Once in Royal David’s City

We’re at Sanctum talking about music in worship. After a conversation writing Mary’s Lullaby, Ruth mentioned Once in Royal David’s City to one of the other delegates. I was going to share it in the Sanctum group and discovered it had slipped through the cracks.

So here it is. A slight rewrite of Once in Royal David’s city to give it a bit more meat.

Once in Royal David’s City

Once in royal David’s city, stood a lowly cattle shed,

Where a mother laid her baby in a manger for His bed.

Mary’s courage brought to birth, Jesus, Saviour of the earth

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He came down to earth from heaven, who is God and Lord of all

And His shelter was a stable and His cradle was a stall

With the poor and mean and lowly, lived on earth our Saviour holy

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For he is the promised Saviour, bringing freedom, love and peace

Comfort for the broken-hearted, ever shall our joys increase!

In the darkness of this night, comes the Everlasting Light.

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Not in that poor lowly manger, in a home in Bethlehem

We shall see Him, but in glory, in the new Jerusalem!

When creation is restored, there we’ll dwell with Christ our Lord!

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Lamb of God Children’s Activities

I’ve just been in ASDA and they’re selling sheep finger puppets for a pound. They also have sheep bags and baskets for £1.50.   

Go and sort out all of your Easter toddler worship needs!  

Consumerism

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Tim just shared this on Facebook. It’s brilliant. I now need to find out where it comes from.

Is Christianity Weird?

Who would have thought Milton Jones was so sensible?

If you don’t have it already, buy his book.

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Welcome to Church

The Church of England has recently published a guide to the “Top Ten Facts About Christenings“. It is a starter for ten for people making enquiries about their local church and “getting little Timmy ‘done'”.It seems to have picked the same scab that The Weddings Project picked for a lot of vicars….. it educates people about their rights (something vicars don’t like to admit people have) and their responsibilities (something many vicars insist people should be born with pre installed like iOS6).

I am not a cradle Anglican. I may have mentioned this once or twice. I wasn’t even a churchgoer. I grew up with the belief that The Church TM didn’t have anything to do with ‘people like me’. In all honesty, the church treated me like a pariah when I was a teenager with a Helloween patch on the back of my denim jacket – I managed to attend for 5 weeks. When I arrived at university this is what I told Ruth: The church does not want people like me in it. The David Mitchell portrayal of the Evil Vicar isn’t just a cultural stereotype, it is often the real lived experience of a first time enquirer.

“Hello, are you the vicar? I am just ringing to ask about booking a venue…..”

There are two responses to this phone call:

a) [a brusk] It isn’t as simple as that! You are not simply booking a venue…
b) Congratulations. That’s great. Let’s have a chat about how we can help you celebrate the gift of a new child/celebrate the love you have for each other as you come together in holy matrimony…

I have sat in a room and watched both of these happen. I know which one I picked up as good practice.

The Church TM is a daunting experience for those of us you refer to as ‘unbelievers’. Walking through that door for the first time is a real challenge. If your first instinct is to trip someone up on their way in for the first time you will probably never see them again and neither will anyone else.

There is a massive theological issue at stake here. Jesus is the incarnate God who had a table ministry. He welcomed everyone in. Regardless of their religious literacy. Regardless of their knowledge of canon law or the parish system. Regardless of whether they had the language to ask for a service rather than a booking.

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“I didn’t realise we could get married in church vicar”. Happy to help.
“Can we have Timmy done?” Why don’t you meet me and the church wardens on Sunday and we’ll help you along the way?
“Will I be able to bring my son with me, he’s got Asperger’s so he may not be the most well behaved.” That’s fine, everyone is welcome here. If we can cope with a noisy vicar like me I’m sure we can cope with a little noise. After all, some famous guy said ‘let the little children come to me’.

Mission Statements and Clergy Burnout

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Not sure there is much more to add.  Thanks to @LayAnglicana who had a link to this.

Sheldon’s Grace

As we’re doing children’s prayers and graces, here’s Sheldon Cooper doing grace with his mother.

By His hand, we are all fed.
Give us Lord, our daily bread.
Please know that we are truly grateful,
For every cup and every plateful.
Amen.

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