December 30, 2018




Once grown, the baby enters manhood.
He has questions rising within him,
Questions of the sacred and the everyday,
questions of meaning and reason.
We have questions too – are they about what really matters?

PROCESSIONAL HYMN ‘Our delight is in the living’
Words: © Susan Jones 2014-2015 &2018. Tune: Praise my Soul
Our delight is in the broadness
of the world dawn brings to sight;
Harbour, beach and islands’ structure,
plain and hilltop, mountains’ might;
Thanks be given for nature’s beauty,
celebrate each new day’s light.

Our delight is in the living
of each moment every day,
working, playing, walking, sleeping,
being family, straight, bi, gay;
Grace be given for every minute,
wisdom for each interplay.

Our delight is in the creatures
sharing with us this our place,
moths and birds with stunning markings,
dolphins moving with sweet grace;
Thanks be given for all creation,
celebrate each life, each space.

Our delight is in the loving
of each other as we may;
Searching, finding, liking, loving,
talking, listening on the way;
Thanks be given for our affections,
celebrate them night and day.

Kia ora tatou.
Kia ora.


JESUS PRAYER Jim Cotter paraphrase on card


The children may return to sit with family or stay at the front of the church and use the activity bags.
We bless you. Amen.

Feel free to pass the peace with those nearby or move to greet others further away. Passing the peace consists of shaking hands and saying “Peace be with you.” The response is “Peace be with you” or just “And with you.” Or, simply saying “Hello” is a good idea. Also feel free to simply observe if you wish!


Gospel Luke 2: 21-40

HYMN ‘We look for signs’
From Singing a New Song Year ‘B’: Words © George Stuart
Music: Winchester Old WOV 223 (i)
We look for signs that give us hope
And rescue us from woes
And Simeon looked for these times
Relief from Israel’s foes

Salvation promised long ago
Was what he longed to see
He sensed, with Jesus in his arms,
His dreams had come to be.

And Anna, in the temple court,
Prayed every day and night;
She spoke of Jesus as God’s sign
In whom they could delight.

Be where can we see hopeful signs
Of God at work today?
It surely is in deeds of love,
When mercy’s on display

When we are willing to forgive
And let compassion reign,
We then release these godly signs –
Unveiling God’s domain

Gospel Luke 2: 41-52

Contemporary reading ‘Fresh breeze’
by Susan Jones
You had been a priest in the temple
for God knows how many years.
You enjoyed the cut and thrust of theological debate
though sometimes you caught yourself wondering
if that was all there was to it -
was there not maybe some freshness deep down;
which you were all missing?

Then he arrived, this young boy,
all of a dozen years old, asking his questions;
questions arrowing straight to the heart,
finding and releasing that freshness -
or did he bring it with him?
an energising breeze
blowing down through the world
through him, into you.
Either way it was glorious.

For the Word in scripture, for the Word among us,
for the Word within us, we give thanks

REFLECTION ‘After the beginning, then what?’ Susan Jones

HYMN COC 13 (ii) Come in, come in, New Year’
Words © 1996 Shirley Erena Murray. Music © 1996 Ian Render
(Music next page)

Come in, come in, New Year
With shining summer day!
Your promise calls us here
To celebrate and pray
Through January’s open door
To stride with hopeful step once more

Come in, New Year, and sell
Your wares of chance and change:
Engage us with your spell
To risk and re-arrange,
To feel the Spirit’s impulse beat,
To follow down a different street.

For though December dies,
still Christmas keeps the light,
The hope in children’s eyes
The star that shatters night;
Now Simeon and Anna see
The child who rules all time to be.

The calendar of Christ
Will mark the seasons’ turn,
His story claim our trust,
His love be ours to learn.
For all the world, for young and old,
We pray a year of peace unfold

AFFIRMATION (optional)

We believe in the search for the sacred
whether we might find it in the temple
through elderly prophet,
a young boy’s questions,
or within our own hearts.

We believe in reaching deep down within us
for that which refreshes our spirit,
renews our hope and comes on earth

We believe that
without this deep sense of centredness
we cannot be truly present to this world
and show the compassion it needs right now.

So we will continue to search
for how the sacred is being shown
to us
and to all
in this, our time.

We recognise and bless the gifts brought to the table, and those which wing
their way electronically from our banks to the church’s account.
These gifts we bring out of duty and obligation, but also with love,
and with the prayer that both food and money will achieve their
purposes and extension of compassion in the world
So may it be

People share notices and visitors are welcomed. If you have a notice, please move to the front row, ready to speak briefly from the lectern.
For the benefit of newcomers, please introduce yourself before you begin.


We think today of the people of Laos and the Buddhist people in Laos and throughout the world. In New Zealand, we remember those in Parliament, and today we name Peeni Henare (Tāmaki Makaurau electorate) and Harete Hipango (Whanganui electorate). Here in the Central Presbytery, we pray for the leaders and people of Foxton-Shannon Co-operating Church.


HYMN WOV 669 ‘I am the light of the world’
Words & Music © 1969 Jim Strathdee. Music (Admin. by Desert Flower Music)
I am the light of the world!
You people come and follow me!
If you follow and love
you'll learn the mystery
of what you were meant to do and be.

1. When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the magi and the shepherds
Have found their way home,
The work of Christmas is begun.

2. To find the lost and lonely one
To heal the broken soul with love,
To feed the hungry children
With warmth and good food,
To feel the earth below, the sky above!

3. To bring hope to every task you do,
To dance at a baby's new birth,
To make music in
An old person's heart,
And sing to the colour of the earth!



THANK YOU David Dobson
Our Musician today
Unless otherwise stated all hymns are used by permission CCLI Licence 341550
Words/music to new hymns and gathering statement, prayers and affirmation are original unless acknowledged. If Susan Jones is the worship leader any liturgy will have been written by her. These words can be used in other worship and small group situations without seeking permission. Please acknowledge the source.

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