25th December 2020 Canvey Methodist Church Worship Services

ChristmasDay.    25th December 2020.   .  

 

Bethlehemian Rhapsody:  

https://youtu.be/IxvMkSKRWOA

 

Complete Link:

https://youtu.be/KzEDRUKejBs

 

Welcome: Welcome to this Christmas morning Service. Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas Day. After four weeks of lighting red Candles on our Advent Wreath, today we get to light the central, white Christ Candle.

 

Lighting Advent Wreath: 

 

Call To Worship:    Psalm 96

 

1 Sing to the Lord a new song;sing to the Lord, all the earth. 2 Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day.3 Declare his glory among the nations,his marvelous deeds among all peoples.

 

Our First Carol - O Come All Ye Faithful, after which Claire will read our Old Testament Reading.

https://youtu.be/l1wHyMR_SCA

 

O come, all ye faithful, Joyful and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem. Come and behold Him, Born the King of Angels;

O come, let us adore Him,

O come, let us adore Him,

O come, let us adore Him,

Christ the Lord.

 

O Sing, choirs of angels, Sing in exultation, Sing all that hear in heaven God's holy word. Give to our Father glory in the Highest;

O come, let us adore Him,

 

O come, let us adore Him,

O come, let us adore Him,

Christ the Lord.

 

All Hail! Lord, we greet Thee, Born this happy morning, O Jesus! for evermore be Thy name adored. Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing;

O come, let us adore Him,

O come, let us adore Him,

O come, let us adore Him,

Christ the Lord.

 

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 9:2-7

New International Version

2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness  a light has dawned.

3 You have enlarged the nation

  and increased their joy;they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest,as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder.

4 For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered

the yoke that burdens them,

    the bar across their shoulders,

    the rod of their oppressor.

5 Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning,

will be fuel for the fire. 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.

He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom,

establishing and upholding it

with justice and righteousness

from that time on and forever.

The zeal of the Lord Almighty

will accomplish this.

 

Hymn O Little Town of Bethlehem 

https://youtu.be/H_q430z13oc

 

1. O little town of Bethlehem,

How still we see thee lie!

Above thy deep and dreamless sleep The silent stars go by;

Yet in the dark street shineth 

The everlasting Light; The hopes and fears of all the years Are met in thee tonight.

2. For Christ is born of Mary,

And fathered all above,

While mortals sleep, the angels keep Their watch of wondering love. O morning stars, together

Proclaim the holy birth And praises sing to God, the King,

And peace to men on earth.

 

3. How silently, how silently,

The wondrous Gift is given!

So God imparts to human hearts

The blessings of His heaven.

No ear may hear His coming,

But in this world of sin, Where meek souls will receive Him still,

The dear Christ enters in.

 

4. O holy Child of Bethlehem,

Descend to us, we pray; Cast out our sin and enter in, Be born in us today. We hear the Christmas angels The great glad tidings tell:

Oh, come to us, abide with us Our Lord Immanuel!

 

Psalm 96-  The Passion Translation-King of the World

 

96 Go ahead—sing your new song to the Lord! Let everyone in every language sing him a new song.[a] 2–3 Don’t stop! Keep on singing! Make his name famous!

Tell everyone every day how wonderful he is.Give them the good news of our great Saviour.

Take the message of his glory and miracles to every nation.

Tell them about all the amazing things he has done. 4 For the Lord’s greatness is beyond description and he deserves all the praise that comes to him.

He is our King-God and it’s right to be in holy awe of him.

5 Other gods are absolutely worthless.[b] For the Lord God is Creator-God, who spread the splendor of the skies!

6 Breathtaking brilliance and awe-inspiring majesty radiate from his shining presence. His stunning beauty overwhelms all who come before him.[c] 7 Surrender to the Lord Yahweh, all you nations and peoples. Surrender to him all your pride and strength. 8 Confess that Jehovah alone deserves all the glory and honour. Bring an offering and come celebrate in his courts. 9 Come worship the Lord God wearing the splendor of holiness. Let everyone wait in wonder as they tremble in awe before him.10 Tell the nations plainly that Yahweh rules over all!

He is doing a great job, and nothing will disrupt him,

for he treats everyone fair and square. 11–12 Let the skies sing for joy! Let the earth join in the chorus.Let oceans thunder and fields echo this ecstatic praise

until every swaying tree of every forest joins in, lifting up their songs of joyous praise to him!

13 For here he comes, the Lord God, and he’s ready to judge the world. He will do what’s right and can be trusted to always do what’s fair.

Footnotes

 

a Psalm 96:1 Every new thing God does requires a new song to make it known.

b Psalm 96:5 The Septuagint reads “demons.”

c Psalm 96:6 Or “Strength and beauty are in his sanctuary



 

Hymn Once In Royal 

https://youtu.be/tRIZ22dn-XY

 

Once in Royal David’s city

Stood a lowly cattle shed.

Where a mother laid her baby

In a manger for His bed.

Mary was that mother mild,

Jesus Christ that little child.

 

He came down to earth from Heaven,

Who is God and Lord of all.

And his shelter was a stable,

And his cradle was a stall.

With the poor and mean and lowly,

Lived on earth our Saviour Holy.

 

And our eyes at last shall see Him

Through His own redeeming love,

For that child so dear and gentle

Is our Lord in Heaven above;

And He leads His children on

To the place where He is gone.

 

Not in that poor, lowly stable,

With the oxen standing by,

We shall see Him; but in Heaven,

Set at God’s right hand on high,

When, like stars, His children crowned

All in white, shall wait around.

 

Riding Lights: The Story of the birth of Jesus

Luke 2:1-20.  New International Version.   The Birth of Jesus

 

2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

 

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

 

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

 

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

 

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,

    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

 

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Footnotes

 

  1. Luke 2:2 Or This census took place before



 

Hymn: Away in a Manger

https://youtu.be/Qa7Jj_AZU8U

 

Away in a manger no crib for a bed

The little lord jesus laid down his sweet head

The stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay

The little lord jesus asleep on the hay.The cattle are lowing the baby awakes

But little lord jesus no crying he makes.

I love you lord jesus; look down from the sky

And stay by my side until morning is nigh.Be near me lord jesus i ask you to stay

Close by me for ever, and love me, i pray.

Bless all the dear children in your tender care,

And fit us for heaven, to live with you there.

 

Prayers For Others 

 

Prayer book update 24.12.20. With thanks to Sue Sandling.

  1. Please continue to pray for our dear Sue. She has had her operation and has now returned home. We pray for her continued recovery and that God will have her in His care to keep her safe.  May she know God’s presence with her. 

 

  1. We give thanks for answered Prayer.  Margaret’s son-in-law Bob got to his job on the Rigs ok.  They are sad that he will be away over Christmas but hopefully they can be in contact via the internet. 

 

  1. Margaret would value your prayers for her 4 year old great grandson Brody as there is a concern because a lump has been found under his arm.  They are waiting for a referral to a specialist.  

 

  1. Roma requested prayers for her Brother-in-law and sister-in-law who both have COVID and are quite ill.  May God heal them and bring them through this terrible virus.

 

  1. Linda Enwright asked for prayers for her son David, who has had no work since the beginning of the year and has no financial support from the benefits system.  He worked in IT and searches online daily for any work, like so many thousands of others.  May our Lord God bring him work soon.  Linda says that he has a very strong faith and will not give up.

 

  1. We think of all those who have lost loved ones this year.  It must be especially hard at this Christmas time.  We remember Val’s dear Mum, Eva & Jim’s sister Mary,  Our dear Wyn and  Martin and Shona on the loss of Clare. 

7.   Flame Trust asks if we would remember to pray for our Nation this evening at 7.00pm (Christmas Eve). They sent this message - 

Prayer changes things, and if you agree, please spend a few moments on Christmas Eve at 7.00.p.m., asking God to intervene. What can we pray for:

 1. Pray for the virologists, epidemiologists and those who are trying to understand how this virus mutates.

 2. Pray for those in leadership who I suspect are running out of human wisdom, and yet are tasked with making huge decisions.

 3. Pray for the NHS, the Covid specialists, patients who are ill, and individuals and families who are deeply affected, at a number of levels, by this disease. 

4. Pray, in the name of Jesus, against the virus, that God will intervene and halt its spread. Many of you will want to add to these prayer pointers and these are only given as a prompt. These are difficult days, but just as we clapped together, we can pray together. Prayer can turn the tide so pass this message on to friends and your fellowship group. Pray with expectation and let’s see what God will do. 2 Chronicles. 7 v.14.

Sadly, we are unable to meet at Church at present but we can still praise our Lord and give Him thanks for all our blessings. Jesus says "Fear not, for I have overcome the world".  We can trust and be steadfast and keep looking to our Saviour who will bring us through.

Amen.

 

Carol   Joy to the World 

 

Joy to the world! the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the world! the Saviour reigns;
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

 

Sermon:

 

I think that we can probably all agree that Christmas 2020 is a very different kind of Christmas to the one that we had all hoped to celebrate. The plans, so carefully made, to spend quality time with family and friends over the Yuletide period have had to be put aside because of the invasive and rapid spread of the recently identified new strain of the Covid 19 virus.

It is then, for most people, a different kind of Christmas experience to those that we have enjoyed in the past. 

As the government announcement came for us to all restrict our social mixing, to keep safe, and to stay at home, I could not help reflecting that the first Christmas also came about influenced by unwelcome government dictate, inconveniencing the population and causing them considerable frustration and hardships along the way.

The government responsible in this instance, was that of the Roman Emperor, 

Caesar Augustus, who wanted to know more about who was living where in the Roman Empire. His decree was arguably more inconvenient than that issued last week in England and Wales and involved everyone having to travel back to their own home town to register in a census.

For Mary and her fiancé Joseph, this was more than a little inconvenient as Mary was pregnant and the baby was due to be born any minute. To have the baby away from the support network of family, trusted midwives, and close friends would have been an unwelcome prospect for both Mary and Joseph. Then there was the journey;  Nazareth to Bethlehem is some 70 miles in distance; quite a long walk or donkey ride if you are heavily pregnant.

At this point in my thinking, I started to feel that maybe my 2020 Christmas inconveniences were not quite so bad after all.

Mary and Joseph may not have been happy at the prospect of the journey ahead of them but they made the trip and the first Christmas happened as we have heard in our readings today.

I know that I shouldn’t be, but I am often amazed at how God can turn around a negative experience into something really positive and to weave even these into His best plans for us, and Mary and Joseph’s unplanned journey is an example of this. The Messiah was prophesied as being born in David’s town, and it was a Roman Government dictate that was involved in making this happen.

 

Christmas is a time of giving, and maybe by the time you are looking at this Christmas Day Service, you will have exchanged and received yours. We give presents in remembrance of God’s gift to us of his Son, Jesus.

 

His was a gift to be shared and God did so via a heavenly Choir of Angels to the startled shepherds on the hillside outside Bethlehem town.

When the music and light faded they could have put it all down to a late supper and lack of sleep and ignored God's gift totally, resuming their work caring for their flocks. However, instead these shepherds acted upon what they had heard and received the gift offered, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that the Lord has told us about”. 

 

With prophetic vision, the psalmist many years before had foreseen God’s priceless intervention into earth's affairs; How his Glory and stunning beauty overwhelmed all who came before him. Psalm 96:6.

 

Today we are invited also to take Jesus, God’s gift to humanity, for ourselves.

-To be renewed from the inside out, to, “ Sing a new song to the Lord!”

-To introduce others to the love Jesus liberates in the human heart;  To “Tell everyone every day how wonderful he is. To Give them the good news of our great Saviour, to Take the message of his glory and miracles to every nation.

and to Tell them about all the amazing things he has done.

 

Yes Christmas 2020 is definitely different, but the one in whose honour it exists, remains the same.

May God bless us all as we celebrate His birth today, and be the wings beneath our feet as we live for and with him in the new year ahead.

Amen


 

Hymn: It was on a starry night 

https://youtu.be/q4lYZdiasE8


 

It Was On A Starry Night lyrics:

It was on a starry night 

When the hills were bright 

Earth lay sleeping 

Sleeping calm and still 

Then in a cattle shed 

In a manger bed 

A boy was born 

King of all the world.

Chorus: 

And all the angels sang for Him 

The bells of heaven rang for Him 

For a boy was born 

King of all the world. 

And all the angels sang for Him 

The bells of heaven rang for Him 

For a boy was born 

King of all the world.

Soon the shepherds came that way 

Where the baby lay 

And were kneeling 

Kneeling by His side 

And their hearts believed again 

For the peace of men 

For a boy was born 

King of all the world.

Chorus: 

And all the angels sang for Him 

The bells of heaven rang for Him 

For a boy was born 

King of all the world. 

And all the angels sang for Him 

The bells of heaven rang for Him 

For a boy was born 

King of all the world.

 

Benediction

 

And now may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all now and forever more.

 

Amen