Advent2C.9.12.2018

Revd Rex A E Hunt
eMail:  rexae@optusnet.com.au  OR  rexae74@gmail.com
For continuing access make sure you 'Favourite' or ‘Bookmark’ my web site:
www.rexaehuntprogressive.com


Details on the availability of my books, supporting progressive religious thought, HERE
Suggestion:
’Refresh’ each page before reading - especially if you are using Google Chrome - to make sure to get my latest edition


A GATHERING LITURGY FOR THE
CELEBRATION OF LIFE

9 December 2018. Advent 2C. (Blue).
Celebrating Community: Sacrament of Holy Communion

Worth Pondering
“When imagination is allowed to move to deep places,
the sacred is revealed”
(
Thomas Moore)


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

Rich and Striking Visuals
          “The function of beauty… is to make us aware of a reality which is richer and deeper
          and more marvellous than anything we can dream or conceive.” (Henry N. Wieman)
          Artwork OR Floral/Symbols display (cloths, candles, stones, wood, leaves, flowers, earth, water) OR projection of Film/Slides 

Gathering Music

Entry into the Celebration
The gong is rung three times

v1  The season of Advent challenges us
to see God's vision of what is yet to be,
to hear God's voice calling anew,
to smell the scent of God in our world.

v2  Peace be upon all who enter this house.
Let us celebrate the richness and diversity of life.

Music of Celebration

THE ADVENT WREATH WITH THE CHILDREN
Advent 2
The winds are scented
with every growing thing;
the jacaranda blossoms,
clothes fit for royalty.
All  
Come, companion Jesus, walk with us.

v1  Let us prepare a manger in our hearts
for the birth of the sacred.
v3  Why do we light a second candle?
v2  This second candle reminds us of peace.
A second candle is lit.

We give thanks that throughout this season of peace
there are many whose voices yet sing its songs
…  (Gretta Vosper/ab)

OR

v4 peace
is the absence of conflict;
or
peace
is a spiritual connection;
or better still
peace is a way of living,
a commitment to something important;

but peace as a wild eyed radical
screaming its way to revolution
isn’t quite the peace
we had in mind...

Is it?
This is why we light a candle for peace.   Kathy Hawker

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 these 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, 10. Terrorist Attacks, 11. Science/Cosmology
(iii) PLUS some specific resources on Terrorism 
HERE

Hymn  In solidarity with those for whom standing is not easy or possible we will remain seated to sing...  
Anna’s Song                       55 (v1-2) ISIT
Lift this child to the sun,
Raise this child to the sky;
God has come from above,
Come to earth from on high.
Lift this child, lift this child to the sun.

Lay this child on the ground,
One with us, one with earth;
Let God know in his son,
Human clay, human birth.
Lay this child, lay this child on the ground.
  © Norman Habel.
The children depart for Sunday Club.

Opening Sentences
Let us acknowledge the
awesome mystery embodied in every person.
All  
Through us God comes to unique and personal expression.

Let us give thanks
for the abundance of life on this earth.
All Through it we and all people may be nourished.
  (Michael Morwood/adapt)

Act of Awareness
We have gathered in this sacred place, again.
May we continue to create here a circle of love,
ever expanding, ever growing.
A place of wisdom.
A place of connection.
A place of hope.

OR

We pray:
God of time and eternity,
help us realise the significance of these moments together,
that they may open our eyes
to the blessings of the past
and the promise of the future.

Grant us courage for today and tomorrow.
Blessed be.

Hymn People stand as they are able, to sing
God of Dawn” 
(Tune: 'Ivinghoe’, 87.87D)
God of dawn, each day’s renewal
brings the world into your light.
As your sun defeats the shadows,
drives away the darkest night:
we would greet this new beginning
as your call to start again,
lead us on with hope and courage,
make your will and purpose plain.

Christ, you walked the world as we do,
knew its human pain and loss.
As your love broke through the barriers
by your death upon the cross;
we still speak your gospel message,
though two thousand years have gone.
Help us now translate its meaning
in this present world of wrong.

Holy Spirit, inspiration,
light and truth and root of prayer,
as your challenge moves us forward
taking us we know not where:
we will follow your direction,
though the way may not be clear.
Shape us, change, recreate us,
so the future holds no fear.   
Marjorie Dobson/mcm
People sit

OR

This Is The Man(Tune: ‘Stewardship’, 11.10.11.10)
This is the Baptist, unkempt and yet ready,
calling the people to listen and act;
calling them down to the water for washing,
talking of holiness, Godliness, fact.

This is the man who will call to 
fisherman, Pharisee, zealot and priest;
here in the river the sinners will gather,
taking God's blessing and sharing God's peace.

This is the prophet announcing the crisis,
moment for turning for challenge and choice;
quenching of hatred, demanding repentance,
giving a reason to praise and rejoice.

This is the man, in humility pointing
others to one who would soon take his place.
Jesus is coming, the Spirit confirming,
this is my Son who will channel my grace.

Up from the waters the Christ is arising,
up from our slumbering we will rise too;
waking to love and to work every dawning,
each a disciple with Christ's work to do.  © Andrew Pratt 1/12/2009
The people sit

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.
Refer to printed liturgy.
Fellowship hour following worship.
Those visiting, please sign our Visitors book.

Reflection
"The Advent Spirit"
By Donna Morrison-Reed
(Adapted)

Fill your heart like a vessel with the Advent spirit.
Take the time to let your vision clear and your concern deepen.
Allow your heart to overflow with all the authentic gifts
this season of preparation has to offer.

