Coming Home | GOD MAKES THIS WORLD OUR HOME
Leccionario en Español, Leccionario Común Revisado: Consulta Sobre Textos Comunes.
Lectionnaire en français, Le Lectionnaire Œcuménique Révisé
Advent 4: GOD MAKES THIS WORLD OUR HOME
The colors for this service (Advent 4, December 24 in the morning) remain blue or purple. Change the colors after this morning’s service(s) to the Christmas colors of white and gold. Christmas season begins with sunset tonight.
For your Planning Team
In the Series
This service marks the conclusion of Advent. It is not yet Christmas. That is still to come, beginning with Christmas Eve services later in the evening or night. Though the season changes at sunset, this series creates a strong continuity between Advent and Christmas. This morning is part one of a what is intended to be a two-part service, concluded with this evening’s Christmas Eve Communion service(s), and joined by the Las Posadas journeys we invite you to help your congregation take this afternoon.
This morning marks the bold, courageous hope of Mary, and so our hope, in anticipation of the birth of her child. Tonight marks the simplicity and wonder of that birth. This morning, we join with Mary in singing of the revolution that birth will unleash. Tonight, we join with Mary in pondering everything that has happened in our hearts around the Lord’s Table. This morning takes joy and directs it toward the transformation of the world through God’s incarnation in Christ. Tonight begins to take in all Incarnation may mean.
This Week’s After Church/Afternoon Activity: Las Posadas
Las Posadas (“The Inns”) is an Advent/Christmas tradition that captures the pathos and eventual joy of the journey of Mary and Joseph seeking shelter in Bethlehem as Mary is about to deliver her child. Normally, it would be observed for the eight nights leading to Christmas Eve, with different processions going to different homes each night. (Read more about it from the Book of Worship here). The purpose of the service is both celebrative and evangelistic. It is customary to invite friends and neighbors to participate in the Las Posadas processions and celebrations in one another’s homes.
For today’s use, we suggest an adaptation. Select 8 (or some other number) of homes to be “hosts” at different times in the afternoon. Create the same number of procession groups, including friends and neighbors whom you invite to Las Posadas AND Communion at the church afterward, and have them meet at a walking distance from the host’s home, then begin their procession. Use the Christmas Eve Service of Las Posadas (BOW 281-2-3), concluding with the reading or singing of the Canticle of Mary, as the beginning of the fiesta. Continue the fiesta in the home, concluding with the breaking of the piñata. Then walk or caravan to church for the Christmas Eve candlelight Communion service. If your church has scheduled multiple shorter services (as we have provided for in this series), select the time that works best for your group.
Additional Resources for this Service
2014 Planning Helps for these readings
Ecumenical Prayer Cycle: Japan, North Korea, South Korea