Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
December 12, 2010
Worship 10:00 am              Sunday School 11:10am

  Second Sunday of Advent

      A highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way…”  (Isaiah 35:8a)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)             "Hail to the Lord's anointed"             185
  Prelude                         "The Quiet Hills of Bethlehem"                          Hughes

*Responsive Call to Worship                                                                       715

*Lighting the Third Advent Candle

*Opening Prayer

*Hymn                          "My soul proclaims with wonder"                            181

  Unison Confession                                                                                     703

  For Children                          "Tree of Lights"

  Scripture                                    James 5:7-10

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

  Hymn                                    "Away in a manger"                                       194
 (sung to tune “Mueller” – BH 137)

  Pastoral Prayer

  Stations of the Manger Moment

  Scripture                                 Matthew 11:2-11

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory                  "Chorale: O Hear the Joyful Tidings"
                                           harmonized by Schreiner
                                        (Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)

*Response                           (vs. 3) "Joy to the world"                                   318

“No more let sins and sorrows grow,
nor thorns infest the ground.
He comes to make his blessings flow
far as the curse is found, far as the curse is found,
far as the curse is found.”


  Scripture                                   Isaiah 35:1-10

  Message                               "The Holy Way" (mp3)

*Hymn                            "Oh, how shall I receive thee"                               182


*Postlude                                         "Bonn"                                            Ebeling

*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Responsive Call to Worship

Please turn with me to #715 in your Hymnal. These words are remembered in the Gospel of Luke as a song from the heart of a young, pregnant woman named Mary, when she visited her much older relative, Elizabeth, who also was “with child.” The future of God’s people lay within their wombs. In one was John the Baptist, who was to prepare the way for the Messiah. In the other was Jesus.

We begin worship this hour, called into the presence of God by this song of Mary, the mother of our Savior. Join me in first speaking these words, and then later in singing them.

Leader:  My soul proclaims your greatness, O my God,
                  and my spirit rejoices in you, my Savior,
                  for your regard has blessed me,
                  an ordinary woman, who serves you.

People:  From this day all generations
                  will call me blessed,
                  for you who are mighty have made me great.
               Most holy be your name.

Leader:  Your mercy is on those who fear you
                  throughout all generations.
              You have shown strength with your arm.
              You have scattered the proud in their hearts' fantasy.

People:  You have put down the mighty from their seat
                  and have lifted up the powerless.
              You have filled the hungry with good things
                  and have sent the rich empty away.

   ALL:  You, remembering your mercy,
                  have helped your people Israel,
                  as you promised Abraham and Sarah
                      mercy to their children forever.

Hymnal #715, Luke 1:46-55
from Language About God in Liturgy and Scripture

Lighting the Third Advent Candle

The candles of our Advent wreath have encouraged us to “Keep Awake,”

(candlelighter relights the first candle on the wreath)

and to “Prepare the way of the Lord.”

(candlelighter relights the second candle on the wreath)

This morning, we are reminded that we have good news that needs to be shared. This gospel is growing within us. We are called to joyfully “Go and Tell.”

(candlelighter lights the third candle on the wreath)

            Would you pray with me?

Opening Prayer

            Great God, you have given your Son to the world. He has shown us the way of your Kingdom. He has become the Way to where you are leading. He will return, as promised, to usher in a new heaven and earth – a second Advent. This we believe. Through your Holy Spirit you have placed within us your good news, growing like a seed which will one day bear fruit. Empower us this hour to give voice to this news, to sing and pray and tell. Prod us, then, to risk taking this gospel with us into our everyday life. Help us to go and tell. This we pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Unison Confession

Gracious God, hear our confession.
Our faith is uncertain,
      our forgiveness slow,
      our conviction weak,
      our compassion wavering.
We have exalted the proud and powerful,
      put down the weak,
      saturated the rich with good things,
      neglected the poor,
      sent the hungry away empty-handed.
We have helped ourselves.

Show us your mercy,
Help us show mercy,
      through your Son, our Savior. AMEN

Hymnal #703
Adapted from the musical "Prayer Phrases"
by Harris J. Loewen, ©1986

For Children
"Tree of Lights"

            I will tell a legend attributed to Martin Luther, the 16th century AD of the church in Germany, how he came upon an evergreen tree one December and brought it home to his family (see "Martin Luther and Christmas," note the word 'legend'). I'm adapting a resource written by Ruth Gilmore, found in Barefoot in the Snow, ©2001, Augsburg Fortress, Minneapolis, pp. 50-51.

Pastoral Prayer


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


Stations of the Manger Moment

            Throughout our meetinghouse are learning stations that individuals, small groups, or families can explore, one to the next - following clues, like an adventure (an Advent-ure). These creatively tell the Christmas story. A few persons during worship at this point take a few moments to draw our attention to these stations (a few of which are in our sanctuary), and invite us to take this journey. Beyond Sunday morning, these stations will be available - in a "heated" facility - and open to the community on Sunday, Dec. 19, from noon to 3pm, and on Christmas Eve, from 4-6:30pm.

Matthew 11:2-11

1 - When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him,

2 – “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?”

1 – Jesus answered them,

2 – “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”

1 – As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John:

2 – “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written,

1 – ‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’

2 – Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”

text is from The New Revised Standard Version,
copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the
National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

            Mary went and shared with Elizabeth the news that was growing within her. Jesus later instructed the disciples of the now grown son of Elizabeth to, “Go and tell John what you hear and see.” As you return your offering just now, ponder how you might this coming week share the joy that is within you.



            Redeeming God, you sent us your messenger, John the Baptist, to prepare our hearts and souls for the coming of Christ.   Multiply these gifts to echo his message of your greatness and glory.   Open our ears to the needs of your people shrouded in depression and despair.  Use our voices to tell your stories and to lead others into the community of Christian fellowship.  Let our actions of faithful giving be a beacon of our complete devotion to your guidance in our lives.  We pray to your glory forever and ever. Amen.

Copyright © 2010 David S. Bell
Reprinted with permission from www.DavidSBell.org

Isaiah 35:1-10

1 - The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad,

2 - the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing.

1 - The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God.

2 - Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees.

1 - Say to those who are of a fearful heart,

2 - “Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you.”

1 - Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped;

2 - then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.

1 - For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;

2 - the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water;

1 - the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

2 - A highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not travel on it, but it shall be for God’s people;

1 - no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray.

2 - No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there.

1 - And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;

2 - they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

text is from The New Revised Standard Version,
copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the
National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.


This season has become to be about everything but the coming of Jesus, or so it seems. We hear the prodding of some to “put Christ back into Christmas.” This seems to imply, however, that he has somehow left the scene, and that it is our responsibility to bring him back. That is not the message of Advent. Yes, Jesus is no longer physically among us, and indeed we await his return to fully usher in the Kingdom of God. But this will not be our doing, and it will happen in God’s time, not ours. Furthermore, when he ascended to be with his Father, he left with a promise: “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” He is not gone. His Spirit is within us, now, empowering you and I to … well … go and tell. Therefore,

Blessed by the good news
and the very presence of God within,
step fully into your everyday life
and share this reason for the season.
Let it come from within.

(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)


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