November 2005: Participate
we have decided not to die - connection between it and Grace – mention stuff from last service
Blob tree - where are you participating in the Kingdom of God?
Participition in Grace – 'making space'
Participation in the wider world -- see below
Time of contemplative prayer inc explanation of the new monthly gig
Concluding liturgy/ritual: Do You Turn To Christ?
Let's all gather in close around the table...
We have been exploring the ethos of grace over the last few weeks -
creativity - we love being creative
participation - grace is not something to consume but to get involved in
and engagement - the spirit gives us an outward impulse to engage in mission life, the world, culture and in our local communities.
If you are involved in grace we hope you won't be able to help being creative, involved and engaged - these things will rub off on us all. Or else thy are just empty words.
We began the first service dramatically smashing a mirror and plates to suggest that as God beckons us into the future there may be things that we need to let go of in order to move on. Well here we are. We have explored our values and this is it. We stand on the threshold of the future. God is beckoning us into the future.
We are changing the way we do things and the future is up for shaping. The basic structure is in place on these postcards. Take some if you haven't had them already. At the heart of the change is the opportunity for more involvement and to create space for things other than creating worship. So if you have ideas, passions, interests, mission ideas then get one or two others with you and make them happen.
I have put a few symbolic items on the table.
Bread is the body of christ - this isn't consecrated. but as we move from here i invite you to eat bread as a symbol of your participation in the life of God and God's kingdom.
The cross is the symbol of christ's passion - his self giving love. to follow in the way of christ is to live a passion-ate life. Christ is re-inviting us to be passion-ate, to follow in the way of self giving love. I'm going to pass the cross around - hold it and in your heart recommit to the way of the cross, the way of passion, the way of self giving love.
The candle is the light of the world - Christ has ignited a spark or a fire in us, i invite you to take a candle and light it as a sign that you recommit to being a godbearer, to carry God's light into the world.
We have this nice inward facing circle. This is part of our grace problem. We seem close to God when we are facing inwards. We have fallen for the trap of thinking God is in here. But God is out there. A Great Reversal needs to take place. When we talked about our ethos, one word kept coming up that never made it in to the three but perhaps undergirds them all - risk. Following God is a risk. So finally I'm going to ask you a simple question from the baptism service 'do you turn to Christ?'. As I do respond 'I do' if you'd like to. And as you do turn and face outwards. Then stay for a minute or two in silence facing outwards asking God to lead you and us into the future
Do you turn to Christ? I do