Putting Jesus back into Christmas

Frost glistening on the grass, winter sun rising over Riber if we were singers we would have sung out …
“In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,                                     
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;”
Christina Rossetti 
The cold and frosty start seemed to fit with our theme this morning. All be it one that has been tried and tested many times before.
I love the build up to Christmas, the lights in shop windows, Christmas markets, buying presents, thinking about how I will decorate my home etc. etc.  But this week amid all the glitz I was thinking, where is Jesus in all this? Particularly after being in touch with a local food bank and receiving an appeal leaflet from St. Georges Crypt in the post.  www.stgeorgescrypt.org.uk
So what followed was a time to worship and reflect.
Interspersed in the words below I read extracts from the St. Georges Crypt Appeal leaflet – words of challenge and hope, words showing the the Kingdom of God in action.

 

God of generosity and justice come into our midst this morning.

Breath your breath, your Holy Spirit,

your enlivening, your imagination upon us.

Wake us up, open our eyes, unplug our ears;

that we might hear, that we might see, that we might grieve, that we might dream.

That we might truly follow the ways of your extraordinary kingdom. Amen.

 

The People Who Worship

Our gathering emphasises community

Our gathering is an experience of radical equality

Our gathering is characterised by joy and hope and laughter.

The God We Worship

Our gathering names God as the true and only God

Our gathering proclaims the sovereignty and presence of the risen Jesus

Our gathering affirms the values of the Kingdom of God.

Our Mission and Ministry

In our gathering our many different gifts are brought together into unity

In our gathering we acknowledge that we are sinners

In our gathering we show care and encouragement to one another.

 

Wandering slowly around the park we meditated on:

The Empty Place

People who do not hold tightly to things are happy, because all of God’s kingdom is theirs.

People who are gentle with the earth will see it blossom forever.

People who can cry for all the world’s suffering will live to see happiness                 Misplaced halo?

People who hunger and thirst for justice will finally have their fill.

People who really care will find love wherever they go.

People who don’t let the world get them down will see God.

People who give up their won comfort so that others can be helped know what heaven is all about.

Lord, let us be like these!

The Franciscans

 

Jesus calls us above all else to seek the Kingdom of God, putting our trust in God who creates, provides and redeems, and whose love is never ending.

Jesus taught us that we should uphold justice and generosity, strive to safeguard the integrity of all living things and always to be mindful of how other people are treated.

What can I do to make this a reality in my life?

 

Sharing of bread and wine

We share bread and wine, Lord Jesus, as a memorial of your life given for us,

Your body broken and your blood poured out.

But we cannot share bread and wine with our eyes closed to the needs of others.

May our thanksgiving for your unbelievable gift be so real that we too,

may become bread broken and wine poured out for others.

Empower us by your Spirit to be peacemakers, hurt healers, justice doers, life enhancers.

Amen

 

 

Closing Prayer

May the love and encouragement we find in this community

Make us peacemakers and justice-doers:

and may the Spirit who fills us again

lead us to be those who proclaim God’s Kingdom

in everything we do.

Amen.

Words used this morning with thanks to J. Frank Henderson, John van de Laar and Jonny Baker

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