Ardoch Parish Church

Sunday 29th November 2020

29th November Order of Service pdf

Download a copy of the Order of service

Ardoch Parish Church and our minister, Rev Mairi Perkins welcomes everyone to this Service celebrating the 1st Sunday in Advent

A short video “Preparing in Hope”

Let us join in prayer

Our first Hymn is : O come O come Emmanuel

Pat Duncan reads from Mark Chapter 13 v 24-37

Hymn: Prepare ye the way of the Lord

Another short video followed by Mairi’s reflection Share the light and bring the outside in

.Psalm 121

I rejoiced with those who said to me,
‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.’

Do you find the first verse of this psalm challenging?

Do you ‘rejoice’ when it’s time to join others for worship?

Do you wait longingly for Sunday to come round each week?

Do you prepare for coming into Gods house knowing all are welcome?

Are you excited about who might be there old friends or strangers?

I know that so often on a Sunday morning I’m rushed and stressed trying to be ready on time, checking emails to make sure nothing has happened overnight in my parishes of Ardoch and Blackford, checking the BBC news to ensure no world events impact on what I say and pray  . Sometimes all my careful planning is gone in the blink of an eye  and that is because it’s never my agenda , it’s always God’s agenda and you must always leave that space to allow God to shine through

Our time of  Advent then becomes about more than just remembering a miraculous birth in the past or anticipating future judgement. It invites us to reflect on what we mean when we say “God is with us”—not then, but now. It challenges us to look for signs of God’s presence in the midst of all this Covid chaos, and whatever else we might expect, to be ready and willing to expect the unexpected. If God can appear among us with the vulnerability of a child or the power of a divine superhero, invisible and silent or heralded by wonders in the heavens, nothing can be ruled out as to where and how the next encounter might be. What is required of us, as it was for the characters in the Christmas stories and for second generation Christians, is to be ever vigilant, ever watchful and ever ready.

The Christmas story is full of the most unlikely characters. As the story is revealed we see that the unimportant people in society  get the starring roles, it appears that the forgotten people are the first to know what has happened. The Christmas story is a story of the unexpected. It is a story that turns the whole world on its head. It’s a story that brings the outside in and we journey with the most unlikely people

“God has scattered those who are proud in their deepest thoughts.

He has brought down rulers from their thrones.

But he has lifted up people who are not considered important.

He has filled with good things those who hunger”

We are to live fully in the present, but with an awareness that everything could change at any moment. We are to be ready for God’s slipping in among us quietly and unnoticed or bursting into our lives at the most unexpected time and place. We all need to be ready so that we are not caught out, not ashamed or terrified if the baby next door, the Big Issue seller, neighbour or stranger, child or homeless person, turns out to be Immanuel, “God with us”.

So join me over these next few weeks as we journey through Advent, meet the people and see how we can shine Christ’s light in our village this Advent and bring those on the outside into  the story of Christ’s birth


Let us pray for others and ourselves

Creator God,

we bring our prayers from a world

in deep distress.

There are signs and portents all around us,

and no-one to tell us what they mean:

fires and plagues and pestilence;

a shaking up of all we thought we knew;

leaders who are corrupt, or foolish,

or just as helpless as we all feel

in the face of forces we cannot control.

And yet we dare to believe that it is your world.

We go on asserting that you care,

not just because to do otherwise

is unthinkable, but because

the old stories have a hold on us and we hold on to them.

We kneel with shepherds and sages

by the straw-filled crib and we worship.

We listen, spellbound, to the stories

told on hilltop and sandy shore, and we are hooked.

We watch, aghast, as softly

the agony ends, and the final breath escapes.

We grieve and we despair.

We wake early and we wonder

if maybe, just maybe,

new hope may come with the dawn.

God of birth and growth, decline and death,

God of whatever came before

and whatever may come after

the brief, troubled lives that we know,

we commit to your care and keeping

our lives and our loved ones…


our world and our worries on its behalf…


We long for you to come and save us.

May we be ready when you do.


We are delighted the Hot Chocolate Club members are contributing each week to The Story and this week’s script is for four voices and entitled Three Pictures Three Stories

Our closing hymn: Make way Make way for the King of Kings

Graham Kendrick