Into the Neighbourhood - The King and His Kingdom is Here

Here is the candle liturgy that we will be using in our brief Christmas morning service in Belfast South Methodist... Come and join us if you are in the vicinity at 9.30am this morning.

But wherever you are may you know the blessing of the King of Kings.



CHRISTMAS CANDLE LITURGY
VOICE 1:      The Lord himself will give you a sign:
VOICE 2:      A virgin girl will become pregnant and will give birth to a son;
VOICE 1:      She will call him Immanuel, meaning “God with us.”
VOICE 2:      The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
VOICE 1:      on those living in the land of death’s deep dark shadow a light has dawned.
VOICE 2:      You have broadened the bounds of the nation and magnified their joy;
VOICE 1:      they rejoice before you as the starving rejoice at the harvest,
VOICE 2:      or as the oppressed rejoice when dividing the plunder from their defeated oppressors.
VOICE 1:      You have shattered the shackles that bind them,
VOICE 2:      You have removed the yoke that lay across their shoulders,
VOICE 1:      And broken the rod that raised welts on their backs .
VOICE 2:      Every soldier’s boot used in battle, every shirt soaked in innocent blood will be burned,
VOICE 1:      They will all be fuel for the fire.
VOICE 2:      For a child has been born to us
VOICE 1:      The gift of a son for us
VOICE 2:      Good government will be the yoke on his shoulders.
VOICE 1:      And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Almighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
VOICE 2:      His rule and reign will grow and grow and the peace he brings will be boundless.
VOICE 1:      He will reign on David's throne and over the kingdom promised to him,
VOICE 2:      establishing firm foundations and building it up promoting justice and right relationships
                        from that time on and eternally.
VOICE 1:      The zeal of the Almighty ETERNAL I AM will achieve all this.
From Isaiah 7:14 & 9:2-7
VOICE 2:      We lit the Advent candles in anticipation of the coming of the Kingdom of God
                        a kingdom of peace and justice, joy and hope.
                        But now we light the Christ candle at the centre of it all
                        To mark the coming of the King.
                        The Promise of God has become flesh and blood
                        And moved into this neighbourhood.

ADVENT SONG
Shout, for the Lord has come;
 songs be in every mouth;
 Sing in your northern home,
 from east and west and south.
 In Jesus all can find their rest
 And all creation shall be blessed!

PRAYER
We give thanks for the coming of your kingdom
In the Christ-child born of Mary,
Humbly taking on flesh and blood and moving into the neighbourhood.
We humbly admit that in the past we have resisted following the example of Christ
we have restricted his coming  to a story of long ago and far away,
and have turned a blind eye to the details of the story -
of Christ coming through an unmarried teenage mother,
 being born to a homeless couple, forced to seek asylum in a foreign land.
We pray that you would forgive us
And give us a fresh perspective on your word and world.
Open our eyes to Christ’s coming all around us
Open our ears to your story
And our hearts to your glory and grace
for we ask it in the name of your son Jesus Christ
Immanuel – God with us. AMEN

CLOSING EXHORTATION & BENEDICTION
Go out into the neighbourhood
 to put flesh and blood on the truth of Christ’s coming.
 His kingdom has come, may his will be done
 in south Belfast as it is in heaven. AMEN

Shalom

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