28 November 2021
Bible readings for today
prophets and scriptures prepare your way:
open our minds to discern your purpose,
turn us from all darkness,
and prepare us for the coming of your light.
Through Jesus Christ our Liberator,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen
Today's story looks at Jeremiah 33:14-16 which looks at a prophesy about Jesus. "
“In those days and at that time
I will raise up a righteous descendant from King David’s line.
He will do what is just and right throughout the land.
In that day Judah will be saved,
and Jerusalem will live in safety.
And this will be its name:
‘The Lord Is Our Righteousness.’
Our te reo word for the week is tūmanako, which means hope.
Lighting the Advent Candle
The lighting of the Advent candles each week is a wonderful opportunity to remind us what each candle stands for and gather us together for our journey through Advent.
Which helps us see that out of all the mess and busyness in our lives, God brings hope. The focus this week in Advent is Hope.
Today we light the candle of hope, but this kind of hope, isn't just about wishing we had something. No, this kind of hope, the kind that Jesus gives us, is when we know something is going to happen. We hope that he's coming soon and we know he will because that's what God promised. Jesus is coming and we need to get ready.
Resources and Ideas
Assemble a Nativity Scene
If you have a community-facing noticeboard or window, you can assemble the nativity scene over the weeks of Advent, building a sense of anticipation.
Perhaps you can start with the stable standing empty, add Mary and Joseph the following week, shepherds the next week and fill the sky with angels on the fourth week. These could be simple figures, coloured by the congregation (see here for several options). If you have a crib service or other Christmas Eve worship, this is great timing for adding Baby Jesus to the scene.
Alternatively, you might be using the new Strandz ‘Christmas on the Move’ resource. In which case you would start with the stable, and maybe add more things to the stable each week (animals, manger) as Mary and Joseph make the pilgrimage closer and closer.
Come, O come Emmanuel,
you are the way, the truth and the life;
Come, living Saviour
come to your world which waits for you.
Hear this prayer for your love’s sake.
A candle of hope
What you need:
What you do:
Light one candle to symbolise Hope.
Say: This is the candle of Hope.
Read Luke 1: 26-38 about the angel Gabriel coming to tell Mary she would be the mother of the Son of God.
Say: I wonder what Mary hoped for. I wonder what you hope for.
Pray: Thank you God for giving us Hope and for helping us know that something wonderful is coming even when things are hard. Help us to remember that we can always have hope because you are always there for us.
Kiwi Advent Illustrations
You can download these Kiwi Advent Illustrations over on our Strandz website
Things to come (Luke 21:25-36)
The Apocalyptic gospel passages continue this week, and Bishop Kelvin, Damon and Peg engage in an energised discussion about them, bravely tackling their strangeness - and yet their strange familiarity. "Wars and rumours of wars", natural disasters, and threats to safety have always been with us. Together with Michael Godfrey, the team discuss what the Gospel can tell us of life and hope and love in the face of such things - even in the face of a pandemic.