Nativity in climate emergency

—————– ɷˡˡ̷ —————

Through the Word, all was made that has been made.
And the Word became flesh and lived among us. 1

Pause…

We take refuge in God’s earthing in flesh;
immersion in death;
rising to Life.
We take root in the Love of God;
the Good News of Christ;
the prayers of the faithful.
2

As we hear the scriptures read, may they lead us to the Christ and may we find in Jesus the fulfilment of all our searching.

Psalm(s) and readings.

Blessed are those who hear the word of God
And obey it.

A time of quiet and/or shared reflection, afterwards a collect may be said.

Mary’s Song3 may be said (or sung). Here, it has been divided into four stanzas. You may like to read out a different one each day.

My soul proclaims your greatness O Lord;
my spirit rejoices in you O God our Saviour,
You have looked with favour
on your lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call us blessed.


Almighty, you have done great things for us,
and holy is your name.
You have mercy on those who fear you
from generation to generation.


You have shown strength with your arm
and scattered the proud in their conceit,
casting down the mighty from their thrones
and lifting up the lowly.
You have filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.


You have come to the help
of your servant Israel,
remembering your promise of mercy,
the promise made to our forebears,
to Abraham and his children forever.

Glory to God in the highest:
how glorious is your name in all the world.
Holy, holy holy, Lord, God of power and might.
Heaven and earth are full of your glory!

… expressions of praise and thanks …

O God, you have done great things for us
And holy is your name.

Let everything that has breath flourish and fulfil your purposes, O God!
May your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth.
Father, may your will be fleshed out:
on earth as in heaven.

You desire the liberation of creation subjected to frustration 4
Loving Creator, may your will be fleshed out:
on earth as in heaven.

You work for peace and justice in the earth 5
Carer for Life, may your will be fleshed out:
on earth as in heaven.

You desire all to come to salvation and to a knowledge of the truth 6
Lover of all souls, may your will be fleshed out:
on earth as in heaven.

Concerns and biddings for the world’s good and God’s. …

Everliving all-loving God, may your will be fleshed out:
on earth as in heaven.

With the bread we need for today, feed us.
Into what will sustain our life in you, lead us.

… reflection / requests for daily bread provision.

We look to you to supply our need, be our provider and strength.
Father, may your will be fleshed out:
on earth as in heaven.

Forgiving God, we recognise that we have avoided your call, shirked responsibilities and mis-stewarded your gifts to us.

God forgive us
And Let grace live within us
Sharing God; we have resisted expressing your life and bringing to birth your kin-dom.

God forgive us
And Let grace live within us

God who first loved us, help us to love others by forgiving.

God forgive us
And Let grace live within us

There may be silence to reflect on forgiving. After an appropriate interval, words of forgiveness may be said.

As we seek to live embodying the values and commitments of God’s just and gentle Rule, let us reflect on challenges to our faithfulness and integrity that may lie in our future, and let’s recognise the way ahead has many unknowns which may wrongfoot us.

We are called to bear Christ into our world. With Mary we ask, how can this be?

We take to heart the Angel’s reply:
The power of the Most High will overshadow you; with God it is possible:
Let it be to us according to your Word.

—————– ɷˡˡ̷ —————


[i] John 1:1ff

[ii] These words recontextualise for Christians a Buddhist affirmation and are heavily adapted from a prayer of the Church of South India.

[iii] Based on the ELLC translation of Luke 1:46-55

[iv] See Romans 8:20

[v] Reflecting Jeremiah 9:24b

[vi] See 1 Timothy 2:4. We might also reflect on this in the context of climate crisis in relation to the XR demand to tell the truth

Christmas

Christmas prayers reflect the theme of God becoming human. Traditionally, in the West, Christmas starts after sundown on 24 December and lasts until 5 January (Twelth Night) and the season of Epiphany begins on 6 January. However, there is a mismatch now between wider secular society and the Church’s year. In wider society Christmas seems to end or at least come to a climax on 25 December. So it may feel helpful to start to pray the Christmas office earlier in December and finish a day or three after 25th.

O God open our souls
to awaken to your presence
O God open our minds
to hear your call
O God open our hearts
to know your love
O God open our lives
to be fully alive in you and to our neighbour.

As we hear the scriptures read, may they lead us to the Christ and may we find in Jesus the fulfilment of all our searching.

Psalm[s] and reading[s]. There may be a time of quiet and/or shared reflection. A framework for reflection, using the pattern of the Lord’s prayer may be used.

Blessed are those who hear the word of God
And obey it.

A song from scripture based on the Magnificat (The Song of Mary)

My soul proclaims your greatness O Lord;
my spirit rejoices in you O God our Saviour,
You have looked with favour on your lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call us blessed:
Almighty, you have done great things for us,
and holy is your name.

You have mercy on those who fear you
You have shown strength with your arm

and scattered the proud in their conceit,
casting down the mighty from their thrones
and lifting up the lowly.
you have filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
You have come to the help of your servant Israel,
remembering your promise of mercy,
the promise made to our forebears,
to Abraham and his children forever.

Based on the ELLC translation of Luke 1:46-55

Glory to God in the highest:
and on earth -peace and goodwill.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.

…expressions of of praise and thanks …

O God, you have done great things for us
And holy is your name.

Your heavenly will be done in all created beings!
May your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth.
Father, may your will be fleshed out:
on earth as in heaven.

Concerns and biddings for the good of the world and for God’s desires may be mentioned here or after each or all of the following petitions….

Your will is for the liberation of creation in bondage to decay
Father, may your will be be fleshed out:
on earth as in heaven.

Your will is for peace and justice,
Father, may your will be be fleshed out:
on earth as in heaven.

Your will is for all to come to a knowledge of salvation
Father, may your will be be fleshed out:
on earth as in heaven.

Concerns and biddings for the good of the world and God’s desires might be mentioned here if they haven’t been before.

With the bread we need for today, feed us.
Into what will sustain our life in you, lead us.

… reflection and requests for daily bread and provision.

We look to you to supply our need.
Be our provider and strength.
Father, may your will be be fleshed out:
on earth as in heaven.
Forgiving God, we have held onto your gifts and stayed aloof.

God forgive us
And Let grace live within us

Sharing God; we have resisted your life within us.

God forgive us
And Let grace live within us

God who first loved us, help us to love others by forgiving

God forgive us
And Let grace live within us

There may be silence to reflect on forgiving. After an appropriate interval, words of forgiveness may be said.

As we seek to live embodying the values and commitments of God’s just and gentle Rule, let us reflect on likely forthcoming challenges to our faithfulness and integrity, and let’s recognise our future has many unknowns to wrongfoot us.

We are called to bear Christ into our world. With Mary we ask, how can this be?

Pause for reflection.

We take to heart the Angel’s reply:
The power of the Most High will overshadow you; with God it is possible:
Let it be to us according to your Word.

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