Sunday 20th December 2020- Canvey Methodist Church Worship Services


Canvey  Service 20th December 2020- Fourth Sunday of Advent.


For the Complete Service, please click on the attached link:


The transcript for the service together with the hymn links are as below:


Canvey  Service 20th December 2020- Fourth Sunday of Advent.

1) Christmas Word Cloud and Welcome 

Good Morning. Welcome to this Service From Canvey Island Methodist Church on the Fourth Sunday of Advent, the 20th December 2020. Just four days to go until Christmas Day. Today, we light the fourth Candle on our Church Advent Wreath.

2) Lighting Advent Candles and Call to Worship.  

We begin our Service Today With some words from Psalm 89:v1-2

1 I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever;

    with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known

    through all generations.

2 I will declare that your love stands firm forever,

    that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.


3) SoF277. I will sing of the mercies of the lord forever

One of the benefits of worshipping virtually during this Tier 3 period is that, at home, we can actually sing the hymns and songs. Our first Song is Songs of Fellowship number 277,   I will sing of the mercies of the lord forever


I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever, 

I will sing, I will sing, 

I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever, 

I will sing of the mercies of the Lord. 

With my mouth will I make known 

Thy faithfulness, Thy faithfulness, 

With my mouth will I make known 

Thy faithfulness to all generations,

I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever, 

I will sing I will sing,

I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever.

I will sing of the mercies of the Lord.

James H Fillmore (1849-1936).


4). Prayers of Praise, Adoration, Thanksgiving . Lords Prayer

Almighty God, we come before you in prayer. We rejoice in you and honour you,  praising your holy name. You look on us as we join together in prayer, your family, the body of Christ here on earth, called to be a people of light, celebrating its brightness, and reflecting its glory out into the darkest of nights to dispel its menacing shadows of fear and doubt. 

Our souls magnify you, O Lord our God. Blessed is your name forever.

We lift our hearts to you and we are glad.

We find our hope and strength in you and we know that you are always with us.Lord God we confess those times when by our thoughts and actions we have quenched the spirit of life and light you have given us; for those times when we have turned our faces away from you. Please forgive us,  Lord of Light and grace.  We ask for the light of your life to fill us again. In Jesus Name Amen.

The Lord's Prayer:

Our Father, who art in heaven hallowed be thy name, Thy kingdom come,  Thy Will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever, and ever. Amen..


5). 2 Samuel 7:1-11,16. New International Version.    Reader Please 

7 After the king was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, 2 he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.”

3 Nathan replied to the king, “Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the Lord is with you.”

4 But that night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying:

5 “Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? 6 I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling. 7 Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’

8 “Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, and appointed you ruler over my people Israel. 9 I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men on earth. 10 And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning 11 and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders[a] over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies.

“‘The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you:

16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me[b]; your throne will be established forever.’”

Footnotes  a 2 Samuel 7:11 Traditionally judges 
b 2 Samuel 7:16 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint; most Hebrew manuscripts you

6) STF228. Hail to the Lord’s anointed

1. Hail to the Lord’s Anointed,

  Great David’s greater Son!

Hail, in the time appointed,

  His reign on earth begun!

He comes to break oppression,

  To set the captive free;

To take away transgression,

  And rule in equity.


2. He comes in succor speedy

to those who suffer wrong;

To help the poor and needy,

and bid the weak be strong;

To give them songs for sighing,

their darkness turn to light,

Whose souls, condemned and dying,

were precious in His sight.


3. He shall come down like showers

  Upon the fruitful earth;

And love, joy, hope, like flowers,

  Spring in His path to birth:

Before Him on the mountains

  Shall peace, the herald, go;

And righteousness, in fountains,

  From hill to valley flow.


4.Kings shall fall down before Him,

  And gold and incense bring;

All nations shall adore Him,

  His praise all people sing;

For He shall have dominion

  O’er river, sea, and shore,

Far as the eagle’s pinion,

  Or dove’s light wing can soar.


5. O’er every foe victorious

  He on His throne shall rest,

From age to age more glorious,

  All-blessing and all-blest.

The tide of time shall never

  His covenant remove;

His Name shall stand forever,

  His changeless Name of Love.

James Montgomery


7). Prayers For Others

Father God, when your precious Son came to us as a tiny baby in a stable in Bethlehem, in poverty and simplicity, you changed our world.  And, as we imagine that time, in those surroundings, we are full of joy, wonder and praise. Thank you so much for this Christmas time and even though we can’t be together as a church family, I pray that you will give a special blessing to each one as they have need. We think especially of our dear friend who is due to have an operation on Tuesday.

