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Worship Sheet for Sunday 6 December – 2nd Sunday in Advent – Getting things ready

Maybe it’s a bit clearer now what we are to be allowed to do at Christmas but we’ll still need to be careful. What preparations we will be making at home this year will be different but Jesus is still Immanuel God with us – and we need to prepare for him at Christmas – and throughout our lives.
Call: From Jordan’s waters a messenger cries out: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight!”
New life is found in old words, and God’s promise, remembered. Let us worship God for good news is on the way.
Candle We light our second advent candle - Jesus is the light of the world. A light no darkness can ever put out. We sing: Prophet voices loudly crying, making pathways clear; glimpsing glory, self denying, calling all to hear. Through their message – challenged, shaken – hearts awaken. God is near!

Mini Service Video
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Listen to the 1st Prayer

Pray: Lord, with so much uncertainty in the world it is easy for us to become disillusioned, filled with dismay as we see well worn paths disappear; as plans are made and then changed and changed again. Remind us that through the unremitting changes you remain constant in your love for us. You are our rock. You don’t remove us from uncertainty, nor take from us the need to make decisions however you promise to be with us always, to be there, to be here for us. Help us to listen to the voices in our modern day wildernesses – of conflicting opinion, of diverse routes to an uncertain future – that point to Jesus and the purposes of love and grace that are marks of his kingdom. Forgive us our faults, our lack of trust and give us the assurance we need to walk the road with your Son and point others to him, Hear us as we pray together saying: Our Father…

Read or print the Passage for the week by clicking this link:
Mark 1:1-8 The beginning of the gospel.
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Sermon Video   
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Thought: There is an element of countdown to Christmas in Advent. Perhaps you are clearer now what steps you need to make to prepare for Christmas at home this year. I suspect there will still be some “to be confirmed”s in your lists. But as Christians we also have Jesus in our minds too. Usually, we’d be having our carol concert and getting ready for special services and outreach opportunities, get togethers that focus on the birth of Jesus. I hope we don’t lose sight of that focus, but obviously the nature of our celebrations will be very different this year. Look out for the Carols on the doorstep on the 20th and, in company with many other congregations, our services online or by phone. Remember too, that while we are right to prepare spiritually to celebrate the birth of the Saviour and the coming of the Light of the world, it doesn’t stop there. Jesus wasn’t to remain the baby in Bethlehem. He lived and died, rose again and remains with us always. And so, in the dark world in which we find ourselves and where so many people are experiencing loss and hardship, it is incumbent on us to share our experience of the risen Jesus and encourage people to share it. Surely the world is in as much need of the Light of the world as ever? Mark doesn’t give us a nativity. In one sense he begins with John preparing the way for Jesus. But you know what? I still think he begins with Jesus – and that is how we should begin our preparations not just for Christmas, but the rest of our lives.

Praise: CH4 279 Make way, make way v 1-3
Read or Print Hymn CH4 279 by clicking this link
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Listen to the 2nd Prayer

Pray: Lord, there isn’t really the same sense of joy and expectancy about Christmas this year, tarnished as it is by the impact the virus has had on all of us and the restrictions laid upon us. True there is likely to be brief relaxation but the edge has been taken from it. Yet, Christmas is still real – Jesus is still the reason for the season. So while our gatherings may be limited and our celebrations muted draw near to us, lighten our darkness, remind us that the everlasting light still shines in our dark streets. Jesus is the beginning of the good news – he brings together our hopes and fears and offers us joy. Draw near to all in need, especially those on their own, separated from loved ones, those under particular pressure at home, at work, or because they are needing work. Bless those working in the health sector – not just covering covid but across the board. Spur and encourage those who are weary and tired. Help us to be patient, to be understanding and to give one another the benefit of the doubt and those who work in education. In our prayer walk we remember all at Montrose Academy.
Lord hear our prayers spoken and unspoken and answer them for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen Blessing May the Lord bless you. Amen.