Sunday 29th November 2020 Canvey Methodist Church Worship Services

Canvey Methodist Church  Sunday 29 November

1st Sunday in Advent

For Complete Service click this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vp__gtSxrPc&feature=youtu.be

 

For Video’s of Sung Hymns used, please click on the links shown in the transcript below.

1). Welcome to this Service at Canvey Island Methodist Church on Sunday 29th November 2020. I am very pleased today to welcome one of our faithful circuit local preachers, Ms  Susie King to lead this service. Thankyou Susie. 

2). First Sunday In Advent- I am Susie King, a Local Preacher in the Southend and Leigh Circuit and I am pleased to be able to share in an act of worship with you today on the first Sunday in Advent.  

3). Call to worship: 

Selected verses from Isaiah 64:

Oh, that you would burst from the heavens and come down! 

How the mountains would quake in your presence.

When you came down long ago, you did awesome deeds beyond our highest expectation

And oh, how the mountains quaked!

For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, 

Who works for those who wait for him!

You welcome those who gladly do good, who follow godly ways.

And yet, O Lord, you are our Father.

We are the clay, and you are the potter.

We all are formed by your hand.

 

For our first Hymn on this first Sunday in Advent we listen and join in with Singing the Faith 185 Sing we the King who is Coming to Reign:

4) STF185 Sing we the King who is Coming to Reign:

(2) Sing we the King who is coming to reign (Charles Horne) - YouTube

Sing we the King who is coming to reign;

Glory to Jesus, the Lamb that was slain!

Life and salvation his empire shall bring,

joy to the nations when Jesus is King:

 

Come let us sing: praise to our King,

Jesus our King, Jesus our King:

this is our song, who to Jesus belong:

glory to Jesus, to Jesus our King.

 

All shall be well in his kingdom of peace;

freedom shall flourish and wisdom increase;

justice and truth from his sceptre shall spring;

wrong shall be ended when Jesus is King:

 

Come let us sing: praise to our King,

Jesus our King, Jesus our King:

this is our song, who to Jesus belong:

glory to Jesus, to Jesus our King.

 

Souls shall be saved from the burden of sin;

doubt shall not darken his witness within;

hell has no terrors, and death has no sting;

love is victorious when Jesus is King:

 

Come let us sing: praise to our King,

Jesus our King, Jesus our King:

this is our song, who to Jesus belong:

glory to Jesus, to Jesus our King.

 

Kingdom of Christ, for your coming we pray;

Hasten, O Father, the dawn of the day

When this new song your creation shall sing;

Satan is vanquished and Jesus is King:
 

Come let us sing: praise to our King,

Jesus our King, Jesus our King:

this is our song, who to Jesus belong:

glory to Jesus, to Jesus our King.

 

        Charles Silvester Horne (1865 – 1914)

 

5) Prayers Praise, Confession, and Thanksgiving.

 

We come now to our prayers of praise, confession, and thanksgiving, let us pray.

Gracious and Loving God

You give us joyous grace and deep continual peace because you are our Father God, you are almighty and above everything else in your creation.

You are always available and generous with your love, with your time, with your grace and with your kindness.

You have sought us out, giving us riches that we don’t deserve, trusting us with your love and your message to be shared with others, you do this because of your faith in us.  Because you are faithful and true.  You are powerful and gentle, beyond the limits of our imagination and yet intimately known.  

We praise you that you are steady and strong, that you desire that we should develop and know more of you.  We praise you that you are faithful, that we can trust you because you never fail, you never let go and your store houses of love are never depleted.  

Accept our praise God, accept our love offered for your use and your service, because our small acts can never make up for all the goodness and love you have lavished on us through your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ in whom we offer this prayer, Amen.

You have shown us, through your word, through the example of your Son, through the prompting of the spirit how we are to live as your disciples as your ambassadors of the Kingdom on earth.  When we look at our actions, our thoughts, our words we are painfully aware of the ways that we have failed to live up to your expectations and how we have stopped others having hope in you.  

Forgive us, when we have become so busy with doing and worrying about things that are in your perfect control that we have failed to enjoy your presence.  Failed to recognise your prompting and your gentle guidance and touch on our lives.

Forgive us, for hiding in safe places, for failing to step out into the unknown because we lack trust in you.  

Forgive us, for being complacent and comfortable, for failing to keep watch for those who want to undermine our trust and our faith in you, for failing to look to the future and being to focussed on the past.  Forgive us, that we have stopped looking for you, stopped expecting you, stopped spending time in your presence.

Forgive us Lord, for being swayed and distracted by the cheap and quick thrill of material things and false promises of others, rather than keeping watch for you.

In the silence we offer our own confession to God…

Because our God is faithful to the end, we know and we are assured that we have received forgiveness, restoration and cleansing for the things that we were able to confess spoken and offered to God.  

Gracious God, we offer you our thanksgiving for those who have shown us love, care and compassion over this second lock down.  For all key workers fulfilling so many different roles to keep children in school, students learning at university, delivering essential food, maintaining our safety and for those in the NHS who care for all those who are sick and unwell.  

We are thankful for the technology that enables us to continue to meet and worship, for the opportunities for pastoral conversations to continue, we are thankful for prayers on the doorstep, phone calls with friends, and virtual meetings with our loved ones.  

We are thankful for the skill, the determination and the courage of all those who have worked to develop a vaccine and for those who have been part of trials, braving the unknown side effects so that it can be of benefit for all.

We are thankful, for those who have pointed the way to you for us.  For those who pray for us, who share wisdom with us, for those who continue to encourage us by their words and by their example.  

We are thankful that you give everyone a gift and a skill that can be shared and used for your Kingdom and that when we see people using their skills we get a glimpse of you.  

But mostly God, we are thankful for your Son your, Spirit and for you in our lives. Amen

 

6) STF 494 Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Our next hymn in Singing the Faith 494 Come, thou fount of every blessing which we can listen to here (2) Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing - A cappella - Eclipse 6 - Official Video - on iTunes - YouTube

    Come, thou fount of every blessing,

    Tune, my heart to sing thy grace;

streams of mercy never ceasing

call for songs of loudest praise.

Teach me some melodious measure

sung by flaming tongues above;

O the vast, the boundless treasure 

of my Lord’s unchanging love!

 

Here I find my greatest treasure;

‘Hither by thy help I’ve come’

and I hope, by thy good pleasure,

safely to arrive at home.

Jesus sought me when a stranger,

Wandering from the fold of God;   

He, to rescue me from danger,

Interposed his precious blood.

 

O to grace how great a debtor

daily I’m constrained to be!

Let that grace, Lord, like a fetter,

Bind my wandering heart to thee.

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,

prone to leave the God I love;

take my heart, O take and seal it,

seal it from they courts above.  

   

    Robert Robinson (1735 – 1790)

 

7) Introduction to Gospel Reading

Our bible reading for today is taken from the Gospel of Mark, chapter 13 verses 24 – 37.  In the opening verses of Chapter 13 we find Jesus having left the temple being asked how the temple will be torn down.  In verse 2 of Chapter 13 Jesus says “not one stone here will be left on another, every one will be thrown down”.  Verses 1 – 23 of this chapter from Mark cover Jesus’ prophecy of the destruction of the temple and the questions of the disciples around this, followed by warnings against false deceivers and false signs of the end of the age.  Our verses open with Jesus referring back to Old Testament expressions of the end of time and goes onto talk about the coming of the Son of Man, lessons of the fig tree and exhortation to watchfulness.  Now we have our reading.

 

8) Gospel Reading- Mark 13:24 – 37.(NIV)

24 ‘But in those days, following that distress,

‘“the sun will be darkened,
    and the moon will not give its light;
25 the stars will fall from the sky,
    and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.”[c]

26 ‘At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.

28 ‘Now learn this lesson from the fig-tree: as soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it[d] is near, right at the door. 30 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

32 ‘But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard! Be alert[e]! You do not know when that time will come. 34 It’s like a man going away: he leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.

35 ‘Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back – whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the cock crows, or at dawn. 36 If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: “Watch!”’

