Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
November 15, 2015
Worship 10:00 am          Sunday School 11:10am


      Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her a share in the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the city gates. (Proverbs 31:29-31)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)          There is a place of quiet rest          5
  Prelude                                       “Moderato”                                      Rinck

*Call to Worship

*Hymn                          I know that my Redeemer lives                         279

*Opening Prayer

  Gospel Story                            Luke 10:38-42

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

  Gospel Boldness                       Luke 11:9-10

  Hymn                                 Sweet hour of prayer                                  11

  Pastoral Prayer

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory                                       “Prayer”                                   Cherubini
                              (Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)

  Scripture                                     Ruth 3:1-18

  Message                              Threshing it out (mp3)

*Hymn                            A wonderful Savior is Jesus                           598


*Postlude                               “God Be With You”                            Williams

*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

One: How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet

All: of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news,

One: who announces salvation, who says to Zion,

All: “Your God reigns.”

One: Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices,

All: together they sing for joy;

One: for in plain sight they see the return of the LORD to Zion.

All: Break forth together into singing, you ruins of Jerusalem;

One: for the LORD has comforted his people,

All: he has redeemed Jerusalem.

One: The LORD has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations;

All: and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

Isaiah 52:7-10 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 Prayer

Praise the Lord, my soul;
        all my inmost being,
                praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
        and forget not all his benefits—
    who forgives all your sins
        and heals all your diseases,
    who redeems your life from the pit
        and crowns you with love and compassion,
    who satisfies your desires with good things
        so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Psalm 103:1-5 from the New International Version®, NIV®
© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Gospel Story
Luke 10:38-42

            Later on this morning, we will remember the next installment of the book of Ruth, a four chapter story of 2 women in the Old Testament – Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi. In the New Testament, we have received another story of 2 women, both of whom are close friends of Jesus, along with their brother, Lazarus. These 2 women, you see, were not related by marriage, like Ruth and Naomi, but by blood. They were sisters.

            The Gospel of John tells a longer story of a different, more difficult time in their life together – the week their brother died. In that tale, Jesus arrived too late to heal Lazarus, something he did on purpose, for he intended to raise him from the grave. Before doing so, however, Jesus encountered each woman separately. Mary seemed lost in her grief at that moment, but Martha makes an important profession of faith. After Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” Martha responds, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world. (John 11:25-27)

            But that is John’s gospel. This morning’s short story of these sisters comes from the Gospel of Luke. To tell it I need 3 volunteers, 2 to portray Mary and Martha, and 1 to be Jesus. Anyone? (have them stand to the side)


38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus

(have “Jesus” sit on the top step)

entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha

(have “Martha” stand nearby)

welcomed him into her home. 39 She had a sister named Mary,

(have “Mary” sit at Jesus’ feet)

who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. 40 But Martha was distracted

(have Martha “busy” herself)

by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked,

(prompt her to say:)

“Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” … 41 But the Lord answered her,

(prompt him to say:)

“Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; 42 there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”



And so ends the story of Mary and Martha in Luke’s gospel. By the way, in John’s gospel, there is another episode that takes place in their home. In this one, Martha served a meal, and Mary anointed the feet of Jesus with some costly perfume, and wiped them with her hair – an act Jesus interpreted as preparing him for death (John 12:1-8)… As we continue in worship, remember “perfume” and “feet,” for they feature prominently in today’s episode from the book of Ruth.


Thank you to our 3 gospel enactors.


scripture 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

Gospel Boldness
Luke 11:9-10


As we move toward a time of prayer,
let’s remember this bit of “Gospel Boldness” from the lips of Jesus:


            So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened...

Can we sing the following song with such boldness?
I believe we can, and should.
“Sweet hour of prayer,” #11 in your hymnal.

scripture 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

Pastoral Prayer


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


Returning our Tithes and Offerings

             As we move toward remembering the third part of the book of Ruth, it would be helpful to recall another Old Testament book that travels a somewhat similar path. Like Ruth and Naomi, the biblical character Job lost everything. Family, household, possessions were taken from him in a series of disasters. Unlike Naomi and Ruth, he tore his clothes, covered his head with ashes, sat down and cursed the day he was born. A series of friends sat with him, and the book includes 37 chapters of them arguing over why bad things happen. In the middle of his complaint against God, unable to see the possibility of getting any justice in this life, Job makes the following statement, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth; and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see on my side, and my eyes shall behold, and not another (19:25-27).

