Sunday 29th November: 1st Sunday in Advent
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.
If you enjoy this web content and don’t already donate to the church by standing order or by church envelope, and you would like to give, you can click on the button below and follow the instructions:
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,)
An Advent Prayer from the Methodist Church
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) the pdf sheet The Vine. You can also watch the (4) All age video today by Niamh, or read (5) the Connexional reflection; or otherwise to come (6) to the church garden to prayer walk the labyrinth or or if nothing else to stay home (7) and simply take time for yourself and reflect on the readings for the day.
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 Niamh thinking about the key verse for this week:
5. or read the reflection from the Methodist Connexional Worship Resources for this week below:
“Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!” So says Isaiah in our Old Testament reading. I wonder how many of us, with what 2020 has thrown at us, would want to say something similar to God, perhaps putting it as “Come on God, get this sorted!” Coronavirus has gone on quite long enough now, many of us are weary, down, fed up.
Isaiah and his people longed to see the coming of God, but were also scared. They feared that the trauma of exile had happened through their own fault- what would God do to them? They go backwards and forwards between hope and fear. In our Gospel reading, we again get a mixed message. “The Son of Man” will return in glory, His followers will share in that glory…but not before some very difficult times. Mark’s readers are also warned to be ready, not to be “caught out” by the coming of the “Son of Man”.
I wonder if today, we also feel a mixture of hope and fear. We want an end to the virus, and the pain, deprivation, sadness and loss it’s brought. We long for a better world, a safer and more peaceful world, for Creation to be healed and restored. Yet we know that living in the way that will build such a world- in God’s way- could be costly. It might mean, for instance, living more simply, or reaching out in love to those whom we don’t like, or don’t like us. We may also struggle to see where God is at work in our world, or in difficult things that are happening to us personally.
Both Isaiah and Mark, in their different ways, say “Wait- and see.” “Wait and see signs of God’s coming, at the end but also every day. Be ready for signs of the Kingdom, for God’s promptings to work for that Kingdom. Know that you are loved, and show that love to others”. This Advent, may we, through whatever we are facing, wait in hope and love. Amen.
Take a time to sit quietly
thought from the connexional resources during the pandemic this week by Judith Lincoln
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
(if you haven’t found them before and are interested for yourself, your children or grandchildren, have a look at the Children’s Page where Millie posts for Young Church every Sunday at 10.30am and there are links to Bishop Auckland Parish and CAFOD children’s worship.
Youth Team Resources
Hope and Millie’s Reflection
Hannah’s Creative Prayer
This week, use the word ‘pray’ to help you pray
P stands for pause. Take a moment to sit in God’s presence.
R is for rejoice/grateful. What do you have to be grateful for this week?
A is for ask. What can you ask God this week, is there anything you may need help or guidance for?
Y is for yield. Surrender to God and let him lead you this week.