Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Re-discovering Advent

2 Kings 22:1-10; 23:1-3
Josiah Reigns over Judah
Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign; he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jedidah daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. He did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the way of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right or to the left.
Hilkiah Finds the Book of the Law
In the eighteenth year of King Josiah, the king sent Shaphan son of Azaliah, son of Meshullam, the secretary, to the house of the Lord, saying, “Go up to the high priest Hilkiah, and have him count the entire sum of the money that has been brought into the house of the Lord, which the keepers of the threshold have collected from the people; let it be given into the hand of the workers who have the oversight of the house of the Lord; let them give it to the workers who are at the house of the Lord, repairing the house, that is, to the carpenters, to the builders, to the masons; and let them use it to buy timber and quarried stone to repair the house. But no accounting shall be asked from them for the money that is delivered into their hand, for they deal honestly.”
The high priest Hilkiah said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord.” When Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, he read it. Then Shaphan the secretary came to the king, and reported to the king, “Your servants have emptied out the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of the workers who have oversight of the house of the Lord.” Shaphan the secretary informed the king, “The priest Hilkiah has given me a book.” Shaphan then read it aloud to the king.
2 Kings 23:1-3
Josiah’s Reformation
Then the king directed that all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem should be gathered to him. The king went up to the house of the Lord, and with him went all the people of Judah, all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests, the prophets, and all the people, both small and great; he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord. The king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord, keeping his commandments, his decrees, and his statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. All the people joined in the covenant.

Come to this table to begin a journey of rediscovery today
At this table, rediscover Gods word made flesh
At this table, rediscover God's light rekindled
At this table, rediscover God's welcome for you
Come, rediscover God's love made real in bread and wine

To a world hoping and longing, God sent the Christ child to bring light
That light became a refugee, forced to seek grace and safety from strangers
That light survived to teach and heal, to tell stories and share wisdom
That light, the Son of God, gathered around him friends to whom he entrusted
the light of the gospel, friends who sometimes let the light burn brightly and who sometimes let it dwindle, friends in whom he never stopped believing
And so we gather around this table today, as Jesus did the night he was betrayed.
We gather to share bread, symbol of Christ's body broken for us.
We gather to share the cup, symbol of Christ's blood poured out for us that we might know salvation.
We gather, friends of Jesus today.
In some here, Chrsit's light shines brightly, in some it is but a spark
Still, Christ believes in each of us.
So as you share this feast, may the light of Christ be rekindled in you.
Let us give thanks to God

Prayer of Thanksgiving
God we thank you that you never stop believing in us.
And you entrust us with your light.
In gratitude, deep gratitude, may we take the light you offer us here into every corner of our world.
Into the darkness of food insecurity
Into the darkness of homelessness
Into the darkness of poverty
Into the darkness of the refugee camps
Into the darkness of radicalisation
Into the darkness of terrorism
God, wherever your light is needed today, may your people, to whom you have entrusted it, be torch bearers, gently rekindling sparks that have been extinguished, fanning into flame love that has been broken and hope that has been crushed.
May we recall and celebrate the light of your love for the world.
May we bring to this feast all who dwell in darkness praying for the healing touch of your light.
Send your Spirit now upon us and upon this bread and wine that we use.
May we who share this feast proclaim your love and shine your light in all the world today.
Go before us, our light and our salvation.

This is the body of Christ broken for you to bring light into all the world
This is the blood of Christ poured out for you bringing healing in the darkness.
We do this to remember the light.

Prayer after communion
God as you have offered us in this feast your light and your love, may we be strengthened for the journey and carry others with us into the glorious light of your love that lasts forever.

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