Canvey Methodist Church Worship Services 19th December 2021

Sunday 19th December 2021.       


Fourth Sunday in Advent Love Came Down At Christmas.


1) Notices

2)Welcome and thanks- Fourth Sunday of Advent- 

3) Advent clip - Candles

4) Light of the world (Here I am to worship).

5) Prayers of praise.

6) Reading: Micah 5:2-5. New International Version. Luke/ Karen


2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,

    though you are small among the clans[a] of Judah,

out of you will come for me

    one who will be ruler over Israel,

whose origins are from of old,

    from ancient times.”

3 Therefore Israel will be abandoned

    until the time when she who is in labour bears a son,

and the rest of his brothers return

    to join the Israelites.

4 He will stand and shepherd his flock

    in the strength of the Lord,

    in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.

And they will live securely, for then his greatness

    will reach to the ends of the earth.

5 And he will be our peace

    when the Assyrians invade our land

    and march through our fortresses.

We will raise against them seven shepherds,

    even eight commanders,


Footnotes:      a.Micah 5:2 Or rulers


7). Stf213.O Little Town of Bethlehem.

8). The annunciation clip

9).Offering and prayer.

10) StF 171.  Hark the glad sound the Saviour come.

11) Reading: Hebrews 10:5-10.(N.I.V).    Luke / Karen


5 Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:


“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,

    but a body you prepared for me;

6 with burnt offerings and sin offerings

    you were not pleased.

7 Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—

    I have come to do your will, my God.’”[a]

8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. 9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Footnotes.   a. Hebrews 10:7 Psalm 40:6-8 (see Septuagint)


12). Sermon:


One of the Christmas parlour games my family likes to play at Christmas time is “Who am I”? Where every person is given an identity of a famous person (usually written on an address label and stuck to their forehead) and has to guess this using ten questions only. You may have played a version of this yourselves.

The thing is there is a lot about some famous people that comes as a surprise.

For instance the actor Keanu Reeves, who starred in the matrix films is Canadian, but he was actually born in Beirut, Lebanon. 


Emma Watson, who starred in the Harry Potter films, seems very obviously to be English, but she was actually born in Paris, France, and lived there until she was five years old.


And then there are the historic celebrities who also come up with surprises. Florence Nightingale, the English nurse who introduced modern antiseptic practices into medicine during the Crimean war, was actually born in Florence, Tuscany, Italy. It was a year later that her family moved back to England, and Florence was brought up in the family's homes at Embley, Hampshire, and Lea Hurst, Derbyshire.


And then there is William Wilberforce, the great social reformer, who spoke out against slavery, was not born into London aristocracy but rather in a house on the High Street of Hull, in the East Riding of Yorkshire. 


Similarly, John Newton, the author of the hymn Amazing grace, was born, not in the shires of England, but rather  in Wapping, London.


The lesson perhaps is that greatness of the person or their achievements is not due to birth or to circumstance but rather to their character, their choices and to their determination.


The Old Testament prophet, Micah, in foreseeing the arrival of the Messiah to come, did not fall into this trap. He saw beyond a lowly beginning to a life of divine purpose and achievement.


“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”


In fact, when it happened, the events of the incarnation were a demonstration of Almighty God moving through places and people who were deemed either insignificant or surprising.


1).God chose the young teenage Mary to be the mother of Jesus his Son. Nazareth to be his home and Joseph, a Village Carpenter, to be  His Step Dad.


Mary acknowledged this with Grace and Humility in today's Gospel Reading when she said:


“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.

From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.

In Persia, of all places, Magi were studying the stars and preparing to travel to follow one which moved, to worship a Jewish King.

2).On the hillsides outside Bethlehem, shepherds were going about their business of tending their flocks unaware that God was going to give them a ringside seat at a heavenly choir concert announcing the birth of Jesus

3).In Jerusalem, Roman legislators were putting the final touches to a decree requiring people to take part in a census in their home towns. 

4).In Bethlehem itself, an innkeeper and his family were getting on with running their business and looking after their domestic animals in the hotel outhouse, completely unaware that they would feature in nativity plays right across the world for centuries to come.

Such places and people may have been insignificant and unimportant in human opinion, but God had other ideas

You and I might similarly write ourselves off, thinking that we are insignificant or that we don’t have much to offer to God.

Friends, I’m here to remind you that this is simply not true. God moves especially through the humble, the broken and the insignificant to achieve his purposes in the world

The writer to the Hebrews records Jesus as coming to do what the law on its own could never do, to save, to forgive and to redeem from sin.

All the previous practices of making sacrifices for sin were only like applying sticking plaster to a deep wound, or to paper over the cracks. It took Jesus to come to heal and to deal with the heart of the matter.

When it comes to significance and relevance, Jesus is the real thing.

Jesus, is God's Significant action taken in the places that matter. What the law could not do, Hebrews tells us, Jesus could and did. Jesus’, through his death, provided, not a temporary sticking plaster, but instead a once for all sacrifice making each of us clean and holy in God’s sight forever. Hallelujah. He then renews us from within and grows fruit in our lives. A process that lasts a lifetime.

 Chemical Christmas Tree growing - time lapse

Search me o God,

Search me, O God, and know my heart today,

Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray;

See if there be some wicked way in me;

Cleanse me from every sin, and set me free.


I praise Thee, Lord, for cleansing me from sin;

Fulfill Thy word and make me pure within;

Fill me with fire, where once I burned with shame;

Grant my desire to magnify Thy name.


Lord, take my life, and make it wholly Thine;

Fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine;

Take all my will, my passion, self and pride;

I now surrender, Lord, in me abide.


O Holy Ghost, revival comes from Thee;

Send a revival, start the work in me;

Thy Word declares Thou wilt supply our need;

For blessings now, O Lord, I humbly plead.


Prayer: Hear our prayer this Christmas as we open our lives for fresh anointing today. Amen


13) Stf 210. Love came down at Christmas - Tune, Hermitage.

14) Prayers for others.       Linda King

14) Communion

15) Stf 169.  Come thou long expected Jesus.Tune, Hermitage.

16) Benediction