Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
January 19, 2003
Worship 10:00 am Sunday School for all ages 11:15 am

      "Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ĎWe have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from NazarethNathanael said to him, ĎCan anything good come out of NazarethPhilip said to him, ĎCome and see.í"
                                   (John 1:45-46)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)

  Call to Worship

*Hymn                           "Praise, I will praise you, Lord"                                76

*Opening Prayer

  Scripture                             Psalm 139:15-18 (CEV)

  For Children                           "Godís Thoughts"
                               (children then leave for choir practice or pre-school play)

  Shalom!                             "He Keeps Me Singing"                            Bridgers

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

  Hymn                             (vs. 1-2) "I am thine, O Lord"                                505

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture                                 1 Samuel 3:1-10

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings


*Response                         (vs. 3) "I am thine, O Lord"                                 505


  Scripture                                   John 1:43-51

  Message       "Can anything good come out of Nazareth"

*Hymn                          "God of grace and God of glory"                            366


#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship
Psalm 139:15-18 (CEV)

         (1 & 2 read responsively as they walk forward from the back of the sanctuary, one on each side. By the time the Psalm is finished, they should be standing together at the foot of the steps up front, facing the congregation, from where the last three lines are to be spoken. By starting this Psalm out of sight, the congregation is encouraged to hear the words as coming from within.)

1 - "You have looked deep into my heart, LORD, and you know all about me.

2 - You know when I am resting or when I am working,

1 - and from heaven you discover my thoughts.

2 - You notice everything I do and everywhere I go.

1 - Before I even speak a word, you know what I will say,

2 - and with your powerful arm you protect me from every side.

1 - I canít understand all of this!

2 - Such wonderful knowledge is far above me.

1 - Where could I go to escape from your Spirit or from your sight?

2 - If I were to climb up to the highest heavens, you would be there.

1 - If I were to dig down to the world of the dead you would also be there.

2 - Suppose I had wings like the dawning day and flew across the ocean.

1 - Even then your powerful arm would guide and protect me.

2 - Or suppose I said, ĎIíll hide in the dark until night comes to cover me over.í

1 - But you see in the dark because daylight and dark are all the same to you.

2 - You are the one who put me together inside my mother's body,

1 - and I praise you because of the wonderful way you created me.

2 - Everything you do is marvelous! Of this I have no doubt."

1 - I will praise you, Lord.

2 - I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart.

1 - Stand and sing, O people of God. Alleluia.

Opening Prayer

         You are, indeed, the "source of all our joy," O Lord. "Everything you do is marvelous!" Thank you for being so near, caring for us even when doubt clouds our way, when darkness prevents us from "marveling" over anything. Forgive us, God, for giving up too easily when it comes to living by faith, for letting go of your promises and, in the process, forgetting our own.
         Thank you for the second chances you give to us each and every day, that we might die to sin and rise with Christ. Help us this hour not only to "tell the wonders of your ways," but also to be open to them, that we might "glorify your name." Amen.

For Children
"Godís Thoughts"
Psalm 139:17-18

Props: 3 or 4 glass jars approx. the same size. One is full of sand, the others contain items that should be counted out beforehand, at least one of which is eatable. Keep the jars hidden until they are individually needed.

         This morning, I want to see how good you are when it comes to numbers. I know that the other week (instead of minutes in a day, I said there were 1,440 hours in a year) I messed up when it came to counting. I brought with me several sheets of paper with xís on them, but I had made a mistake in counting those xís. Do you remember? I do. Lots of people in the congregation were busy during the "Childrenís Time" figuring out my mistake instead of listening. Maybe some of you were also. Well, now I want to test your skill at guessing how much of something is in a jar. Are you game?

         How about this jar? (Bring it out and show the children.) How many ______ are in it? (Play with the kids with the numbers. Ham it up, and eventually reveal the true answer. Do the same with the other jars. The one with something eatable, after the guessing is finished, give each child a piece to munch on. If you want, give the container to the one who had the closest guess, but be careful - have him/her give it to a parent immediately afterward.)

         Okay, I have one last jar. Let me show it to you. What is in it? Thatís right - sand. Now, how many grains of sand are there in this jar? Anyone? Maybe we should show it to the congregation and see if there are any smarties out there who want a try. (Play the aggrieved person who was wrongfully derided for a previous mistake. Ham it up, with a wink and a grin.) Any guesses? Well, never know. You might be right, because I didnít take the time to count these grains of sand. There were too many. Someone probably could if they had enough time and patience, but it wouldnít be easy.

         Psalm 139 talks about how well God knows each and every one of us. God knows us inside and out. Before we think something, God already knows what weíre thinking. Thatís what it says. It must take a lot to know everyone that way. That would take an awful lot of thoughts on Godís part. Well, the Psalmist says that Godís thoughts are more numerous than the grains of sand in - not this jar, but on - an entire beach. Can you imagine trying to guess how many grains of sand there are at Ocean City? Wow!

         The point is what? (Allow/prod the children to make their own conclusions. Donít bop in with the "right" answer. Take one or more of theirs - which may be very profound - and let it be the "grain" of truth for the moment.) You know something, I wouldnít want to try to count all your thoughts, either. As you head on to your choir time, or your preschool play, why donít you think about how big God is, and how much God knows and loves you.

Thanks to our Wednesday morning Quilters
for their help in developing this lesson!

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

(after reading 1 Samuel 3:1-10:)

         Ponder this story of an old man and a boy who was willing to get up in the middle of the night - not once, but three times - when he thought Eli was calling him for help. Remember also the part of the story I didnít read - in which a mother named Hannah is so thankful for Godís gift of a child that she returns this very gift to the Lord, offering Samuel to serve in the Temple with Eli. Think, also, of that old man, who realized the Lord was not calling out, "Eli, Eli." His God-given task became helping someone else to respond, "Speak, for your servant is listening."

         As you return your offering, consider where you fit in this story. Are you like Eli, able to release your claim on the future for the sake of helping someone else to hear God calling? Are you like Hannah, with a thankful heart able to let go of someone or something very dear to you for a purpose that is bigger than you can comprehend? Are you like Samuel, so willing to persistently care about somebody besides yourself that God can launch you on a mission beyond your wildest imagination? Allow your own thoughts on this scripture to become like grains of sand in Godís hands (alludes to the time For Children above), as you let go of your offering just now.

         Will the ushers come forward to receive what we have to give.


         Lord, we still struggle to grasp what it means for our own "will" to "be lost" in yours. Even so, whether we are like Eli, or Hannah, or Samuel, help us to be drawn nearer to you, to be led where you call us. May your grace flow through the story of faith we are living today, in Jesusí name. 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


©2003 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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