HomeFaith Advent 2

Welcome to this weeks HomeFaith activities!
In HomeFaith Advent 2 we will be exploring the significance of ‘wilderness experiences’ using videos, prayer, readings & music.

Call to worship

A voice cries:
‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God’
.

As we worship today, let us prepare to welcome God’s dramatic work in our midst,
in our hearts, in our community, and in all of creation.

Acknowledgment of country

As we begin, it is appropriate to recognise that this great land has been home to our first nations peoples for many thousands of years. Let us acknowledge those Aboriginal peoples who are the first inhabitants of the regions in which we dwell, and honour them for their care of the land.

Advent Candle Lighting

On this second Sunday of Advent we remember that God sent us prophets to help prepare the way. 

     You may like to light a candle at this point

Song

The opening song,”‘Prepare the way”, is sung by Eric Nuzum. If uni have problems connecting you can go directly to YouTube at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQpLH9BGC8I

Prayer

Let’s pray.
Living God, we give you thanks that you call us to those places of quiet, thoughtful prayer. To those times where we might hear your small still voice speaking into our lives.

Yet it can be unnerving, when we are to be honest and vulnerable with you. When we are to let go of those things to which we cling, that we may call ‘god’ but lead us only to places of suspicion and hatred. We are called into the unpredictability of your wilderness, a place where we are not in control, where we cannot make you in our image, a place of surrender and acceptance of your movement in our lives. In Christ, we pray. Amen

Children’s story

This is the story of John the Baptist, from ‘Wild stories about Jesus’. Available from Max7.

From the Bible

The Bible reading for today is from Matthew 3:1-12. The words of the reading are below. There is also a video of a dramatic re-enactment of the Gospel reading underneath.

Matthew 3:1-12

In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, 

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said, “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.'”

Now John wore clothing of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit worthy of repentance. Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.

Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. “I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Dramatic readings from Lumo

Here is the dramatic re-enactment of the Gospel reading by the Lumo group. If you have trouble connecting you can go directly to YouTube at:

Message

The message is brought to you by Tim Jensen from the Saltbush Community. John the Baptiser’s wilderness experience left him vulnerable, exposed and closer to God. Without the distraction of populated places John relied upon his relationship with the Living God.

When did you last spend time, vulnerable, honest and exposed (in the wilderness) with God? What can you learn from times like this?

Before a time of prayer you may like to spend some time in silence sitting still. Close your eyes lightly. Sit relaxed but alert. Simply be still and open to God. You may prefer to do this while listening to the ‘Optional reflective music’ below.

Optional reflective music

If you have problems connecting, try this direct link to YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZggySBrroc


Prayers for Others 

Let us pray.
Today we pray for the unlikely vision of the world to come. A world that resembles God’s reign, a world where God’s Spirit rest on all creation, a Spirit of wisdom, understanding, good counsel and valour, a Spirit of the intimate knowledge of God.

We pray for a time when our leaders govern with integrity, honesty and insight.
We pray for a time when we act according to your will of justice, compassion and love. That we are able to let go of what only benefits us but embrace what we believe serves the whole creation. (A time of silent prayer)

Invite us, to enter into the wilderness of our lives, where we are open to your presence and transformed by your love. In Christ we pray, Amen.

Blessing

As we leave this worship, and scatter back out into the world, may God fill us with joy and peace, so that we may live look forward in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Bless us and the people we meet along the way Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

Song

“This is the One”, courtesy of Emu Youth. If you have problems connecting, go directly to YouTube at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6Ym9_Mv26U

Postlude

If you have trouble connecting, go directly to YouTube at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctZxLRpMqFE

Fun Activities

Messy Family Fun Psalm 23

There are many fun activities at HomeFaith based on the theme of the ‘Good Shepherd’ at:
https://homefaith.net/resources/messy-family-fun-psalm-23-2022/

Pentecost Flames Salad Spinner Art and Prayer Ideas

Get a cheap salad spinner and use it to create some spinner art!  It’s brilliant: quick, clean (because the spinner sits in its own bowl) and each piece is unique!  The process of making the art really lends itself to Pentecost themes so here’s an idea to help celebrate the occasion. Go to the following link:
http://flamecreativekids.blogspot.com/2014/04/pentecost-flames-salad-spinner-art-and.html

Resources

The prayers & blessing are based on content in the Saltbush service for this week, which can be found at:
https://saltbushcommunity.uca.org.au/video/the-word/advent-2-enter-gods-wilderness-matthew-31-12/