Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
April 13, 2003
Worship 10:00 am Sunday School for all ages 11:15 am

Palm Sunday

      "Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD."
                                   (Psalm 118:19)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)

  Call to Worship

*Song                          (sing twice) "He has made me glad"                    Brethorst

*Scripture                                  Mark 11:1-11a

*Hymn                                "Hosanna, loud hosanna"                                   238

*Opening Prayer  (h-3)

  Alleluia Choir                            "Blessed is He"            - Gounod
                                                      "Hosanna"                - Gregor

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

  Pastoral Prayer

  Hymn                             "Beneath the cross of Jesus"                                 250
                          (as we sing, children leave for choir practice or pre-school play)

  Scripture                                Philippians 2:5-11

  Responding with our Tithes and Offerings


  Scripture                                Psalm 118:19-29

  Message                          "Pausing at the Gate"

*Hymn                             "I will sing of my Redeemer"                                 344


#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship
(Psalm 118:19 & 24)

1 - "Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD."

2 - "This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."

Pastoral Prayer

         "We give thanks to you, O Lord, for you are good, and your steadfast love endures forever" (Psalm 118:1) We have known your faithfulness in days past, therefore we trust in you as we face the unknowns of tomorrow. Children are born into our lives, an act of faith. Their future is a wide-open book. Bless them and their parents, who bear an awesome and wonderful responsibility to guide and direct, and eventually release them. Persons face surgery, also an act of faith. Bless the surgeonís mind and hand, and bless those who then do the awesome and wonderful work of recovering, your healing touch upon their lives. Families grieve the loss of loved ones, an act of faith. Bless those who let go of the past and trust in your care, looking ahead to that great reunion day.

         Bless our soldiers in Iraq, who shift from war to peace. The days ahead are perhaps the most stressful they may face. Bless the people of that land as they enter the unknown territory of rebuilding beyond the chaos, anarchy, and fear of the present moment. Bless the leaders of our nation, O Lord, especially at this time. After all, war requires black and white thinking, but peace involves a rainbow of alternatives. May they see the various hues along the path ahead and lead us wisely.

         On this day, O Lord, as we stand at the threshold of war and peace, of crosses and empty tombs, our death and new life, of fear and hope, may the cry of our hearts be a song of gratitude and trust in your goodness and faithfulness. Hear us now, as we pray together the prayer which Jesus taught us to pray, saying:

         "Our father, which ..."

Responding with our Tithes and Offerings

         "Beneath the cross of Jesus, I fain would take my stand." We just sang that phrase, but what does that strange word "fain" mean? Does it have something to do with vanity, that I stand beneath the cross in my best Easter outfit? Am I saying that I stand there in "vain," wasting my time beneath the cross? Perhaps someone forgot to place a "t" at the end of that word. Certainly in a "weary land" with "the burning of the noontide heat, and the burden of the day," one could easily grow "faint" taking a stand beneath the cross of Jesus.

         Websterís dictionary indicates that, indeed, the word is "fain," and the first thing it says about this term is that itís "archaic." What does it mean? Well, there are several possibilities. One is "willingly" - that is "I willingly take my stand." Another meaning is "rather," as in "Iíd rather take my stand." As an adjective, fain can mean "pleased," or "happy," or "inclined," or even "compelled." Certainly, we can have any of these motivations for standing beneath the cross of Jesus.

         As you return your offering, ponder why you might stand where you do in relation to the cross. Do you do so willingly? Is it because there is no other place youíd rather be? Do you derive your true happiness from this symbol of your salvation, that you are pleased to dwell in its shadow? Do you lean toward, incline yourself to the cross. Maybe, for you, itís a matter of feeling compelled to stand there. Of course, there is always the possibility we stand at the foot of the cross to show off our Easter best, or that deep down we believe itís all in vain, or that all this religious talk makes us grow faint.

         Be honest with God as you return your offering. Pray your own heartfelt prayer. Your real gift, you see, is not what you place in the plate as it is passed. Your true gift comes from within. Donít let your "fain" be archaic. Fainly take your stand.

Will the ushers come forward to serve.




Interested in Sunday School?
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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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