Sunday 13th December 

Welcome to Lapford Community Church.  Today our service is led by Briony.

Such joy to have the freedom to splash in puddles and rush around a field.

 

 


Advent was my favourite time of year. It was always a busy time with school activities, carols, nativities, shopping, cards, presents, decorations, food and the list went on, so not much time for really thinking about Advent but my pace of life has slowed down and there is time to stop and reflect.
Advent is the season of waiting and wanting; looking and longing, inviting Jesus to come into our lives once more and into our world.

Father God, 
In these dark and difficult times, grant us the grace to seek your face with undiminished love.  Replenish our reserves for the road is long.  Surprise us in this time of Advent with glimpses of your goodness, hints of your holiness and a song of hope.  Amen.

 

 


Darkness turns to light, night turns to dawn. Joy increases whether all at once like flipping a light switch or slowly as the dawn takes us from night to day. The presence of Jesus promises light, hope, and joy.
12 Century Cistercian monk, Bernard of Clairvaux said that Christ comes to us in three different ways, firstly in Bethlehem, secondly at the end of the age, and thirdly in the lives of believers every single day. 

 

 


Krish Kandiah remembers being a tourist in London with his family, walking from the London Eye to the Imperial War Museum, They took a shortcut and found themselves in an underpass that tourists were not supposed to see. His son, excited to see the tanks had run on ahead. Suddenly, inexplicably, he stopped. Gently he laid his hand on the shoulder of a homeless man, who was sleeping. Before Krish could catch up and intervene, the man woke up. He smiled at Krish’s son in surprise and the two shared a moment of strange connection. His son has special needs and usually avoids human interaction. The homeless man probably hadn’t experienced a tender touch for many years. Two worlds briefly collided. There was a moment of peace and joy that transformed the graffiti-stained, urine reeking tunnel into a place where Krish experienced God. God doesn’t only meet us in our churches, sometimes he meets us in the strangest of places and times.
At the climax of the Christmas story, God turns up in the form of a baby, born to a homeless couple sheltering in an animal stall. Of all places to pick, this sounds like the most undignified. This is not the welcome deserving of a king. Then to make sure we don’t miss the point God turns up to rough-sleeping shepherds in the middle of the night, in the form of an angelic choir.
Here two worlds are colliding. Heaven is invading earth. The magnificent display of the angels song is not an exclusive performance for royalty at Herod’s palace. It’s not an invitation-only event at the temple for the clergy of the day. The angels target-audience is physically dirty and socially suspect shepherds, men whose nomadic work meant they were often treated with suspicion and derision.
The angels song gives us a glimpse of joy and peace in the most unlikely times and places.


Prayer -
We join with the heavenly host as we declare …….
Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom His favour rests.
Amen
 


Blessing - 
Father God, we receive your love, send us out to love the world for you.  Jesus Christ, we believe you live in us, send us out to show the world it's true.  Holy Spirit, we see your presence in our lives, send us out to serve the world for you. Amen


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