Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
April 10, 2005
Worship 10:00 am, Sunday School 11:10 am

Second Sunday after Easter

      "You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God." (1 Peter 1:23)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)

*Call to Worship                 "Jesus, stand among us"                                     25

*Opening Prayer

*Hymn                        "Come, ye faithful, raise the strain"                           264

  Litany of Confession                                                                                697

  Scripture                                   Acts 2:36-39  (see brief introduction)

  For Children                              "I Promise"
                                         (Pre-schoolers then leave for playful worship)

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

  Pastoral Prayer

  Dramatic Reading                      Luke 24:13-35

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings


  Hymn of the month     "Christ who left his home in glory"                           283

  Scripture                                 1 Peter 1:17-25

  Message                              "Taking it all in"

*Hymn                         "Proclaim the tidings near and far"                          282


#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Opening Prayer

         Only as you stand with us, Lord God, can we rise amid our own daily struggles and learn how to really live. Only through your sacred presence, O risen Christ, do our lives become holy as we step forward in faith to follow where you lead. Only by the power of your Spirit do we stand bold and unafraid as we face into the dawning of this brand new day. Thus we have come to "raise the strain of triumphant gladness" which you have planted in our hearts. Thank you, indeed, for standing among us. Alleluia! Amen!

Litany of Confession

Leader: Almighty God, Spirit of purity and grace 
                 whose dwelling is with the humble and contrite heart,
                     hear your children's confession of sin and grant us mercy.
             For all that has been evil in our lives;
                 for unholy thoughts and impure motives,
                 for any scorn of goodness, trifling with truth,
                     and indifference to beauty,
                 for being petty when we could have been gracious,
People: forgive us, O God.
Leader: For lack of love toward you,
                     whose love has never failed;
                 for doubt in your providence,
                 for acts of ingratitude,
                 and for disobedience to visions we have been able to see,
People: forgive us, O God.
Leader: For the wrong we have done our neighbors;
                 for silence in the face of war,
                 for neglect of charity and failure in justice,
                 for forgetfulness of other's pain,
                 and for advantage taken of another's weakness,
People: forgive us, O God.
Leader: For our faulty following of the Master;
                     our slow faith in his power to save,
                     our timid, hesitant answers to his call of service,
                     our insensibility to the meaning of the cross;
                 for all that mars our discipleship
                     and makes it difficult for others to believe in him,
People: forgive us, O God.
Leader: May God, who is almighty and merciful
                 forgive our sins,
                 empower us to overcome temptation,
                 and enable us to love as Jesus loved.
People: AMEN 

Hymnal #691 - adapted from a litany of repentance,
Edward K. Ziegler, The Adventurous Future,
ed. Paul H. Bowman, © 1959 Brethren Press.

Introduction to scripture reading

         At the tale end of the apostle Peter’s very first sermon, which was the inaugural message of the church on the day of Pentecost, this is what he said. Listen.

Acts 2:36-39

For Children
"I Promise"

         Ed Lewis, one of our storytellers, writes this about what he intends to share: "I made my Aunt a promise a month ago that if she would go to Nashville (she lives in Las Vegas) she should call me and let me know and I would meet her there to visit with her. That promise is going to be hard to do, but I will somehow make it happen. I wanted to share that when I was growing up the most important lesson my grandmother taught us was the golden rule. I can relate the golden rule to the promise. I wouldn't want anyone to break a promise to me, so I keep my promises to others.

        "When I was a child you heard the word promise alot - 'Grandmom I promise I'll take the trash out after I get back from playing.' ... 'Grandmom, when I get home from school I promise to do my homework first thing.' ... Now, instead of "I Promise," you hear "I'll try."  If I would have been heading out to play and told my grandmother, 'I'll try to take the trash out after I finish playing,' I never would have made it down the steps.

         "Our God makes many promises to us and keeps them. We should apply the Golden Rule to that and say, if we make a promise and not keep it, how would we like it if God did not keep the promises to us.

