Advent Sunday Communion Nov 29th

We meet in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Song: I offer up my life in spirit and truth https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWP05Fm39sY

Children and elders

Friends and strangers

We come to God’s House

In good times and bad times

In joy and in sorrow

We come to God’s House

Seeking wisdom

Asking for God’s Blessing

We come to God’s House



We light this candle for all God’s messengers,

preparing the way for change,

signs pointing for a new age to come

O God, as we wait for your promise,

give light, give hope

Saying Sorry to God:

Father God you have promised to hear us when we call to you.

Lord, we confess our sins

Keep your promise and forgive us, we pray.

For the times when we have hurt others through the words we have said,

Lord we confess our sins.

Keep your promise and forgive us, we pray.

For the times when our actions have been harmful and not loving,

Lord we confess our sins.

Keep your promise and forgive us, we pray.

For the times when we have forgotten you and ignored your commands,

Lord we confess our sins.

Keep your promise and forgive us, we pray.

Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy

Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy

Christ have mercy, Christ have mercy

Christ have mercy, Christ have mercy

Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy

Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy

Almighty God,

who forgives all who truly repent,

have mercy upon you,

pardon and deliver you from all your sins,

confirm and strengthen you in all goodness,

and keep you in life eternal;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Collect

Almighty God,

as your kingdom dawns,

turn us from the darkness of sin to the

light of holiness,

that we may be ready to meet you

in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen

Song: Change my heart O God https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUjUvoynGMM

First Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:3-9

3 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.

4 I always give thanks to my God for you because of the grace he has given you through Christ Jesus. 5 For in union with Christ you have become rich in all things, including all speech and all knowledge. 6 The message about Christ has become so firmly established in you 7 that you have not failed to receive a single blessing, as you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be faultless on the Day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is to be trusted, the God who called you to have fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Gospel Reading: Mark 13:24-37

Alleluia Alleluia

I am the light of the world says the Lord

Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness

but will have the light of life

Alleluia

Hear the Gospel of our Lord according to Mark 13:24-37

Glory to you O Lord

24 ‘But in those days, following that distress,

‘“the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; 25 the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.”

26 ‘At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.

28 ‘Now learn this lesson from the fig-tree: as soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. 30 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

The day and hour unknown

32 ‘But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. 34 It’s like a man going away: he leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.

35 ‘Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back – whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the cock crows, or at dawn. 36 If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: “Watch!”’

Sermon:


What’s Coming next?

How is everyone feeling as we listen to the news around the world? All sorts of things give us cause to be anxious, angry, frightened or feel that we’re not in control. It’s not all bad news, of course but the more dramatic things tend to make the headlines.

COVID, climate change, elections and political upheavals, uncertainty about what’s happening next- wondering who is for us and who is against us.

It would have felt much the same in Jesus’ time too. They were living in an occupied country, were threatened by the nations around them, subject to natural disasters and they didn’t have so much that makes our lives more secure like the welfare state or the NHS!


I’m not trying to make out that’s everything’s terrible at the moment- but the insecurity that we may feel about world events has always been shared with people up and down the ages.


The prophecy that Mark is quoting at the being of this passage actually comes from Isaiah- who was writing hundreds of years before.

So- anxiety and foreboding about the future have always been with us. Mark writes-

after all that distress,

the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; 25 the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken…

Very often, generations have felt that theirs is the worst time; that things can’t get worse, that perhaps the end of the world is near. I don’t think we should take this literally as if the prophet is describing the universe falling apart. It’s more a poetic way of expressing the world being turned upside down and not in a helpful way!

So what’s the take home message?

People have always been anxious. Life has always been tough.


And so we can take heart from the next few verses. Whatever, else is happening, Jesus will be there too. And he will be powerful and glorious, not hidden and small. Jesus will take care of those who belong to him. Not one of them will be lost or too far from him.


So rather than focussing on what’s going wrong or frightening us or what we can’t control- let’s look to what we know for sure. Jesus will be there for us – whatever is in the future.

This picture is a 17th century Greek icon of Jesus' return.



When will it be?

There are some great temptations when we talk about the future or Jesus’ return.

When will it be? How will we know? What are the signs? The disciples asked all these questions.

But Jesus replied using the illustration of the fig tree.

When you see the branches bud and blossom, you know that summer is near. So if you see the world being turned upside down, being uncertain and scary, think that Jesus is coming back soon.


To underline the point, Jesus says, my words will never pass away. They apply to everyone.

We don’t get a fixed answer; we’re asked to have a fixed attitude.

Whatever time it is, assume Jesus is coming back soon to rescue you. Keep calm, it’s going to be alright.

What should we do?

Well, don’t waste your time and energy speculating on when. There is a huge amount of stuff out there trying to interpret current events and making them fit into biblical prophecies. That’s really not the point.


Jesus tells his followers- be like the servants whose master goes away. While the master is gone, everyone has something to do and someone is always on watch to let them know when he’s coming up the road. Don’t waste time on worry, wondering or waiting.


