Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
March 7, 2004
Worship 10:00 am Sunday School for all ages 11:15 am

Second Sunday of Lent

      "But the LORD of hosts, him you shall regard as holy; let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. He will become a sanctuary, a stone one strikes against; for both houses of Israel he will become a rock one stumbles over--a trap and a snare for the inhabitants of Jerusalem."   (Isaiah 8:13-14)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)

  Call to Worship                            Psalm 46

*Hymn                            "A mighty fortress is our God"                               165

*Opening Prayer

  Scripture                                   1 Peter 2:4-8

  For Children                      "The Cornerstone"
                                         (Pre-schoolers then leave for playful worship)

  Song                                         "Cornerstone"                                 (see insert)

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

  Hymn                            "Lord, with devotion we pray"                                79

  Unison Prayer                                                                                           728

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings


*Response                                    "Sanctuary"                                         (insert)


  Scripture                                   Isaiah 8:13-15

  Message          "the stone of sanctuary and stumbling"
               Fragile, living stones - a "Passion" series based upon 1 Peter 2:4-10

*Hymn                       "Take my hand and lead me, Father"                          601


#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

For Children
"The Cornerstone"
1 Peter 2:4-8

items needed:
wood building blocks - 
   several 5Ĺ" x 2ĺ" x 1ľ" (or equivalent),
        along with other sizes.

         Iíve brought some blocks from the pre-school room to play with this morning. I thought I might build part of a castle this morning, actually - just two of its walls. Do any of you like building with blocks? Good. I thought you might. Youíre welcome to help me, but you must do what I tell you. Okay?

         In building this castle, I need to start somewhere. Whenever you build something, you have to start somewhere, and the best place is in a corner. In fact, when people build a real castle, or a real house, they always start at a corner. Did you know that? Let me lay down the very first block. If I were using stones to build my castle, this would be known as the "cornerstone." Itís a very important block. Once it is laid, itís easier to figure out how the rest of the castle will be built. It also is important because it bears a lot of the weight of the walls.

         Now that this corner block is down, letís build our walls (direct the children to lay down a 3 block by 2 block foundation for 2 walls forming a 90į angle - note picture below. Using the rest of the blocks, build up this wall as high as you can. Your primary blocks should be 5Ĺ" x 2ĺ" x 1ľ" or equivalent, as much as possible). I like playing with building blocks, how about you? Now, I know this is not going to be a complete castle, but I want us to see a bit of what it looks like. Try to imagine the rest.

         We now have a portion of our castle built. Carefully, without actually trying to knock it over, come over here and feel how sturdy the corner of these walls are. These walls will not easily fall down. Theyíd be even sturdier, of course, if we had the whole castle up, but we donít have enough blocks or time to do that this morning.

         Now, let me carefully take out that first block I laid, the "cornerstone" (note the picture above with the block to the left removed from the corner). Now feel how sturdy the wall is. It seems a little wobbly, doesnít it? Thatís because itís missing the "cornerstone." The "cornerstone" is that important.

         Let me say something real simple, something the Bible itself says: Jesus is the cornerstone for us. If we were to think about "us" - our families, our church, our very lives - as if we were castles built with blocks, Jesus would be the corner block, the "cornerstone." We need to make sure that heís the first block we lay at the corner of everything we do. He helps our castle not to fall. He keeps our families from tumbling down. With him as our "cornerstone," our church wonít break apart. When he is the corner block, our lives rise up and become beautiful and sturdy. Without him, we fall apart.

         Okay, now Iíll let you do what you probably have wanted to do from the beginning. Letís tear this castle without a cornerstone down, and put it back into the box. Thank you. Would you older ones help the preschoolers take this box back to their room for their time of worshipful play, and then return to your seats. Bye.

Unison Prayer

Almighty God,
         you have given us grace at this time with one accord
                  to make our common supplications to you,
         and you have promised through you well-beloved Son
                  that when two or three are gathered together
                  you will hear their requests.
Fulfill now our desires and petitions,
                  as may be best for us,
         granting us in this world
                  knowledge of your truth,
         and in the age to come
                  eternal life,
                  through Jesus Christ, our Lord. AMEN

Hymnal #728
Attributed to St. John Chrysostom, 4th c., adapted

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

         As you hear the following words of Jesus from Lukeís gospel, think about this sanctuary. No, not the physical building which contains this room, made of brick and wood. Ponder, instead, the "sanctuary" of which you and I are the building blocks. Listen.

Luke 7:46-49

         Is this "sanctuary" resting upon a firm foundation, or are we planted on shifting sand? Thatís something to meditate upon as you return your offering just now. Ushers?

by John Thompson & Randy Scruggs, adapted
©1982, Full Armor Music; Whole Armor Music

                       D                     A
Lord, please make me a sanctuary,
               G                    D ... A
pure and holy, tried and true;
                         D                   A
and with thanksgiving, I'll be a living
         G    A    D
sanctuary for you.

to hear the music on a midi file, click here


         Lord God, like living stones, we pray for the courage and the grace to let ourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to you through Jesus Christ. Amen.                  (quotes 1 Peter 2:5)


"Our steps are made firm by the LORD, when he delights in our way;
       though we stumble, we shall not fall headlong,
             for the LORD holds us by the hand.
"                 (Psalm 37:23-24)

Go now, and become Christís living stones


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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