May we all know the joy and wonder of your presence at this special Christmas time.   

We thank you for all the answered prayer that we have received and we rejoice and thank you for everything you have blessed us with.  

We ask you to bless Colin and Cathy and all their family and to have them in your care.  

We pray for our world, and for all the governments who are making difficult decisions.  

We pray for our country and ask for your guidance for our leaders and all those in power. These are difficult times with many great and complex issues.  May the correct decisions be made regarding our country’s safety and economy and also for us leaving the EU.  

We pray for our school children who have just finished school for the holidays.  We ask you to keep them safe in these difficult times.  

We pray also for ourselves, as we are now in the High Risk tier 3.  But we know dear Lord, that we can trust you to help us through as You bring Your own wonderful love, peace and strengthening for each day.

We thank you so much for our health service and we pray for all those who are working so hard there.  

We ask you Mighty Lord to bring an end to this Corona virus so that our world can be safe again.

Dear Lord, we bring before you all those who have asked for prayer for their loved ones.   You know all about these prayer requests and the people involved.  We lift these dear people before you, into your loving care.  

And now, we will just have a moments silence while we each think of, and pray for, those known to us who need you.

May you grant healing and health and surround them with your peace and love.

We bring before you all who are suffering the bitter grief of mourning.  Please have these people in your care and surround them with your comfort and strength.

We thank you that you are a loving God and that you have listened to these prayers which we bring before you in the great and powerful name of our Lord Jesus Christ and all that his name stands for.   AMEN


8).Luke 1:26-38. New International Version. 

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[a] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

Footnotes  a Luke 1:35 Or So the child to be born will be called holy,

9) Mary Clip

10) STF169 Come, thou long–expected Jesus

1). Come, thou long expected Jesus

Born to set thy people free

From our fears and sins release us

Let us find our rest in thee

Israel’s strength and consolation

Hope of all the earth thou art

Dear desire of every nation

Joy of every longing heart


2).Israel's strength and consolation, 

hope of all the earth Thou art, 

dear desire of every nation, 

joy of every longing heart.


3). Born thy people to deliver, 

born a child and yet a King.

Born to reign in us forever, 

now Thy gracious kingdom bring.


4). By Thine own eternal Spirit,

rule in all our hearts alone.

By Thine all sufficient merit, 

raise us to Thine glorious throne.


11). Sermon

If something is worth doing, the saying goes, it’s worth doing well! My Father was an avid handyman and an excellent house decorator. One of the early lessons I learnt from him is that good decoration is all in the planning and preparation; Sanding down the paintwork properly before applying a fresh coat of gloss, filling up holes in the wall with filler and then sanding it to a smooth finish before pasting and applying the new wallpaper. I remember once, how my Dad looked on with some dismay at a next door neighbour painting over his outside window frames without any preparation whatsoever. “Mark my words”, he mattered darkly, that paint will be flaking off before winter is out”. And, of course he was right, and it did. 

Preparation! If something is worth doing, it is worth doing well. 

I sometimes wonder what the conversations were in the heavenly places as God’s plan of salvation was being rolled out across the expanse of time and eternity. I can only imagine the angels being a bit astonished at Almighty God's choice of the demonstrably frail and flawed people that he used so mightily and whose exploits for the kingdom of God, we read of in Holy Writ!  

I wonder if this was especially so when it came to the incarnation, when God through his son Jesus entered the very world he had created as a human being, as the word made flesh”. The wonder of such selfless love, such creativity, such sacrifice, as heaven and its glory was emptied out and flesh embraced as a helpless baby.

Wesley wrote of this divine act of giving grace in his hymn “And Can it be”.........“Our God contracted to a span, incomprehensibly made man!

Whom would God choose to bear this priceless gift to the world? A queen? A Nobel prize winner? Someone with incredible social standing. The answer to all of these possible candidates was a resounding “No”! 

Instead, God chose a young teenage girl from Nazareth in Galilee named Mary through whom He would fulfil His Promise to King David all those years before that “Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’”  2 Samuel 7:16.

Her qualifications? She loved God, showed incredible humility in the face of an unbelievably responsible task, and was ready to be used by Him in spite of all the social stigma of being pregnant and unmarried whilst living in a conservative community. Mary was also incredibly thoughtful. After receiving the amazing news of her divine pregnancy from the angel, her first thought was not for herself but rather for Elizabeth, her relative, who was six months pregnant.

