Sunday 28th November: First Sunday in Advent
Listen to the service as a radio broadcast on 105.9 BishopFM just after the 11am Sunday morning news, or stream it at 11am on the website through YouTube – See below…
Below you can find the radio podcast if you can’t listen on 105.9 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
This Week’s YouTube broadcast
(live at 11am, at the same time as the radio broadcast, 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 or 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, or (4) the District Worship at Home resources or (5) watch ‘Politics in the Pulpit’ a resource from JPIT, or read (6) the Connexional reflection; or otherwise to come (7) to the church garden to prayer walk the labyrinth or or if nothing else to stay home (8) 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 at home sheet
3. or read the VINE worship at home sheet which MWiB are supporting this year
4. or consider the Darlington Methodist District’s Worship at Home resource page:
5. or watch ‘Politics in the Pulpit’, a resource from JPIT (Joint Public Issues Team) looking at how issues in politics today can be considered in the light of today’s lectionary passages:
6. or read the reflection from the Methodist Connexional Worship Resources for this week below:
Time to Reflect
Jesus employs a momentous image that suggests effects on the cosmic order expressing an embodiment of threat to humanity, hence calling for immediate response and action. The climate crisis at present is a huge global justice issue the world faces. God’s people are called upon in these opening verses of Luke chapter 21 to stand up and lift their heads up. Their voices need to be heard. There is an urgent need for a collective joint action.
More importantly it’s worth noting that a few months ago there were extreme weather conditions resulting in many communities around the world being displaced by water or living in severe drought. In some instances, lives have been lost and homes and farms destroyed. According to the Methodist global relationship news, there are several people who continue to be pushed back into poverty and the ‘damage on creation is accelerating’. There are many other parts of the world affected by conflict, war and use of biological chemical weapons that severely affect the environment; threatening food security and the health of those communities.
The gospel of Luke welcomes us to contemplate on these emerging threats but with hope and joyful expectation in preparedness for our redemption in Christ’s return. Christ loves creation that is restored and in peace. The prayer is then to live in the words of the hymn, ‘’when you come with shout of acclamation, and take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
The central message for this advent is to be watchful and in continuous prayer. When times decide to be tough and perilous, we are encouraged to surrender to the will of the almighty. In the words of the hymn, will your Anchor hold….
Advent is a time of hope, mixed with joyful expectation. The invite in Verse 27 demonstrates a momentous period of staring up into the gaze of the messianic coming, for liberation which humanity has been waiting for.! There will be no secret for the return of Christ. His arrival will be witnessed by the world at large. The things that have happened that have brought about several anxieties will be overshadowed by the joy of advent. God’s children will be able to hold their heads up high. I guess that is why Jesus introduces the parable of the fig tree in Verses 29-30 which in my opinion is a powerful theological image of a new world in line with Christ’s messianic reign in this fragile world of our time. In such a distressful times Jesus draws our attention to offer us an opportunity to enter more deeply into the joyful mystery that lies at its heart: God becoming human in the birth of Jesus Christ. It is in waiting and in prayer, that we can enter God’s presence and ask Him to prepare our hearts the way He prepared all of history to receive the gift of His Son. Ask the father to use this time during Advent to cut away the distractions and make your life a place of warmth and openness; a ray for openness to the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
Pray for a genuine awareness of God’s grace in your life and the humility to extend grace to others. Pray for a passion to pursue justice.
Take a time to sit quietly
thought from the Connexional resources during the pandemic this week by Francis M’Itiiri
7. 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. The garden is looking autumnal as our local biodiversity gardening group (come and join them on a Wednesday morning) along with Cultivate4life team are working on it on a Wednesday morning. The lighting at dusk this week gave a wonderful image as did dawn with the frost this morning.
8. 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’s Images for the week
Hope, Millie and Hannah have now left the Youth Team to go to pastures new – see what they are up to by look at the Youth Worship Team page, and see what Connor, Abbie and Niamh are doing as they form this year’s continuing Youth Team. However, Hope has left us behind images for every Sunday of the 3-year lectionary cycle. See her images for this lectionary Sunday below
Niamh’s Hymn for this week
StF 172 Hills of the North Rejoice
Rebekah’s image of the week
Rebekah is a member of Sunday@3 and enjoys photography… She is offering her photos to help us reflect each week: