Sunday 6th March: First Sunday in Lent
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 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
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
If something is said to be ‘beyond a shadow of a doubt’ the speaker is certain that it is true, with no possibility of ambiguity. Jesus has just been baptised by his cousin, John. The heavens have opened, and the Holy Spirit has descended on him like a dove. The Father’s voice comes from heaven, ‘You are my beloved Son; in you I delight’ (Luke 3:22). There is no doubt of the identity of Jesus! Beyond a shadow of a doubt indicates that something is not merely without doubt but without even the smallest, most insubstantial scrap of doubt. Have you ever been so sure of something and then someone casts a shadow of doubt over the surety? There are times
when a person can be so convincing that we even begin to doubt in what was otherwise a strong belief.
Jesus is full of the Holy Spirit, but the devil approaches him as He is wandering in the wilderness, hungry and tired. Just over a month before, Jesus heard His Father’s voice. Now another voice was emerging out of the wilderness, trying to penetrate Jesus’ core. Two times, the devil uses the phrase, ‘If you are the Son of God?’ Deep down, Jesus knows that He is the Son of God and because He knows that He is the Son of God, He would be able to turn the stone into bread and throw himself down from the parapet of the temple. But this is a power play situation. Jesus has the power, but it’s not God whose asking Him to display His power. In fact, the glory would not go to God but to the tempter if Jesus succumbed. Jesus knows that temptation does not come from God, the Father (James 1:13-15). He stands firm and replies with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.
The devil wants the glory and the worship. Jesus knows that worship belongs to God alone. I like that the Revised English Bible has Jesus referring to ‘the Lord your God’ when speaking with the devil. Because the devil’s power is limited, and the Lord God is omnipresent (everywhere present), omniscient (all knowing), and omnipotent (all powerful).
There is a verse in Isaiah that I have always appreciated. It is this, “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him” (Is. 59:19b). As believers in Jesus Christ, we have an enemy, and he is the same enemy that confronted Jesus in the wilderness. But Jesus defeated the enemy with the words of Holy Scripture and finally the greater victor at the cross when Jesus lay down His life for you and me. I believe the standard lifted up against the devil was and is the perfect Son of God.
When you feel in danger of giving in to the lies of the devil, for he is called the ‘father of lies’ and he ‘comes to steal, to kill, and to destroy.’ When you feel in danger of giving in, stand firm and ask for wisdom from the Holy Spirit. In CS Lewis’s, The Screwtape Letters, we find these words, “Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts…”
However, for the believer in Christ, we have a signpost. We have a standard and we have an example. Hebrews 2:18 in the New Living Translation puts it this way, “Since (Jesus) he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.”
As yourself when you have been tempted or tested lately. How have you dealt with this? When you feel that you might doubt yourself or doubt the goodness of God, remember that without a shadow of a doubt, Jesus is the Son of God and Jesus set the example of how to reply in wisdom when doubts crowd in. Remember the devil was up to his old tricks way back in the Garden of Eden, “Did God really say?” (Genesis 3.1a). The devil is all about tempting us to doubt. Doubt God. Doubt the Bible. Doubt Jesus. And if all else fails … he wants you to doubt your faith.
Take a time to sit quietly
thought from the Connexional resources during the pandemic this week by Heather Wilson
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 236 Forty days and Forty nights
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: