Welcome to our service for the first Sunday in Advent – because that’s where we are, in Advent for another 25 days whatever the street lights and Christmas trees suggest! Advent is the time when we prepare to celebrate Jesus’ “Advent”, or “coming”. He is the focus of our hope, the promise of freedom and forgiveness. Israel longed for the coming of the Messiah, Christians long for his return and all that will mean for us and for all God’s creation. Our first song mingles the hopes of Israel with the hope of Christians – ” O come, O come Emmanuel”
Reka is going to read to us from the book of Isaiah about the coming of Emmanuel, God-with-us, then the Ricketts family will light our first candle, then Glyn will lead us in a traditional prayer:
We are going to think today about the prophet Hosea and his tortured and difficult marriage and what that tells us about a God who will not give up on us. Th reading is embedded in the talk below:
Here’s an audio version for those who find the video doesn’t work:
Let’s sing James Montgomery’s great paraphrase of the Royal Psalm no. 72 – Hail to the Lord’s anointed.
As the nights draw in and the world darkens let’s ask God for light:
Our closing song celebrates the love of God:
And now we close by saying the grace for each other: