Worship at Home

Worship for 29th November 2020

First Sunday of Advent

To listen to the sermon and a hymn dial

01604 266000.

Sunday 29th November 10:30 AM

(or whenever you wish)

This week’s message has been prepared by Local Preacher John Atkin.

This short act of worship is for use from home.  Pause to settle yourself in God’s presence, knowing that other people are sharing in worship with you.

Download the Family Activities

You might like to have a candle ready and light it at the beginning of the Prayer of Hope

Opening Prayer

Lord of the light, Lord of the darkness,
Lord of the day, Lord of the night,
call us to you,
whether we are happy or sad,
whether we are ready or not,
call us to you, to be renewed by You,
“Name above all names”,
the name of our maker,
who made us, and who shapes us
to be vessels of light in waiting times.
Come, let us worship.
Let us worship the “Name Above All Names”

Amen.

STF 354 Jesus is the name we honour

Jesus is the name we honour;
Jesus is the name we praise.
Majestic name above all other names,
the highest Heaven and Earth proclaim
that Jesus is our God.

We will glorify, we will lift him high,
we will give him honour and praise,
we will glorify, we will lift him high,
we will give him honour and praise.

Jesus is the name we worship;
Jesus is the name we trust.
He is the King above all other kings,
let all creation stand and sing
that Jesus is our God.
We will glorify…

Jesus is the Father’s splendour;
Jesus is the Father’s joy.
He will return to reign in majesty,
and every eye at last will see
that Jesus is our God.
We will glorify…

A Prayer of Hope (Advent Candle)

As we gather today,
Let us in our own homes
light a candle of hope,
knowing that in dark times
there is always a light that can be lit.

Let us, people in dusk and dawn,
light the light of vigilance,
knowing that God is always calling us
to justice, mercy, humility and love –
at this time of year, and all times of the year.

Because you know what is most important:
Justice, Mercy, Humility, and Love.

Amen.

Bible Reading

24 ‘But in those days, following that distress,

‘“the sun will be darkened,
    and the moon will not give its light;
25 the stars will fall from the sky,
    and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.”

26 ‘At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.

28 ‘Now learn this lesson from the fig-tree: as soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. 30 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

The day and hour unknown

32 ‘But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard! Be alertc]”>[c]! You do not know when that time will come. 34 It’s like a man going away: he leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.

35 ‘Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back – whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the cock crows, or at dawn. 36 If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: “Watch!”’

Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Bible Reading

Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

A Reflection for the first Sunday in Advent

Today is the start of Advent; The advent of something means that it’s finally here. You might be waiting for the advent of a new iPhone or for the advent of a vaccine to combat Covid. Advent to Christians and non-Christians today is a season marking the preparation for and celebration of Christmas in all its forms, weather it is to celebrate the birth of Jesus the Christ or just for a time to get the family together and have a good party.

In this passage from Mark Jesus is talking about an advent his second coming, to grab the attention of his disciples He starts by using imagery and language which everyone would know at this time to describe the “Day of the Lord” that all Jews were waiting for so that they would be great again as in King David’s day. So when we read these words of Jesus about the second coming, we must remember that he is giving us neither a map of eternity nor a timetable to the future He is simply using the language and the pictures that many Jews knew and used for centuries before him. The one thing that we must remember is the fact that Jesus did foretell that he would come again and that His words will last for ever. The imagery I believe we can disregard but what He taught we must never disregard. “ Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away”

Jesus goes on to tell us don’t try working out when I am going to come again it’s a waste of your time, just live according to my teaching, if you take this passage further everything except Jesus’s teaching is up for destruction. There have been lots of events in history that have left people feeling hopeless. At the moment Covid-19 as seemed to be a hopeless situation, but all of a sudden hope seems to be just around the corner, an advent season awaiting a vaccination, all of a sudden, we have people smiling on the news, people seem a little more upbeat about the future. People are staying awake, watching and wondering, when will they get the vaccination. This world at last as hope to combat Covid.

Paul in his letter to the Christians in Corinth who are wondering if they can hold true  to the end, tells them and us that we have been given all we need to stay faithful through Jesus in fact we are blessed with everything we need to stay faithful and keep waiting for that day when Jesus Christ will be revealed to us, because God who called us into fellowship with him through Jesus is faithful to us.

So, this Advent how are you getting ready to celebrate the first coming of Jesus the Christ in that stable in Bethlehem have you made a list of all the things you have to do, all the presents you have to buy, and shall we see our loved ones this Christmas. Through the fog of getting ready for the25th have you spared a thought about the ultimate Advent; Christ coming again and are you prepared? We can be prepared by keeping to the best of our ability faithful to Jesus Christs teaching, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away”.

Let us pray for others

When God seems distant, Lord Jesus help us and others to stay faithful and hopeful when situations seem hopeless. Come Lord Jesus
Come Lord Jesus and shine your light on our lives.

Lord Jesus, light of the world, on those who are grieving:
Come Lord Jesus and shine your light on their grief.

On those who are in despair:
Come Lord Jesus and shine your light on their despair

On those who are held as slaves:
Come Lord Jesus and shine your light on their slavery.

On those who are homeless:
Come Lord Jesus and shine your light on their homelessness

On all who struggle:
Come Lord Jesus and shine your light on their struggles.

On all your people: shine your light,
that we may become lights in your world.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer:

Our Father…

Hymn: Christ alone Cornerstone

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly trust in Jesus name

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly trust in Jesus name

Christ alone, cornerstone
Weak made strong in the Saviour’s love
Through the storm
He is Lord, Lord of all

When darkness seems to hide His face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil
My anchor holds within the veil

Christ alone, cornerstone…

Blessing

And now may the God of hope
Fill us with all joy and peace in believing,
That we may abound in hope
In the power of the Holy Spirit
And Jesus Christ:

Light in our darkness, hope in our despair,
be with us in this week ahead.

Amen.

Why not put your candle in the window every Sunday evening throughout Advent!

Please see below for important information.

Today’s worship materials prepared by

John Atkin, Local Preacher, Northampton Circuit

Formatting Rev. Phil Snelson

Webpage: Paul Deakin

Follow Me Advent Leaflet

Click the button below to download our list of daily Advent readings. We encourage you to do a 10-15 minute “mini-retreat” each day. Read the nominated passage, think about what you have read, maybe making a few notes, and then spend a few minutes in prayer.

Christmas Countdown

Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds

Church Services in December

Following the end of the national COVID-19 lockdown on Wednesday, services in our churches will resume next Sunday. Please see the Circuit Plan for further details.

Our Worship at Home services will continue every week so you are invited to worship online whether or not you also attend a church service. Please share the link to the online services with anyone that you know that might value them.

Finally, we are pleased to announce that there will be two additional Worship at Home services in the days before Christmas:

On Tues 22nd December Deacon Richard Beckett will lead a Christingle Service.

On Christmas Eve Rev Romeo Pedro and Rev Phil Snelson will lead a Carol Service.