Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
August 8, 2010
Worship 10:00 am

      Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 1:1)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)        "‘Tis not with eyes of flesh we see"        571
  Prelude                                    "Hymn of Faith"                                       Gluck

  Call to Worship

*Hymn                                  "O worship the King"                                        66

*Opening Prayer

  Remembering God’s Promise   Genesis 15:1-6

  For Children                            "Looking up"

  Hymn                            "The God of Abraham praise"                               162

  Sharing a joy, a concern, a word of testimony or praise
                                 (please be brief, and aware of God's listening presence)

  Responsive Prayer                                                                                     720

  Hymn                                      "Obey my voice"                                         163

  Gospel with a "bite"                   Luke 12:32-40

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

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

  The Word on Faith              Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16

  Message                              "Pragmatic Hope" (mp3)

*Hymn                                    "We walk by faith"                                        570


*Postlude                      "I am Trusting Thee, Lord Jesus"                       Dietrick

*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

What more could a country want than to have you as their God?
         To be your cherished people, LORD, is the best thing in life.

You keep your eye on the whole earth;
         you see each and every one of us.

Though you are seated in power, LORD,
         you concern yourself with all who live on earth.
You shaped us, inside and out,
         and you watch everything we do with interest.

No army can guarantee our safety;
         the toughest fighter is not invincible.

Pinning our hopes on military might is futile;
         brute force cannot make life worth living.

It is you, LORD, who watches over all who respect you;
         you, whose love and loyalty give us confidence.
You are our only hope when death closes in;
         our only security when times are tough.

We put our trust in you, LORD;
         you alone can help and protect us.

Because of you, our hearts are bursting with joy;
         your name stands out and fills us with confidence.

Surround us with your love, LORD.
         We’ve pinned all our hopes on you
                  and on your rock-solid love.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Opening Prayer

We praise you, our sovereign "king," greater than any earthly ruler, and our "shield and defender" in times of trouble. As we have just sung, you are our "maker," our "redeemer," and even our "friend" in Christ Jesus. We may not fully grasp what it means for you to be "pavilioned in splendor," or what your "chariots of wrath" are all about. We just trust in your "tender" and "firm" "mercy," as well as your faithfulness to us even as we are still learning how to be people of faith in response. Forgive our stumbling attempts, and teach us day by day what it means to trust in your promises as we seek to keep our own. Bless this time of worship with your Spirit’s presence. In your name, Amen.

Remembering God’s Promise
Genesis 15:1-6

Fourteen chapters of the first book in the Bible are devoted to the story of Abraham and his wife, Sarah. It all begins with God calling this older couple to leave the comfort of a life they had known and step out by faith in a direction known only by a two-fold promise. First, the Lord vowed a new land to call home would be theirs. Second, the sound of children would grace this childless family of two. At age 75, this patriarch set out with his wife into the unknown, armed only with God’s promise.

Three chapters later in the story as we have received it, neither land nor children have appeared on the horizon, and the time has come for a heart-to-heart discussion with the One who made the promise. As is often the case, it happens at night, when darkness tends to illuminate doubts and fears. As I read, recognize that Abraham still goes by the name of Abram, and Sarah – Sarai. That change happens at the next heart-to-heart discussion in a later chapter.

Genesis 15:1-6 is but the beginning of an evening episode that involves the sacrificing of several animals, a smoking pot, a flaming torch, and the remaking of a covenant, which I will not read. The focus for us this morning is the remembering of God’s promise upon which Abram’s faith is based. Listen.

read Genesis 15:1-6


For Children
"Looking up"

Come and sit beside me on this top step. How about we just all lie back and look up. Isn’t this niece? Can you see all the stars up there? You can’t? Why not? Oh, of course – there’s a roof above us. All we can see is the wood up there. Well, imagine that ceiling wasn’t there. Can you see the stars now? You can’t? What’s the problem now? Hmm, I see. It is daytime. The stars come out AT NIGHT, don’t they?! We can see one star during the day. What star is that? You’re right, it’s the sun. The sun is a star in the sky.

Okay, I want you to imagine that there is no roof above us, and that it is nighttime. Have you ever been outside on a clear night and been able to see the stars in the sky, especially when there are no other lights getting in the way? Imagine that it’s one of those nights and we are looking up at the stars. Can you do that?

