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Crib Service poem

For this evening’s Crib Services (1,000 people across 2 services) I wrote a poem with responses for everyone to join in with.  I looked up rhymes for “amazing” and 4 of the suggestions were “grazing”, “stargazing”, “praising” and “self-raising”, after that the poem pretty much wrote itself!

Responses:

Mary – “Mamma-mia!” (Women)

Joseph – “Knock knock” (Men)

Jesus/baby – “shh…” (Children)

Angel – “hallelujah!” (balcony + choir)

Shepherds – “come-bye” (Left hand side)

Wise men – “wow!” (right hand side)

I want You – “who, me?” (Everyone)

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Part 1. Journey to Bethlehem

A long time ago an ordinary girl called Mary (Mamma Mia!) was asleep

when God sent an angel (hallelujah) to wake her with a message that nearly made her weep:

He said I want you (who, me?)

Yes you to follow me

I’m going to do something amazing

I want you (who, me?)

Yes you for you see

that bun in your oven is self-raising!

Mary (Mamma Mia) woke Joseph (knock knock) who’d heard the same thing so, with a yawn,

They headed to Bethlehem where, in a crowded room, Jesus (shhh…) “God with us” was born.

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Part 2. Shepherds and angels

Later that night some shepherds (come bye) were out on the hills with their sheep

when God sent some angels (hallelujah!) with a message that woke them right up from their sleep:

They said I want you (who, me?)

Yes you to follow me

In Bethlehem there’s something amazing

I want you (who, me?)

Yes you, come and see:

God is with us! leave your sheep to their grazing.

So the Shepherds (come bye) went down into town and found Mary (Mamma Mia) and Joe (knock knock)

Then when they saw the Lord Jesus (shh…) fast asleep they praised God before heading back home.

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Part 3. Wise Men
A long way away some wise men (wow!) watched the skies in a far off land

So God sent a comet to blaze night and day. A message that they could understand:

It said I want you (who, me?)

Yes you to follow me

over there there’s something amazing

I want you (who, me?)

Yes you, and you’ll see

the king prophesied by your stargazing

So the wise men (wow!) packed and got on their way, and found the baby (shh…) who was also a kkin

Gave Mary (Mamma Mia) and Joseph (knock knock) the gifts they’d remembered to bring!

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Part 4. Talk

In this church, in this town, on this Christmas Eve God is speaking to his people again

through Mary (Mamma Mia) and Joseph (knock knock) and Jesus (shh…) and Shepherds (come bye) and Wise men (wow!)

God says I want you (who, me?)

Yes you to follow me

This Christmas do something amazing

I want you (who, me?)

Yes you come and be

like the angels (hallelujah!) with your whole life God praising.

So in this season of peace and goodwill there’s a choice that each one of us here ought to ponder

God is not just for Christmas, he’s for our whole lives. God is with us, are you with him, I wonder?

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Maundy Thursday service

I think Maundy Thursday is one of my favourite days in the Church year.  It offers a chance to look afresh at something that is at the core of our weekly worship –  the Last Supper.  The story is so familiar as we retell it almost every week in communion but sometimes that familiarity can mean we don’t engage with it as much as we should.  Maundy Thursday gives an opportunity to dwell more deeply on that familiar story and allow it to speak to us anew.

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I have been privileged to be able to lead several Maundy Thursday services over the past few years and each one has been special in a different way.  This year we are celebrating our first Easter at St Andrews, Avonmouth, the church we are placed in while I am at theological college, and I am really excited about leading the Maundy Thursday service this Thursday.

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This year we will be moving slowly through the story, pausing to reflect on five aspects:

Preparing for the story (preparations) – Luke 22:7-13

Entering the story (footwashing) – John 13:3-5, 12-17

Exploring the story (bread and wine) – Luke 22:14-20

Expanding the story (Holy Spirit) – John 14:15-17a, 25-27

Leaving the story (Going out) – Matthew 26:30

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Each aspect will include the reading, a short reflection, a response/action and after each one we will sing this Taize chant together:

Stay with us o Lord Jesus Christ, night will soon fall
Then stay with us o Lord Jesus Christ, light in our darkness

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Service sheet

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I can’t wait!

Maundy Thursday

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Here are some pictures from our Maundy Thursday service

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Maundy Thursday ideas

Here are some of the ideas I’m kiicking around for our Maundy Thursday service this Easter.

There are 3 parts to the Maundy Thursday service:
Foot Washing, Communion, The Gethsemane ‘Watch’.

The theme I’m heading towards is “Submission”, This is what stands out to me from Jesus’ behaviour throughout this night. this is played out in the 3 aspect of the story.

Foot Washing:
Jesus submits to the disciples and assumes the role of a servant to wash their feet

Communion:
“This is my body, broken for you”, “This is my blood poured out for you”, these are the ultimate statements of submission and sacrifice

The Gethsemane “Watch”:
“Not my will but yours”, Jesus ultimately submits his will to the Father’s, laying down his own desire and trusting his Father.

Those are the ideas, just have to shape it into a service now!