as
individuals, as families, as a church, as your people. This we
pray, in the name of the Cornerstone that the builders rejected.
What sort of stone will we be this
Will we be:
- stepping stones, which others use to cross troubled
- paving stones, which lead toward an eternal destination?
- building stones, which are part of God’s spiritual house?
(add other images
pulled from sermon sharing)
What sort of stone will you
be this week?
May God be your rock and your refuge;
Christ Jesus, who goes ahead to prepare a place for us,
be your cornerstone;
And may the Holy Spirit fill in
the cracks between us,
and uphold us with power and love.
Go in peace.