There are lots and lots of stars. Do you think you could count them all? Why not? There are too many of them to count. And even when we think we’ve counted them all, there are many, many more that are beyond our ability to see lying here on the ground. We’d need a telescope to see them. But even with a telescope there’d be even more than we count count, or even see. Lots and lots of stars.

A long time ago, God made a promise to a fellow named Abraham and his wife Sarah. God promised that they would have children. They didn’t have any children when God made this promise. And they were pretty old, past the age when people usually have children. But that was just the beginning of God’s promise.

It wasn’t just one child God promised Abraham and Sarah. God promised that their children would have children, and these grandchildren would have children, and so it would go – that they’d have great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, (lots of great) grandchildren. God promised that all these children down through the years would number more than all the stars in the sky. That’s a lot of children!

Now, when God made this promise, I imagine Abraham was doing pretty much what we’re doing right now. He was looking up and imagining all the stars. One thing I want you to remember. I imagine that as Abraham looked up, there was a star way, way, way off there in the sky, maybe one he could really see, one that required a powerful telescope to see.

Well, you know, that star way up there – in God’s promise to Abraham, that star was you (and that one was you, and that one was you, etc.). You were a part of God’s promise to Abraham, long, long ago. So was I. So was everyone in this room. We are part of the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham. Think about that the next time you look up at the night sky.


Responsive Prayer

ALL: Listening God,
               you hear our prayers before we speak,
                     yet welcome our praying;
               therefore we come with confidence
                      to lay our requests before you.

Leader: We pray for Christian everywhere,
                   for our denomination and our congregation,
                   for faithfulness and strength to persevere in righteousness.
             We pray for the whole people of God.

People: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: We pray for the nations of the world,
                   for all leaders
                   and for those who make policy decisions.
             We pray for the commonwealth of our global community.

People: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: We pray for those who are overcome by violence,
                   for victims of injustice or oppression,
                   and for those in poverty or pain,
             We pray for all who need healing and peace.

People: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: We pray for those who endure trials,
                   for those who are dying,
                   and for those who mourn.
             We pray for all who need comfort and hope.

People: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: You have heard the prayers of your people, O God.
             We rest in the comfort of your care,
                   as we pray in Jesus' name.


#720, Copyright © 1992 The Hymnal Project

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

The word “gospel” literally means, “good news.” In the scripture I just read we might hear the invitation of Jesus to let go our fear as some really “good news.” After all, fear eats away at our sense of well-being. However, in the very next breath Jesus challenges us to also let go of our abundance of possessions. Do we hear that as “good news,” as well? Call it, “Gospel with a bite.” Now, there are preachers of prosperity on the airwaves today who apparently forget this particular sound-byte of our Lord. “Follow Jesus and you’ll have money galore,” they seem to say. Is that really what he says?

This scripture is not just about the unexpected arrival of the kingdom, which will come like a thief in the night, when least expected. It is also about the unexpected nature of God’s realm. The “good news” is that it is not about who has the most marbles at the end of the game. That’s how the world usually turns. It’s about the sharing of those marbles, which is how the kingdom of God becomes real. “Let go,” Jesus says, “and give to others.” Herein we find our true treasure.

Let’s pray:

Help us to live by faith rather than fear, O Lord.
Guide us through our self-giving to receive your treasure. Amen.




(voice 1,  from lectern):
Go now with God;
      be not tempted to stay in the safety of known places.
      Move from where you are to where God points.
      Hasten from here toward a God who beckons.

(voice 2,  from left side – midway back):
Go now with God;
      be not tempted to go only in your time,
      when it suits, when it is sure.
      Bestir yourself now, for now is God’s time.

(voice 3 ,  from right side – midway back):
Go now with God,
      elect not to go alone;
      give your allegiance, your destination to no other;
      choose to go with God.

(voice 4,  from the back):
Go now with God.
      Go in the faith that
            there is no valley so low
                         no wilderness so vast
                         no passage so crooked
                         no way so confused
            that God is not already there
                  waiting to be with you. Amen.

by Earle W. Fike, Jr., from For All Who Minister,
©1993 Brethren Press, p.124-25

(para traducir a español, presione la bandera de España)


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

International Lesson:
Adult Bible Studies
from The United Methodist Publishing House
(click "supplemental resources" and "current events supplement" under both the "Student" and "Teacher" sections in the left hand column)

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

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


©2010 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


return to
Worship Orders

return to

return to

return to
Long Green Valley Church