9). Sermon

‘It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts is servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.  Therefore, keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back – whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the cock crows or at dawn.  If he comes suddenly, do not let him find your sleeping.  What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’’

 

I think that since start of this pandemic, and certainly since the first lock down in England, doors and perhaps specifically our front doors have played more of a part in our lives than we may have realised before.  A door closed to give us protection and I hope a place of safety, where we didn’t have to social distance or worry about who and what we were coming into contact with.  An open door where we stepped out to take our daily exercise or where we stood to talk with our friends and loved ones, where we picked up parcels that had been left for us, care packages, post and parcels with the contact and news, perhaps a place for sharing a pastoral concern or a doorstop prayer.  Perhaps you are now more acquainted with your door than you ever thought you would be.  How often have you stood at it waiting for someone to arrive, keeping watch over it for someone coming.  Perhaps you have invested in one of those doorbells that has a video camera built in it, so that you can see who is standing at your door even when you are not there if you connect it to your phone.  One of my friends regularly checks her front door through this method when she is out to make sure her twin teenage daughters are back at the time she told them to be!  I want to tell you about our old front door.  It had a side panel to it that was all frosted glass and the letter box was at the bottom of it.  Being the youngest I was very cross that I was not old enough to join my sisters at Sunday School each week and was left at home with my father.  It seemed like Sunday School was brilliant, you came home with things that you had made and you may have been given sweet or a biscuit.  To protest at being left behind I would lie on the floor at the bottom of the stairs and shout out of the letter box whilst kicking my feet on the bottom stair.  What a delight I was.  

I would like to say that it was because I was desperate to get to Sunday School and church so that I could start learning about Jesus and God, but I think I just wanted to see my sisters returning.  I haven’t looked out of my letter box for a very long time.  I haven’t been keeping watch as I am instructed to do so.  I haven’t kept guard, I haven’t made sure that I am alert at all times so that I can be ready, so that I show in my living that Christ may return at any moment.  Perhaps you have been doing a better job at that than I have.  How close to the ‘door’ are you, how ready would you be?  Are you alert to the signs, is all your faith and your relationship with God prepared and ready if Christ came today, tonight or tomorrow?  I confess that for me there is work to do, a quick squirt of spiritual Febreze is not going to do the trick, I am going to need to work harder, pray harder, look harder and study the word of God harder to be prepared.  I think that I have a theoretical understanding of the second coming, I know it is something that will happen but I wonder if I have lost that sense of expectation that it will happen in my life time.  Perhaps we all need to take more notice of warnings to make sure that we are eagerly alert and watching.  

It’s a responsibility that we all have, to care for the Kingdom whilst our master, whilst Jesus God’s son on earth, is away.  There is no one else to do it, just us, to make sure that we are alert and awake.  To make sure that we are alert to complacency, to make sure that we don’t slip into spiritual slumber because we have forgotten to expect Jesus to return.  We are part of the ongoing family of disciples that remain, faithfully keeping the faith whilst we wait for the signs to happen and for the day of the second coming to arrive.  I take comfort in that, that there have been many generations that have lived out their faith in expectation and in hope for Jesus’s return.  We are reminded that we are all given a purpose, all given a task that is ours, a job, whilst our Master is away, verse 34 “he placed his servants in charge and gave each one work to do while he was away.”  I hope you know what you have been put in charge of, what responsibility you have, because we are all dependent on everyone doing their part for the next generation of the family to know and be ready for God.  Ask God what he needs you to do so that you are ready, so that you can stay firm and faithful, so that you don’t grow complacent or disillusioned.  For it would be a great loss if no new generation joins us in watching and waiting because we didn’t play our part and do our job.

I have been contemplating if I take comfort in the fact that even Jesus doesn’t know when he is going to return, it is only God that knows that, or if I find that disconcerting.  I think for me it is both comforting and uncomfortable at the same time.  Comforting to know that there is an opportunity to meet with Christ and see his Kingdom on earth in my life on earth, but uncomfortable to think that I don’t have a deadline to work to to get my faith and my relationship with God in order.  But that is what we and Christ live with.  A balance between making our daily living worth while without holding back thinking that we have more time that we might have to get our tasks done.  

