Video: Elton John – Rocket Man
God is here. Make yourselves at home.
Dear friends, welcome to our second gathering in this space: a pub, what better place for us to come together and share something special?
Tonight we consider a good news which is offered to us without borders, without boundaries…
Equipment: Balti Dishes, laminated signs, Spoons, Honey, Lemons
1 min 45 sec introduction:
Life is complex and hard. Life is challenging and not without its fair share of pain. The preacher on TV who offers you untold riches, health, wealth, healing and joy has clearly never read the book of Job.
Life is beautiful and delicate. Life is filled with joy and laughter. The glass which was created by God is always at least half-full, beyond half-full, and closer to full to overflowing.
To see life as either one or the other is to miss the point of life in all its rollercoaster of variety. We learn in life to take the bitter and the sweet.
Around this sacred space are some stations, where you may taste in the lemon the bitterness of life, where you can offer to God in penitence those difficult, trying, hard things in your life. You may also taste a spoonful of honey – to taste and see that the Lord is good as the Psalmist said, and to give thanks to God for his many many blessings.
Without one, there is no other. Without both, life is meaningless. Offer them both to God in penitence and faith, and let us now be reconciled to God.
Stations: stations with a balti dish of lemons (and a bin + wipes) and a dish of honey with small spoons to taste a lemon and a spoon of honey.
Each station has text by it:
Taste the bitterness of life
Without this, the sweet,
good times are nothing.
Give to God the pain, the
sadness and the hurt.
Taste & See that the Lord is good
Taste the sweetness of life
Without this, the bitter,
ugly, hard times become
Give thanks to God for the joy,
the pleasure and the laughs.
Taste & See that the Lord is good
In Happy moments, praise God.
In Difficult moments, seek God.
In Quiet moments, worship God.
In Painful moments, trust God.
In Every moment, thank God
Screen: you are forgiven
Our Lord Jesus Christ, who has left power to his Church to
absolve all sinners who truly repent and believe in him, of
his great mercy forgive you all your offences; and by his
authority committed to me, I absolve you from all your sins:
+In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy
The Lord has put away all your sins, and of your charity, pray for me, a sinner also
Let us pray…
Father, we come to you tonight from the edges of society, the margins of Church, the ignored spaces in between normality…
We look to you for affirmation, for redemption, for you to hear the cries which we raise from our own personal wildernesses…
For we know that you are the one who heals the broken, gives voice to the alienated, and lifts up the downtrodden.
We make this prayer through the wounded healer, Jesus Christ, God with us, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, Indivisible unto the ages of ages. Amen
Scripture: Matthew 2: 13-23
A Godly-Play Type Story about the Flight from Egypt
Equipment: Sand bag, Two boxes, Holy Family from a Nativity Set, Angel from Nativity Set
Welcome. Are you ready for a story?
Long ago, in a far off land, (spread sand)
God reached down from heaven and became one of us.
Mighty, All-Powerful God could have come in any shape or form he wanted, he could have impressed us with his power, but he loved us so much, he came as… a tiny baby.
(place Jesus in centre of sand)
Born of his Mother, Our Lady Mary… (place Mary)
To be brought up and supported by Joseph… (place Joseph)
God poured his almighty self into this little form, to be with us, alongside us. God-in-a-child.
The King of the Universe was born in poor surroundings and with no comforts that befitted a King. In a Stable, for animals … and all their dirty, smelly mess.
The King of that land, a man called King Herod had heard that somewhere in his land a King had been born, a great King, an all-powerful King… and he was afraid.
King Herod couldn’t bear the thought of being replaced by a King who rightfully should be on his throne, so he sought to catch and kill this threat before it became a problem.
(remove Holy Family, place box at one corner, walk fingers all over the sand)
He sent his guards all across his land to find and kill the new King who might take his place.
(place Holy Family on top of box)
One night, as Mary and Joseph and the baby were asleep, and angel (place Angel on box) appeared to Joseph in a dream.
He warned Joseph that Herod sought to kill the God-in-a-child and that they should run for their lives, to another country.
(place box in opposite corner)
So, Our Lady, and Joseph took God-in-a-child and in the middle of the night, they ran away to be safe in a land called Egypt (meander the Holy Family through the desert). It was a long, scary, dangerous journey until at last they came to the land of Egypt where they could be safe.
They had to live and wait in Egypt until Herod was no longer King and they had to life as refugees for a number of years before Herod died.
(place Holy Family on other box)
Meanwhile, the guards did some horrible things to any child under the age of two, and killed all of the innocent babies just in case they might be the God-in-a-child who threatened Herod’s job. The tears of the Mothers must have fallen on the land like rain
(fingertip pats on the sand)
When Herod died, the Angel appeared to Joseph in a dream once more. (place Angel)
He told them that it was safe to return, and so Mary, and Joseph and God-in-a-child made the long journey back from the land of Egypt to a place called Nazareth, where God-in-a-child grew big and strong and faithful to God and where everyone called him by his name:
From Nazareth. Out of Egypt.
I wonder how Herod felt to hear that a real King was born.
