Welcome from Rev Christine Fox
You may be at home and be unable to gather for a Carol service but with this webpage we, the members of Kingswood Methodist Church, hope you can join in and sing along.
Did we used to take Carol services and singing lots of carols for granted?
We’re having to get used to so much change and uncertainty, but amongst it all I want to assure you that God is with us – this is the meaning of the word Emmanuel – and how we long to know God with us – God’s people longed for the coming of the Messiah, we still long for the coming of Jesus at Christmas and we long for Jesus to come to our hearts; come O come Emmanuel! God with us, the constant thread through history and our lives, bringing an order to our chaos, for this God is self-giving love and this kind of love is so desperately longed for and such love brings meaning to life.
Christmas is a time for fun and games too. So I’ve set you a puzzle - To make the point of God bringing order in our chaos there is a cunning order in this service - see if you can spot it - and I’ll ask you at the end.
As the angels sang that first Christmas so we sing our carols, first -
StF190 Angels, from the realms of glory
*Prayer of Adoration
Child of joy and peace,
born to every race --
by your star, the wise will know you,
East and West their homage show you,
look into your face,
child of joy and peace.
As we look into your face Jesus we worship and adore you; as you come to earth to be with us we catch a glimpse of the hope that shines from your eyes. As the day of Christmas draws nearer we long for your presence with us, for the love that flows eternally between God the Father, Son Jesus and Holy Spirit, and amazingly flowing out to all the corners of the earth, even to us. Emmanuel, God with us we adore you. Amen
StF 193 Born in the night
StF 117 Cradled in a manger meanly
*Prayer of confession
Born among the poor
on a stable floor,
cold and raw, you know our hunger,
weep our tears and cry our anger --
yet you tell us more,
born among the poor:
As we peer into the stable, sensing the cold and the smell and the damp we are ashamed that the greed and the thoughtlessness of some means that so many are still poor, cold, hungry and sad. If we have ever forgotten your love, Jesus, for these precious ones, forgive us. As the day of Christmas draws nearer we long for wrongdoing to cease, for love to be shown by everyone to those who need it most. Emmanuel, God with us, forgive and restore us. Amen
StF 170 Darkness like a shroud
Short Reflection – ‘Emmanuel God is with us!’
StF 272 From heaven you came helpless babe
*Prayers for others
Every child needs bread
till the world is fed;
you give bread, your hands enable
all to gather round one table --
Christmas must be shared,
every child needs bread.
As we gather round our tables this Christmas, Jesus we pray for all who will not even have bread to eat – we pray for help for refugees who flee war or famine, we pray for wisdom for governments trying to level up between poor and rich, we pray for neighbours to invite the lonely to join them, we pray for courage for us all for Christmas to be shared. Emmanuel God with us, work with us to answer our prayers for others. Amen
StF 200 God is born among us,
*Prayer for ourselves
Son of poverty,
shame us till we see
self-concerned, how we deny you,
by our greed we crucify you
on a Christmas tree,
Son of poverty.
Jesus we pray for ourselves – often self-concerned but today asking for your love to fill us so that love can flow through us to others. Jesus we pray for the joy that comes from seeing others happy, help us to share what you have given to us. As we look forward to Christmas, we pray for the peace you give, no matter what we are going through, when we look for your face in the face of everyone we meet. Emmanuel God with us, humbly we pray for ourselves. Amen
What’s the answer to the puzzle? Angels, Born, Cradled, Darkness, Emmanuel! From, God, - last carol – Hark…? if we want to bring order we arrange things alphabetically – useful in a few circumstances but rather limited! God brings order by coming to be with us - Glory to the new-born king!
StF 202 Hark the Herald angels sing
The Lord will stand and feed his flock and they will live secure in his strength; for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth and he shall be the one of peace. (based on Micah 5 vv 4-5)
May we receive all that God has for us and go forth in his peace. Amen
*Carol service prayers 2021 – inspired by the verses of a carol by Shirley Erena Murray a New-Zealander .
These are the Worship at Home Services, led by our Minister :-