Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
March 25, 2001                Worship 10:00 am Sunday School 11:10 am

Fourth Sunday of Lent

      I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you..."                  (Luke 15:18)

I will arise and go to Jesus

  Scripture                                 Luke 15:4-7

  Hymn          (refrain only) "Far, far away from my loving father"                      139

  Scripture                                 Luke 15:8-10

  Hymn          (refrain only) "Far, far away from my loving father"                      139

*Opening Prayer

*Hymn                     "Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing"                               110

He will embrace me in his arms

  Sharing a joy, a concern, a word of testimony or praise

  Shalom!                             "The Lordís Prayer"                                     Malotte

  Pastoral Prayer

  Childrenís Time                "Setting the Stage"

  Hymn           (refrain only) "Far, far away from my loving father"                     139
                    (children and youth leave for choir or preschool playtime)

Mercy amazing! Love unknown!

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings            2 Corinthians 5:16-21


  Hymn                       "Marvelous grace of our loving Lord"                           151
                                            (*stand during final refrain)


  Scripture                                  Luke 15:1-3, 11-31

  Message                                "I have sinned"

*Hymn                       "Far, far away from my loving father"                           139


Opening Prayer

           Shepherd us, O God. You who care about the lost and the least - seeking, finding, carrying them home - we cannot help but enter into your joy. You call us together. "Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost," you tell us. Forgive us when we hold back and grumble our way through your grace and mercy. Keep seeking and finding us!
           Clean this house, O God. You whose word is like a lamp for our feet - lighting up this place, sweeping and searching every nook and cranny - we are drawn together by your call. "Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost."
          "There is more joy in heaven," you tell us, "there is joy in the presence of angels." May it overflow into this gathering, O Lord - into us. Help these tongues to sing our praise of your glory and grace. And Lord, as we sing, help us to hear your heavenly choir. In Jesusí name, amen.

"Setting the Stage"

          Have you noticed any changes in our fellowship hall? (lights hung from the ceiling, stage extended, flats starting to go up etc.) Whatís happening? Yes, weíre getting ready to put on a play. Two months from now the "Long Green Valley Players" will put on a drama here. Did any of you see the one they did last year? Itís exciting!
          By the way, you may have noticed that all the balls have been put away in the Fellowship Hall. Can you guess why? Thatís right. There are now things in there which can be damaged by flying balls. Sometimes we can let our playing get out of hand, canít we? Like when we kick balls around inside. Should we do that at any time? No. We need to take care of this building.
          Yes, weíre setting the stage for a play in the fellowship hall. But did you know that weíre "setting the stage" here in the sanctuary right now? Itís something we do every Sunday. With the songs we sing, and the prayers we pray, and the scriptures we read, and the words that we say, and even our being quiet - we are getting ready for a play. Where do you think the stage is? Is it up here (chancel)? Well, yes and no. Where is the stage? Itís right here (point to the heart of some of the children, then draw a figurative circle around all of them, and all the congregation).
          In a play there is an "audience" watching and listening. Who do you think the audience is for this play? Is it these people? (point to congregation) Well, yes and no. Really, itís God who is watching and listening. When we sing our songs, weíre singing them to God. When we pray our prayers, weíre talking to God. When we do special stuff, or when we speak, or even when we are quiet, itís all for God. On this stage (point to heart). Funny thing is, Godís not just watching and listening. God is also right here (point to heart) with us, part of the play. Itís Godís story weíre living out.
          Prayer: "May the words I say, the things I think about, what I do with my body, bring you a smile, God. Help me to live your story. Amen."


          By your marvelous grace, Lord, you have not only reconciled us to yourself through your Son, but you make us ambassadors of reconciliation. Weíre still learning how to do that. Keep working on us, "setting the stage" within us for your good news to shine. Thanks for providing our daily bread, and for the ability to share with others what you have first given us. Speaking of bread, God, may your Word, read and proclaimed out loud, as well as listened to and pondered, be pleasing in your sight. Youíre our rock and redeemer. Amen.


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

International Lesson thoughts
from the
Mennonite Publishing House

International Lesson
Commentary by
Richard Hughes
(posted on Saturday)

International Lesson
Commentary by
Edwin Elliott


©2001 Peter L. Haynes


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