Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
March 16, 2003
Worship 10:00 am Sunday School for all ages 11:15 am

Second Sunday of Lent

      "... he kept the faith even when the cards were stacked against him..."  (Romans 4:18, Cotton Patch Version)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)

  Call to Worship                       Psalm 22:23-31

*Hymn                      "Praise, my soul, the King of heaven!"                           65

*Opening Prayer

  Scripture                            Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16

  For Children                             "I m possible!"
                               (children then leave for choir practice or pre-school play)

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

  Hymn                             "If you believe and I believe"                      (see insert)

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture                                   Mark 8:31-38

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings


*Response                          (vs. 1) "Savior of my soul"                                   549


  Hymn                              (vs. 2-3) "Savior of my soul"                                  549

  Scripture                                 Romans 4:13-25

  Message                          "Hoping against hope"

*Hymn                        "ĎTis not with eyes of flesh we see"                            571


#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship
Psalm 22:23-31 in two voices

1 - "You who fear the LORD, praise him!

2 - All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!

1 - Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!

2 - For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one;

1 - he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.

2 - From you, O Lord, comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;

1 - before those who fear you will I fulfill my vows.

2 - The poor will eat and be satisfied;

1 - they who seek the LORD will praise him-

2 - may your hearts live forever!

1 - All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD,

2 - and all the families of the nations will bow down before him,

1 - for dominion belongs to the LORD

2 - and he rules over the nations.

1 - All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;

2 - all who go down to the dust will kneel before him-

1 - those who cannot keep themselves alive.

2 - Posterity will serve him;

1 - future generations will be told about the Lord.

2 - They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn-

1 - for he has done it..."

New Revised Standard Version (slightly adapted)
©1989, Division of Christian Education of the
National Council of the Churches of Christ
in the United States of America

Opening Prayer

Lord God,
         whose dominion is greater than any dictator, president, premier, prime minister, king, or ruler on this globe;
         whose power is more awesome than any biological, chemical, nuclear, or conventional weapon of war, every standing army, navy or air force, any political maneuver;
         whose wealth exceeds all that is stored in every bank, stock market, vault, silo, museum, or any other place where treasure is kept;

         We fear you, and you alone. It is you, O God, that we revere. We stand in awe.

         Forgive us when we allow fear of earthly dominion, power, and wealth to rule over us, to guide our thoughts and actions - instead of you. Your Son taught that the last shall be first, that in our weakness we find your strength, that those who hunger and thirst for what really matters will be truly feed.

         Feed us this day, O Lord.
         Blow through this hour of worship with your Holy Spirit.
         You are our God and we are your people, in Jesus Christ. AMEN.

For Children
"I m possible!"

Props: 3 sheets, the first with "Impossible" printed on it; the second with "I m possible" printed, and the third with the words from Philippians 4:13 on it.

What does the word "impossible" mean? (show sheet #1)
         - not possible, "you canít do that."
                  - not to be confused with "you shouldnít do that."

What do you think of when you hear this word? Name some impossible things.
         (silliness is just fine at this point, play with some of the suggestions,
                    pan them out)

We just heard part of the story in the Bible about Abraham and Sarah, who were very, very old. They were older than every person in this room. God made them a promise. God promised to do something that ... well ... uh ... seemed very impossible. God said that they were going to have a baby. Maybe that doesnít seem impossible to you, but when youíre around 100 years old, well ... uh ... itís just not possible.

But guess what? It wasnít impossible. Eventually, they did have a baby. And they went on and had all sorts of grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren, and great-great-great-grandchildren, and - well, you get the picture. God made the impossible ... um ... well ... possible.

Thereís one thing I want you to remember about this story. When God calls you to do something that seems impossible, and everybody (including you) says "you canít do that," I want you to take this word "impossible" (show sheet #1), and put spaces between the first three letters, so that it reads (show sheet #2), "I m possible." When you do what God wants you to do, even though it seems impossible, you are a possibility ready and waiting to happen. Or, as it says elsewhere in the Bible (show sheet #3), "I can do all things through him who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13)

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

         These words immediately followed a moment of clarity for the disciple Peter, when he made the connection that Jesus was the Messiah. And then, as this scripture reveals, his understanding unraveled. Can you imagine? Like a "know-it-all," Peter lectured the very One he had just called the Messiah. After all, being the anointed One means that youíre upwardly mobile, doesnít it? Thereís no room for suffering and rejection and death.

         Like Peter, we can make the connection that Jesus is our Savior, yet still misunderstand what itís all about. For instance, we have great wealth in this nation, but in many ways we are starving for what really matters. Sometimes it takes a trip to another country, where people live on far less, to learn what it means to be rich in the Lord.

         As you return your offering just now, draw from the wealth you have received from God. Even when money gets tight, and things donít go right (at least as far as you can see), you are rich in the Lord. Believe it. Make the connection.

Offertory Prayer

         Thank you, Savior of my soul, for what you have provided so richly. What we return just now we ask you to bless, that it might be used to bless others and so glorify you. In Jesus. Amen.

         Letís continue singing #549. It was written by a Brethren forebearer, John Naas, who suffered for the faith as he spread the good news of Jesus long ago. However, for him it was a joy ... even when the cards were stacked against him. The Messiah has that effect on our lives, you know.

"Savior of my soul"



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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