Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
November 5, 2006
Worship 10:00 am, Sunday School 11:10 am

National Junior High Sunday

      "But Esau ran toward Jacob and hugged and kissed him. Then the two brothers started crying."
                                             (Genesis 33:4 CEV)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)                                                            Praise Band
                                              "Shine, Jesus, Shine"
                                      "Lord, I lift your name on high"
                                           "The Heart of Worship"
                                       (lyrics/chords - midi file - short clip - full length)


  Call to Worship                        "Kum bah yah"                    (see songsheets)

*Opening Prayer

*Praise Songs                         "Let the Redeemed"                (see songsheets)
                                            "Trading my Sorrows"
                                              (lyrics/chords, midi file, story behind it)

  Beginning Reflection - "Transformed!"

  Reverse Offering       "Open the Eyes of my Heart, Lord"     (see songsheets)
                                                              (words/chords, midi)

  The Bible story, part 1     Genesis 25:19-34 (abridged)

  Song                                       "No longer blind"                  (see songsheets)

  The Bible story, part 2      Genesis 27:1-45 (abridged )

  Song                                           "Sanctuary"                       (see songsheets)

  Unison Prayer of Confession                                                                  701

  The Bible story, part 3      Genesis 33:1-17 (abridged +)

  Song                                          "Thy Word"                       (see songsheets)

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

  Song                                  "Fluye, Espiritu, Fluye"               (see songsheets)
                          (Our younger children leave for bell practice & Sunday School)

  Pastoral Prayer

  Junior Youth News

  Responding with our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory              (Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)

*Closing Song                       "Go light your world"                (see songsheets)

*Ending Prayer

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Opening Prayer

Dear God, our friend,
      we come to worship you today.
We come to sing, pray, and listen.
You always hear us.
Help us to hear you. AMEN

Hymnal #674
©1992 The Hymnal Project

Beginning Reflection

         One thing Jr. Highs know about is transformation. So much is changing in their lives Ė their minds, their bodies, their families, their social groups, their interests, their responsibilities, their world and, most certainly, their understanding of God and their faith. At the same time, it is easy to get stuck in the same old same old. Failures, disappointments, grudges and old wounds have a way of hanging around. When we make progress on changing these things new worlds open up to us. Godís love is a powerful ally in bringing about change in ourselves and others. Godís love transforms people.
         Our theme for worship on this national Jr. High Sunday is "Transformed!" Itís taken from todayís Sunday School lesson in our new Gather ĎRound curriculum. Brethren and Mennonite congregations all across the U.S. and Canada began using it this fall. Our scripture focus today in worship and in our children and youth Sunday School classes is the story of Jacob and Esau. As we shall hear, it is a tale filled with conflict and deception, as well as fear and then forgiveness. Later on, please imagine with your junior high youth, a news and talk televison program based on this story of two brothers. Be prepared to join in.

Reverse Offering

         As we soon will hear, the story of Jacob and Esau, after their interesting birth, begins with a cooking lesson in which Jacob tricks Esau into giving up his birthright for a bowl of Lentil stew. Just now we are passing around bowls of dry lentils as a "reverse offering." Instead of putting something in the bowl as itís passed, take out something - in this case some of these lentils. As we sing "Open the eyes of my heart, Lord" (words/chords, midi), feel these lentils in your hand. Maybe try to bite into one. You see, cooking changes lentils from being hard and inedible to being soft and delicious. Just as lentils soften when they are cooked, so God can soften us and create change in us. Think about it.

The Bible story, part 1
Genesis 25:19-34 (abridged)
Contemporary English Version

Narrator 1 - Isaac was the son of Abraham, and he was forty years old when he married Rebekah... Almost twenty years later, Rebekah still had no children. So Isaac asked the LORD to let her have a child, and the LORD answered his prayer.

Narrator 2 - Before Rebekah gave birth, she knew she was going to have twins, because she could feel them inside her, fighting each other. She thought,

Rebekah - "Why is this happening to me?"

Narrator 1 - Finally, she asked the LORD why her twins were fighting, and he told her:

God - "Your two sons will become two separate nations. The younger of the two will be stronger, and the older son will be his servant."

Narrator 2 - When Rebekah gave birth, the first baby was covered with red hair, so he was named Esau. The second baby grabbed on to his brotherís heel, so they named him Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when they were born.

