The readings for the International Carol service follow the classic 9 lessons and carols format – as used by King's college Cambridge and through the readings you hear the great sweep of the biblical narrative rehearse the story of Christmas. I simply added the pictures (by He Qi - the Chinese artist from Nanjing) and the titles.
Lesson 1 Gen 3 'Love’s labour’s lost' Adam and Eve
The relationship with the creator is broken and lost and there is no longer access to life
Lesson 2 Gen 22 Abraham - 'love for the nations'
Abraham's readiness to give his son as a sign of God’s desire to restore relationship and bless all nations (even the welsh!)
Lesson 3 Isaiah 9 'Love is given' - n
a child is born and son is given - 'the wonderful counsellor, Mighty God, everlasting father prince of peace'
Lesson 4 Isaiah 11 'Vision of love'
God’s spirit – his being - resting upon him. a spirit of wisdom and undestanding. God's spirit upon him
Lesson 5 Luke 1 Mary: Love’s vessel
Mary's submission to God's will - becoming a vessel - openness to Love
Lesson 6 Luke 2 Bethlehem Love is born
where Christ is born at a moment in history BC/AD the dividing point of history. Emmanuel God with us = the incarnation = God became flesh.
Lesson 7 Luke 2 Shepherds: 'watching for Love'
Humanity (ordinary shephers) waiting/watching for Love - Angels appear and proclaim ‘Peace on Earth’. They are the first on the scene, eager to see and experience peace
Lesson 8 Matt 2 Magi: 'wandering for Love'
Wise men - astrologers -seeking earnestly after God and real seekers of truth eventually find him in unexpected places – led by a star and though a dream!
Lesson 9 John 1 Jesus: 'God’s final word of Love'
Jesus showed us what God is all about - became one of us so we could become children of God.
Postscript Rev 3:20 Behold I stand at the door and knock
if anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come into him and dine with him and he with me Rev 3:20 The Divine invitation for all humanity - to be a guest, at a party, a meal a banquet.
Which is why I like the song ONE LOVE by playing for change – a picture of all humanity joining in the song and celebrating. and I suppose that is what Christmas is about - a celebration of Oneness. And of Divine Love.
One love: One heart by Bob Marley
Is there a place for the hopeless sinner Who has hurt all mankind just to save his own?
So when the Man comes there will be no more doom ....
There ain't no hiding place from the Father of Creation....
Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right, Let's get together and feel all right'