December 24, 2017 6:30pm

Links of Interest/Bibliography:

CDC Article

Linda’s Sermon Dec 17 2017

 

Musical Prelude
Boomwhacker Choir – Joy to the World
Opening Words
We are here tonight to celebrate the birth of the one who taught us that we are capable of so much more love than we could possibly imagine. Words just aren’t enough to express how this understanding of Love makes us feel. So we sing! So we dance! We use colour, light and shape. We smell and we taste. We give and we receive. We share. Let’s start with A Story of Love

Lighting of the Advent Candles – A Story of Love – MJ Laing
O Come All Ye Faithful – VU 60

Opening Prayer
Creative and Compassionate God,
Fill this place with your Spirit. Fill us with your Spirit. Inspire us to open our minds and hearts to one another in worship. May our worship overflow this place and this night. Amen.

The Birth Story According to Luke 2:1-20
Dream a Dream – MV 158
Sermon – Words of Wonder

‘Twas the month before Christmas
And the CDC warned
To remove a few words
When you fill out budget forms.

I was surprised
At what they’d suggest
Are we still living
In the Old Wild West?

In the United States
The Center for Disease Control suggested
That the use of some words
Are absolutely detested

I thought this doesn’t make sense
How can this be?
Some of these words
Mean so much to me!

A colleague of mine
Was absolutely enraged
That she preached it all
Giving her best tirade

She recorded her sermon
And on Facebook it was shared
And Facebook’s reaction
Had me truly scared.

A bot found the sermon
As best as we can surmise
Then she was locked out –
A huge surprise.

Eventually, it all
Got sorted out
But I still am feeling
A fair bit of doubt.

I listened hard
Nothing was said
That filled me with
Any kind of dread.

A fairly United Church
Sort of sermon was preached
With the 7 “banned” words
In the Virgin Mary’s great speech.

No more Fetus,
Transgender, or diversity
How these words affect budgets
Is puzzling to me.

No more vulnerable
Or entitlement
When suggesting how
Government funding is spent.

Science-based and evidence-based
Can no longer be used
Can you see why
I am so utterly confused?

In the United Church of Canada
These words are often said
And in our policies they
are even more often read
To be United
Is to speak out
For people, for places
Forgotten about

To believe in the facts
And the power of love
And not think of
ourselves as above

To stand up for those
who feel all alone
and to provide seekers
with a spiritual home.

Being different is something
We consider a blessing
Unique and creative
Should not be distressing

The 7 banned words
Weren’t the only distraction
My Anglican colleagues
Also had a reaction.

#metoo was the reason
That Mary’s consent
Became a discussion
Where much time was spent

Was a bun in the oven
Really Mary’s choice?
It’s not very often
that we’ve heard her voice.

Consent, seems doubtful it appears
Mary isn’t what I’d call excited
her response to the request
seems like it’s recited.

“Here am I,
the servant of the Lord;
let it be with me
according to your word.”
Some clergy are worried
to talk about topics so tough
but I think that you all
are quite open enough

To explore the story
For all that it’s worth
It’s the circumstances that make it
A miraculous birth

The Hebrew people were dreaming
Of a leader of their own
And they chose Jesus before
He was full grown

The people needed someone
Who understood how it felt
To be held back for the hand
which life had dealt

Jesus sure had
an unlucky beginning
conceived out of wedlock
wouldn’t be confidence giving.

A lack of consent
on Mary’s part
only adds more
to Jesus’ poor start

Born during a censes
And laid in a manger
Let’s not forget his parents
Have to flee from danger

But still he grows up
to love everyone
meeting new people
he found quite fun

But it might never have happened
Without the humble beginnings
So we remember his happiness
Didn’t come from winnings
To assume that
you’d be angry to hear
the story’s not perfect
is what many clergy fear

But sometimes we must
Talk in realistic terms
Life isn’t perfect
Reality confirms

So where does this leave us
On this holy night?
With 7 banned words
And Mary’s great plight.

But don’t give up yet
Hope still exists
The people will
Continue to resist

It started with Jesus
You know he refused
To watch idly
While people abused

He spoke out against
When people were quiet
From the beginning the people in power
Knew that he’d cause a riot.

Mary raised her son to value
Another person’s choice
And to empower people
Helping them find their voice.

Mary won in the end
Avoiding victimization
she managed to change
the next generation

And the 7 banned words
Well, that’s for the US of A
I don’t care
to go there anyway

But I’ll continue to use them
And make them necessary
So hopefully they’ll
Become less adversary.

And now that I spent
5 mins rhyming
I’ll finish before
People start sighing

One last stanza
Will make this just right
Merry Christmas to all
And to all a good night!

Music Ministry – A Child is Born
Prayer Music: Silent Night – VU 67
Prayers of the People
Spirit of Compassion,
We thank you for your presence with us. We thank you for acts of compassion we see each day: random acts of kindness by strangers, friends that feel more like family, and family that go above and beyond. We thank you for these moments of your love in our lives. We pray for those who feel lost and alone tonight, that they might reach out a compassionate person and we pray if we are that compassionate person, that we respond with love. We pray for those who are unable to be with their families this evening, due to work or health. We pray that those who have to work during this special time will work with compassion, knowing that we appreciate their efforts at keeping us safe and healthy. We pray for those who are sick or grieving, that there might be some small moment joy. We pray for those who travel this week, that they might make smart and careful decisions. We pray for those around the world who do not experience the Hope, Peace, Joy and Love that we do. May our experiences inspire us to do what we can to share Hope, Peace, Joy and Love with those who struggle. We pray these things and so much more.  Amen.

The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy – VU 73
Offertory: Ev’ry Day Is A Day – MV 185
Offertory Blessing
May these gifts, those given through PAR and our commitment to give be seen as the gifts they truly are. Amen.

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing – VU 48

Choral Blessing: Go Ye Into All The World
Christmas Blessing: Joy to the World – VU 59
Musical Postlude

 

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