Narrator 1 - As Jacob and Esau grew older, Esau liked the outdoors and became a good hunter, while Jacob settled down and became a shepherd. Esau would take the meat of wild animals to his father Isaac, and so Isaac loved him more, but Jacob was his motherís favorite son.

Narrator 2 - One day, Jacob was cooking some stew, when Esau came home hungry and said,

Esau - "Iím starving to death! Give me some of that red stew right now!"

Narrator 1 - Thatís how Esau got the name "Edom." Jacob replied,

Jacob - "Sell me your rights as the first-born son."

Esau - "Iím about to die, what good will those rights do me?"

Jacob - "Promise me your birthrights, here and now!"

Narrator 2 - And thatís what Esau did. Jacob then gave Esau some bread and some of the lentil stew, and when Esau had finished eating and drinking, he just got up and left, showing how little he thought of his rights as the first-born.

The Bible story, part 2
Genesis 27:1-45 (abridged )
Contemporary English Version

Narrator 1 - After Isaac had become old and almost blind, he called in his first-born son Esau, who asked him,

Esau - "Father, what can I do for you?"

Isaac - "I am old and might die at any time. So take your bow and arrows, then go out in the fields, and kill a wild animal. Cook some of that tasty food that I love so much and bring it to me. I want to eat it once more and give you my blessing before I die."

Narrator 2 - Rebekah had been listening, and as soon as Esau left to go hunting, she said to Jacob,

Rebekah - "I heard your father tell Esau to kill a wild animal and cook some tasty food for your father before he dies. Your father said this because he wants to bless your brother with the LORD as his witness. Now, my son, listen carefully to what I want you to do. Go and kill two of your best young goats and bring them to me. Iíll cook the tasty food that your father loves so much. Then you can take it to him, so he can eat it and give you his blessing before he dies."

Jacob - "My brother Esau is a hairy man, and I am not. If my father touches me and realizes I am trying to trick him, he will put a curse on me instead of giving me a blessing."

Rebekah - "Let his curse fall on me! Just do what I say and bring me the meat."

Narrator 1 - So Jacob brought the meat to his mother, and she cooked the tasty food that his father liked. Then she took Esauís best clothes and put them on Jacob. She also covered the smooth part of his hands and neck with goatskins and gave him some bread and the tasty food she had cooked. Jacob went to his father and said,

Jacob - "Father, here I am."

Isaac - "Which one of my sons are you?"

Jacob - "I am Esau, your first-born, and I have done what you told me. Please sit up and eat the meat I have brought. Then you can give me your blessing."

Isaac - "My son, how did you find an animal so quickly?"

Jacob - "The LORD your God was kind to me."

Isaac - "My son, come closer, where I can touch you and find out if you really are Esau."

Narrator 2 - Jacob went closer. His father touched him and said,

Isaac - "You sound like Jacob, but your hands feel hairy like Esauís. Are you really my son Esau?"

Jacob - "Yes, I am."

Isaac - "Serve me the wild meat, and I can give you my blessing."

Narrator 1 - Jacob gave him some meat, and he ate it. He also gave him some wine, and he drank it. Then Isaac said,

Isaac - "Son, come over here and kiss me."

Narrator 2 - While Jacob was kissing him, Isaac caught the smell of his clothes and said:

Isaac - "The smell of my son is like a field the LORD has blessed. God will bless you, my son, with dew from heaven and with fertile fields, rich with grain and grapes. Nations will be your servants and bow down to you. You will rule over your brothers, and they will kneel at your feet. Anyone who curses you will be cursed; anyone who blesses you will be blessed."

Narrator 1 - Right after Isaac had given Jacob his blessing and Jacob had gone, Esau came back from hunting. He cooked the tasty food, brought it to his father, and said,

Esau - "Father, please sit up and eat the meat I have brought you, so you can give me your blessing."

Isaac - "Who are you?"

Esau - "I am Esau, your first-born son."

Narrator 2 - Isaac started trembling and said,

Isaac - "Then who brought me some wild meat right before you came in? I ate it and gave him a blessing that cannot be taken back."

Narrator 1 - Esau cried loudly and begged,

Esau - "Father, give me a blessing too!"

