Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
December 7, 2008
Worship 10:00 am, Sunday School 11:10 am

Second Sunday of Advent 

      John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. (Mark 1:4)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)

  Lighting the Advent Candle                                      (litany on back of bulletin)

*Hymn                            "Bless'd be the God of Israel"                              174

*Opening Prayer

  Responsive Scripture Reading                      Isaiah 40:1-11                      828

  For Children                             “God’s Hug

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

  Prayer Hymn                    (vs. 3) "Away in a manger"                                 194

  Pastoral Prayer

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

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

  Scripture                                   2 Peter 3:8-15a                   (from The Message)

  Hymn                       "On Jordan's banks the Baptist's cry"                        183

  Scripture                                     Mark 1:1-8

  Message                            “Construction Zone

*Hymn                             "Hark! the herald angels sing"                              201



#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

One:   Listen to the ancient voice:
                "Prepare the way of the Lord,
                      make straight ... a highway for our God."

  All:   Lord, this sounds like a call to action.
          Bring out the heavy equipment:
                bulldozers, dump trucks,
                      drills, graders, and explosives.
          What kind of road would you have us build?

One:   "Every valley shall be lifted up,
                and every mountain and hill be made low;
          the uneven ground shall become level,
                and the rough places a plain."

  All:   Lord, this may be too tough for us.
          We don't know how to level the rough ground
                we are trudging over.
          Nor do we know how to smooth out the rugged feelings
                the recent elections have dredged up.

One:   A voice cries out: "Prepare the way of the Lord.
                Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
                      and all people shall see it together."

  All:   Lord, as we light the second Advent candle,
                help us put aside our "can dos" and "can'ts."
          Quiet our hopes and fears.
          Help us hear this invitation
                to simply sit in the light of your presence,
                      and allow the One who is the way prepare us.

by Prue Yelinek, pastor
Waynesboro, PA Church of the Brethren
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"

Opening Prayer

            Give us patience, O Lord, and keep us from rushing headlong into the Christmas season. Let us wait and get ready for the coming of the Promised One. Remove the obstacles and hindrances that block our way to you. For we ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

from Worship Connection
written by the Rev. Nancy Townley.

Responsive Scripture Reading
Isaiah 40:1-11 

Please be seated and turn with me in the back of your hymnal to #828. These words introduce a whole new section in the book of Isaiah. They invite God’s people to travel down a new road, God’s highway home. Let’s read them together. Your part is in bold print. Listen to God’s Word.

Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her
       that she has served her term,
       that her penalty is paid,
       that she has received from the Lord's hand
              double for all her sins.
A voice cries out:
       "In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
       make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
              and every mountain and hill be made low;
       the uneven ground shall become level,
              and the rough places a plain.
Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
       and all people shall see it together,
       for the mouth of the Lord has spoken."
A voice says, "Cry out!"
       And I said, "What shall I cry?"
All people are grass,
       Their constancy is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
       when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
       surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades;
       but the word of our God will stand forever.
Get you up to a high mountain,
              O Zion, herald of good tidings;
       Lift up your voice with strength,
              O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
       Lift it up, do not fear;
       say to the cities of Judah,
              "Here is your God!"
See, the Lord God comes with might,
       and his arm rules for him;
his reward is with him,
       and his recompense before him.
He will feed his flock like a shepherd,
       he will gather the lambs in his arms,
he will carry them in his bosom,
       and gently lead those that are with young.

Hymnal #828
New Revised Standard Version,
verse 11 from Revised Standard Version

For Children
God’s Hug

adapted from Sitting on the Rainbow (Mark/ year B), by Ruth Gilmore, ©2002, Augsburg Fortress, Minneapolis, pp. 12-13.


Pastoral Prayer

borrowed this morning from Richard J. Einerson,
a retired U.C.C. pastor, from his book, Prayers of the People.

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

1 - Psalm 85, verses 1, 2, and 8 through 13. Listen.


1 - Lord, you were favorable to your land;

2 - you restored the fortunes of Jacob.

1 - You forgave the iniquity of your people;

2 - you pardoned all their sin.

1 - Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,

2 - for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.

1 - Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land.

2 - Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;

1 - righteousness and peace will kiss each other.

2 - Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,

1 - and righteousness will look down from the sky.

2 - The Lord will give what is good,

1 - and our land will yield its increase.

2 - Righteousness will go before him,

1 - and will make a path for his steps.


2 - Our path through worship just now leads us into a time to give as we have received.

1 - As the plates are passed, and you respond to the steadfast love,

2 - faithfulness,

1 - righteousness,

2 - and peace of God,

1 - ponder what it means for you today to turn to him in your heart,

2 - what having reverence for God this all-too-busy month might involve.

1 - Do more than just stick some money into the offering.

2 - Think about placing your whole self there.

1 - Ushers?

2 Peter 3:8-15a 

We have traveled through the Old Testament on the Advent highway of worship this morning. Let’s turn now to the New Testament. I will be reading from the second letter of Peter, using a paraphrase of these words called, “The Message.” Listen.

Don't overlook the obvious here, friends. With God, one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. God isn't late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn't want anyone lost. He's giving everyone space and time to change.

But when the Day of God's Judgment does come, it will be unannounced, like a thief. The sky will collapse with a thunderous bang, everything disintegrating in a huge conflagration, earth and all its works exposed to the scrutiny of Judgment.

Since everything here today might well be gone tomorrow, do you see how essential it is to live a holy life? Daily expect the Day of God, eager for its arrival. The galaxies will burn up and the elements melt down that day—but we'll hardly notice. We'll be looking the other way, ready for the promised new heavens and the promised new earth, all landscaped with righteousness.

So, my dear friends, since this is what you have to look forward to, do your very best to be found living at your best, in purity and peace. Interpret our Master's patient restraint for what it is: salvation.

Mark 1:1-8

Listen now to this  morning’s gospel lesson. These words begin the book of Mark. Unlike Matthew and Luke, Mark has no stories about the birth of Jesus. Instead, he begins with that voice Isaiah mentioned, crying out in the wilderness. The highway of God opens up before us. Are you ready?

(Read Mark 1:1-8, in a translation you choose or the NRSV below)

            The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

2As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,

“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way;
3the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight,’”

            4John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. 8I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”


“Hark!” an old word, meaning “listen, pay close attention,”
          the “herald,” another old word, here meaning “messenger, announcer, spokesman, forerunner;”
                    Hark, the herald prophet has spoken.

          Listen now to the last three verses of the hymn we just sang. The original by Charles Wesley had 10. The tune we used was added 100 years later, with a refrain attached to the end of each verse. Pay close attention to these old words:

Now display thy saving power,
Ruined nature now restore;
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to thine.

Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface;
Stamp Thy image in its place.
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in thy love.

Let us Thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the life, the inner Man:
O! to all thyself impart,
Form'd in each believing heart.

          Remember throughout this week that
                    You are God’s construction zone.

(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,
also published by Brethren Press.

For children and youth, we use the new
Gather Round curriculum
(developed jointly by the Church of the Brethren and the Mennonite Church)


©2008 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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