             “Go’el” is the Hebrew word here translated as “Redeemer.” In the Old Testament, a “Go’el” is someone who, as the nearest relative of another, is charged with the duty of restoring their rights and avenging their wrongs. It is also translated as “kinsman” or “vindicator.” In the book of Isaiah, God is called the redeemer of Israel, as he redeems his people from captivity, moving them on to something greater. The New Testament does not specifically use the noun, “Redeemer,” but says that through his death and resurrection Christ Jesus has “redeemed” those who trust in him, restoring their lost estate, forgiving their sin, putting them back in fellowship with God by faith.

             In the upcoming third chapter of Ruth, we will see a “Go’el,” a “Redeemer,” in action – Boaz, who starts the process of making things right for these two widows. Ruth and Naomi, however, unlike Job, are far from sitting down on the job. They don’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk. Prepare yourself to hear. Maybe even open your Bible and do an initial read through of Ruth, chapter 3. Now would be a good time, while you return your offering to God, our Redeemer, our Go’el.

Ushers? Please come and assist us in our giving.


Ruth 2:1-23

(in Reader’s Theater format)


4 readers: Narrator, Ruth, Naomi, Boaz

(Narrator reads from the lectern. Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz sit on stools in a row.
When they speak, they turn toward the person they are addressing)


Narrator: Naomi her mother-in-law said to her,


Naomi: “My daughter, I need to seek some security for you,
                                 so that it may be well with you.
                   Now here is our kinsman Boaz,
                               with whose young women
                                     you have been working.
                         See, he is winnowing barley tonight
                               at the threshing floor.
                   Now wash
                     and anoint yourself,
                     and put on your best clothes
                     and go down to the threshing floor;

                           but do not make yourself known
                               to the man until
                                   he has finished eating and drinking.
                   When he lies down,
                             observe the place where he lies;
                       then, go and uncover his feet
                                     and lie down;
                             and he will tell you what to do.”


Narrator: She said to her,


Ruth: “All that you tell me I will do.”


Narrator: So she went down to the threshing floor
                        and did just as her mother-in-law
                              had instructed her.
                  When Boaz had eaten and drunk,
                          and he was in a contented mood,
                                 he went to lie down
                                      at the end of the heap of grain.
                     Then she came stealthily
                              and uncovered his feet,
                              and lay down.
                     At midnight the man was startled,
                              and turned over,
                                    and there, lying at his feet,
                                           was a woman!
                  He said,


Boaz: “Who are you?”


Narrator: And she answered,


Ruth: “I am Ruth, your servant;
                   spread your cloak over your servant,
                         for you are next-of-kin.”


Narrator: He said,


Boaz: “May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter;
                   this last instance of your loyalty
                         is better than the first;
                      you have not gone after young men,
                             whether poor or rich.
             And now, my daughter, do not be afraid,
                         I will do for you all that you ask,
                   for all the assembly of my people know
                               that you are a worthy woman.
                But now, though it is true
                            that I am a near kinsman,
                      there is another kinsman
                                  more closely related than I.
             Remain this night, and in the morning,
                   if he will act as next-of-kin for you,
                                  good; let him do it.
                   If he is not willing
                         to act as next-of-kin for you,
                               then, as the Lord lives,
                         I will act as next-of-kin for you.


Narrator: So she lay at his feet until morning,
                        but got up before one person
                              could recognize another;
                                    for he said,


Boaz: “It must not be known
                   that the woman
                         came to the threshing floor.”


Narrator: Then he said,


Boaz: “Bring the cloak you are wearing
                                       and hold it out.”


Narrator: So she held it,
                        and he measured out
                               six measures of barley,
                                      and put it on her back;
                           then he went into the city.
                  She came to her mother-in-law,
                                           who said,


Naomi: “How did things go with you, my daughter?”


Narrator: Then she told her all
                         that the man had done for her,


Ruth: “He gave me these six measures of barley,
                                       for he said,
                  ‘Do not go back to your mother-in-law


Narrator: She replied,


Naomi: “Wait, my daughter,
                      until you learn how the matter turns out,
                                   for the man will not rest,
                             but will settle the matter today.”

text 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


As you step forth into this week,
      facing into whatever needs to be
          “threshed out” in your life,
                  go boldly –
      for the One who has redeemed you
            is faithful and true,
                  and will do as promised.



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:
Rightly Divided

International Lesson:
Christian Standard
(one week ahead)


International Lesson:
International Bible Lessons Commentary


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
Shine Curriculum
(developed jointly by the Church of the Brethren and the Mennonite Church)


©2015 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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