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Worship Sheet for Sunday 11 December  All change                  Advent 3    

All change – certainly for Mary -her life was turned upside down with the news that she was to mother to God’s Son – despite the reassuring words from the angel it was still a huge life altering encounter and a massive step of faith for her – but she knew it to be right and relied on God to keep her. And some thought to the changes God wants to make in our lives, his support and our need to trust him.
Call: Come, bearing light, we come to dispel darkness. Come, bearing hope, we come to banish despair. Come, bearing love, we come to bear witness to the one who brings light, hope and love.

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Listen to the 1st Prayer

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Pray : Lord, as we rejoice to receive your light, the light that shines in the darkness, and cannot be extinguished, may we also welcome that light into the darkness in us that we’d rather hide. In the light of your love, may we be changed so that there is no need to fear the light. May we believe that you can change us. May we believe that your love and your light can penetrate the walls that we build. So make us open and by your light and your love set us free from the prisons we make for ourselves. In this place, built to reflect your light and your love, we confess all that mars your image in us, all that diminishes our witness to you.  Silence God of light and love, scare out those dark corners with the assurance of your forgiveness and make us beacons for you, witnessing to Jesus to all around. Hear us as together we pray saying Our Father…

Todays Bible reading - Listen by clicking on the image or using the sound bar below
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Luke 1:46b-55
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Thought- There are times in our lives when we’re really up against it, when things are getting us down and there seems to be no way out of our predicament that we really do long for change. So many people are under pressure just now so perhaps you are maybe up for change right now. With the best will in the world though, we’re not really that good at facing change – and yet, it is all around us, nothing remains the same – and if truth be told, it’s often the things that we want to change which remains the same and the hoped for changes which don’t materialise. Mary’s world was turned upside down when she encounters God’s messenger who tells her she has been chosen to be mother to the Son of God – pregnancy was more of a chancy business then anyway but was she really fit to have God’s Son? How would Joseph react? What would her parents say? And the neighbours? It was a life changing moment – a challenge to her young faith.. Yet, she rose to it, she believed and she indicated that she was ready to go along with God’s plan – which would bring her both remarkable joy and later a broken heart. She knew that her own resources wouldn’t be enough – she’d need all the help she could get – human and divine. But she went for it, and she trusted that God would provide. As we face change – positive and negative – welcome and not so welcome can we be more sensitive to the changes God wants us to make and like Mary, put our trust in God to see us through the challenges and tough times? May it happen to me just as the Lord has said.

Praise: CH4 286         Tell out my soul
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Listen to the 2nd Prayer

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Pray: Lord, it is wonderful that you have dealings with your people, that you continue to love us and involve us in your plans and purposes. Often, we imagine that you do that much more with other people than with us – whether people long ago (like Mary) or special, significant, public figures today. Remind us that you have a plan and purpose for each of us and that you equip us to respond to your call. Lord, there are many ways in which we may serve you, lots of openings for which you can fit us. But at the heart of it must be a readiness to serve you, to follow your lead while enabling us to remain true to our own nature. Thank you for Mary’s faithful response – but please may it be an encouragement to each of us to respond appropriately to your call to us (rather than an excuse for us to avoid your claim on our lives). We pray for every Christian to be open to your leading in whatever form of service is appropriate for them, for us. We pray for the broken and troubled world into which we live not least those facing danger, economic concerns, poverty, suffering injustice and who have little prospect of peace. Locally we pray for our own community – with many stressed with additional pressures as Christmas approaches and in our prayer walk this week we remember those who live or work in Russell Street and Alfred Street.
 
SILENCE
 

Gracious and merciful God, combine our prayers with those of all your people and the  loving concerns of your dear Son and answer them for his sake. AMEN.

Blessing - May the Lord bless you. Amen.