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Crib service 2010

CRIB SERVICE 2010
Welcome It is a delight to welcome you. Turn to neighbour and say: 'It's lovely to see you. Thank you for coming. It would not have been the same without you'.
Light Christmas candle
Opening prayer:
O little town of Bethlehem
(sign up saying: Bury St Edmunds)
Narrator: I would like to introduce you to Sat and Urn. They come from Mercury. Sat only speaks Merc-ish, but Urn is clever. He speaks Merc-ish and Earth-ish. They have come to visit us, and they would like to ask us a question,
Urn: who is the most important person who has been born on the Earth?
Narrator: that's very easy. The most important person who has been born on Earth was Jesus. He was born as a baby 2000 years ago, and he came to be God’s ruler not only of Earth, but of the whole universe. And he was God’s ruler then; he is God’s ruler now; and he will be God’s ruler for all time. He defeated sin and he defeated death.
Sat: gobbledygook (long) Urn: Wow!! Sat: gobbledygook (short) Urn: So where was …

Christmas day 2010

Luke 2:1-14
(before start, have one person lying on floor, and two people standing on chairs)
I would like to introduce you to two people: who is the greatest?
1. CAESAR AUGUSTUS He was a very powerful man. In fact he appeared to be the most powerful person alive on the planet at the time.
(place robe and crown on Caesar)
He was fabulously wealthy He lived in the most amazing palaces Behind him, he had the Roman army
Caesar Augustus had the ability to count and record every single person who lived in his empire. Did you notice in our reading: ‘a census should be taken of the entire Roman world’? That is some power.
When he spoke, people jumped: It was because he issued an edict in Rome, that Joseph and Mary had to travel to Bethlehem
If you did what he said, then he could give you wealth, entertainment and security If you did not do what he said ..
2. JESUS His parents were Jewish peasants, and there were rumours of scandal about his birth He was born in a cowshed, wrapped in strips of linen, and …

The world's greatest gift

Christmas carol service 2010
I wonder what your worst ever Christmas present was? One woman writes that the worst gift she ever received was from a disapproving mother-in-law: “it was amusical loo roll holder. The trick is letting someone know that their gift is most ungratefully received, without appearing to do so. I settled on – "A musical loo roll holder? I'm so glad you took me at my word and didn't go to too much trouble!"
There are three things that we want to know about any gift.
1.How much did it cost the giver?
And I'm not necessarily talking about its financial value. Sometimes an expensive gift is a sign that it did not cost the giver much: for instance the proverbial boss who sends out the secretary to buy an iPad for her husband, because she can afford it, and is too busy to try and think of something else.
2. Is it personal?
The best gifts are the most personal. It could be a very simple necklace which is just right for the person. Because it tells them,…

God-people

Matthew 3:1-12
There was no compromise about John the Baptist. John did black or white. He did not do gray.
For John you were either a Kingdom of Heaven person, or a kingdom of earth person. You were either a god-person or a not-god person. You either did God, fully completely and totally, or you did not do God.
He appears, and he preaches. And he says three things
1. The Kingdom of heaven, the rule of God, has come near.
For over 2000 years the people of Israel – or at least those of them who believed the promises of God – had waited for God’s rule to come to earth.
God had told them – through promises given to people like Abraham, through the prophets - that one day the Messiah (God’s special ruler) would be born, he would establish his reign of well-being, abundance, joy, justice and peace. And this reign would never end. Even death would be destroyed.
And now John appears and proclaims: ‘The Kingdom of Heaven has come near’.
John announces a new era, a new government. ‘God is not dea…

On God's anger

Joshua 7
Last week I spoke about the love of God
This week is much harder. If I am trying to be faithful to Joshua 7, I need to speak about the anger of God.
The background is this: God has given a decree – very plainly and very clearly – in Joshua 6:18-19.
The war against Jericho, against Ai and against the other cities in Canaan, was not to be a war for stuff, plunder or for land. They don’t need land. They already have land on the other side of the Jordan.
The war against the Canaanite cities is not their war. It is God’s war. That is why they did nothing at Jericho apart from walk round the walls and shout! They are acting as God’s instrument of punishment on the Amorites, a people who have persistently and consistently rebelled against God, and against his word, and who have become increasingly sinful. Nations and peoples can become increasingly rebellious.
God has been very patient with the Amorites. They were already a big problem back in Genesis 15:16. Sodom and Gomorrah were jus…