Isaac - "Your brother tricked me and stole your blessing."

Esau - "My brother deserves the name Jacob, because he has already cheated me twice. The first time he cheated me out of my rights as the first-born son, and now he has cheated me out of my blessing. Father, donít you still have any blessing left for me?"

Isaac - "My son, I have made Jacob the ruler over you and your brothers, and all of you will be his servants. I have also promised him all the grain and grapes that he needs. Thereís nothing left that I can do for you."

Esau - "Father, donít you have more than one blessing? You can surely give me a blessing too!"

Narrator 2 - Then Esau started crying again.

Isaac - "Your home will be far from that fertile land, where dew comes down from the heavens. You will live by the power of your sword and be your brotherís slave. But when you decide to be free, you will break loose."

Narrator 1 - Esau hated his brother Jacob because he had stolen the blessing that was supposed to be his. So he said to himself,

Esau - "Just as soon as my father dies, Iíll kill Jacob."

Narrator 2 - When Rebekah found out what Esau planned to do, she sent for Jacob and told him,

Rebekah - "Son, your brother Esau is just waiting for the time when he can kill you. Now listen carefully and do what I say. Go to the home of my brother Laban in Haran and stay with him for a while. When Esau stops being angry and forgets what you have done to him, Iíll send for you to come home. Why should I lose both of my sons on the same day?"

Unison Prayer of Confession

Please turn in your hymnal to #701, and join us in a Unison Prayer of Confession. (pause till everyone is ready)

Dear Jesus,
         it is hard to forgive people
                  when they hurt us and our friends.
We want to hit back -
         and sometimes we do.
But you teach us to love our enemies
         no matter what they do.
Forgive, Lord Jesus,
         when we do not forgive others.
Help us to understand why people hurt others,
         and let our hearts be filled with love for them. AMEN

Hymnal #701 
from 365 Children's Prayers
© 1989 Lion Publishing Corp.

The Bible story, part 3
Genesis 33:1-17 (abridged +)
Contemporary English Version

Narrator 1 - Jacob found sanctuary in the home of his Uncle Laban. He also found himself a wife. Actually, he found two wives - but thatís a whole other story. He went on to have lots and lots of children, and after many years he was getting rich, with lots of cattle, donkeys, and sheep, as well as many slaves. But the time came to leave Uncle Laban and head back home, which is where we pick up the Bible story again. Sooner or later you need to face the music, and he had a bit of "unfinished business" back home. The last time Jacob saw him, his brother Esau was not a happy camper.

Narrator 2 - Along the way home, he received word that Esau was heading his way with four hundred men. Needless to say, this frightened Jacob so much that he divided his people, sheep, cattle, and camels into two groups, thinking that if Esau attacked one group, perhaps the other could escape. He sent them all on ahead, and had a restless night of sleep, which is yet another story in itself, involving wrestling with God and having his name changed from "Jacob" to "Israel."

Narrator 1 - Letís jump ahead to the next day. Judgement day! That morning he caught up with his family, and here is what scripture says about the fateful meeting. Listen.

Narrator 2 - Later that day Jacob met Esau coming with his four hundred men. So Jacob had his children walk with their mothers... Jacob himself walked in front of them all, bowing to the ground seven times as he came near his brother.

Narrator 1 - But Esau ran toward Jacob and hugged and kissed him. Then the two brothers started crying.

Narrator 2 - When Esau noticed the women and children he asked,

Esau - "Whose children are these?"

Jacob - "These are the ones the LORD has been kind enough to give to me, your servant."

Esau - "What did you mean by these herds I met along the road?"

Jacob - "Master, I sent them so that you would be friendly to me."

Esau - "But, brother, I already have plenty, Keep them for yourself."

Jacob - "No! Please accept these gifts as a sign of your friendship for me. When you welcomed me and I saw your face, it was like seeing the face of God. Please accept these gifts I brought to you. God has been good to me, and I have everything I need."

Narrator 1 - Jacob kept insisting until Esau accepted the gifts.

Esau - "Letís get ready to travel, Iíll go along with you."

Jacob - "Master, you know traveling is hard on children, and I have to look after the sheep and goats that are nursing their young. If my animals travel too much in one day, they will all die. Why donít you go on ahead and let me travel along slowly with the children, the herds, and the flocks. We can meet again in the country of Edom."