I wonder what it felt like to leave in the middle of the night and go to a far-off place…
I wonder how it might have felt in Egypt,
I wonder how people feel today when they have to leave their homelands for fear of their lives.
I wonder what we might do, if Mary and Joseph and God-in-a… and Jesus came to our door needing our help.
Christ lifts up the humble
Christ reunites the broken
Christ draws us in from the edge,
into a new peace with him,
and with others
The peace of the Lord be always with you
and also with you
Let us offer one an other that sign of God’s peace
Pray my dear friends that this our sacrifice be acceptable to God, the Almighty Father
May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his church
(1) The Lord be with you
and also with you
Lift up your hearts
We lift them to the Lord
Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God
It is right to give thanks and praise.
(2) Father, all powerful and ever living God
We do well always and everywhere to give you thanks
Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord
Tonight, we bring to this table all that is painful in our lives.
(3) In that bringing we come to the foot of your cross,
Where you raise all of this up
And our pain is overshadowed by your victory
Victory over sin and death
Victory over pain and suffering
Victory over abuse and addiction
So that we may join our prayers with the redeemed and renewed company of heaven, forever praising you and saying….
(4) Holy, Holy, Holy Lord
God of power and might
heaven and earth are full of your glory
Hosanna in the highest
Blesséd is he who comes in the name of the Lord
Hosanna in the highest
(5) Lord, you are holy indeed, the source of all holiness;
grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit,
and according to your holy will,
these gifts of bread and wine
may be to us the +body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ;
who, in the same night that he was betrayed,
took bread and gave you thanks;
he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying:
(6) Take, eat; this is my body
which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me.
(7) In the same way, after supper
he took the cup and gave you thanks;
he gave it to them, saying:
Drink this, all of you;
this is my blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for you and for all
for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it,
in remembrance of me.
(8) Let us proclaim the mystery of faith…
Christ has died
Christ is risen
Christ will come again
(9) And so, Father, calling to mind his death on the cross,
his perfect sacrifice made once for the sins
of the whole world;
rejoicing in his mighty resurrection
and glorious ascension,
and looking for his coming in glory,
we celebrate this memorial of our redemption.
(10) As we offer you this our sacrifice
of praise and thanksgiving,
we bring before you this bread and this cup
and we thank you for counting us worthy
to stand in your presence and serve you.
(11) Send the Holy Spirit on your people
and gather into one in your kingdom
all who share this one bread and one cup,
so that we, in the company of
Our Blesséd Lady of Walsingham
and all the saints,
may praise and glorify you for ever,
through Jesus Christ our Lord;
(12) by whom, and with whom, and in whom,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all honour and glory be yours, almighty Father,
for ever and ever.
Our Father in heaven.
Don’t say ‘Father’ if you do not behave like a son or daughter. Don’t say ‘Our’ if you only think of your self.
Hallowed by your name
Don’t say ‘Hallowed’ if you do not honour that name.
Your Kingdom come
Don’t say ‘Your Kingdom come’ if you are weighed down with material goods
Your will be done On earth as in heaven
Don’t say ‘Thy will be done’ if you do not accept the hard bits
Don’t say ‘as it is in heaven’ if you only think about earthly matters
Give us this day our daily bread
Don’t say ’Our daily bread’ if you have no concern for the hungry or the homeless
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us
Don’t say ‘Forgive us our sins’ if you remain angry with someone
Lead us not into temptation
Don’t say ‘Lead us not into temptation’ if you intend to continue sinning
But deliver us from evil
Don’t say ‘Deliver us from evil’ if you are not willing to make a stand against injustice
For the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen
Don’t say ‘AMEN’ without considering the words of your prayer!
Come, not because you are strong,
but because you are weak.
Come, not because any goodness of your own
gives you any right to come,
but because you, like me, need mercy and help.
Come, because you love the Lord a little,
and would like to love him more.
Come, because he loves you and gave himself for you.
This is the Lamb of God
who takes away the sin of the world
Blessèd are those who are called from the margins to his supper
Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.
Distribution of Communion
Video: Rufus Wainwright
Let us pray…
May we who have met with you in this sacrament of salvation,
been fed for the long and troublous journey of life
and healed by your saving power,
come to recognise you in these holy gifts,
to the glory of your heavenly Father. Amen.
Blessing & Dismissal
The Lord be with you
And also with you
The Blessing of God be with us,
Father and Mother,
Sustainer of our earth
Source of all that is, and shall be.
The Blessing of God be with us
The Universal Christ
the Risen and Glorious Loved One and our Friend
The Blessing of God be with us
Spirit spreading love and joy in our hearts
giving hope to the battered ones
and a safe haven for the refugee and the Lost
inspiring peace and justice for the little ones
For we have been nourished
by the Bread of Life
we have been quickened
by the Life-blood of the Universe
With courage and hope let us continue on our journey.
…and the blessing of God almighty,
the +Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be upon you and remain with you always.
The mass is ended. Go in the peace of Christ.
Thanks be to God.
Brian Eno “No One Receiving”