Holy Communion for Advent 4 Sunday, 20 December 2020

Preacher: Rt. Revd. David Oakley,
Bishop of Northampton

Celebrant: Revd. Ernesto Lozada-Uzuriaga

Prelude – Improvisation on “Gabriel’s Message”

Introit – Bogoróditsye Dyévo

Composed by Arvo Pärt.

Prayer of the Week

It’s been a year of disturbance
without time or space to settle or rest.
How to make a home for a Saviour in this awkward place?
Lord, may we seek you in doorways or spots we know well.
Keep us ready for discipleship, to go and to tell.

Hymn – The angel Gabriel from heaven came

The Word of The Lord

First Reading – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

Gospel Reading – John 1:6-28

Sermon – Rt. Revd. David Oakley, Bishop of Northampton

Choral Reflection – Nova Nova

Intercessions – Glynne Gordon-Carter

Let us pray: Heavenly Father, this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, we are walking through a series of wilderness experiences which have ruined many lives.

‘Wilderness is the place of Moses
a place of no longer captive and not yet free,
Of letting go and learning new living.
Wilderness is the place of Elijah,
A place of silence and loneliness,
Of awaiting the voice of God and finding clarity.
Wilderness is the place of John,
A place of repenting,
Of taking first steps on the path of peace.
Wilderness is the place of Jesus,
A place of preparation
Of getting ready for the reckless life of faith.
We thank you God, for the wilderness.
Wilderness is our place,
As we wait for the land of promise,
Teach us the ways of new living,
Lead us to where we hear your word most clearly,
Renew us and clear out the wastelands of our lives,
Prepare us for life in the awareness of Christ’s coming
When the desert will sing
And the wilderness will blossom as the rose.‘
(Poem by Francis Brienen).

Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer.

Father God, help us to feel your presence with us in the wilderness, help us not to lose hope or be afraid because you are Emmanuel. You assure us not only of your presence but also of your peace. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”(John 14:27) Father please grant us peace that is not of this world, but of you.

Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer.

Loving God, we read in several of David’s Psalms that he strengthened himself in you and always asked forgiveness of his sins. David experienced your truth, mercy, provision and protection throughout his life. The challenges which we face at this fearful and confused time almost seem insurmountable. Sovereign God, the world is waiting, the world is worrying; but our total trust and hope is in you. Help us to share with others, the Good News of Jesus who has the answer to our worries, and who is sustaining and guiding us through the desert places of our lives. Lord, you have said, ‘I will guide you along the best pathways for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.’ (Psalm 32:7)

Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer.

Our Father, we thank you for the Bible which tells us the Christmas story. Thank you, too, for the writings centuries before, which tell of the coming Saviour and King. Thank you for those who toiled and gave their lives so that we could have the Bible in our own language. Help us to understand your Word and to treasure it as you speak to us from it, preparing our hearts for Christmas.

Lord in your mercy; hear our prayer.


Hymn – Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord

Cornerstone Christmas Appeal

The Cornerstone Christmas Appeal Group invite you to contribute to this year’s Appeal. The Cornerstone Christmas Appeal is a practical expression of the Congregation’s commitment to the outreach mission of our Church. The beneficiaries of our Appeal this year will be Advantage Africa, the YMCA and the Cornerstone Hardship Fund.

Please give as generously as you are able.

Account name: The Ecumenical Partnership of Christ the Cornerstone Milton Keynes.

Metro Bank:

Sort code: 23 05 80
Business account number: 37995851
Please write ‘Cornerstone Appeal’ as the payment reference.

Please make a cheque payable to ‘Church of Christ the Cornerstone’ and post it to:

Cornerstone Appeal
Church of Christ the Cornerstone
300 Saxon Gate West
Milton Keynes   MK9 2ES

(If we already have a gift-aid declaration from you, we will automatically claim gift aid on your donation unless you tell us otherwise.)

Thank you

Holy Communion

Hymn – Lo, he comes with clouds descending

The Advent Blessing

Brothers and sisters, be people of hope,
let hope live in your heart
and share the hope of Christ with all you meet.
Share hope, but noticing someone else’s humanity.
Share hope by listening to someone’s words.
Share hope by praying for our world.

This Advent season we need to see, feel and share hope.
As you go out into  the wonder of God’s creation,
share hope with those you meet.

And the blessing of God Almighty,
the Father,
the Son
and the Holy Spirit
be among you
and remain with you
today and always.


Postlude – Voluntary in D