Esau - "Let me leave some of my men with you."

Jacob - "You donít have to do that, I am happy, simply knowing that you are friendly to me."

Narrator 2 - So Esau left for Edom. But Jacob went to Succoth, where he built a house for himself and set up shelters for his animals. Thatís why the place is called Succoth.

Pastoral Prayer


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


Junior Youth News


Host 1 (Diane): Sarah
Host 2 (Michelle)
: Quinn
Esau: Carson
Jacob: Michael
Anchorperson (Veronica):
Camera person:
Emily *no lines, just walk around with camera to get different angles and shots.
Weather person (Karen):
Audience Representative:
Aaron (one of the 400 men):


Anchor person: Hello everyone!! Thank you very much for coming to our show today. As always, we appreciate your attendance and your participation. Today, we have a great show for you. Picture thisÖtwo brothers torn apart by birth order, run-aways in the night, reuniting after many years apart! Today proves to be one of our most dramatic and exciting shows in our history. Letís not waste anymore time!! First, letís see how the weather is looking todayÖ. Weíre going to check in with our very own weather girl, Karen Cold front.

Karen: Thank you very much Veronica. Iím extremely excited about our show today. Hopefully today proves to be one hot show. (Turns to audience) Hello folks! Today, as we see, itís raining LIES and BLESSINGS outside. (Point to picture if we have it) Itís very hard to see through the fog of confusion. Please be careful when driving today, folks. Only by the Grace of God will things clear up anytime soon. Now back to you Veronica.

Veronica (anchorperson): Thanks a lot Karen; I hope the weather gets better soon. So, if our audience was paying attention to the services today they have the background to the story of these two brothers. (look at the audience suspiciously) Our show is dedicated to getting the real story from the real people who were there. First, our very own anchorperson, Diane Duncan, is going to interview Esau himself. Over to you, Diane.

Diane: Thank you so much Veronica. Iím very excited to be here with Esau today. I think this conversation will be an intense one. So, EsauÖhow do you feel about this whole situation?

Esau: huh?

Diane: Okay, I mean how did you feel when your conniving brother, Jacob, stole your birthright? It was intended for you and he took it from under your nose? How did that make you feel? Angry? Sad? Did you wan to cry?

Esau: Itís a disgrace! How completely disrespectful! Itís terrible, really. He ruined my entire family reputation. How could he do such a thing to me?

Diane: Okay, thatís enough of that. So after the whole event, what exactly was your next step? What were your sweet, sweet plans for revenge against that dog?

Esau: Well, first I was going to get all of my crew of about 400 men, AT LEAST! And go beat him up. We were really gonna get him. We could have beaten him to a pulp for what he did to me and my family. When we got rid of him we were going to take all of his livestock and land for our own! That would have shown him.

Diane: OkayÖ(whispers to the audience) I think someone needs a little anger controlÖ

Esau: What did you say about me? Or did you insult my brother? You have no right to do such a thing!!! (Storms off the stage)

Diane: UmmmÖ.Veronica, we have a problem.

Veronica: Alright folks, well, weíll have to catch up with Esau a little bit later on in our show. For now, we will join our very own Michelle Michaels who is interviewing Jacob. Michelle, hopefully your guest has run off yetÖ

Michelle: No, my guest is a little more calm that Dianeís guest. (wipes her forehead) So, Iím here with Jacob. So Jacob, how exactly did you feel after you had stolen Esauís birthright?

Jacob: Well, Michelle, at first I felt happy because now I had the birthright. It was all mine. I probably should have had it in the first place, but I finally set it all right. But, as time passed, I began to feel terrified because I thought it was the wrong thing to do and I wondered what would happen if Esau began to seek revenge on me. You know he threatened to kill me, right? Heís always had a violent streak.

Michelle: Was that what motivated you to run away?

Jacob: Have you ever met Esau?? If he threatened you, you would probably run away too!! I had to look out for my own hide.

Michelle: How did the whole situation get resolved?

Jacob: After I ran away, I had time a lot of time to think about what I had done, you know, in between having more children than one can count and becoming rich from my livestock and land. I felt remorse. How could I have done such a thing to my own brother? I prayed to God for days and days. He led me in the direction to say sorry to my brother. When Esau came with 400 men I was not afraid. All I wanted to do was to apologize and hug my brother. We worked things out and now our relationship is fantastic! God can really make everything in life better with prayer.

