Service Notes 13th December 3rd Sunday in Advent

 SERVICE AT THE MISSION: ADVENT 3

Good morning everyone and welcome to this, our 3rdAdvent Service, as we light the next of our candles and remember the visit of the angels to the shepherds out in the fields. We think today of all those of low standing in the world and those who are outcasts. Good morning also and blessings to everyone who will receive these notes. 

 

When I was at University, the couple in whose house I used to live and with whom I became very good friends, used to call me “broken bits!” And the reason was that I used to buy Broken bits of Cadbury’s Chocolate because, of course, they were cheaper! Well, there are a lot of broken bits in this world, broken people leading broken lives, and it’s those people that we think of today. So, let’s begin with a special prayer followed by The Lord’s Prayer.

 

PRAYER FOR ADVENT 3: Heavenly Father, as we light the 3rd Advent Candle, we remember the shepherds who were visited by the Angelic Host from Heaven, giving them wonderful news of great joy. They were ordinary people, poor people, people without power or influence and yet you chose them to receive The Good News about Jesus. It reminds us that true wisdom is so often given to the lowly rather than to the high and mighty. We thank You that You have a special place in Your heart for the lowly, the humble, the outcasts and all those who are broken and do not fit in. Pour out Your blessings on the poor and rejected of the earth and hasten the day when all men, women and children will be treated fairly with equal respect, dignity and love: and this we ask in the precious name of Jesus: Amen.

 

THE LORD’S PRAYER

 

THE HYMN: “WHILE SHEPHERDS WATCHED THEIR FLOCKS BY NIGHT”

 

BIBLE READING FROM LUKE CHAPTER 2

 

TALK: The people I lived with when I was a student at Exeter could never get over the fact that I preferred to eat “broken bits” of chocolate, all jumbled up together, all different shapes and sizes, rather than a pristine bar of chocolate! Well, for one thing, you paid far less for it and, to me, chocolate is chocolate, whether it comes in a plastic bag or a paper wrapper. But, they used to say, “how do you really know it’s Cadburys? It could be anything! They might have picked it up off the floor!” 

I have to say that it worried them far more than it worried me. The problem is that we demand a certain standard that we can see before our eyes before we believe. Some people won’t have The Corona Virus injection because it’s not fully proven. Some people won’t shop at Aldi because they believe it’s inferior: I’ve even known people take a Marks and Spencer’s bag with them in order to disguise the fact that they’ve shopped in Aldi! GOD IS ASKING US TO TAKE PEOPLE ON TRUST. Living by faith means living according to God’s revelations and God chose to reveal Himself initially to a young inexperienced woman and to a group of rough neck shepherds who had been up to heaven knows what! THE MORE I THINK ABOUT GOD, THE MORE I REALISE THAT HE SPEAKS THROUGH CONTRADICTIONS AND DEFINITELY NOT THROUGH OUTWARD APPEARANCES.

Never reject or despise anyone because of how they look, the way they dress, the way they speak, or their own background. GOD DOES NOT RECOGNISE OUTCASTS which is why any system based on divisions of race, creed, colour, class, sex or anything else cannot be of God. We create divisions, not Him. As I was writing this something suddenly appeared on the computer telling me that someone in Britain commits suicide every 90 seconds! I wonder how many of them are outcasts or feel themselves outcasts. Because the opposite is true…..no one who is a child of God needs to feel an outcast and everyone is a child of God.

We’re all broken bits to some degree: so why do we spend so much time trying to fit into a nice neat package? You can truly be yourself, just as the shepherds were themselves when the angels told them about Jesus: “Do not be afraid” they said: they could have added “do not be afraid to be yourself.”

And so I’ll just leave you with a thought: on all the Antique programmes which I love to watch, they always say that if a piece of pottery has a chip or a crack in it, then it loses its value considerably. Cracked-pots are therefore rejected. But I always remember a line from a Leonard Cohen song which goes “don’t be afraid to be a crack pot because it’s through the cracks that God’s light gets in!” Think about it: Amen.

Lyrics to Leonard Cohen song ANTHEM 

 

The birds they sang 
At the break of day 
Start again 
I heard them say 
Don't dwell on what 
Has passed away 
Or what is yet to be. 
Ah the wars they will 
Be fought again 
The holy dove 
She will be caught again 
Bought and sold 
And bought again 
The dove is never free. 

Ring the bells that still can ring 
Forget your perfect offering 
There is a crack a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in. 

We asked for signs 
The signs were sent: 
The birth betrayed 
The marriage spent 
Yeah the widowhood 
Of every government
Signs for all to see. 

I can run no more 
With that lawless crowd 
While the killers in high places 
Say their prayers out loud. 
But they've summoned, they've summoned up 
A thundercloud 
They're gonna hear from me. 

Ring ring ring ring ring 

Ring the bells that still can ring 
Forget your perfect offering 
There is a crack a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in 

You can add up the parts 
But you won't have the sum 
You can strike up the march, 
There is no drum 
Every heart, every heart 
To love will come 
But like a refugee. 

Ring the bells that still can ring 
Forget your perfect offering 
There is a crack, a crack in everything 
That's how the light gets in. 

Ring the bells that still can ring 
Forget your perfect offering 
There is a crack, a crack in everything 
That's how the light gets in. 
That's how the light gets in. 
That's how the light gets in.

 

 

´╗┐PRAYERS

HYMN: JUST AS I AM WITHOUT ONE PLEA

 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zucUa13ciOM&feature=share

 

FINAL PRAYER & GRACE

 
 
 
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