As we start this advent season we are called, as we have been called so many times before, to do three things:  to watch, to wait and to work.  Watching can be difficult because we grow weary, we forget, but we take comfort from knowing that others share in that task.  Waiting can cause us to be disheartened, but we draw strength from Christ.  Work can be hard if we don’t see reward or get rewarded when doing it, but we keep going with the guidance of the spirit knowing that the reward is not for us but for God.  As through the generations, we, Jesus’ disciples are called to actively wait.  Wait with expectation and hope.  Because whilst we may not know what is to come or when it is to come, we have absolute certainty that it is our Lord, our Christ, our Saviour who is coming.  Amen.  

 

Our next song, God I look to you, asks God to help us see with the eyes that he does and with the wisdom he has. 

10) S of F 2794- God I Look To You.

 (2) God I Look To You - Cathy Burton - Live Spring Harvest Home - YouTube

God I look to You, I won’t be overwhelmed
Give me vision to see things like You do
God I look to You, You’re where my help comes from
Give me wisdom; You know just what to do

 

God I look to You, and I won’t be overwhelmed
Give me vision to see things like You do
God I look to You, and You’re where my help comes from
Give me wisdom; You know just what to do
 

And I will love You Lord my strength
And I will love You Lord my shield
And I will love You Lord my rock

Forever All my days I will love You God

 

Hallelujah our God reigns
Hallelujah our God reigns
Oh hallelujah our God reigns
Forever all my days Hallelujah

 

Hallelujah our God reigns
And hallelujah our God reigns
Oh hallelujah our God reigns
Forever all my days Hallelujah

 

11) Prayers For Others.

Our prayers for others, let us pray

Dear Lord, We worship you.  You are the King of Glory, You are the Prince of Peace, You are the Lord of Heaven and Earth, You’re the Sun of Righteousness.   

We rejoice and thank you for every blessing we have received this week and for answered prayer. 

We pray for our church family and pray for each other.  Thank you for the fellowship and love we share and thank you for blessing Colin in everything he does for us. We are looking forward to our church reopening next Sunday when we can be together to worship you.  We rejoice and thank you.

Dear Lord, we bring before you all 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. 

Thank you for hearing our prayers and may you grant healing and health and surround them with your peace and love. 

We bring Cathy & Colin before you and pray that you will continue to lead and guide them and greatly bless them and all their family. 

We pray for Beirut and the Lebanon and we pray for the work of the New Heights team.  Please empower and bless them. 

We lift Pastor Attila in Romania before you and we praise you for the wonderful news we received of the five baptisms that he conducted this week.  Please continue to be with Pastor Attila and lead him in his work for you. 

We pray for our country, for our Government and all those in positions of power and leadership and we pray also for those who are advising the Government.   These are such difficult times with many complex issues.  Please help them to clearly see and make the right decisions for the correct balance of the country’s safety, mental health and economic stability. 

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. 

We pray for our school children in these difficult times, who are coping with all the changing rules and regulations.  And we pray also, for ourselves, as we come out of lockdown next week and will be coping with new regulations.  But we know, as always, dear Lord, that we can rely on you to help us as You bring your own wonderful change of love, peace and strengthening for each day.

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 

12) Prayer and Benediction.

May I, on your behalf, thank Ms Susie King for leading our Service today. Thankyou Susie. 

Next Sunday, the 6th December, I am very pleased to say, we will, once again, be able to worship Almighty God in our own Church in Waarden Road, Canvey Island. This act of worship will be our annual “Gift and Toy” service and it will be led by Mrs Jane Fulford. Should you wish to contribute a gift for a child, if you are also wrapping it, please can you mark it Boy or Girl, along with the age of the child it is intended for? Many thanks.

A final prayer.

Almighty God we thank you for the promise that Jesus will return again. May we live in expectant readiness for His coming, in active and loving service at His bidding and in Joyful and hope filled fellowship Inspired by the Holy Spirit.

 

And now may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all, now and forevermore. Amen.

 

May God Bless you all.

 

Colin