Advent One, Year B

Musical Reflection
For Beginners by M Ward



God of unveiled truth,
faithful flame
in times of darkened sun and waning moon:
lift up our unknowing hearts,
and waken our sleeping love
to announce the coming dawn
of unexpected peace;
through Jesus Christ, the one who is to come.
First Reading
[The challenge: to start]

by Anna Moschovakis
The challenge: to start
not with theory but with tangible performance
You and others, approaching
We shall be asked for a way out
                to be fed
                to keep warm and dry
Starting with experience, magic
genuine science
More than once we have been lost
in a trackless wilderness
dwarfed and shadowed by mighty buildings
subway trains wild as elephants
One goes blindly back to one’s desk
These moments come, their dark
We glimpsed control
and more tragic waste
We entered with 40,000,000 warriors
with the dignity of cathedrals
The lake is upon you.
You have two canoes, your tent
The child has entered upon this desert
You have your axes
What, precisely, is your procedure?
Second Reading
The Beginning of Speech

by Adonis
translated by Khaled Mattawa
The child I was came to me
a strange face
                He said nothing              We walked
each of us glancing at the other in silence, our steps
a strange river running in between
We were brought together by good manners
and these sheets now flying in the wind
then we split,
a forest written by earth
watered by the seasons’ change.
Child who once was, come forth—
What brings us together now,
and what do we have to say?
Gospel Reading
Mark 13:24-37
In those days, after the suffering of that time, the sun will become dark, and the moon won’t give its light. The stars will fall from the sky, and the planets and other heavenly bodies will be shaken. Then they will see the Promised One coming in the clouds with great power and splendour. Then the Promised One will send the angels and gather together the chosen people from the four corners of the earth, from the end of the earth to the end of heaven.
Learn this parable from the fig tree. After its branch becomes tender and it sprouts new leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see these things happening, you know that the Promised One is near, at the door. I assure you that this generation won’t pass away until all these things happen. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will certainly not pass away.

But nobody knows when that day or hour will come, not the angels in heaven and not the Christ. Only Abba God knows. Watch out! Stay alert! You don’t know when the time is coming.  It is as if a homeowner took a trip, left the household behind, and put the workers in charge, giving each one a job to do, and told the doorkeeper to stay alert.  Therefore, stay alert! You don’t know when the homeowner will come, whether in the evening or at midnight, or when the rooster crows in the early morning or at daybreak. Don’t let the homeowner show up when you weren’t expecting and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all: Stay alert!

Musical Reflection
New Year by The Kissaway Trail


attributed to St. Thérèse of Lisieux and St. Theresa of Avila, adapted

Gracious Creator,
May today there be peace within.
May we trust that we are exactly where we are meant to be.
May we not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May we use these gifts that we have received, and pass on the love that has been given to us.
May we be confident knowing we are children of God.
Let your presence settle into our bones, and allow our souls the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Eternal Spirit,
Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother, Parent of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom
sustain our hope and come on earth.
With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and testing, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love,
now and for ever. Amen.

Musical Reflection
Fire by Noah Gundersen


May the God who brings heaven close to earth
give truth to our judgement
and flame to our longing
that our hearts might be ready
to be born again in love;

and the blessing of God Almighty,
the Holy Parent, the Holy Child, and the Holy Spirit,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.



Artwork by Sam Gilliam

Invocation and Blessing from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection For Beginners by M Ward

Poem [The challenge: to start] by Anna Moschovakis

Poem The Beginning of Speech by Adonis translated by Khaled Mattawa

Musical Reflection New Year by the Kissaway Trail

Prayer by St. Thérèse of Lisieux and St. Theresa of Avila

Lord’s Prayer from the New Zealand Prayer Book

Musical Reflection Fire by Noah Gundersen

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