Love, the greatest gift.

Here’s the candle lighting liturgy from Sunday- it was written by Jean Hamilton from the Gathering Drama File, Advent/Christmas/Epiphany 2015-2016, and read by two of our Sunday school children.

It’s a reminder to us that love is the most important gift that we can ever get- and it’s not something that can be bought, or planned or even earned. It’s a gift, and when we have it, it’s important to cherish it. So as we get into our last few days before Christmas, let’s remember what’s important and and act accordingly! May you all have a very blessed Christmas time!

Voice 1: Well, it’s nearly Christmas, and this is the payoff

The end of the year and we’re into the playoffs!

For this is the Sunday when love is the theme!

So what do you make of it? What is your dream?

Voice 2: I know about love, I know all about it

The singers all sing it, the shouters all shout it.

Everyone’s shopping, wanting to try it

Everyone’s hopping to find it or buy it.

Just buy the right presents, just drive the right car,

And love will be yours! It’s right there in the stars.

Voice 1: I think that’s a problem, I think that’s all wrong,

If that is the story you heard in a song.

It’s not about money, it’s not about shopping,

It’s not about buying, it’s not about hopping.

Don’t have to be pretty, don’t have to be clever,

Don’t have to be anything different whatever.

To love everybody, both neighbour and stranger,

This is the gift of the Child in the manger.

Voice 2: That sounds really cool, I think that I get it.

Let’s light a candle so we don’t forget it.

First Sunday in Advent- HOPE

What is hope? On Sunday, we watched this video from the Advent Unwrapped website being run by the United Church. It talks about hope being like a seed, that needs to be nurtured so that it can grow.

The song we sing often in Advent is “Hope is a star” and the first line is: “Hope is a star that shines in the night, leading us on til the morning is bright.”

In both the case of the seed, and the star, the sign of hope is something small in the present, but holds promise for something good in the future. Hope is the opposite of fear- fear tells us something bad is likely to happen, but hope says something good WILL happen.

And for us in the church, we are called to not only have hope, but to work towards the fulfillment of the promise of God’s kingdom. It’s not enough to just hope that everything will get better, we have to work for it- in fact, this is how we can know that something good is going to happen, because we have committed to make it so. And since God’s kingdom is about justice and compassion and ultimately, love, working to bring it in means building and strengthening relationships and community and concern for everyone in our world.

In our world today, there is much fear that closes borders, closes wallets and closes hearts. Our way is a way of hope- of opening ourselves to relationship, opening ourselves to the possibility of change and growth, opening ourselves to see where God is leading us- where that star is leading us until the morning breaks.

Blessings, Kristin