The blessings of Advent preparation
can overflow from each of our hearts,
if we take the time to fill our hearts first...

Let us stop the rush
and allow the spirit of the season to enter our being.

Let us clear our vision and deepen our concern.

Let it move us away from an
isolating concern for self, to a relationship of
love and care and wonder and joy
with all of life around us.

CENTERING

Silence
Let there be a quiet time among us.
(Silence)

Here in this time and in this place
is our chance to live like we wish the world would live.

May we find within ourselves
the courage to be who we are.
May we trust one another and know
there are many ways to go through life.

Together we can make possible justice and love.
We are all connected.
We are one body.
(Silence)

EXPLORING

Readings from our broad Religious Tradition
Some readings and a reflection from our broad religious tradition shall now be read.
The reader is (NN).

Reader:  Even as we seek understanding, our minds,
too often, shelter us from the realities we might uncover.
All May we have the courage to hear and hold truths
found within these words.  
(Gretta Vosper/ab)

From the Mystics:
"Longing for God"
By Mother Teresa. The Essential Mystics/214.

We all long for heaven where God is,
but we have it in our power to be in heaven with Him
at this very moment.

But being happy with Him now means
Loving as He loves,
Helping as He helps,
Giving as He gives,
Serving as He serves,
Rescuing as He rescues,
Being with Him twenty-four hours,
Touching Him in his distressing disguise.

Hebrew Scriptures:
Malachi 1:1a, 3:1-2 
(NRSV)

The word of the Lord to Israel...
I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me,
and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple.

The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight - indeed,
he is coming, says the Lord of hosts.

But who can endure the day of his coming,
and who can stand when he appears?
For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap;
he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver...

Traditional Gospel:
Luke 3:1-6  (Inclusive Text)

In the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar's reign, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judaea,
Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of the lands of Ituraea and Trachonitis,
Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during the pontificate of Annas and Caiaphas,
the word of God came to John, son of Zechariah, in the wilderness.

John went through the whole Jordan district
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,
as it is written in the book of the sayings of the prophet Isaiah,
'A voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
Prepare a way for our God,
make straight the paths.
Every valley will be filled in,
every mountain and hill be laid low,
winding ways will be straightened,
and rough roads made smooth.

And all shall see the salvation of God.’

Contemporary Exploration

Contemporary Exploration 2

Silence for Personal Reflection

AFFIRMING

Clear the Way.  An Advent Litany (Optional)
The people stand as they are able

God of surprises you call us
from the narrowness of our traditions
to new ways of being church,
from the captivities of our culture
to creative witness for justice,
from the smallness of our horizons
to the bigness of your vision.
All Clear the way in us, your people,
that we might call others to freedom and renewed faith.

Jesus, wounded healer you call us
from preoccupation with our own histories
and hurts to daily tasks of peacemaking,
from privilege to pilgrimage,
from insularity to inclusive community.
All Clear the way in us, your people,
that we might call others to wholeness and integrity.

Holy, transforming, Spirit you call us
from fear to faithfulness,
from clutter to clarity,
from a desire to control to deeper trust,
from the refusal to love to a readiness to risk.
All Clear the way in us, your people,
that we might all know the beauty and power
and danger of the gospel.   
 Joan Puls, Gwen Cashmore/cw

Sharing 'The Peace'
Let us take a moment to celebrate each other.

May a heart of peace rest with you.
All And also with you.  (David Galston/q)
You are invited to share the peace with your neighbours.

Hymn  People stand as they are able, to sing
A Moment of Wonder(Tune: ‘St Catherine’s Court’, 12.11.12.11)    1MTH
A moment of wonder, amazement and grandeur,
a time when God’s glory shines clear through our lives,
God’s grace is beyond us, yet lives in each heartbeat,
the source of creation from which peace derives.

The eyes of our minds are enlightened with splendour,
inherited glory, the song of the saints
is ours for the asking, by faith becomes present
as life is set dancing, devoid of constraints.

O this is the spirit of joy and obedience,
it’s bending our pride to the purpose of God,
the rhythm, the harmony, gracefully springing:
our feet follow faithfully where Jesus trod.  (AndrewPratt)

OR

"Peace Is Generosity" (Tune: 'Trial', Swee Hong Lim)      32 PaT

Peace is generosity,
peace is right and duty,

not diminishment of life

but its zest and beauty,

not the silence of the dead

not the tears of grieving

but the dynamic of a world

rich beyond believing.

Peace is not the child of fear

nor what terror teaches,

peace is quick to give and serve

where compassion reaches;

not oppression in return,

grudges unforgiven,
but the good of all for all

and the gift of heaven.

Christmas calls the world to peace,
life, not death-defining;
in one baby’s human cry
hope again comes shining,
when our hands are open hands,
when we share one table,
then the new day’s morning star
lights the Christmas stable.  (Shirley Erena Murray)

Reflections and Prayers
Care Candle:
We are people of all ages who enter this space
bringing our joys and concerns
Joys and Celebrations; Griefs and Concerns shared

Focused Thoughts:

Listening Response:
May we today be touched by grace.
May we move beyond viewing this life

only through a frame,

Wm  but touch and be touched by it,
Mn  know it and be known by it,
All   Love it, and be loved by it.  (Chinook Psalter/ep)

And so we take this flame and light our special care candle...