As I prepare myself for worship today, may I be open to receiving from you.
May I expect to learn more about you, expect to be challenged by you, expect to encounter you.
But Lord, I make this space to come before in worship not just to receive but also to give, to connect. To offer myself and my life and my service as the natural response to what I have received.
As advent continues, through this time of waiting and anticipation, I say my prayers of thanks. Thank you that you are not a God who is in a hurry. The process of creation which produced the beauty of a winter’s morning took hundreds of millions of years, so the process of new creation, of which Jesus’ life and death is the first fruits, will be a
slow but steady march towards beauty and restoration.
I ask that in my worship time today, I may catch a glimpse of that beauty. At the same time, I acknowledge that sometimes I get in the way of restoration breaking into the world, that sometimes I contribute to its failing rather than its recreation.
For this, I am sorry, and I come humbly before you to ask for forgiveness as I take a moment to acknowledge how I have fallen short in this past week.
I ask this in your holy name, and in full assurance of your forgiveness.
Opening prayers written from All We Can
Hymn 169 StF Come thou long expected Jesus
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. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours. Now and for ever.
Hymn 103 StF God is Love let heaven adore him
Hymn StF 171 Hark the Glad Sound
Reflection written by Holly Adams
The Christmas season is a glorious time of decorated streets, family get togethers, excited children, cosy evenings, good food. But there are very few of us, beneath the tinsel and lights, who don’t have something to worry about. Christmas does not magically lift us from our own difficult times, whatever they be.
And so, John the Baptist’s message is relatable to us. We’re not asked to ignore the realities of our lives, but to recognise them. There is room for our worry and our pain, in the Christmas story.
We’re assured that a different future is possible, for the whole world but also for us, for you and for me. I wonder how much John the Baptist, in his prison cell, was reassured by this message? I wonder how much we are, in times of difficulty? We are told to wait for the Kingdom of God, and notice the signs that tell us it’s near.
This advent, no matter what you’re going through, no matter what doubts you have, we are called to live in a way which expects miracles, which expects signs of wonder, which expects Christ, Immanuel, to come - with a key to the bars of our prison cell. Hear him speak to you through the bars: you may feel like the least and the last and the lost, but even the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John the Baptist, greater than anyone ever born. Hear Jesus’ words to you:
Does anything in this poem, or the characters in the video, resonate with you, and your story? Do you know someone who needs to know that there is room for them in God’s story this Christmas season? Could you be the person to help them see this?
Hymn StF 35 The trumpets sound, the Angels sing
Here I go, liberated and set free by the God who loves me, who comes here, with me.
Here I go, believing in the miracle of a Christmas God who came, who comes, who will go on coming, with me, alongside me,
Here I go, in the name of the Christ, Immanuel.
Prayers by Tim Baker
Thank you to Rev Marion Crawford for the selection of songs and for permission to use the material from The Vine at Home compiled and produced by twelvebaskets.
These are the Worship at Home versions of the In Person Services, led by our Minister :-
Each Service has the videos of the songs and the Sermon or reflection.
The Song references (StF) are from the Singing the Faith song book.
The videos of the songs are linked to YouTube or vimeo which may have advertising which Kingswood Methodist Church does not endorse.