Advent3A.11.12.2016

Revd Rex A E Hunt

International eMail: rexae74@gmail.com
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Rex A E Hunt 
When Progressives Gather Together:
Liturgy, Lectionary, Landscape… And Other Explorations

Melbourne: Morning Star Publishing, 2016
(In the USA published by Wipf & Stock)

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LITURGY FOR THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE
11 December 2016. Advent 3A. (Blue).
Celebrating Solidarity: The Jesus Meal Tradition

Acknowledgement of Country/First Peoples
(An act towards reconciliation)

For thousands of years Indigenous people have walked
in this land, on their own country.
Their relationship with the land is at the centre of their lives.


We acknowledge the (NN) People and their stewardship
of this land throughout the ages.

(NN) is a safe place for all people to worship regardless of
race, creed, age, cultural background or sexual orientation


GATHERING

Gathering Music

Entry into the Celebration
The gong is sounded three times

Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Music of Celebration (with DVD/slide images of stars, sky, people on beaches)

Lighting of the Community Candle
The Community Candle is lit

Advent Wreath – ‘Source of Light’
Advent 3
v1 Stars without number
gathered in forms and patterns
that shine together.
Light third candle

v2 Father and Mother God,
we give thanks for the stars and the planets
for their light and shapes that never fail.
We pray for all people
that we may learn to live together,
to love each other,
to work together,
to make this world a better place. 
Adapted-HJohnston/ssb
All  Amen.

OR

Advent 3: “Fire”
v1   Today, we remember fire and light
with this candle of joy.
All  
Fire is at the heart of the energy,
that powers our world.

v1  Yet we humans use energy that cannot be renewed.
We take and do not replenish.
All  We rip the environment apart, searching
for more of what cannot sustain us.

(Silence)
v2  We light this third advent candle…
The candle is lit

All  And as we do we renew our commitment
to live gently and joyfully,
respecting the fire around us.

v1   May it be so.

Presentation of the Christmas Bowl
v5  Without joy, people struggle to find their way.
The bowl, made by the children previously, is placed near the Advent wreath

Note: (i) A suggested process for introducing new hymns, called Hymn of the Month, can be found HERE
(ii) Additional
Special Purpose Hymns that cover major international events or themes can be found HERE  They include the categories: 1. Bush (Brush) Fire, 2. Tsunami, Storms/Cyclones, 3. Earthquakes, 4. War/Remembrance, 5. Caregiving, 6. God as Mother, 7. Human Trafficking, 8. Disabled, 9. Migration/Refugees

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing.  Children move to Sunday Club.
"Carol our Christmas"   (Tune: Reversi)       9 (v1-3) AA
Carol our Christmas,
an upside down Christmas;
snow is not falling and
trees are not bare.
Carol the summer, and
welcome the Christ Child,
warm in our sunshine and
sweetness of air.

Sing of the gold and the
green and the sparkle,
water and river and lure
of the beach.
Sing in the happiness
of open spaces,
sing a nativity summer
can reach!

Shepherds and musterers
move over hillsides,
finding, not angels,
but sheep to be shorn;
wise ones make journeys
whatever the season,
searching for signs of the
truth to be born. (Shirley Erena Murray)
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
The season of Advent challenges us
All
to see God's vision of what is yet to be,
to hear God's voice calling anew,
All
to smell the scent of God in our world.

Act of Awareness
May we cherish each intertwining moment
and see with it all the complexities,
wonders, delights of relationship.
So may it be. (Gretta Vosper/wab)

OR

v1 We pray:
Now is the moment of magic, when an eastern star
beckons the ignorant toward an unknown goal.
So here's a blessing:
they find nothing in the end but an ordinary baby,
born at midnight,
born in poverty,
and the baby's cry, like bells ringing, makes people wonder
as they wander through their lives, what human love
might really look like, sound like, feel like.

v2 And here’s another blessing:
we already possess all the gifts we need,
we've already received our presents:
ears to hear music,
eyes to behold lights,
hands to build true peace on earth
and to hold each other tight in love. 
(VSafford/adapted)
May it be so.

Hymn Christmas is Real”  (Tune: ‘Highwood’, 11 10 11 10. 620 TiS)
Christmas is real when the cost that we measure
reaches the manger and touches the skies,
shop fronts give way to divine revelation,
God is among us and selfishness dies.

Christmas is real when the gifts that are given
mirror the love of this God upon earth,
God who is known in self-giving and loving
crowning our poverty, coming to birth.

Christmas still echoed when screams of the children, 
slaughtered by Herod inflamed people's fear.
Christmas remains when the trees and the tinsel 
make way for news that we'd rather not hear.

Christmas is real when we enter the squalor
mirrored in Bethlehem so long ago;
off'ring the love that was seen in the God head,
total self-giving not baubles  and show. 
© Andrew Pratt 2006

OR

"To a World so Torn and Tortured"  (Tune: 'Birabus', 87 87)
To a world so torn and tortured
Came the voice of one who knew,
What it cost to lift oppression,
Challenge the accepted view.

John convicted crowds before him,
Charged hypocrisy with God;
Opened up the way for Jesus
Who would follow where he trod.

Then imprisoned, John was silenced;
Yet a voice more powerful still
Challenged in and out of season
All who heard to do God's will.

Living Christ would lift oppression,
Dying he would seem to fail;
Crying out in desolation,
Yet God's love would still prevail.
(Andrew Pratt/sosb)  
The people sit after the hymn

Welcome
In your own words

A warm welcome is extended to all.
Especially those who are worshipping at (NN) for the first time
or who have returned after an absence.

Your presence both enriches us and this time of celebration together.