         "This is just a basic explanation of my story. I would like to elaborate on God's promises to us, especially those made by his son Jesus. I will finish the children's time with a challenge that the kids make a promise to their parents of something (a chore around the house -  i.e. making their bed, cleaning up their room, or just picking up their toys) and keep that promise, just like God keeps his promises to us."

Pastoral Prayer


written closer to the time (if not at the moment)


Dramatic Reading
Luke 24:13-35

In addition to the narrator, 3 other persons will participate: two disciples and Jesus. It all begins with the two disciples walking down the center aisle from the back. This is the only point in the reading where they actually speak, just small-talk between them to draw the attention of the congregation. Imagine what they might say to one-another, for instance: "Does anything make sense to you that happened in the last day or so?" "Nope, it’s all a blur." "I’ve never been so low. When Jesus died, I thought my life was over." "Me, too. But what is with these women? He’s dead, but his tomb is empty? Come on!" "Yeah, what do you make of that?" "I dunnoh." When they are about half way down the aisle, the narrator begins, at which point the two disciples only pretend to talk. From here on they simply pantomime the action.

Narrator: "Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened."

At this point, Jesus joins them, coming from the front.

Narrator: "While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, ‘What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?’ They stood still, looking sad."

When it says "They stood still," all three stop walking, now up front. Oh, and the disciples should "look sad," like it says. Again, pantomime the conversation.

Narrator: ""Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, ‘Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?’ He asked them, ‘What things?’ They replied, ‘The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.’
         "Then he said to them, ‘Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?’ Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures."

During the next portion, Jesus begins to walk up the steps of the raised area up front and, as it says, the disciples urge him back. Then all 3 walk up and sit on the floor in a semi-circle facing the congregation, with Jesus in the middle.

Narrator: "As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, ‘Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.’ So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it,"

Jesus does so with a loaf.

Narrator: "and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight.

Jesus simply gets up and walks off out of sight.

Narrator: "They said to each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?’"

The two disciples rise and walk back down the aisle together.

Narrator: "That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, ‘The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!’ Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread."

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

         The "road to Emmaus" spoken of in this scripture has long pointed the way to faith for those who would follow Jesus. How different are we from those two disciples? What kept them from receiving the good news of the empty tomb? Why were they headed away from their heart’s desire? What blinded them to the presence of Jesus on that road? Perhaps it would be better to ask, what keeps us from taking in this news today? Why are we so often headed away from where we, deep down, really want to be? What blinds us to Christ’s presence along the way of our daily walk?

         Ponder these things as you return your offering to the Lord just now. You might wish to use the reading on the back of your bulletin as a guide for these quiet moments of worship. Pray with me:

         Lord, we offer these gifts to you - the wealth from our purses and the ponderings of our hearts. Like the offerings of old upon the Temple’s altar, may they burn, and from their ashes spring something new. In the name of the risen Christ, we pray. AMEN


back of bulletin

Ashes No Longer

Ashes . . . ashes alone are left
         to mark the place of the flame that burned.

They walk on with ashes painting their faces,
         now wrung dry of tears and comfort.

They are going away—pulling away—
         from town, from memories,
         from the overwhelming truth.

Then another s stride joins theirs,
         a stranger to their story and fear.

He speaks, and the syllables stir sparks,
         sparks that smolder in heart and mind.

He speaks, and the within begins to burn!

No wonder then, that they plead, "Stay!
         Don t go! Don t leave us!"

The scent of truth in their nostrils trumpets his presence,
         though they cannot name it...

Until the truth catches flame—at table—in bread crumbling
         before their open eyes.

Ashes no longer, but fire.

by Del Keeney, executive director
Congregational Life Ministries, Elgin, Illinois
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"


Go now as witnesses of God’s eternal presence.
The risen Christ has made himself known to you
in the breaking of bread,
so set your faith and hope on God,
fulfilling your vows and living in genuine mutual love.

And may God hear and respond whenever you call;
May Christ Jesus make himself known to you in all things;
And may the Holy Spirit open your eyes and set your hearts on fire with love.

from Laughingbird.net resources for this day
©2002 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net


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

"Jesus is all"
commentary on the
International Lesson

Living Web Sunday School Project


©2005 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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