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Welcome to the 9:30 Church At Home

Advent

Although we can’t be together this Sunday as one big family, we’re still connected by God’s love for us and our love for him and each other! Below is a suggested structure for you to spend time worshipping God and receiving from him today. Please don’t feel like you have to stick to 9:30am on a Sunday – find a time that will work for you and your family without other distractions.

An introduction

The season of Advent marks the start of the Christian year. It is a season of expectation and preparation as the Church looks forward to celebrating the birth of Christ.

Although it is a season of preparation, the characteristic note of Advent is expectation rather than penitence.

Commercial pressure has made it harder to keep a sense of alert watchfulness in our anticipation of Christmas but, for many Christians, our preparation for the coming of Christ is a powerful reminder of the real meaning of the coming season.

Suggestion: If you are worshiping on your own, please read the normal black print in your mind, then read aloud the bold black print.

If you are with someone else why not take turns in ‘leading’ saying the normal black print, then saying together the bold print

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.
Isaiah 9:2

Greeting

The Lord our God, the Almighty reigns

Let us rejoice and shout for joy,
Giving God the glory.

Glory to the Father and to the Son
And to the Holy Spirit

As it was in the beginning is now
And shall be for ever.

Amen

First Hymn

O Come O Come Emmanuel

Prayers of Penitence

Heavenly Father,
You have created a universe of light:
Forgive us when we return to darkness.
Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Lord Jesus,
You are the light of the world:
Cleanse and heal our blinded sight.
Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Holy Spirit,
You give us light in our hearts:
Renew us in faith and love.
Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Absolution

May almighty God,
Who sent his Son into the world to save sinners,
bring you his pardon and peace, now and forever.

Amen.

First Reading

Comfort for God’s people

1 Comfort, comfort my people,
says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and proclaim to her
that her hard service has been completed,
that her sin has been paid for,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
double for all her sins.

A voice of one calling:
‘In the wilderness prepare
the way for the Lord;
make straight in the desert
a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’

A voice says, ‘Cry out.’
And I said, ‘What shall I cry?’

‘All people are like grass,
and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
because the breath of the Lord blows on them.
Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God endures for ever.’

You who bring good news to Zion,
go up on a high mountain.
You who bring good news to Jerusalem,
lift up your voice with a shout,
lift it up, do not be afraid;
say to the towns of Judah,
‘Here is your God!’
10 See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power,
and he rules with a mighty arm.
See, his reward is with him,
and his recompense accompanies him.
11 He tends his flock like a shepherd:
he gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.

Isaiah 40:1-11 (NIVUK)

This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Second Reading

Joseph accepts Jesus as his son

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: his mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’

Matthew 1:18-21 (NIVUK)

This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Teaching

Reflection

If you want to find out more please drop us an email: hello@transformwidnes.church or find us on social media.

Suggestion: For the discussion parts of this, you could do this by setting up a WhatsApp video call/ Skype/ phone call, or by chatting it through with any members of your family who are with you in your home.

  1. What most struck you from today’s teaching?
  2. What questions do you still have?
  3. What’s one thing (big or small) that you think God might be saying to you?
  4. Who could you tell this to so they can pray and discuss it with you?
  5. What do you think you could do about what God is saying?

The Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;

He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;

he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.

Amen.

Collect For The Day

Almighty God,
purify our hearts and minds,
that when your Son Jesus Christ comes again as
judge and saviour
we may be ready to receive him,
who is our Lord and our God.

Prayers

God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, you are God of the whole universe and we can call you ‘Father’.

You have revealed their hope of the Messiah to us in Jesus Christ: Son of God, son of David and son of Mary.

Help us to prepare ourselves to celebrate his birth and to follow him faithfully every day of our lives until we reach our home in heaven. We ask this through Jesus Christ, the hope for the world.
Amen

God our Father, you spoke through the prophets to foretell the birth of the Prince of Peace and spread the news of the coming of his kingdom.

Help us, as we prepare to celebrate his birth, to share with all who we meet the good news of your love and power.

We ask this through Jesus Christ, the light for the world.
Amen

God our Father, your servants Zechariah and Elizabeth rejoiced at the birth of their son, John. He prepared people for the way of the Lord and baptised them in the river Jordan to wash away their sins.

Help us, who have been baptised in Christ, to welcome him joyfully into our hearts and to grow strong in faith. We ask this through Jesus Christ, who brought joy to the world.
Amen

God our father, the angel Gabriel told your servant Mary that she was to be the mother of your Son. Though she was afraid, she responded ‘Yes’ to your call.

Help us, who you have called to be your disciples, to recognise your voice, trust you and willingly respond, ‘Yes’ to your will for us. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Saviour and the Prince of Peace.
Amen

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name,
Your Kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
As we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil.
For the Kingdom, the power, and the glory
Are yours, now and forever.
Amen

Second Hymn

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

Blessing and Sending out

Christ the Son of Righteousness shine upon us, Scatter the darkness from before our path, And make us ready to meet him When he comes in glory.
Amen

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ,
Amen