 Mary didn’t waste a minute and hurried off to meet her to offer help and support in the final months before John was born.

She got up and traveled to a town in Judah in the hill country, straight to Zachariah’s house, and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby in her womb leaped. She was filled with the Holy Spirit, and sang out exuberantly:

You’re so blessed among women, and the babe in your womb, also blessed! And why am I so blessed that the mother of my Lord visits me? The moment the sound of your greeting entered my ears, The babe in my womb skipped like a lamb for sheer joy. Blessed woman, who believed what God said, believed every word would come true! [Luke 1:39-45]

As if we weren't already sure of the fact that God had chosen well in Mary, 

here is the confirmation. Mary acknowledges what God has done for her without letting pride get in the way and she puts herself out, choosing to stay with Elizabeth for three months and help out during her first pregnancy.

I expect we have all heard many sermons about how God can use us but it is true that he can and does if we are willing. Sometimes the temptation is to think that a person is only useful to God if they are specially gifted, but Mary’s experience shows us that God takes what is offered freely and uses the ordinary, the humble and the everyday to bring about the purposes of His kingdom of love. Mary’s first task from God was to help out with the household chores and to be a help to Elizabeth. Her service to God was a continuum of grace. We may have bought into the “Size Matters” view of God's gifts, but thankfully Mary was a little wiser. She knew that small things were part of God's plan as well as the larger, seemingly more Important tasks. 

For Mary, signing up for the greatest act of God in the history of time itself meant allowing God's agenda to pull rank over her own. It meant taking risks and then taking the small steps of joy, praise, worship and self-sacrifice.

What small acts of obedience, I wonder are you choosing today?

To close, An Advent Reflection by Derek Weber - Company is Coming.

If ever there was a year we needed Advent, this is the year. We hardly know how to describe the year we have lived through. We hesitate to reflect on all the mess around us in 2020. All we know is that nothing seems right, nothing seems like it used to be, nothing. We need Advent!

The prophet Isaiah cried out for us, “O that you would tear open the heavens and come down … To make your name known … so that nations might tremble at your presence.” So tear through the mess, O Lord, and come down to us again. We long to be your people, a people of hope.

A hope that you can meet us, even in the mess of our world. A hope that you still see us, though we feel we are lost in the rubble. A hope that your light will bring us to Emmanuel, to the Christ child once again. O Come, O Come Emmanuel.

It seems that we live on the brink every day. We stand on the threshold between this world and the next one. We live and move between the ordinary and divine, between the mundane and the mystery. Too often, we forget to look up and see the angels in our living room. We forget that the love we give and live is a sign of eternity, God with us, right now. We forget that company is coming.

God’s favor came to a girl, an ordinary girl. It might have been our daughter; it might have been the girl down the street or our grandchild. But the messenger of God came and greeted her and said, “The Lord is with you.” What a gift and a promise: Emmanuel, God is with us. 

A promise of proximity, the nearness of God, to you and to me. Even when we forget to listen, to lean into that presence, God is as close as our own breath. This, in a confused and confusing world, is a peace that passes all understanding. It is the peace that knows that company is coming.

The prince of peace, the light of the world, the lamb of God draws near. 

O Come, O Come Emmanuel.


May God bless us all as we serve God in the small as well as the large things in life. God is true to His promise to be near and with us all.



12).STF322. How sweet the name of Jesus sounds

1 How sweet the name of Jesus sounds

in a believer’s ear!

It soothes our sorrows, heals our wounds,

and drives away our fear.


2 It makes the wounded spirit whole

and calms the troubled breast;

’tis manna to the hungry soul,

and to the weary, rest.


3 Dear Name, the Rock on which I build,

My Shield and Hiding Place,

My never failing treasury, filled

With boundless stores of grace!


4 Jesus! my Shepherd, Brother, Friend,

My Prophet, Priest and King,

My Lord, my Life, my Way, my End,

Accept the praise I bring.


6 Weak is the effort of my heart,

And cold my warmest thought;

But when I see Thee as Thou art,

I’ll praise Thee as I ought.


7 Till then I would Thy love proclaim

With every fleeting breath,

And may the music of Thy Name

Refresh my soul in death!

John Newton (1725-1807)


13) Benediction.

Let us go from this place proclaiming that we have seen the glory of God Believing that there is a light that shines in the darkness Which the darkness shall not overcome   May you be filled with the wonder of Mary, the Exuberance of Elizabeth and the Joy of new life created within. May the love of the Creator, The joy of the Spirit And the peace of the Christ-child Be with us all, now and forevermore.