Get on with what we’re to do here and now. It’s like the Scouts’ motto- Be prepared!



So what does that mean for us?

Our diocese priorities are here:

Worshipping God: How can we get the Christmas message out there?

Would you like to take part in an online carol service?

How about decorating a window so people on your street can see at least some of the Christmas story?

Who can make a figure for our junk Nativity for the church garden?

Making New Disciples: What about a course or group next year to invite your friends to?

Transforming Communities: What can we do- perhaps with other people that will improve our area?

We look forward in Advent to Jesus coming back to rescue the whole world but as we wait, we focus on what God is calling us to do.

The Creed

Do you believe and trust in God the Father,

source of all being and life,

the one for whom we exist?

We believe and trust in him.

Do you believe and trust in God the Son,

who took our human nature,

died for us and rose again?

We believe and trust in him.

Do you believe and trust in God the Holy Spirit,

who gives life to the people of God

and makes Christ known in the world?

We believe and trust in him.

This is the faith of the Church.

This is our faith.

We believe and trust in one God,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Our Prayers

Among the poor,

among the proud,

among the persecuted,

among the privileged,

Christ is coming,

HE IS COMING TO MAKE ALL THINGS NEW.

In the private house,

in the market place,

in the wedding feast,

in the judgement hall.

Christ is coming,

HE IS COMING TO MAKE ALL THINGS NEW.

With a gentle touch,

with an angry word,

with a clear conscience,

with burning love,

Christ is coming,

HE IS COMING TO MAKE ALL THINGS NEW.

That the kingdom might come,

that the world might believe,

that the powerful might stumble,

that the humble might be raised,

Christ is coming,

HE IS COMING TO MAKE ALL THINGS NEW.

Within us,

without us,

among us,

before us,

in this place,

in every place,

for this time,

for all time,

Christ is coming,

HE IS COMING TO MAKE ALL THINGS NEW

We share the Peace

Blessed are the peacemakers:they shall be called children of God.

We meet in the name of Christ and share his peace.

The Peace of the Lord be always with you

And also with you

Song: My Lighthouse https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFBZJGSgyVQ

Holy Communion

The Lord be with you

and also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give thanks and praise.

It is right to praise you, Father, Lord of all creation;

in your love you made us for yourself.

When we turned away

you did not reject us,

but came to meet us in your Son.

You embraced us as your children

and welcomed us to sit and eat with you.

In Christ you shared our life

that we might live in him and he in us.

He opened his arms of love upon the cross

and made for all the perfect sacrifice for sin.

On the night he was betrayed,

at supper with his friends

he took bread, and gave you thanks;

he broke it and gave it to them, saying:

Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;

do this in remembrance of me.

Father, we do this in remembrance of him:

his body is the bread of life.

At the end of supper, taking the cup of wine,

he gave you thanks, and said:

Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant,

which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins;

do this in remembrance of me.

Father, we do this in remembrance of him:

his blood is shed for all.

As we proclaim his death and celebrate his rising in glory,

send your Holy Spirit that this bread and this wine

may be to us the body and blood of your dear Son.

As we eat and drink these holy gifts

make us one in Christ, our risen Lord.

With your whole Church throughout the world

we offer you this sacrifice of praise

and lift our voice to join the eternal song of heaven:

Holy, holy, holy Lord,

God of power and might,

Heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

We continue with the words of The Lord's Prayer:

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours

now and for ever. Amen

We break this bread

to share in the body of Christ.

Though we are many, we are one body,

because we all share in one bread.

Jesus, Lamb of God,

have mercy on us.

Jesus, bearer of our sins,

have mercy on us.

Jesus, redeemer of the world,

grant us peace.

Draw near with faith.

Receive the body of our Lord Jesus Christ

which he gave for you,

and his blood which he shed for you.

Eat and drink

in remembrance that he died for you,

and feed on him in your hearts

by faith with thanksgiving.

Song during communion Weep with me

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEAIWy72acc

Prayer of Spiritual Communion

Thanks be to you, Lord Jesus Christ,

for all the benefits you have given me,

for all the pains and insults you have borne for me.

Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally,

I ask you to come spiritually into my heart.

O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother,

may I know you more clearly,

love you more dearly,

and follow you more nearly, day by day. Amen

Almighty God,

we thank you for feeding us

with the body and blood

of your Son Jesus Christ.

Through him we offer you our souls and bodies,

to be a living sacrifice.

Send us out in the power of your Spirit

to live and work to your praise and glory.

Amen.

The Blessing

The peace of God,

which passes all understanding,

keep your hearts and minds

in the knowledge and love of God,

and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord;

and the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always.

Amen.

Shine Jesus Shine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OIwSQmyCg4

Dismissal

To a troubled world peace from Christ. To a searching world love from Christ. To a waiting world hope from Christ.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ. Amen.

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