Canvey Methodist Church Worship Services 5th December 2021

Sunday 5th December 2021 Toy and Gift Service 


Theme: God’s Love To Share


1) Notices Lighting Advent Candles                              Steward


2) Advent clip - Candles


3) Welcome and thanks.

Toy Service - Gifts to local families via C.I Foodbank Colin


4). Hymn STF178 Long Ago Prophets Knew


5) What is Advent Clip


6) Prayer Of Praise, Thanksgiving, Confession, Lords Prayer                              Colin


7) OT. Malachi 3:1-4.  Promise of a Messenger to prepare the way.   Valerie


3 “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.

2 But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, 4 and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former years.


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


8). Gospel Reading: Luke 3: 1-6; Messenger arrives-                 Claire


3 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene— 2 during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3 He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:


“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,

‘Prepare the way for the Lord,

    make straight paths for him.

5 Every valley shall be filled in,

    every mountain and hill made low.

The crooked roads shall become straight,

    the rough ways smooth.

6 And all people will see God’s salvation.’”[a]


9) Messengers -  Dedication of Toys/ Prayers for Children 


10). Offering and Prayer


11) Spreading the Light


12) STF706 Longing For Light


13) Prayers For Others                   Sue Sandling.


14) Sermon


On the second week of Advent we find that a lot of planning went into this act of incredible divine love;  the coming of Jesus,

Planning for anything requires effort.

When Her Royal Highness, Princess Anne, visited Canvey Island Food Bank on 21st September, both her staff and also the volunteers locally, had been preparing for the day weeks in advance to make sure that everything went well and safely. 

It is therefore perhaps no surprise that before Jesus came much planning had taken place.

There were prophecies ahead of time, like the one we heard read today from the book of Malachi in the Holy Bible.

However, unlike with the arrival of an earthly celebrity, when it came down to preparing for the actual event itself, there was no cast of thousands, but instead, just one man who prepared the way for Jesus, John the Baptist. 

John was the son of Zechariah the temple priest, who with divine insight saw the path his son would take: (Luke 1:76),


“And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;

    for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him”


John did this preparation in exactly the way that Malachi had foreseen all those years before. He delivered a message of tough love to encourage people to change their behaviour and to live with justice, kindness, and Godly love. Just as silver requires refining, so do human beings through repentance(or changing direction), salvation and renewal. 

So John, we read, went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching this baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people responded and were baptized in the river Jordan as a visual sign that they were going to change!


When I read about Johns amazing and courageous work what strikes me about his message is that:


1) Firstly it is a message for everybody. No one gets left out. 

John spoke of how the Messiah would level things up; the humble exalted and the exalted humbled, even the important people of his day; Tiberius Caesar, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, and even the high-priests Annas and Caiaphas.


Jesus was to be born as a sign and a gift for ALL people, even you and me.


2) Secondly, salvation starts with repentance, even for the exalted of this world. All before God are equally in need of his love and mercy, but we all need to intentionally turn to walk in God's better ways. We then find ourselves in good hands. Jesus is the one who truly provides the means of transformation to all. 1 John 4:9 reminds us, “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him”.


3) Thirdly, there is nowhere so low, no pit so deep, that Jesus find us to lift us up to a new and better life. 

 John the Baptist was preaching in what was physically the lowest place on earth and he delivered this message of hope and new beginnings.

John 3:16 picks up on this wonderful Hope with a promise from God, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”.


4) Finally it occurs to me that we are, like John, to be messengers of God today. Jesus asked his disciples then, and he asks us now to carry on the task of being messengers of His Good news to all.

St Paul put it like this in his prayer for the Christians in the church at Phillipi, 

“Philippians 1:9.  9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God”.


Prayer:   Father, prepare our hearts to celebrate your birth joyfully! We thank you for faithfully doing what you promised to do long ago in sending your Son to earth so that we might have the chance to become part of your family and to serve you together now in being messengers of your love for all.

As we continue to be part of your unfolding plan, give us the wisdom, courage and patience we need. Remind us of the peace we can access when we take time to still ourselves before you and remember that you are God. We thank you that you are both sovereign and gracious. In Jesus you restore and renew . Amen.


15) STF 503.  Love Divine all loves excelling.


16) Benediction.