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Worship Sheet for Sunday 19 December Worth waiting for. 4th Sunday in Advent

We’re generally not very good at waiting but we all need to wait for some things. Today we think about Mary’s wait to give birth to Jesus – and God’s people’s wait for centuries – for their new king to be born. We have 6 days to wait until Christmas – a long time for kids? Too short a time for their parents? But really God is with us now – we can experience the love of Jesus every day of the week.
Call: In a womb a child is forming. Joy is coming. The miracle of miracles. Joy is coming. The world still waits. Joy is coming. Lord, we, your people, wait patiently, hanging on for Advent joy. Lord, we bring you ourselves, we bring you our worship.

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Listen to the 1st Prayer

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Pray : God our heavenly Father, we rejoice that you love each and every one of us for who we are. Young, old or in between, whether we’re clever or not so much, whether our faith is strong or rather fragile. Help us to live in a way that recognises just how much you love us. We are sorry that we’re sometimes slow to appreciate the depth of your love for us, perhaps a bit too ready to take your love for granted. Forgive us for not responding to your love as we should, for going our own way instead of listening to you, for failing to treat others with the same acceptance and forgiving spirit as you have offered to us; for our impatience – the times we’ve demanded things right now instead of being ready to trust you and use the times of waiting to grow in faith and love. As we look again at the stories of Jesus’ birth help us to be open to the wonder of the good news that you loved us so much that you were willing to send your Son among us knowing how he would be treated. As we get ready for our Christmas this year – help us to make room for you and your love even more than our hope for presents and a welcome for our loved ones. Your people of old had a long wait to receive Jesus, he is here right now so help us to receive him and love him today and every day. Amen.

Todays Bible reading - Listen by clicking on the image or using the sound bar below
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Micah 5:2-5 and Luke 1:39-49
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Thought- Waiting can be hard. Children might think that 6 sleeps to Christmas Day is ages away. An expectant mum may feel that the last few weeks of her pregnancy will never end. Imagine then God’s people in Old Testament times promised the coming of a new born Saviour – God kept his promise but it took many generations. We don’t do waiting very well. We struggle and often wish that whatever it is we’re looking for to would happen right now. Waiting can be a time to learn – to learn to trust God, to be patient, to look around and see others whom we can support, to think through how things might change when the event happens, how we may need to change and more than anything else time to give God his place in our lives and lead us into his future for us. The great thing about God’s greatest gift is that Jesus is here with us now and always. I know that we’ll be celebrating his birth next Saturday, but actually we don’t need to wait 6 days, we don’t need to wait 9 months, we certainly don’t need to wait hundreds of years. Jesus is Immanuel, God with us now. Amid all our preparations for Christmas, for some a very busy time, can we make room for Jesus – no longer the baby in the manger, but Saviour of the world and God with us always.

Praise: CH4 304 O Little Town of Bethlehem v1,2 &4
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Listen to the 2nd Prayer

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Pray: Loving God, You are with us on the dark days as well as the sunny ones; in this season of hope for some, and in this season of pain for others. In this week when everywhere grapple with the impact of disease, hunger, and pain, when people flee for their lives, when families continue to be torn apart, and when other families draw close together, to celebrate and enjoy, we pray for them all, that they will know your peace, that they will find joy in your presence and know that true happiness comes not in things but in our relationships with each other and with you. Help us to be bold, to do whatever we can to help and to heal, and to listen as you ask us to be the answer to so many prayers. We pray for your whole church, a people attempting to live in your example and spread your message throughout the world. We pray for the marginal, all those on the edges of our lives, our community, our society, living in fear or hurt, because of where they are, where they come from, who they are, attempting to live lives in peace and safety. Be with them, hold them, carry them and guide them, and in your wisdom, use us to do whatever we can to bring your love and care to their lives. We pray for ourselves, all of us in this building, in our homes, as we each try to live our lives as best we can, help us to pray, to not lose heart, to feel your presence in our lives whether it is in church buildings or in your wondrous creation and use us and lead us to the glory of your kingdom and joy of your people. In our prayer walk we remember this week those who live or work in Glenesk Avenue and Glenprosen Street. SILENCE. Hear all our prayers silent and spoken for Jesus’ sake Amen.

Blessing - May the Lord bless you. Amen.