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Related Bible reading(s): Zephaniah 3.14-20; Luke 3.7-18

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Ways to present the readings


All age act of worship Session

Zephaniah 3.14-20

The usual music used for the hymn, ‘Sing aloud, loud, loud!’ (first line: God is love: his the care) is Personent Hodie – a very old medieval song. It is said to have been originally published in 1582, but a very similar tune exists in a 1360 manuscript – and it is, presumably, at least a little older than that. Using such an ancient and long-established piece of music might be a way of expressing that taking joy in God is a steadfast, long-lasting and ongoing part of our faith. Sing the hymn or listen to a recording of it. Then listen to the reading from Zephaniah.


Luke 3.7-18

Ask some volunteers to read out an example of a modern-day job and a short phrase that describes that job if it is done well. For example: ‘Nurse/doctor – offers patients the care that they themselves would wish to receive if they were the patient,’ or ‘Teacher – always looks for the child who needs extra support, even while 30 others clamour for attention’. Or you could be a little more tongue-in-cheek: ‘Builder – always 100% accurate when estimating the time and budget for a job’ or ‘Postie – treats every delivery as if it was a personal gift from them’. After a couple of examples, invite people to suggest other jobs and ‘ideal’ descriptions. Ask people: How do these compare with what John says about two jobs in today’s Gospel reading? Then read the passage.

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