Monday, November 26, 2018

For December 9, 2018 -- Advent 3 -- The Life of Christmas Present

The God of our Past, our Present, and our Future
invites us to worship as we prepare for Christmas.
We come closer to the birth of Jesus
the excitement is building, our preparations continue
As we prepare ourselves, we sing, we pray, we reflect
opening our eyes and hearts and souls to God’s presence.

Joy! God sometimes Joy is hard.
Sometimes we look at the world around us and find nothing to be joyful about.
If we are honest we know that the world is a troubled place
That is why we know we need you, why we need Jesus to be born in our world again.
God as we sing about Christmas help us remember the Grace that Jesus preached.
The Grace that helps us reform and reshape our lives and our world. Joy to the World, Jesus is coming!

In this season of Joy and Hope we get ready for the coming of the Prince of Peace
We go from this time of worship to prepare our homes and our hearts.
As you continue to prepare for the amazing birth that is a fortnight away be sure and secure in the knowledge that the God who breaks into the world as a Baby is with you everywhere you go.
In trust we will walk with God: Parent, Child, and Spirit. Amen.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

For December 2, 2018 -- Advent 2 -- The Remembrance of Christmas Past -- Blue Christmas Ritual

The God of our Past, our Present, and our Future
invites us to worship as we prepare for Christmas.
Here we come to be reminded who we are and whose we are.
Here we open ourselves to God’s presence and listen for God’s voice
As we sing and pray and remember,
may God be with us, may God fill us with the peace that passes understanding.

God of Christmas promise and possibility,
we know that sometimes Christmas is less than joyful.
We remember the pain of the past and of the present,
we acknowledge that this pain is a part of our Christmas, is a part of who we are.
God who walks with us in joy and in sorrow, when the way is easy and when it is hard,
as we remember our past be with us we pray. Strengthen us as we go forward.
God who is always present, we lift up our memories, the happy and the sad,
And we are thankful that we are not alone.
We pray in the name of Jesus, whose birth we await. Amen

We have gathered, we have sung, we have prayed.
We have remembered the joys and sorrows of the past that has shaped us.
We go out to continue to get ready for the birth of a baby
a child who will lead us in the way of peace and love.
We go out trusting that the God who offers us the peace that passes understanding
is with us wherever life may lead. Thanks be to God.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

FOr November 25, 2018 -- Advent 1 -- Bah Humbug

We come into the season of preparation.
A time when we open our hearts, where we get ready for a baby.
As we prepare for Christmas God calls us to reflect
reflect on the world around us and our place in it.
God has called us to this place to worship, to reflect on our world, to get ready for the birth of Christ.
Come, let us worship together.

God, you send us many messengers as we try to understand what it means to be your people.
You remind us that our choices have consequences, that sometimes we do indeed reap what we sow.
Will we listen?
Will we take advantage of the choices your offer?
In grace and mercy you give us the opportunity to change how we are living.
Will we heed the warning? Will we be open to being changed?
...time of silent prayer...
The God we meet in Christ is Gracious and Merciful. God allows us the freedom to choose a path, but in Grace God allows us to change course when we chose a less helpful path. We are forgiven and led to wisdom.
Thanks be to God who helps us sow things we actually want to reap. Amen. 

We go out to continue living and working and serving.
We go out to continue to prepare for God’s breaking into the world.
As we go we remember that choices matter
and so we commit to make good choices.
Go with God: known as Creator, as Christ, as Spirit at work in the world.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Advent Candles 2018

November 25, 2018 – Advent 1 (Bah Humbug) -- Hope
Sermon Title: Marley or Lazarus
Scripture: Galatians 6:7, Luke 16:19-31
1. It is time to prepare, time to get ready.
2. Ready for what?
1. Well somebody special is a month away from being born.
2. You mean it is only a month to Christmas?
1. Yep. You know what the Christmas story always brings me?
2. The urge to sing carols?
1. Well yes. But more than that it brings me hope. The fact that God keeps caring for the world, that God loves the world so much to become part of it makes me hopeful for the future. And so I always light a candle to remind me of that hope. (light one candle)
2. Let us pray...
God we need some hope in our lives. Help us trust in your promise this Christmas.
Remind us that things can get better, that the world can change, that we can change.
Even when things seem terrible help us see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Help us live as people of hope. Amen.

December 2, 2018 – Advent 12 (The Remembrance of Christmas Past) -- Peace
Sermon Title: Carry Forward the Past
Scripture: Isaiah 40:1-2, Revelation 21:3-5, Luke 4:17-19
1. The day is coming, it is getting closer
2. It’s almost Christmas!
1. Christmas always make me hope for good things (light one candle)
2. Do you know what I am really hoping for this year?
1. A new phone?
2. Well maybe. But I hope that we can learn from our past mistakes. I hope that God will help us find a way to live together in peace and justice. It has to happen some year right? (light a 2nd candle)
1. I hope so, some year, maybe next year?. Let us pray...
God you promise us that some day there will be peace throughout the world.
Peace between countries, peace within families, peace in our troubled hearts.
We haven’t learned how to do that yet. Help all of us be people who bring peace into our lives.
Help us change the world around us as we wait for Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Amen.

December 9, 2018 – Advent 3 (The Life of Christmas Present) --Joy
Sermon Title: See the World Today
Scripture: Deuteronomy 15:1-11, Luke 1:46-55
1. Don’t you love how joyful everyone is at Christmas?
2. Joyful? How can people be joyful? Have you watched the news lately?
1. I know, there is lots of trouble out there. But still I always find a sense of joy in the air.
Maybe it is the carols, or the bright lights of the decorations. Something just makes the world seem better.
2. If you say so. Some days I find it hard to have hope (light one candle) that there will be peace (light 2nd candle) and Joy seems far away.
1. I try to remind myself that there is more happening than the news tells us about. There are people giving to The Salvation Army, there are people collecting gifts for their neighbours, there are people planning to serve meals to the community. And that lights up my life and brings Joy to my heart (light 3rd candle)
2. I hadn’t thought of it that way. I guess maybe there is some good news out there. God is at work after all. Let’s pray about that...
God of joy, sometimes it is hard to be joyful.
Sometimes all the bad news piles up and we have trouble seeing that you are at work around us.
But then we find out that some people with difficult lives still find a way to celebrate,
and we start to see the world differently.
Help us see where you are at work changing the world. Help us find the joy that lies waiting to be discovered, even if only for a moment. Amen.

December 16, 2018 – Advent 3a (Practise Christmas) -- ???
Sermon Title: Pageant Sunday
(blow a coach whistle) Ok. Are we all ready for Christmas?
Is maybe good enough? Only 9 days to go people! Got your Joy to the Worlds tuned up? Everyone know the story? Got your Silent Nights quieted down? We have to practise these things folks, especially that last one!
We’re good to go coach!
Good to hear. But lets run through it just in case. Start with the candles...
(candles are lit as they are called out) Hope...we have hope light
Peace...we have peace light
Joy...we have joy light
Love...we have love light
Christ ...we have... hey should we light this one yet?
Good call. Normally we wouldn’t. But this is our practise run.
Christ ...we have Christ’s light.
Now let’s pray:
God we are almost ready. We are excited and hopeful. Jesus is almost born!
As we remember the story, as we practise for the big birthday that is coming, remind us what it is all about. Help us be as excited as the shepherds, to sing Glory in excelsis with the angels, to trust you like Mary did. Amen.

December 23, 2018 – Advent 4 (The Hope of Christmas Future) -- Love
Sermon Title: Shadows That Can Be Changed
Scripture: Isaiah 2:2-5, Isaiah 7:10-16
1. Christmas is here! Well almost.
2. Isn’t it great?
1. So far we have talked about hope (light one candle) and peace (light 2nd candle) and joy (light 3rd candle) but there is one candle left.
2. That’s the candle of love. I think it is the most important one.
1. Why?
2. Christmas is all about love. God loves the world so much God gives us Jesus. God challenges us to love all of our neighbours. With love God gives us another chance to change our lives. Love is a source of heat and light in life (light 4th candle)
1. Let us pray for more love in the world.
God we remember the song “what the world needs now is love sweet love” and we know it is true.
Sometimes we find it hard to love the people around us. Sometimes we are hard to love.
But you love all of us. All of the time. And then you give us a chance to change the future by changing the present. Thank you for that.
Help us to be like Scrooge and promise to do better, to love better, in the future. Amen.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

For November 18, a College Sunday Service

As people with questions
we gather for worship
As seekers on a quest
we gather for worship
As those called to learn what God wants us to be
we gather for worship
As siblings in Christ we gather for worship, greeting each other with words and signs of Christ’s peace.

God made known in Jesus of Nazareth, of whom we sing
Jesus, teacher, brave and bold...teach us to serve you everywhere
In this time of worship we open our hearts, our souls, our minds, our selves,
trusting in your presence among us.
God who sends teachers to show us the way,
help us to learn from each other and from you.
We pray in the name of the one we call Teacher, Guide, and Christ, who taught his friends to pray saying...

God you call us to be ready to learn,
and sometimes we think we have already learnt what we need to know.
You call us to teach,
and sometimes we think we have no wisdom to pass on.
You call us to lead and be led.
and sometimes we would rather go off by ourselves on our own path.
God, when we fail to heed your call to teach, to learn, to lead
speak to our hearts, encourage us, chasten us, forgive our headstrong ways.
...time of silent prayer...
God teaches us about grace, about forgiveness, about second chances by offering these things to us over and over again. God offers us wisdom when we are ready to receive it. In Christ God gives us Teacher, Mentor, and Guide.
Thanks be to God. Amen

We are, each one of us, students in God’s school of life and love
we go from this place to continue learning.
We are, each one of us, teachers in God’s school of life and love:
we go from this place to share the wisdom we have received.
As we continue to learn and to teach we trust that God: Parent, Son and Holy Spirit, 3-in-one is with us
In whatever classroom we find ourselves. Amen.