Sunday 15th November: 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Listen to the service as a radio broadcast on 105.9 BishopFM at 11am Sunday morning, or stream it at 11am on the website through YouTube [and join in with hymn-singing for 15 minutes beforehand].
Below you can find the radio podcast if you can’t listen on BishopFM and also the YouTube video stream, which will go live at 11am on Sunday. You will also see the regular extras including the video of Susan’s sermon.
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Radio podcast for 105.9BishopFM
(live at 11am, at the same time as the radio broadcast, on Sunday 15th November, and available here after that, with 15 minutes of hymns to join in with beforehand,)
If you haven’t listened to the audio or video services above, and wish to read the lectionary readings before considering these further worship resources for this week, follow this link to biblegateway.com for this week’s Bible readings from:
Don’t forget that you can also tune into the website here every day of the week to listen to church friends sharing daily reflections, including Bible readings and inspiration… or get them on the telephone on 01388 436810… do join us!
As we continue to worship online, we have a pick and mix approach to this sermon slot. You can choose to listen to (1) Susan’s sermon as we have had through lockdown. Today you might also choose to look at (2) the pdf sheet from Roots or (3) no all age video today, or (4) the Connexional reflection or otherwise to come (5) to the church garden to prayer walk the labyrinth or or if nothing else to stay home (6) and simply take time for yourself and reflect on the readings you have just read and heard.
1. If you would like to listen to a sermon for today by Local Preacher Susan Thorne, click on the video below
2. or you might choose to click on the image below to go to the pdf rootsontheweb adult sheet with further thoughts on these readings
3. or read the VINE worship sheet which MWiB are supporting this year:
4. or watch an all age video by Connor and Abbie thinking about the key verse for this week:
5. or read the reflection from the Methodist Connexional Worship Resources for this week below:
Time to Reflect
I used to work for a company where every month we were visited by a mystery shopper. There used to be quite a lot of anxiety amongst certain staff around the time this visit may occur. When exactly would they come? How would we be rated? Our boss had us doing lots of extra tasks to prepare. However, I was never that worried, thinking if we were behaving as we should be, we would have nothing to be concerned about.
One of the questions concerning the people in Thessalonica, who Paul is writing to, is ‘when will the day of the Lord come?‘
Paul replies, ‘about times and dates we do not need to write to you’, that day ‘will come like a thief in the night’ (1 Thess 5: 1-2).
However, for those who are living in the way God has guided them, ‘this light will not come like a searchlight to reveal the sins done under the cover of darkness’, but like the light of a new day (Howard Marshall, 2011, p1283).
The Thessalonians focus should not be on trying to predict this day, but living as children of light. In my job the mystery shopper came to assess how we were treating all customers. It wouldn’t have done the company any good if we had only treated the mystery shopper well. It was the many other customers every day that would be speaking to their family and friends and at risk of not returning.
How we treat all people, how we live our lives on a daily basis, amidst the challenges and competing values of the world, matters.
The church in Thessalonica was relatively new. Paul had to leave after only three preaching sessions due to mob violence from those who opposed his teachings.
The new believers were living during a time of persecution. There is the military image of being awake and on watch, but here, ‘peace and security’, a slogan sometimes associated with imperial Roman rule, is not brought about through military might and threat of violence, which only brings fragile peace. Rather the Thessalonian’s are to put on the defensive breastplate and helmet of faith, hope and love (Roots Nov – Dec 2020). They are to live as a contrast society. They are to live the Jesus way.
Our Gospel reading is also set at a time where the values of God’s’ kingdom are clashing with the values of the world.
This parable is told two days before the Passover festival in what we now call Holy Week, where the story reaches its climax and Jesus himself brings about peace, not through violence but through the way of the cross.
Jesus, firstly is offering a challenge to his own day, a time where he is forcing a final confrontation between God’s kingdom and the system that had resisted it.
The third slave could be seen as representing the Pharisees, who had been given the Law of Moses, the Temple, and the command to share God’s blessing and yet had kept the light to themselves. The other slaves can be seen as those who take the good news of God’s kingdom they have been entrusted with, share it and act to help it grow (Wright, 2004).
Take a time to sit quietly
thought from the connexional resources during the pandemic this week by by Rachel Atkinson
6. or take a walk to the church garden and pray as you walk around the labyrinth there, silently listening to God as you travel inwards to the cross at the centre and then back outwards again into the world. Enjoy the autumn leaves as you go! The path is still visible, if you kick the leaves out of the way.
7. and/or sit quietly and reflect on the prayers, readings and thoughts here and listen for what God might be saying to you through them
Youth Team Resources
Hope and Millie’s Reflection
Hannah’s Creative Prayer
God promises to provide rest for the weary and to comfort those who place their burdens in his care. Today, find a comfortable place to sit and spend some time resting silently in God’s presence. Let your daily concerns go or name them in prayer and give them over to God. If you are able, when you feel ready stand up, leave your burdens with God and trust him for the strength you need.