Sunday 2nd January: 2nd Sunday of Christmas and Covenant Sunday
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
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:
This is paused for this week
6. or read the reflection from the Methodist Connexional Worship Resources for this week below:
Time to Reflect
Today’s Gospel Reading: John 1:10-18
The second Sunday of Christmas.
When this passage is introduced as the final reading in a festival of lessons and carols its content, particularly verse 14, is described as “the great mystery of the incarnation”, namely that the child born to Mary is none other than the God who created the world.
But I’m struck by another mystery stated in verses 10-11, that neither the world nor even the particular people whom God had long prepared for the event recognised him when he came. For it is our ongoing experience that despite centuries of Christian influence for the great good of our quality of life the vast majority of the people around us do not accept the claim that God in Christ makes upon their lives.
Covenant Sunday emphasises the great gulf between those of us who see a new year as an ideal time to confess our failures to fully live out that claim upon us and to pledge ourselves afresh to the covenant, and all the
others who pack away Jesus with the Christmas decorations until next December.
The reason many reject Jesus is because God as a human being looks so different from the god people wrongly expect him to be.
Think for a while about the expectations of Jesus’s Jewish contemporaries, and about how people today imagine God to be and to act. How do these ideas differ from the truth about God?
Wrong expectation is not something we are immune from when once we have recognised God in Jesus. He himself reminded us, in his picture of the sheep and the goats, that he comes to us in the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the sick and the prisoner. There will be many who say to him at the judgement, ‘Lord when did we see you in need and do nothing for you?’ You know his reply.
May we not once in this new year fail to recognise him because we are looking in the wrong places.
Take a time to sit quietly
A time of prayer
When you feel ready speak aloud the covenant prayer:
I am no longer my own but yours.
wherever you may place me,
in all that I do and in all that I may endure;
when there is work for me
and when there is none;
when I am troubled and when I am at peace. Your will be done when I am valued
and when I am disregarded;
when I find fulfilment and when it is lacking;
when I have all things,
and when I have nothing
I willingly offer all I have and am
to serve you, as and where you choose.
Glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
you are mine and I am yours.
May it be so for ever.
Let this covenant now made on earth
be fulfilled in heaven. Amen
Continue praying silently or in whatever words come for:
· the church worldwide and locally
· the world’s peoples and leaders
· those who are sick. sad or in need
· those you know who do not recognise Jesus as their Saviour and Lord
A prayer of blessing
May the covenant love of God
be our daily strength,
the saving grace of our brother Jesus
inspire our own loving actions,
and the life-giving Spirit empower us
to achieve far beyond our expectations
as we embrace the opportunities of this new year.
thought from the Connexional resources during the pandemic this week by Stephen Mosedale
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 549 Come let us use the Grace Divine
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: