HomeFaith Advent 3

Welcome to this weeks HomeFaith activities!
In HomeFaith Advent 3 we will be exploring how God ‘breaks into’ our lives .

Call to worship

We come to hear the Good News, to embody the love of God in Christ as we share our lives with others.

Lighting of candle

God’s truth is revealed in Jesus Christ the light of the world. May the light shine for the hope of the world.

Mary said,
My soul magnifies the Lord, 
and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty’ 

You may like to light a candle as a reminder of the joy that comes from God’s blessing.

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 also 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.

SONG

Let us worship God in the first song, which is ‘Days of Elijah’, by Robin Mark.  
The video is in the window below and if you have problems connecting you can go directly to Vimeo at: 
https://vimeo.com/558980766

Prayer

Let’s pray.
O God, we come today echoing John the Baptist’s question to your Beloved Child: “Are you the one who is to come?” Give us eyes to see and ears to hear the answer for ourselves:
In the work of justice: Christ!
In the practice of mercy: Christ!
In good news for the poor: Christ!
In the vision of peace: Christ!
Make us ready, with open hearts and joyful spirits, to follow in Christ’s Way. Amen.

From the Bible

The Bible reading for today is from Matthew 11:2-11. The words of the reading are below. There is also a video of a dramatic re-enactment of the Gospel reading underneath.

Matthew 11:2-11

When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?”

Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”

As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John:
“What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 

This is the one about whom it is written,
‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

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:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BjXIZ16Bng

Message

The message is brought to you by Geoff Wellington from the Saltbush Community. John the Baptist finds himself in jail and starts to wonder if Jesus is the one to bring about the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus responds by pointing to the Prophetic Tradition of what the Messianic age looks like.

As we prepare in this Advent Season what expectations keep us captive and away from the ‘breaking in’ of God in our time.

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

The reflective music for today is, “In the Lord I’ll be ever thankful”. If you have problems connecting you go directly to YouTube at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAx8gjQrsOY


Prayers for Others 

See the following video below for a Prayer by Ros Robinson.

Blessing

May Christ fill you with inward peace and goodwill; 
and the blessing of God Almighty, 
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, 
be upon you and remain with you always. Amen.

Song

The closing hymn, ‘Love’s divine, all loves excelling’, is from Christ Church, St. Ives. If you have problems connecting you can go directly to YouTube at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzOnZskeAFA

Postlude

In “766 Christmases“, listen to people tell their stories of 766 Christmases & life with an emphasis on ‘Hope’. The video is below & a separate link is provided if you prefer to go directly to Youtube.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A47McJM-NwA

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 opening prayer and sermon 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-3-matthew-11-2-11/