Sunday 9th January: 1st Sunday of Ordinary and marking Epiphany
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:
Or for Epiphany, the readings are: Isaiah 60.1-6; Psalm 72.1-7,10-14; Ephesians 3.1-12; Matthew 2.1-12
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
In a world where even elected governments cling to power with an arrogance that is sometimes breathtaking, our reading today shows both John and Jesus modelling a humility that challenges all our assumptions.
John’s ministry has reached out across the land. Everyone from the labourer in the field to King Herod has been affected. His message didn’t pull any punches and it brought many people to the Jordan in search of baptism … in search of cleansing and a new beginning. The whole experience filled them with expectation and hope. Who is this man? Could he … is it possible … could he actually be the Messiah?
John could have let them go on speculating and quietly basked in the glory, but instead he replies, ‘not I … I’m not worthy to untie the thong on his sandals … but he is coming and you need to be ready.’
And so, in the closing days of John’s ministry, Jesus comes to the Jordan asking to be baptised. He, who was so much greater and holier than John in John’s eyes, submitted himself to John’s ministry and accepted the baptism of repentance and cleansing.
Humility is something that we often get wrong. It’s not thinking of yourself as the
lowest of the low or assuming that everyone is better than you. We’re all called by God and humility is about having a right sense of yourself and of your calling. It’s about knowing when God is calling you to submit and when God is calling you to stand your ground … when to speak and when to be silent … even when that makes you vulnerable. Neither John nor Jesus was afraid to speak up and be heard when their ministry required it, but neither of them was willing to step outside of their calling and promote themselves in the eyes of the people.
‘Blessed are the poor in Spirit,’ Jesus taught us … or as one edition of the New English Bible puts it, ‘How blest are those who know their need of God; the kingdom of Heaven is theirs.’ (Mt 5:1)
Take a time to sit quietly
thought from the Connexional resources during the pandemic this week by Mary G Elms
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 231 The Silent Stars shine down on us
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: