Advent Sunday 29th November 2015 9am

CALL TO WORSHIP:

Around us the signs of Christmas have reappeared

Tinsel, fake holly berries, artificial snow, enticements to buy, all the trappings that we love to despise every Christmas

 

Around us are all the signs of cheap sentiment and shallow spiritual cliché, watered-down commonality, easily-won conclusions about what it’s really all about

 

Around us is plenty that’s not right:

 

But Lord we would come afresh to this your season

With hearts expectant

With eyes attuned to the possibility of surprise

With lives ready to resonate again to the gentle persistence of your spirit

Calling us to see signs of the Kingdom

to be agents of transformation even as we are transformed daily

birthed anew into the reality of this new Christmas season

 

We come, in gratitude, to celebrate and to love.

 

HYMN: O Come, O Come Emmanuel

O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here  until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

 

O come, O come, thou Lord of might who to thy tribes on Sinai’s height
in ancient times didst give the law in cloud and majesty and awe.

Rejoice! rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

 

O come, thou key of David, come, and open wide our heavenly home;
make safe the way that leads on high and close the path to misery.

Rejoice! rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

 

O come, thou dayspring come and cheer our spirits by thine advent here;
disperse the gloomy clouds of night and death’s dark shadows put to flight. Rejoice! rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

 

PRAYERS OF THANKSGIVING

 

OFFERING

 

TIME WITH THE CHILDREN ~ Wayne Barton

 

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION

 

HYMN: Nothing is Lost on the Breath of God

Nothing is lost on the breath of God, nothing is lost forever

God’s heart is love, and that love will remain

Holding the world forever.

No feather too light, no hair too fine, no flower too brief in its glory

No drop in the ocean, no dust in the air

But is counted and told in God’s story.

 

Nothing is lost to the eyes of God, nothing is lost forever

God sees with love, and that love will remain

Holding the world forever.

No journey too far, no distance too great,

no valley of darkness too blinding, no creature too humble,

No child too small for God to be seeking and finding.

 

Nothing is lost to the heart of God, nothing is lost forever

God’s heart is love, and that love will remain

Holding the world forever.

No impulse of love, no office of care, no moment of life in its fullness.

No beginning too late, no ending too soon

But is gathered and known in its goodness.                     ©Colin Gibson (FFS)

 

READINGS:

Psalm 25                                 Barry Moore

Luke 21: 25-36                        Hilary Moore

 

MESSAGE

 

 

HYMN: Now to Your Table Spread

Now to your table spread, we come each one in faith

That you alone provide the words of life and death.

In wine and bread, in promised food,

We find your loving heart, O God.

 

Hands of the world stretch out. Your mystery to touch

In longing to believe a truth beyond our reach.

To sing in joy, to cry in grief,

To know your meaning for our life.

 

Here is our common wealth, in sharing what is good

As though all humankind around one table stood

This bread to break: This wine to taste

One people in the name of Christ.                              ©Shirley Murray (AA)

 

 

AN ADVENT COMMUNION

 

We come to worship.  We come to sit quietly alongside an old tradition

We are shaped and defined by the witness though the years:

the means of grace offered to gathered groups of believers down through the centuries.

And in common with those who have gone before us, we prepare our hearts by pausing; by recognising that we have fallen short.

Acknowledging that we are not what we want to be.

Not what you call us to be.

And that in our falling short, there is space for regret

Forgive us, Lord: we ask you to entrust to us again your grace.

 

[PAUSE]

We receive in this moment, for this time and beyond your grace. Grace that sees us as we are,

loves us and calls us to be more than we could dare hope or imagine through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

We would hear from your word:

Isaiah 11:1-10                                Barry Moore

Matthew 3:1-12                              Hilary Moore

This is the word of the Lord.

The familiar words, the familiar story, the familiar call

Help us to hear it with our lives attuned to hope, to mercy, to eternal grace for we believe that here we are in the presence of your Spirit

 

And we allow the words of the church to speak to us, to our spirits, in words of affirmation:

You, O God, are supreme and holy. You create our world and give us life. Your purpose overarches everything we do.

You have always been with us. You are God.

 

You, O God are infinitely generous, Good beyond all measure.

You came to us before we came to you

You have revealed and proved your love for us in Jesus Christ,

Who lived and died and rose again. You are with us now.

You are God.

 

You, O God, are Holy Spirit.

You empower us to be your gospel in the world.

You reconcile and heal: you overcome death.

 

You are our God. We worship you.

 

We stand here as part of a wounded world and we recognise the need for your healing love

In the families grieving in Paris. In the people bewildered and angry, facing terrorism

Refugees, orphans, widows, idealists, unwilling soldiers, conscripts and cowards

In those grieving after the helicopter crash in Fox Glacier

In those we know who are facing hard times:

Financially, with health issues, with family problems, with things we know only a little of

And those whom we name in the gentle quiet privacy of our hearts

for whom Christmas may be a time of worry, of impending crisis, of significant changes

 

We also pray for those places where decisions are made that will affect our neighbourhood, our city, our country, our world..that you would grant wisdom to those men and women charged with heavy responsibilities this Christmas.

 

We will celebrate this Christmas with food, by eating together with family and friends, perhaps with stranger and visitor, with foreigner and those battered by things we can only guess at:

we remember those times in our lives when eating with someone has carried significance far beyond the banquet, the feast, the anniversary meal and we come to celebrate now:

alert to significance, open to challenge, awake to meaning, embracing as a gathered people all you have for us in this Advent Communion.

 

On the night in which he was betrayed The Lord Jesus took bread as part of the Passover feast

In continuum with Passover feasts stretching back to the founding of a nation

In the context of the city celebrating an anniversary

In obedience to the commands of Moses

In witness to the tradition of citizenship, of belonging, of including, of embracing.

 

And broke it: Broke it to begin a new feast, A new meaning, A new context.

In the same way Jesus took the cup after supper: and said

“This is new: This is my life poured out for you. This is hope: the entry into a new way of life.

 

Jesus said: This is my body: given for you. This is my lifeblood: poured out for you

 

And so we join in communion with the ages

In communion with our brothers and sisters all over the world

In communion with our brothers and sisters here in Christchurch

In communion with one another

 

We come: for all is now ready

 

AFTER COMMUNION:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

HYMN: Joy to the World

Joy to the world! The Lord is come;

let earth receive its king;

let every heart prepare him room,

and heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing,

and heaven, and heaven and nature sing.

 

Joy to the earth! The Saviour reigns;

let us our songs employ;

while fields and streams, rocks, hills and plains

repeat the sounding joy, repeat the sounding joy,

repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

 

He rules the world with truth and grace,

and makes the nations prove

the glories of his righteousness

and wonders of his love, and wonders of his love,

and wonders, wonders of his love.                             C/A

 

 

 

 

 

NOTICES

A very warm welcome to all who worship with us this morning, Please stay for morning tea after the service. Thanks to Rev Alan Webster for leading our service today.

 

WEDNESDAY WALKERS 2nd Dec: Christmas Lunch at Barbara & Alan’s bach in Glentunnel. For a map and to arrange car pooling, contact Sonya.

 

CRAFTY CRAFTERS Thursdays 10am -12noon in the Lounge. $3.

 

CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR WALTHAM COTTAGE: please bring these along from 29 November, until 13 December, and place under the Christmas Tree. Gifts are required for men, women, teenagers & children. PLEASE DO NOT WRAP YOUR GIFTS. Edible items acceptable (preferably on 13 Dec). Boxes of chocolates are especially handy. Donations of wrapping paper also very welcome. Thank you for your support.

 

QUALITY USED CLOTHING SALE Saturday 30th January 2016 9am at St Mark’s Anglican Church Hall, 101 Opawa Rd. We will also be selling jams, pickles, preserves, cakes, sweets etc… All donations gratefully received.

 

PARISH OFFICE HOURS: Wednesdays & Thursdays 9am – 12noon, and Fridays 9-11am. Phone 332 6192, Email: stmartpresch@xtra.co.nz. Website: www.stmartins.org.nz. Any notices to Anna by 9am every Thursday please.

 

ALPINE PRESBYTERY NEWSLETTER is on the noticeboard in the Lounge.

 

Chris sends greetings to you all – see the letter on the noticeboard.

 

2015 CWS CHRISTMAS APPEAL: At the heart of the Appeal are stories of determination and courage that give a glimpse of the work of CWS partners helping to rebuild people’s lives one by one.

Advent 1: Hope – Restoring health to the traumatised children in Gaza. The Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees (DSPR) in Gaza is providing medical and psychological help to families in need. For Gaza’s residents surrounded by rubble and locked onto a small piece of land, DSPR is a living sign of hope.

Please give generously to this Appeal. Over 70 years, your gifts have helped people get through difficult times. www.christmasappeal.org.nz.

 

BIRTHDAY THIS WEEK: Sun 29th Judith.

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