Sunday 26th December: Boxing Day and St Stephen’s Day
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.
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
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
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
Communication is a sensitive business. It’s easy to get it wrong. So, with a view to the Sunday morning sermon, we preachers struggle to get it right. Every week, after a process of preparation that can include fussing, fretting, fuming, and hair-pulling, we stand at the pulpit and try to speak the word of God. We quote scripture, tell stories, and use poetry. We gesticulate with our hands, stand on our tiptoes, and ask the Holy Spirit for help all in an effort to communicate the mystery and magnificence of the gospel.
Talking though may not always be the best way to communicate. Sometimes, the touch of a hand, or a certain action will communicate a given message far better than a lot of words. Sometimes the best way to communicate a message is to wrap it up in a person, or for us ourselves, to be the message that we are trying to communicate. Showing up at the bedside of a hospitalized friend or spending valued time with my children may speak louder than words.
At Christmas time we remember that love once communicated itself in a special way, not with words but through the birth of a baby. Who would have guessed it? Not with signs of power or in the clothing of royalty but in a baby, born in poverty, did the love God make such a bold and striking impression. Love itself, as it were, showed up in a very odd, very vulnerable, very wonderful form. Could it be that vulnerability and “showing up” are at the heart of what love is, and that all the words in the world are a poor substitute? It is one thing to talk about it or to tell others how they should do it, but it is quite another to make oneself vulnerable and to show up with love in places of need. Could it be that this was the idea that God had in mind when He showed up on that first Christmas morning?
In any case, there is a great need for this love, and wherever it is truly experienced, it is inclined to make quite an impression. Angels sing about it, shepherds rush to see it, and wise-men travel long distances to offer up their gifts of allegiance to it. As for me, and other preachers like me, come Sunday morning, I will still be using words, standing on my tip toes, gesticulating with my hands, and asking the Holy Spirit for help, because of course, it is also good to talk about it
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
StF 213 O little town of Bethlehem
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: