Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
December 26, 2010
Worship 10:00 am              Sunday School 11:10am

The Sunday after Christmas 

      Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you… (Matthew 1:13)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)

  Call to Worship

*Hymn                           (vs. 1) "Good Christian friends, rejoice"                         210

*Scripture                                    Isaiah 63:7-9

*Hymn                           (vs. 2) "Good Christian friends, rejoice"                         210

*Scripture                                      Psalm 148                       (Laughing Bird Version)

*Hymn                           (vs. 3) "Good Christian friends, rejoice"                         210

*Opening Prayer

  Children’s Time                      "Without feet"

  Scripture                                 Hebrews 2:10-18

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

  Hymn                         "The first Noel, the angel did say"                             199

  Pastoral Prayer

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

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

  Scripture                                 Matthew 2:13-23

  Video                                       "My Deliverer"

  Message           "Listening to and following the dream" (mp3)

*Hymn                            "To us a child of hope is born"    189



*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

The Christmas carol, “In Dulci Jubilo,” dates back to the 14th century. Supposedly the words were first sung by angels to a monk by the name of Heinrich Suso, perhaps in vision or a dream. His biography says that an angel came to him, and told him that “God had sent (the angels) down to (Suso), to bring him heavenly joys amid his sufferings; adding that he must cast off all his sorrows from his mind and bear them company, and that he must also dance with them in heavenly fashion. Then (the angels) drew (Suso) by the hand into the dance, and (he) began a joyous song about the infant Jesus.” (for more see here) In our English translation of this Christmas carol we sing “Good Christian friends, rejoice,” but literally the Latin and German words mean “In sweet jubilation…” 

            I invite you to rise in body or spirit, and turn to #210 in your hymnal, and let us on this first Sunday after Christmas, sing with “sweet jubilation” our praise. We’ll pause between each verse to listen to scripture take us by the hand and lead us deeper into the dance of faith.

Opening Prayer

            God of hope and light, your good news has been emblazoned across the skies, the great starry night of Jesus’ birth, sung by angels, celebrated by shepherds, witnessed by animals. You have given to us a new chance, a reminder of your continual love for us. Be with us in this worship, we pray. Guide our thoughts, our lives, our spirits. Heal and restore us. For we ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN

by the Rev. Nancy Townley,
from Worship Connection.

For Children
Without feet

(needed: a broken nativity set shepherd, some play doh)

    A few weeks ago, we brought the boxes of Christmas decorations down from the attic. I opened up the box that had our ceramic nativity set in it, and cleared off a shelf to place all the figures. I was trying to get into the Christmas spirit and thought that putting some decorations up would help.

I brought out the centerpiece, which looks a little like a barn, and I put Mary and Joseph and the manger which holds baby Jesus in it. Then came a cow and a donkey. Then some camels along with the three wise men. Searching through the pieces of Styrofoam and tissue paper, I finally found the shepherd boy. This set only has one shepherd. However, there was something wrong with it. Something was missing, can you see what it is? Yes, the feet have broken off. I searched through the box for the feet, that I might glue them back on, but I couldn’t find them. What can’t this shepherd boy figure do without those feet? That’s right: he can’t stand.

My first thought was to take down the whole set. After all, what is a nativity set without a shepherd? Shepherds are pretty important to the story of Jesus’ birth. A group of them were taking care of their sheep in the middle of the night when lots of angels surrounded them and sang out about the birth of a baby in Bethlehem. What did those shepherds then do? They went to Bethlehem, where they saw the baby Jesus, and they told Mary and Joseph about the angels. And then they left, singing songs of praise to God.

            But my poor shepherd boy doesn’t have any feet. How could he go to Bethlehem? What good is a shepherd without feet? What should I do with him? (get their ideas, eventually bring out the play doh and see what they then say).  Oh, now he can stand up. With a little help, he can be part of our nativity set. With some help from the other shepherds, he could have made it to Bethlehem. He doesn’t have feet, but the most important part of his story is his mouth. He and the other shepherds told what they had seen – the angels. And then, just like the angels, they opened their mouths and sang, glorifying and praising God for all they’d heard and seen.

Pastoral Prayer


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


Returning our Tithes and Offerings

“O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light;
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.”

When Phillips Brooks wrote those words a few years after the Civil war, “many little towns of the North and the South were unnaturally silent, because so many of the young men were gone.” At that time, the story of our nation was still unsettled, so many in a generation silenced by the ‘deep and dreamless sleep’ of death, and the ‘hopes and fears of all the years’ wondering if what was torn asunder by war could truly be put back together again.

In a few minutes, we will turn again to the dreams of a carpenter named Joseph, and the unsettling story of Bethlehem after the birth of Jesus. As we return our offerings to God just now, think about those “hopes and fears of all the years,” and what God may reveal in dreams today.


inspired by (and quotes) "Poetry and American Memory"
an Essay by Robert Pinsky

“My Deliverer”


Godtube version                                                   Youtube version


May the love of God bless you and keep you;
        the mercy and faithfulness of Jesus Christ be born in your hearts; and
        the Holy Spirit create and bring dreams to reality in your lives.

by Rev Moira Laidlaw, Uniting Church in Australia

(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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