Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
December 20, 2015
Worship 10:00 am          Sunday School 11:10am

Fourth Sunday of Advent

      As for you, Bethlehem of Ephrathah, though you are the least significant of Judah’s clans, one who is to be a ruler in Israel on my behalf will come out from you… (Micah 5:2)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)                I heard the bells            (insert)

  Israel’s Cry                                 Psalm 80:1-7

  Hymn                     (vs. 1 & 6)O come, O come, Immanuel               172
(children come forward as we sing)

  Lighting the Advent Candles

*Hymn                             Hark! the herald angels sing                         201

*Opening to God with Mary’s song – Luke 1:47-55                                840

  The Gospel story                          Luke 2:1-7

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

  Hymn                          Come, thou long expected Jesus                      178

  Pastoral Prayer

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

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

  Scripture                                    Micah 5:2-5a

  Message                               “Small package (mp3)

*An Advent Response                                                          (back of bulletin)

*Hymn                              “O little town of Bethlehem”                             191



*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Israel’s Cry
Psalm 80:1-7

1 - Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
          you who lead Joseph like a flock!
      You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth
before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh.
      Stir up your might,
          and come to save us!

2- Restore us, O God;
        let your face shine, that we may be saved.

1 - O Lord God of hosts,
          how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?
     You have fed them with the bread of tears,
          and given them tears to drink in full measure.
     You make us the scorn of our neighbors;
          our enemies laugh among themselves.

2- Restore us, O God;
        let your face shine, that we may be saved.

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

Lighting the Advent Candles


            During the previous hymn, all children come forward. One has been tasked ahead of time to go to the back, get a lit Christmas tree candle from the ushers, and process as we sing vs. 6 of “O come, O come, Immanuel.” S/he will stand next to the Advent wreath. The rest of the children will get ready to pass out candy canes to the congregation after the candlelight, while we sing, “Hark! the herald angels sing.”

            When “O come, O come, Immanuel” the other children are quiet while the worship leader speaks:


From the prophet Jeremiah we hear this: “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope(29:11).

             We re-light the candle of HOPE.

(the child lights the front candle)

In the book of Lamentations we hear this: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness(3:22-23).

            We re-light the candle of LOVE.

(the child lights the right candle)

From the prophet Isaiah we hear this: “And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away(35:10).

            We re-light the candle of JOY.

(the child lights the left, pink candle)

From the prophet Ezekiel we hear this: “I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; and I will bless them and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary among them forevermore(37:26).

            We now light the candle of PEACE.

(the child lights the back candle)

Rise in body or spirit and let us sing,
“Hark! the herald angels sing,” #201

scripture texts are 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 to God with Mary’s song
Luke 1:47-55

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
    my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;
    for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed;
    the Almighty has done great things for me,
    and holy is his name.

He has mercy on those who fear him
    in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm,
    he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
    and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things,
    and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel,
    for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
    the promise he made to our fathers,
    to Abraham and his children forever.

Hymnal #840 - English translation of The Magnificat (Luke 1:47-55)
prepared by International Consultation on English Texts (ICET),
later known as the English Language Liturgical Consultation (ELLC),
copyright©1975. Used by permission

Pastoral Prayer


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


Returning our Tithes and Offerings

            In the book of Hebrews, according to the Laughing Bird version, we hear the following:


Christ came into the world saying, 

    “God, you don’t want more sacrifices and offerings.
I know you get no pleasure from all that stuff,
even when it’s done sincerely and by the book.
But you have prepared a body for me, God,
and I come now to do what you really want,
for it is what I do that is really ‘by the book’.

            Do you see what he’s saying there? He’s saying that God gets neither satisfaction nor pleasure from all the different kinds of offerings that the law prescribed for sin and for various other things. And he’s going further than that because he’s saying that he’s here to do what God really wants. This is a total change over. He is abolishing the previous system and putting a new one in place. So now, according to what God really wanted, Jesus has dealt with sin once and for all, at the cost of his own body, and brought us all up to scratch for God.


Hebrews 10:5-10, according to the Laughing Bird version.

             We have been brought “up to scratch,” “made holy by God’s will through the offering of Jesus Christ’s body once for all.”*  ...  Ponder these words as the ushers come forward to receive what we have to give.

the Laughing Bird version ©2001 Nathan Nettleton
*10:10 from the Common English Bible
Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

An Advent Response
Litany for Peace

People: The nations rage and the peoples plot.

Leader: He will bring peace.

People: The lion destroys the lamb.

Leader: He will bring peace

People: The kings and rulers of the earth take counsel together for war.

Leader: He will bring peace.

People: The bear tears apart the unprotected, and the children live in fear.

Leader: He will bring peace

People: The judges and the attorneys create endless conflict without resolution.

Leader: He will bring peace.

People: The wolf deceives and slaughters the kid.

Leader: He will bring peace.

All: O Bethlehem, from you shall come One who will care for his flock and bring peace to the ends of the earth. Nation will not lift up sword against nation. Neither shall they learn war anymore. The wolf shall live with the lamb, the calf and the lion together. They will not hurt or destroy one another, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord, and peace shall reign over the globe as the waters cover the sea. Amen.

by Robert W. Neff
University Baptist & Brethren Church
State College, Pennsylvania
© 2015 Brethren Press. www.brethrenpress.com
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085,
"The Living Word" Series


The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

Numbers 6:24-26 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


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)


return to
Worship Orders

return to

return to

return to
Long Green Valley Church