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Advent 1 in New Zealand

November 25, 2010

Lighting the Candles

Time of Silence in memory of the Pike River miners and in prayer for their families

Call to Worship

Introductory aside

We are waiting in the time between Christ’s life and ministry and its completion, sometimes called the “second coming of Christ”… and as the Pike River disaster reminds us, this is, in many ways, a time of suffering, not just for those of us who follow in Christ’s sufferings but also for many others. (more on this anon)
Today’s Advent liturgy focuses on Christ’s refusal of the sword (violence) and how we are called to follow him and demonstrate the peace we look forward to.

Call   Christ has come, has lived and died and is risen

Re    The Messiah will come again

Call   And so we wait impatiently

Re    Because we are angry at the dominion of the powers

Because we grieve for the wounded creation

Because God’s Spirit is preparing us for the day when every knee will bow, every tongue confess and every tear be wiped away.

Call      And so we wait patiently

Re    Because we are not in control and cannot be in control

Because the reign of God does not come by force but by suffering love

Because the ends do not justify the means, for Christ has his own strange means

Call   Maranatha

Re    Come Lord Jesus

The presentation of the gun

Reading from Isaiah 2: 1-5

For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations,  and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their  swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they  learn war any more. O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!

 

Minister: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit

The destruction of the gun

Prayer

O God the peace of your coming seems a long way off. The Karen are still slaughtered in the hills of Burma, the missiles  still fly in Palestine and Israel, the people are still being killed in Afghanistan and everywhere, out of sight, the poor are dying of the consumption of the rich, contained within tight border-control by the guns of the powerful. O Christ, the peace of your coming seems a long way off.

As we gather to wait, help us also to anticipate. Prepare us today to live in anticipation of your peace. Take away our defences. Open the borders of our hearts and our communities and our homes.

Jesus Christ, our redeemer, Jesus who opens the arms of God   and the arms of humanity. Disarm us with your open arms today.

Not by words but by your Spirit. Amen

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