Sunday, December 09, 2018

Advent 4 C (December 23): Expect the Unexpected


Bible Readings: Micah 5:2-5a, Luke 1:47-55,or Psalm 80:107, Hebrews 10:5-10, Luke 1:39-45 (46-55).

About the images:
Upper Left:
This image comes from which is an excellent free clipart site (there is a link at left) and the text is mine. Please feel free to use this image - don't forget to acknowledge the clipart site. 
Upper Right: This photo of surprised little eyes is mine so please feel free to use it for worship and related activities.
Middle Left: This image is of the arch in the old wall of Bethlehem which Mary and Joseph probably entered the town through. The image is mine so please feel free to use for worship and related activities.
Middle Right: This image comes from the awesome Church Galleries website which was decimated by hackers. Visit the website at 
Lower Left: This is a free image from the Hemano Leon site - see my link column at left. 

Listening Song: A Strange Way to Save the World
By 4Him on their album The Season of Love (pictured at right) or on the WOW Christmas album. This is a Christmas song from Joseph's perspective. It is a rarer take than most on the Christmas story and all the more important because of that.  Make sure people hear or see the words clearly.

Kid's Story: One Little Angel
By Ruth Brown, Red Fox, 1998, ISBN 0099404362 (pictured at left). This is a delightful Christmas story with an unexpected ending.

Kid's Story: email: Jesus@Bethlehem
By Hilary Robinson and Anthony Lewis, MacDonald Young Books, 1999, ISBN 075002688X (pictured at right).This is an unexpected take on the Christmas story.

Kid's Story: Joseph's Christmas Story
By Nicky Dreyer, Arch Books, 2001,  ISBN 978-0570075776

Film Clip: O Little Town of Bethlehem: Bethlehem Bible College Choir

Drama: Mary and Lizzie
Found in Cloth for the Cradle by The Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 190557014, page 48ff (pictured at left).This drama is based on the gospel reading.

Introduction to Sermon/Adult Input: What am I?
Read one sentence at a time until somebody in the congregation guesses the answer; then link it with the idea of a key being small and insignificant to look at but able to do great things just as the people in the Christmas story were average pretty insignificant human beings but with God they were able to do great things.
I am usually quite small?
I can fit in the palm of your hand.
With my help people can literally move mountains.
I am seldom alone - usually I am found with others of my kind.
I can encourage great power from dormancy.
When I am lost, chaos and panic erupts.
I am often made of metal but these days i am also likely to have plastic and electronic components.
I can prevent or allow people to pass from one place to another.
I fit specifically into certain places.
I am often part of a security system.
I am a key.

Poem: The Joy of Elizabeth
Found in Outback Christmas by Pro Hart and Norman Habel, Lutheran Publishing house, 1990, ISBN 0859105628, page 16 (pictured at right).

Meditation: The Magnificat
Found in Cloth for the Cradle (as above), page 45.

Meditation: I Sang For Him
Found in Present on Earth by Wild Goose Worship Group. Wild Goose Publications, 2002, ISBN 0901557642, page 78 (pictured at left). This too is based on the gospel reading.

Response Activity: Cloth For the Cradle
Found in Cloth For the Cradle (as above), page 74.

Response Activity: The Promise
List all the promises out of Mary's song and ask people to choose the one which gives them the most hope and to share that hope with someone sitting near them.


Meditation: Bread
Found in Meditations from the Iona Community by Ian Reid, Wild Goose Publications, Trowbridge, 1998, ISBN 1901557022, page 80 (pictured at right). This goes well with the gospel reading.

Taize Service: Sing Out My Soul

Found in Worship Feast by Taize, Abingdon Press, 2004, page 32 (pictured at left). This is based on the Luke reading.

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