Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
December 16, 2001
Worship 10:00 am Sunday School for all ages 11:15 am

Third Sunday of Advent

      "And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."     (Isaiah 35:10)

*Call to Worship                                                                       (back of bulletin)

*Hymn                            "Angels we have hear on high"                                197

*Opening Prayer

  Lighting the Advent Wreath - the third candle

  Hymn                             (vs. 1) "O come, all ye faithful"                                212

  Anthem                                  "Star of Wonder"                                         Page
                                                  Alleluia Choir

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

  Hymn                                "Infant holy, infant lowly"                                    206

  Pastoral Prayer

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory                                  "O Holy Night"                             Dwight/Adam

  Scripture                                      Isaiah 35
                                    In tears ... In promise ... In joy

  Message                            "Returning to Zion"

  Response                      (Solo - as if an echo - chorus to #14, "Weíre marching to Zion")

*Hymn                           "Hark! the herald angels sing"                                  201


#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

One: See the glory of the Lord.

All: In that day the wilderness and the dry land shall be glad

One: Wonder of wonders, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus, it will rejoice with singing.

All: God will strengthen all weary hands and steady all trembling knees.

One: The eyes of the blind will be opened, the ears of the deaf unstopped.

All: The lame will leap like a deer, the mute will shout for joy, for streams gush forth in the desert.

One: Gladness and joy will reign. Sorrow will be ended.

All: Let us rejoice, for our God comes!

Pattie Stern
McPherson, Kansas
Church of The Brethren Living Word Bulletin 12301

Opening Prayer

         God of the wilderness of our lives, we come apart to this place to prepare our hearts for the quiet miracle of Jesus birth. We would leave behind thoughts of buying and wrapping gifts, baking cookies, decorating the house, and the glitter of the world s Christmas. Help us comprehend the great love with which you gave your Son to the world so that we may respond with love to all your children. Amen.

Pattie Stern
McPherson, Kansas
Church of The Brethren Living Word Bulletin 12301

Lighting the Advent Wreath

1 - On this third Sunday of Advent we continue preparing for the coming of our Lord.

2 - May our eyes be opened, our ears be unstopped, as we watch and wait.

3 - Along the Way of this journey, Godís light shines.

1 - We watch and wait by the light of Hope! (The first purple candle is relit)

2 - We watch and wait by the light of Peace! (The second purple candle is relit)

3 - And today we light the candle of Joy! (The pink candle is lit)

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

Listen to the letter from brother James:

         "Meanwhile, friends, wait patiently for the Master s Arrival. You see farmers do this all the time, waiting for their valuable crops to mature, patiently letting the rain do its slow but sure work. Be patient like that. Stay steady and strong. The Master could arrive at any time. Friends, don t complain about each other. A far greater complaint could be lodged against you, you know. The Judge is standing just around the corner. Take the old prophets as your mentors. They put up with anything, went through everything, and never once quit, all the time honoring God. What a gift life is to those who stay the course!"
                  (James 5:7-10a, from The Message, by Eugene H. Peterson, ©1993, Navpress)

         Ponder this as you return your offering ... as you wait for the celebration of that Holy Night long ago ... as you anticipate the Masterís arrival someday soon. Will the ushers come forward to serve?

Scripture - Isaiah 35
New Revised Standard Version
©1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA.

In tears ... In promise ...In joy

1 - Long ago, Godís people were torn from their home and sent into exile.

2 - "How can we sing the Lordís song in a foreign land?" they cried.  (Psalm 137:4)

1 - But they did.

Solo (as if an echo) - "By the waters of Babylon" #148

1 - And the Lord provided hope, and a way home.

2 - God still does. Listen:

1 - The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad,

2 - the desert shall rejoice and blossom;

1 - like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly,
               and rejoice with joy and singing.

2 - The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
                the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.

1 - They shall see the glory of the LORD, the majesty of our God.

2 - Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees.

1 - Say to those who are of a fearful heart,

2 - "Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God.
                He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense.
                He will come and save you

1 - Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
                and the ears of the deaf unstopped;

2 - then the lame shall leap like a deer,
                and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.

1 - For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;

2 - the burning sand shall become a pool,
                and the thirsty ground springs of water;

1 - the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp,
                the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

2 - A highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way;

1 - the unclean shall not travel on it, but it shall be for God's people;

2 - no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray.

1 - No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;

2 - they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there.

1 - And the ransomed of the LORD shall return,
                and come to Zion with singing;

2 - everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;

1 - they shall obtain joy and gladness,

2 - and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Solo (as if an echo) - chorus to #14 "Weíre marching to Zion"



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Commentary by
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Commentary by
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©2001 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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