Michelle: Well, there you have it Veronica. Two brothers brought back together through prayer!

Veronica: (wipes a tear from her face) That was beautiful, just beautiful. Now that weíve spoken to Esau and Jacob, Iíve invited Aaron, one of the 400 men who went to seek revenge on Jacob, to speak to us about the whole situation. Welcome, Aaron. How are you today? (Aaron enters)

Aaron: Iím great, thanks for having me.

Veronica: From your point of view, how did Jacob react when Esau came to his land?

Aaron: I feel like Jacob was pretty shook up about the whole thing.

Veronica: Do you feel that Jacob made a good choice when he took the 400 men with him?

Aaron: Personally, I think it was not a good choice because it caused Jacob to become very fearful.

Veronica: What exactly do you think Jacob thought would happen?

Aaron: he probably thought that Esau would kill him family and severely hurt him.

Veronica: Is there anything else you would like to add while youíre here with our studio audience?

Aaron: I just want to say that Esau was very happy when he saw Jacob. Heís really not a bad guy.

Veronica: Thank you Aaron, that was very enlightening. Now that the audience has heard from key players in the story, we here at the station would like to hear from you guys. What questions or comments does our audience have for our guests?

Audience member 1: Esau: why exactly were you so angry at your brother?

Esau: Hello??? He stole my birthright? It was mineÖ(gets very flustered by calms himself down) But he and I worked things out and weíre as good as new now. Thatís all that matters,

Audience member 2: Jacob, my question if for you. Why were you begging for forgiveness?

Jacob: Well, I did a horrible thing. All I wanted afterwards was my brotherís forgiveness and love. He means more to me than any birthright.

Audience member 3: Esau, I just want to know how the stew was. Was it worth it?

Esau: That was the best stew Iíve ever had. My brother is a fantastic cook.

Veronica: Well folks weíre out of time today. Weíve had a great show getting to know you two brothers and your story. I hope your relationship continues to blossom. For all of those at home watching this, remember, prayer and forgiveness are important parts of your faith as a Christian. God can solve any problem as long as you pray. Good night!


Returning our Tithes and Offerings

Voice 1 - Earlier in our worship we gave out what we called a "reverse offering." Actually, this is what our ushers collect every week, for the offerings we give back to God are in reverse of what God first gives us.

Voice 2 - Day by day the Lord provides for us what we need. We do something with it. We cook the lentil beans and make a tasty stew. But weíre not the only cooks. God is busy in our lives, stirring things up, softening hard minds, adding flavor.

Voice 1 - Look at the story of Jacob and Esau. A younger brotherís stew cooked up a real problem. But that wasnít how it all ended, with brother at war with brother. God was cooking up a storm behind the scenes. "Taste and see that the Lord is good," the Bible says. And itís true!

Voice 2 - Now is the time for our real "reverse offering." Letís give back something delicious from the heart. In so doing, may our light shine.

Ending Prayer

         Loving God, you show us how to be peaceful. We thank you that Esau found your healing love and showed peace to Jacob. We thank you that Jacob sought forgiveness and reconciliation with his brother Esau. Teach us to show peace. Help us to learn to listen for your guidance, even when we are angry. Thank you for your presence with us. Amen.

(Gather ĎRound Multiage teacherís guide, Fall 2006-2007, p. 69)

(para traducir a espaŮol, presione la bandera de EspaŮa)


Interested in Sunday School?
Below is a growing list of possible sites to visit. As you discover others, please let us know.

International Lesson:
Faith and Life Resources
Mennonite Publishing House

International Lesson:
Mennonite Weekly Review

(scroll down on left to "Sunday School lessons)

International Lesson:
Christian Standard
(one week ahead)

International Lesson:
Living Web Sunday School Project

While one of our adult classes follows the International lesson above, using
A Guide for Biblical Studies,
published quarterly by our denomination,
another class often uses one of the
Good Ground series,
also published by Brethren Press.

For children and youth, we use the new
Gather Round curriculum
(developed jointly by the Church of the Brethren and the Mennonite Church)


©2006 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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