Yes, posts are getting later. Yes, it's my "busy time". No, I'm not ready for Christmas - but then, I feel like coming over all deep & theological & saying 'I'm not meant to be ready yet - it's still Advent'.
So this week's readings are:
Challenge number one is that we have one of our 'Creative church' services this week (when we try to present the Word other than simply by someone reading all 3 readings as the 'Readings', and invite people to respond in some other than simply by listening and coming forward for communion).
Challenge number two is that we have a baptism of an adult (sprinkling, not full immersion) this week, and so potentially have people there who wont be too clued up on the first Isaiah and how important the later redactions of the text are.
Challenge number three is the usual one about passages from later in Jesus' (and John the Baptist's) life being used here to help us reflect on the identity of Jesus as we prepare for his coming.
Challenge number four for me is that I also have a different service to lead later the same morning & I'm starting to feel like there aren't enough hours in the day (what with also having umpty Carol services & the like to organise). I think I might cheat a little and prepare something on 'Mary' that I can use both this week & next for similar services at different churches.
We have decided to shorten the Matthew reading and make that the only one for the service, read in a 'dramatic' way:
Matthew 11: 2-6
Messengers from John the Baptist.
When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him,
John: (off stage) ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?’
Narrator: Jesus answered them,
Jesus: ‘Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offence at me.’