Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
March 25, 2012
Worship 10:00 am              Sunday School 11:10am

Fifth Sunday of Lent 

      I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (Jeremiah 31:33b)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)            "The work is thine, O Christ"            396

  Beginning with the Gospel         John 12:20-23

*Hymn                                     "Man of sorrows"                                        258

*Opening our hearts and minds in prayer

  Continuing the Gospel                                                                               754

  For Children                         "Coming Clean"

  Praying Psalm 51 together                                                                         818

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

  Hymn                                  "Have thine own way"                                     504

  Pastoral Prayer

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

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

  Hymn                                      "Obey my voice"                                        163

  Scripture                                Jeremiah 31:27-34

  Message                       "Written upon the heart" (mp3)

*Hymn                               "New earth, heavens new"                                 299



*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Beginning with the Gospel

Next week is Palm Sunday and the remembrance of Jesus entering Jerusalem sitting on a young donkey. We begin worship this day with what happened right after that episode, according to the gospel of John. Listen.

20Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. 21They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified… (pause)

Brothers and sisters, the hour has come for us to worship. Sisters and brothers, it is time to glorify God in Jesus Christ together. Rise in body or spirit and sing: “Hallelujah! What a Savior!” (#258 in your Hymnal).

John 12:20-23 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.

Opening our hearts and minds in prayer

God of grace and glory, you welcome us into your presence.
      Here, sorrow and shame
            are transformed into “Hallelujah!”
      Here, condemnation and ruin
            are not the final words.
      Here, the old, old story of broken dreams
            becomes the new, new song of salvation.
      Here, you stand before us
            with the open arms of Jesus.
      Here, you strengthen with your Spirit
            and shed light upon the path ahead.
                              Thank you, Lord.

Yes, like those who have journeyed before us,
      we wish to see Jesus, also.
            You have brought us to this hour
                  by many hands and hearts -
                        each a witness along the way.
      Some, like Andrew and Philip,
            speak to us from the Bible.
      Others, like Lois or Izzy,
            have been characters in the story of our lives.
                  They all point in your direction.

Help us this hour to look and to listen
      for your Word to be revealed,
            in the words that are spoken
                  as well as in the silence between the lines.
Help us to speak and to sing
      and to pray and to simply “be”
            in the grace and the glory of your presence.
                  With hearts united in Christ, amen.

Continuing the Gospel

Leader:   Very truly, I tell you,
                    unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies,
                    it remains just a single grain;
                    but if it dies,
                    it bears much fruit.
People:   Those who love their life lose it,
                    and those who hate their life in this world
                         will keep it for eternal life.
   ALL:   Whoever serves me must follow me,
                    and where I am,
                    there will my servant be also.

Hymnal #754,    John 12:24-26a
the New Revised Standard Version, adapted
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.

For Children
"Coming Clean"

         In this children's message, taken from "Sitting on the Rainbow," by Ruth Gilmore, the storyteller uses some vegetable or olive oil to reveal something about sin. "Have you ever gotten oil on your hands and then tried to wash it off with water? Does the oil rinse off? No it doesn't come off with just water, does it? What else do you need to get oil off your hands? Right: you need soap" (which the storyteller also has, along with a damp cloth).
         Linking to Psalm 51, the rest of the message focuses upon forgiveness, and how God helps us to come clean - a process of show and tell with the children, using the oil and letting them feel the storyteller's hand before and after the soap is then applied... You need to buy Gilmore's book if you want to read more.

Praying Psalm 51 together

Have mercy on me, O God,
      according to your steadfast love;
      according to your abundant mercy
            blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
      and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions,
      and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned,
      and done what is evil in your sight,
      so that you are justified in your sentence
      and blameless when you pass judgment.
Indeed, I was born in the midst of iniquity;
      in the midst of sin my mother conceived me.

You desire truth in the inward being;
      therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
      wash me, and I shall be purer than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
      let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
      and blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
      and put a new and right spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
      and do not take your holy spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
      and sustain in me a willing spirit.

O Lord, open my lips,
      and my mouth will declare your praise.
For you have no delight in sacrifice;
      if I were to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased.
The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit;
      a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Hymnal #818, Psalm 51:1-12,15-17
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.

verses 5 & 7 adapted by Eugene F. Roop, copyright©1991
c/o Bethany Theological Seminary,
615 National Rd. W., Richmond, IN 47374-4095. 

Pastoral Prayer


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


Returning our Tithes and Offerings

“While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could deliver him out of death. And God heard his prayers because of his reverence for God. So even though he was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. In this way, God qualified him as a perfect High Priest, and he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.” (Hebrews 5:7-9, New Living Translation)

Please pray with me:

         Lord, we thank you for giving us, in your Son Jesus, someone who fully understands what it’s like to walk in our shoes. He could have chosen a different way, but he didn’t. And his path led him to the cross, where he didn’t just offer some animal or grain to make things right between your people and you. No, he became the sacrifice - the lamb slain for the salvation of the world.
         God, in the moments that follow we return to you a portion of what you have first given us. We don’t bring these offerings to make things right between us and you. Jesus has already done that. Even so, as we give help us learn how to live sacrificially - to give of ourselves in ways that glorify Jesus and you. For you don’t desire only a "portion" of who we are. You want all. Help us to step into your kingdom promise with both feet, following "Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith"
(Hebrews 12:2). In his name we pray. Amen.

Will the ushers now come forward to receive our offerings?


Go now, to serve Christ and follow him.
Let your old life fall like a grain of wheat into the earth
so that you may bear much fruit
as you allow God to reshape your heart
and live in obedience to the law written within you.

And may God centre you in truth and steady your spirit.
May Christ renew your joy and strengthen your will.
And may the Spirit teach you God’s hidden wisdom
            and fill you with songs of rejoicing.

©2003 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net, adapted

(para traducir a espańol, presione la bandera de Espańa)


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:
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)

International Lesson:
International Bible Lesson
a weekly column by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.
in "The Oklahoman" newspaper
also found

International Lesson:
Living Web Sunday School Project

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)


©2012 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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