Sunday 30th December 2012 – Christmas 1C (3)

Lord of giving,

In this Christmas season

we remember Your generosity

to us –

from the child in the manger,

to You healing touch and gentle forgiveness,

to the wise counsel and inspiring stories,

leading to the power of Your love

shown in Your death and resurrection.

As we learn from what we know of You

make us generous

in the gifts of our time, talent and wealth,

knowing that we can only offer

a reflection of the gift You have given us

in Christ.

Amen.

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Sunday 30th December – Christmas 1C (2)

Lord of all celebrations,

You invited the world

to be present at Your birth

into human existence.

With choirs of angels

and dazzling skies,

you announced Your presence

in the midst of Your creation.

With signals to shepherds and wise men

You declared Your intention

to be a God for all people.

As a baby in a manger

You challenge the notions

of the world,

of who is important

and who can be trusted.

 

Lord, we gather placing our trust in You,

knowing You

as someone who welcomes all,

even when the world would turn its back

and ignore.

 

May we know Your love and forgiveness

in those times

when we have put trust in the wrong places

and listened to other voices;

when we have ignored those

who needed to be offered a helping hand

and a place of trust.

 

Silence.

 

Child in the manger,

You welcome us back to our innocence

that we might always remember that we are children of God

in need of Your love and forgiveness.

Amen.

 

Sunday 30th December – Christmas 1C

Praise the Lord from the heavens,

from the highest heights.

Praise the Lord with the angels,

in the midst of the heavenly host.

Praise the Lord

as the sun shines,

the moon glows

and the stars twinkle.

Praise the Lord,

as the sky sweeps over head

and the waters wash below.

 

Let us praise the Lord

as we meet to wonder

at the breadth of His creation

and our place within His Love.

Let us praise the Lord

for He holds us close to His heart.

 

Made my life easier

It’s been quite hectic in this new place, so eventually this evening I decided that I would rework old prayers from past years so that in the business of what lay ahead I just had to think of a sermon for Sunday and Watchnight.   The problem with reworking old things is I’m not always sure which bits I borrowed from elsewhere and which is mine.

Normal service will be resumed for 30th December, I hope.

Sunday 16th December 2012 – Advent 3C (2)

Joyful Lord,

in the sparkling lights

and the surrounding decorations;

in the anticipation of children

and in the desire to please of older people;

You make known Your presence

in the season that surrounds us.

You sparkle with the possibility

of how Your Love will be expressed this year

as we repeat the treasured stories of faith

and find something we had never noticed before.

The Advent waiting for Your presence

might seem long and drawn out,

yet You use it

to teach those of faith

the importance of waiting and listening

that what might seem tired, old and out of touch

in the presence of Your Spirit

becomes vital, refreshing and of this moment.

 

God of rejoicing,

it is tempting to get lost in the moment

of wonder and excitement,

and to value only the relationship

we share with You

and those closest to us.

The sparkle and the decorations

are for more than this moment

for more than our eyes,

and with refreshed vision

You loving Lord,

take our attention to where we fail to look or respond.

 

Forgive us for our willingness

to be caught in the season hustle and bustle

that asks us to respond to our wants

rather than to our needs.

Forgive us that in our desire to be cheery

we ignore those who hurt

and feel lost and lonely

in a world that only seems to value glitz, glamour and excitement.

Forgive us when do not hear the Gospel story

of respect for others,

and think only of ourselves in what we say and do.

 

Silence

 

Your voice,

Lord of gentleness and strength,

calls to us from the wilderness,

offering the invitation to change,

and in Your love and forgiveness

the Holy Spirit

works amidst Your people

that Your gift of Love might be shared

in the words and action of Christ’s people.

Amen.

Sunday 16th December 2012 – Advent 3C

The next few weeks may be a little light compared to the past year.   Tonight’s excuse is that I’m not preaching this week, and only contributing to the first part of the service.   I’m also not long out of bed, having tried to shake off a cold that has gone straight for the throat.   Just as well I’m not preaching then!

So this week I’m offering a Call to Worship and an Opening Prayer.   Hopefully they will offer inspiration to others.

 

Sing and shout aloud,

be glad and rejoice with all you heart,

for the Lord our God is in our midst.

We should not fear

the worries and woes

that weigh upon our lives,

for the Lord delights in who we are

and what we might be as He fills us with His love.

The Lord rejoices as He lifts our burdens

and shares our sorrows.

For in His time

He will gather us in His embrace

and restore us to His heart.

 

Let us worship God