Sunday 19th December: Fourth 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 carols 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 listen to ‘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
I have sometimes had to pick strangers up from the station to take them to various events. I arrive early and wait a little nervously, wondering whether I will spot them easily or miss them entirely. Then, there is the question about what they will be like on the journey – will they be sociable and chatty, silent and hard work, grumpy after a difficult journey? Would they live up to expectations?
The Jews had been waiting for centuries for God’s saviour. Some like Anna and Simeon were alert, ready and waiting, but others must have thought that it would never happen. Many were looking in the wrong
places. They would also have wondered what that Saviour would be like and, again, many had come up with wrong ideas. Where do we look out for Jesus? What do we expect of him? Do we prepare ourselves for him?
Micah had warned that the Saviour would come from insignificant Bethlehem but still most missed God’s blessing.
We might go through dark times and wonder where God’s blessings for us are. We might be desperate for God to show himself to us but, still, we might miss what he has for us because we don’t recognise the source. On the other hand, like Elizabeth, we might not think ourselves worthy of God’s blessing.
A year ago, I went through a very hard time and could see no sign of God’s blessings. I would have screamed at someone who suggested that God had blessings for me. However, I eventually saw odd chinks of light.
The Jews were waiting for a blessing from God. Some hung in there patiently; others gave up. God has blessings for us too. For some of us, they might be a while coming. They might come from unexpected sources and we need to look out for them. However, sooner or later, they will come.
Take a time to sit quietly. If things are good for you at the moment then thank God. If things are hard, you might want to shout out and cry to God. He will listen.
Take a time to sit quietly
thought from the Connexional resources during the pandemic this week by Alan Darlington, local preacher in the Sherwood Forest Circuit
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 last week gave a wonderful image as did dawn with the frost last Sunday 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
Mary did you know – alternative lyrics by Jennifer Henry
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: