The Incarnation, Nativity Sets and Hope

This can be listened to here

Gate Pa – Year A, First Sunday in Advent 2016

Psalm                          Psalm: 122                                                               
 First Reading:                        Isaiah 2:1-5                                      
Second Reading:                    Romans 13:11-14                          
Gospel:                                    Matthew 24:36-44   
What I want to say:
The first Sunday in Advent is about Hope. This Sunday we bless our Nativity sets as symbols of hope. We will hear the story of St. Francis and the first nativity crib at Greccio, and then wonder about hope.
What I want to happen:
Share stories of their nativities and what they represent to them.

The Sermon

     1.     Introduction: (ppt)

Now a days we take for granted the re-enactment of the first Christmas
we smoosh together the stories of the gospels
children get act out what happened
common place
but first time this happened was not until around 1220
this morning want read story of that first nativity re-enactment
small town of Greccio in Italy.
as told by Murray Bodo - Franciscan Friar and story teller

     2.     Of Greccio and the first Christmas Crib

from "Tales of St. Francis - ancient stories for contemporary living" by Murray Bodo OFM (Doubleday 1988)

     3.     Hope

Advent is time we prepare for coming of Christ the Crucified King
both at Christmas
and when reign God will fully comes among us.
coming marked by hope, peace, joy and love.
Today we focus on God's hope.
what hope does this story offer you
what hope does christmas offer

     4.     Incarnation

Christmas is the story of ultimate hope
when God the son, the Eternal Word
in whom, and through whom, and for who all was created
became one of us.
At Christmas
Given time to reflect on Incarnation
            when Christ’s divinity mingled with our humanity
            we are reminded that we too are made in the image of God
            we too at our heart hold divine image of love in our hearts
and reflect on how Christ’s humanity mingles with our divinity
            we are invited to live as people invited into the heart of God
That should change everything
so that despite all the evidence
we are able to live in hope

     5.     Nativity Sets

invite any who brought nativity sets up front
if you want you can tell its story if you have one
how this set reminds you of hope

     6.     Blessing of the sets

God of every nation and people,
from the very beginning of time,
you have been our hope
invited us into your peace
given us your joy
and shown us your love.
We give you thanks that in our Saviour, Jesus Christ,
You remind us that all are made in your image
and make known your way of justice, goodness and loving-kindness.
Bless these nativity sets
in the name of God, Source of All Being, Eternal Word and Holy Spirit
May they remind us of Jesus, born as one of us.
As we see them in our homes,
may we be reminded to stop and give thanks for the Incarnation
and to prepare room for Jesus to come into our homes and hearts.
Give to us, we pray, your grace and love, that in turn,
we might share your love and life with everyone we meet.
We pray this in the name of the one who became one of us


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