Stir–up Sunday with Ignite at St Cedma’s Larne

Tuesday November 27th 2012

Members and leaders of Ignite: Youth Fellowship pictured with the Rector, Archdeacon Stephen Forde (left) and the Curate the Rev Jim Caldwell (right). Photograph: Harry CarterOn Sunday November 25 the Parish of Larne & Inver held a special service to mark ‘Stir–up’ Sunday (Christ the King). 

Stir–up Sunday takes its name from the Collect of the day which begins, ‘Stir–up, we beseech thee, O Lord…’ Traditionally the words of the Collect remind people of the need to prepare for Christmas and ‘stir–up’ their Christmas pudding!

The rector, the Ven Stephen Forde, Archdeacon of Dalriada, led the service and with the help of Ignite Youth Fellowship, the teenagers of the parish made a (delicious!) Christmas pudding in church, while the curate preached!

In his sermon, the Rev Jim Caldwell noted: “Our goal is to communicate key aspects of the Christian faith in a fresh and creative way. This service encourages the congregation to put Christ at the centre of their planning and preparation this Advent season.”

Producing a recipe to challenge and intrigue the congregation, Jim explained that each ingredient of the Christmas pudding represented a key aspect of the Christian faith. As Jim described each ingredient, below, members of the Youth Fellowship prepared each item and added it to the mixing bowl, until the recipe was complete:

• The sultanas & Raisins are essential ingredients in Christmas pudding for each sultana and raisin is special and unique (no two are the same). This reminds us that we are all unique, each is created by God and loved unconditionally by Him.

• The butter & sugar are symbols of richness and goodness. Together the butter and sugar remind us of Jesus and all that is good about Him and how he can bring wholeness and healing if we invite him into our hearts.

• Grated apple refers to the ‘Fall’ and reminds us of the need for Jesus to take away our sin.

• Bread & flour provide the pudding with structure and support. If we give our lives to God and live a Christian life of praying and reading the Bible then he will give us support in all the up’s and downs of life.

• Spice gives the pudding its flavour. If we live for God and become followers of Jesus then God will help us to become the people he intended us to be.

• The lemon zest & juice brings out the flavour of the other ingredients. This ingredient reminds us that God wants to bring out the best in each of us – he wants us to be the people he created us to be, to realise our full potential to serve him and grow his kingdom.

• Beaten egg binds all the ingredients together for this reason eggs remind us of the importance of coming to Church at Christmas to worship as a Church family so that we can be bound together as community of faith to worship God and hear the story of Jesus’ birth.

• The final ingredient, is one of those ingredients we cannot see but we know it’s there! Brandy! The presence of this ‘spirit’ reminds us that we need the Holy Spirit to be at work in our hearts and minds in order to truly celebrate the real reason for the Christmas season.

Jim concluded his sermon with a challenge: “Each time we see or think about Christmas pudding this Advent, remember that we are all equal and precious in the sight of God. That is why Jesus came into the world – to redeem his people.

“Out of love God sent his Son into the world so that nothing could ever separate us from his love. If we give our lives to him he will always be with us and help us to become the people he intended us to be. Allow Jesus to be at the centre of our lives so that we may worship God and keep him at the heart of our preparation for Christmas.”

Following the service the congregation was invited to sample some Christmas pudding in the Parish Hall. For more information, have a look on the Parish Facebook Page: find us on Facebook

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