It is summer in Australia.
Christ is born!
The early dawn proclaims that
the light of the world has come.
Praise to you God of light!
God’s love is born upon earth with
the glorious passion of the summer sun.
Praise to you God of love!
With mountain and valley, blackwood and wattlebird, tree fern and rosella,
we sing for joy as God comes to dwell in the heart of creation.
Praise to you God of life!
Today, dear God, the starlight of your love shines l
ike the Milky Way in the desert darkness;
today a fresh spring of hope wells up
in the drought ridden ground of our hearts;
today your cool change of peace quiets the fire of our longing;
for today you are cradled in this place as a humble child.
Praise to you God of promise fulfilled!
A Mighty Emperor orders the world under his control…
A Humble Baby is born with no place
other than a feeding trough to lay his head…
Lowly Shepherds mind their own business, and no one cares…
Glorious Angels come singing the world upside down
with a message for the lowly instead of the mighty…
Speak to the lowly parts of ourselves today, Christmas God.
Speak your transforming word of inbreaking hope,
speak your radical word of world disrupting peace,
speak your restoring word of self-giving love.
Turn our hearts upside down today
so that we may see the world as you see it
through the newborn eyes of Christ.
Ian Ferguson, offered for worship Christmas Day 2017
Prayers of the People
To the God who became flesh in a helpless newborn,
we pray for those who lives are lived in states of helplessness,
who are weighed down by injustice and oppression and friendlessness.
And so we pray for those crying for justice in refugee camps,
in war zones, in detention centres and divided cities and nations.
To the God who showed divine power in the powerlessness of a child,
we pray for those who are intoxicated with power
and for those who are denied it and abused by it.
And so we pray for the powerful in this land:
teach them to be suspicious of their own power and to use it for good.
To the God whose child was born away from the comforts of temple or religion,
we pray for the Churches of this nation that we can learn to witness
to the reign of God without the securities and comforts of the past.
And so we pray for ourselves, our ministers, our church leaders:
may we look to the child in Bethlehem and see God’s inviting face.
To the God who came to the most unlikely place in this world,
we pray that we would be open to the divine presence
in unlikely places and unlikely people.
And so we pray for ourselves that we would, in God’s name,
venture in the places where God ventures –
however unlikely, however unusual,
however offensive and however unsettling.
To the God of heaven who became God on earth,
who subverted all that was expected of God,
and showed a way of love that no one was expected,
may we be caught up in theat same movement
of love, peace, joy and reconciliation.
This we pray in the name of the Jesus Christ,
God’s presence amongst, the one who taught us to pray:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever. Amen.
Geoff Thompson, offered for worship Christmas Day 2017