Worship Order for
Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
November 29, 2015
Worship 10:00 am
Sunday School 11:10am
First Sunday of Advent
these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your
heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Beginning with Praise
(9:50 am) “An
Hymn (vs. 1 & 5) “O come,
O come, Immanuel”
(all children come forward as we sing)
to the Light
(the first candle in the Advent Wreath)
“To us a child of hope is born”
*Turning to the Light
a prayer of confession - 699
33:14-16 in the
Contemporary English Version
our Tithes and Offerings
a joy, a concern, a word of testimony or praise
(please be brief, and aware of God's listening presence)
“Away in a manger”
“Bless’d be the God of Israel”
1 Thessalonians 3:11-13
*Rise in body or in spirit
#'s are from Hymnal:
A Worship Book
Worship leaders - see basic
An urban missionary named
Johann Hinrich Wichern, started a
shelter for poor children near the city of Hamburg, Germany.
During Advent, children at his mission school would ask daily if
Christmas had arrived. In 1839, drawing on an old German custom,
he built a large wooden ring (made out of an old cartwheel) with
20 small red and 4 large white candles. A small candle was lit
successively every weekday during Advent. On Sundays, a large
white candle was lit. Thus began a practice that gained ground
among Protestant churches in Germany and evolved into the
Advent wreath we have today.
Has Christmas come yet, the birthday celebration of Jesus? No, not
yet. Soon… Has Christ returned? Has God’s Kingdom come, on earth
as it is in heaven? No, not yet. Soon… As we wait, we sing. Let’s
start with an old, old song, the words of which go back 15
centuries. The tune goes back at least 500 years. I invite our
children to come forward while we remain seated, singing verses 1
and 5 of “O come, O come, Immanuel,” #172 in our hymnal. Children?
to the Light
(the first candle in the Advent
(as children come forward during
the previous hymn, give each a candlelight service candle
and holder and line them up in a row up front. Ask an
older member to come forward with a lit candle while you
say the first paragraph, after the hymn is done)
The practice of lighting candles on an Advent wreath began in a
school for poor children. Our wreath does not have the daily
candles that were part of the first wreath, but we do have the
four outside candles, one for each Sunday between now and
Christmas. This morning we will light the first candle, the candle
of “Hope.” (It’s located in the back.)
You each have a small candle. _________ has brought forward a lit
candle, s/he will light one your candles. As she does so, s/he
will say “Hope.” Then, one after the other you will light each
other’s candles. As you do, passing the light one by one, you will
When all your candles are lit, the congregation will pray in
unison the prayer in the bulletin, opening ourselves - as we pray
- to the light of Christ’s Hope. They will pause the prayer at the
first mention of “Hope.” (do you older folk see where that is?)
When they do, ______ (the
last child) will light the back candle, after which the
congregation will pray the rest of the prayer. Keep your candle
lit until we start singing the next hymn. We open to the light.
Let us pray:
God, the world is scary.
But, You are with us in the worst of situations.
the darkness we light this first candle of Advent with hope –
hope that you are with us even when awful things happen,
hope that you will show us what we can do to fix the world,
and hope that you will fix what we cannot.
by Carolyn Brown in her blog,
Worshiping With Children
Turning to the Light
a prayer of confession
Lord, our God,
great, eternal, wonderful
utterly to be trusted:
you give life to us all,
you help those who come to you,
you give hope to those who cry to you.
Forgive our sins, secret and open,
and rid us of every habit of thought
that stands against the gospel.
Set our hearts at peace,
so we may live our lives before you
confidently and without fear,
through Jesus Christ, our Lord. AMEN
Hymnal #699. Based on a prayer from
The Liturgy of St. Basil of Caesarea, 4th c.,
adapted from Contemporary Prayers for Public Worship,
ed. Caryl Micklem, copyright © 1956 1967 SCM Press, Ltd.
our Tithes and Offerings
To further explore those words of Jeremiah, take time to read the
back of your bulletin, written by Bob Neff. At one time he was a
professor of Old Testament at Bethany Seminary. He went on to
become General Secretary of our denomination, and after that the
President of Juniata College. Living now in a Brethren retirement
community in Martinsburg, PA, he remains very active. A year ago,
I attended a seminar on the book of Job, which he helped lead. One
of his favorite books in the Bible has been Jeremiah. So, take
time to read what he has to say about “An Advent Promise.”
Ushers, please come forward and receive our
tithes and other offering.
An Advent Promise
With the expected demise of Judah and Jerusalem, it looked
like God’s promise of the unending royal line of David
would fail. Yet with eloquent words, the prophet Jeremiah
speaks to God’s people with renewed hope: “I will fulfill
the promise I made In those days and at that time I will
cause a righteous Branch to spring up” (vv. 14-15,
NRSV). The sprig
of hope arises out of the ashes of the Davidic line.
Isaiah also shares in this rich prophetic tradition: “A
shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch
shall grow out of his roots” (11:1). Hope lies in the line
of David to restore righteousness and justice to Israel.
The New Testament opens by cataloging the genealogy of
David until the birth of Jesus. That hope of Jeremiah and
Isaiah is fulfilled in the opening Gospel’s quotation from
Isaiah: “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, ‘God is
with us’” (Matt. 1:23).
Since those days, much Christian thought has been directed
towards the character of that birth in the creeds and
Christian belief. However, it is clear from scripture
itself that the issue is not the character of the mother
at birth, but what this young one brings to the world.
After generations of the apparent absence of God in the
life of Israel, as indicated by the seven hundred years of
anticipation described in the opening to the Gospel, this
birth signals the real presence of God in their midst.
This view is substantiated by the final promise of
Matthew’s Gospel, when the disciples have gathered to
receive a final farewell from the resurrected Jesus. The
final goodbye never comes, because the Gospel ends by
repeating the promise with which it began — “And remember,
I am with you always, to the end of the age” (28:20). In
Matthew’s proclamation, Jesus never left. And Jesus
remains with us every day, every hour, every minute until
the end. There is no time when Jesus is absent, even when
it may appear that way. Live in the promise of Christ’s
real presence, now.
Robert W. Neff
University Baptist & Brethren
State College, Pennsylvania
© 2015 Brethren Press.
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085,
"The Living Word" Series
As an acrostic poem, the verses of this prayer each begin
with the next letter in the Hebrew alphabet, made evident
in the following translation.
offer, Yahweh, 2 to you, my God.
BUT in my trust
in you do not put me to shame, let not my enemies gloat over me.
CALLING to you,
none shall ever be put to shame, but shame is theirs who
groundlessly break faith.
DIRECT me in your ways, Yahweh, and teach me your
ENCOURAGE me to
walk in your truth and teach me since you are the God who saves
FOR my hope is in you all day long -- such is your
faithful love have been yours for ever, Yahweh, do not forget
HOLD not my youthful sins against me, but remember me
as your faithful love dictates.
generosity are marks of Yahweh for he brings sinners back to the
JUDICIOUSLY he guides the humble, instructing the poor
in his way.
unfailing and constancy mark all Yahweh's paths, for those who
keep his covenant and his decrees.
New Jerusalem Bible
by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd.
and Doubleday & Co., Inc. All
written closer to the time (if not at the