There is an 2020 updated version of this post - see archive at left.
Bible Readings: Isaiah 64:1-9, Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19, 1 Corinthians 1:3-9, Mark 13:24-37
About the Images:
Upper Left: This is a free Microsoft clipart image with text.
Upper Right:This is my photo of Southern Cross Station in Melbourne, Australia (for more info visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SouthernCrossrailwaystation,Melbourne). Please feel free to use this image for worship and related activities.
Middle left: This free clipart with my text comes from http://www.scripturepics.org - a useful site which seems to have been in recess for some time.
Middle Right: I am very careful to save copyright info for everything on my blog but I have slipped up badly on this one. I am pretty sure it comes from the same site as the lower left image but I cannot access the site at the moment. I have just spent a considerable time coasting around all my free image sites and cannot find it anywhere else. If somebody can verify where this image comes from I would very much appreciate it.
Lower Left: A free image from the Heartlight site - see my link column at left.
Found in Ideas For Worship, July to December 1996, JBCE (pictured at left).
One enjoyable thing to do for the four Sundays of Advent is to turn the whole Christmas story into a serial telling a small part of the story each week - or act it out (see below). Start this week with the story of Mary and the Angel.
Drama: Mary and the Angel
From Cloth From the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 42ff (pictured at right)
Discussion: On the Isaiah reading
1. What was Isaiah hoping and waiting for?
2. What are you hoping and waiting for: for yourself? for your church? for the community in which you live? for the world?
Story: God's Answer
There is a story told about a faithful old deacon whose oft repeated prayer expression was, "O Lord, touch the unsaved with Thy finger." One prayer meeting night he was leading in prayer when as he intoned this petition, as he so often did, he abruptly stopped praying. Supposing he had been taken suddenly ill, someone went to him and asked if there was anything wrong, if he were ill. "No," he replied, "I’m not ill. But something seemed to say to me, ’Thou art the finger’."
I cannot find a specific copyright for this story (please let me know if you know) but if you google the first line it pops up all over the place on the net and can be found in the now out of print Bible Illustrator under the above title.
From Cloth From the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 20ff (pictured above)
Give everyone a marking pen (or access to one) and a 2" (5cm) wide strip of green cloth,. Ask them to write on the strip one of the things that they hope for. These can be displayed in any number of ways. If you do a similar activity each week of advent (connecting the writing and the colour with the theme of each week), you will have the resources to finish in Advent 4 with the symbolic action Cloth for the Cradle found in Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 74ff (pictured above).
Adult Response: Wilderness and Return
From Bringing the Word to Life Together Year B by Andrew Collis and Dorothy McRae-McMahon, Mediacom, 2011, ISBN 9781921945038, page 13ff (pictured at left).
Blessing: One Day at a Time
From Advent, Christmas and Epiphany by Brian Wren, Westminster John Knox Press, 2008, ISBN 978066423309, page 56 (pictured at right).
Poem/Meditation: The Cup
By Ruth Burgess in Dandelions and Thistles: Biblical Meditations from the Iona Community by Jan Sutch Pickard (ed.) Wild Goose Publications, 1999, ISBN 1901557146, page 38(pictured at left). This goes well with the Isaiah reading.