Sunday 20th November

…when we worship with our friends from The Salvation Army.

Now, the Bible tells us that when God made humankind and placed them in a beautiful paradise of a garden – Eden, he put them in charge of taking good care of the earth and everything in it.  Adam and Eve named the animals and began to work with the land.

And ever since then, girls and boys, women and men have enjoyed, not only work but also play. God gave us the ability to invent and make games and toys to help us enjoy ourselves, enjoy life and enjoy growing up and together in our love for each other.

It feels a bit early to mention Christmas, but there you go, I’ve mentioned it!  And I heard a Christmas song played in the Co-Op on Friday!

The tradition of Christmas gifts began with Magi, the Wise Men from the East, who brought Jesus three precious gifts when he was a baby.

At Glenorchy URC and the Salvation Army, people have been bringing along toys and gifts to give to children and young people whose Christmas will be less than we have come to expect for ourselves.  So, we have pooled our resources to share what we can of God’s love in this very practical way – by our loving actions and care.

Gospel Reading   John 15: 12 – 17

[Jesus tells us] ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.  No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command you.  I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.  You did not choose me but I chose you.  And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name.  I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

Let’s remember the one who made us and gave us hearts and minds to love one another, to bear the fruits of love, joy, gentleness, peace and hope – and to have fun; to share and to grow as we play.

Lord God, bless the toys and gifts we have brought to be shared.
Help us be truly grateful for the time you give us to play and
enjoy life.
Help all of our enjoyment, laughter and play to be kind, caring
and sharing.
All that we have bought in love, let it be used to show your love to people in Exmouth
whose lives are a struggle and stress.
Bless the children and families who will receive our gifts with times of joy and good times to remember
In Jesus’ name we pray.   Amen.

Revd Janine Atkinson