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Holy Communion January 10th 2021: HOPE

 Welcome to our service of Holy Communion

 Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83556211775?pwd=dXp6NE9nMW1lTTNVUmdYa2dBVElHQT09

 Meeting ID: 835 5621 1775

Passcode: 489409

Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe.

From the rising of the sun to its setting

your name is proclaimed in all the world.

 

The Lord of glory be with you.

The Lord bless you

 

Song: Joy to the World https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2c5EuEGIHvo&ab_channel=ChristmasSongsandCarols-LovetoSing

Confession

The grace of God has dawned upon the world

through our Saviour Jesus Christ,

who sacrificed himself for us to purify a people as his own.

 

Let us confess our sins.

God be gracious to us and bless us,

and make your face shine upon us:

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

 

May your ways be known on the earth,

your saving power among the nations:

Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

 

You, Lord, have made known your salvation,

and reveal your justice in the sight of the nations:

Lord, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

 

May the God of all healing and forgiveness

draw you to himself,

and cleanse you from your sins

that you may behold the glory of his Son,

the Word made flesh, Jesus our Lord.

Amen

 

Song: Ding Dong Merrily on High https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IIzcQ4fr6o&ab_channel=ChristmasSongsandCarols-LovetoSing

 

Heavenly Father,

at the Jordan you revealed Jesus as your Son:

may we recognize him as our Lord

and know ourselves to be your beloved children;

through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Amen

 

First Reading Genesis 1:1-5

1 In the beginning, when God created the universe, the earth was formless and desolate. The raging ocean that covered everything was engulfed in total darkness, and the Spirit of God was moving over the water. Then God commanded, “Let there be light”—and light appeared. God was pleased with what he saw. Then he separated the light from the darkness, and he named the light “Day” and the darkness “Night.” Evening passed and morning came—that was the first day.

 

Song: Light of the World  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MmRGSEG2LM

 

Gospel Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VMNO2MAmwA

Gospel Reading:

Alleluia, alleluia.

This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.

Alleluia.

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark 1:4-11

Glory to you O Lord

 

So John appeared in the desert, baptizing and preaching. “Turn away from your sins and be baptized,” he told the people, “and God will forgive your sins.” Many people from the province of Judea and the city of Jerusalem went out to hear John. They confessed their sins, and he baptized them in the Jordan River.

John wore clothes made of camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 

He announced to the people, “The man who will come after me is much greater than I am. I am not good enough even to bend down and untie his sandals. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

Not long afterward Jesus came from Nazareth in the province of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 As soon as Jesus came up out of the water, he saw heaven opening and the Spirit coming down on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my own dear Son. I am pleased with you.”

 

This is the Gospel of the Lord

Praise to you O Christ

 

The Sermon:

 It might seem rather odd to have a reading from Genesis today. It’s still so close to Christmas and we’ve only just had the 3 kings… so what’s going on?


It’s Epiphany season- and epiphany means revelation. So in the 6 weeks after Christmas, we focus on God revealing himself to us in Jesus his Son. We read about Jesus’ ministry and hear the accounts of Jesus showing his first disciples who he was.



But it’s also the season of Hope.
This is where the Genesis reading fits in
Right at the being of all things, God shows us what he is like. We read Genesis not as a document telling us exactly how life started (that’s what science does!) but revealing to us what God is like. And in the beginning, God shows us that he brings order out of chaos and light out of darkness.
God brings us light and hope where there is none.


It seems particularly appropriate for us right now. We have been hoping and longing for things to improve- and just when the vaccinations were starting- so too is the new variant of the COVID virus. 
What we need now, most of all is hope. Hope is the certainty that things will improve in the future, but that God is with us now. God strengthens us to keep going when it’s so tough. Tough in lock down again. Tough to be in school or work; scary to be in school or out of school and work. Very, very tough indeed to be in a frontline job.
Hope stops us from despairing or giving up or not bothering anymore with the restrictions. Because we know that things will get better, we can cope with the tough stuff now.
God brings order out of chaos and light out of darkness. 
God brings us hope.

But is that it? Hope says just keep on going?
If Genesis tells us what God is like- then Mark shows us more clearly.  John the Baptist comes to prepare people for Jesus. This is God coming right here with us. God is coming close. John brings hope. When he’s preparing people, it’s all about “get ready” because someone is about to arrive.


Hope drives us to action. Because we know change is coming, we don’t languish in despair. We can take action because we know it’s worth it.
In our current situation, we can work within the COVID restrictions. We don’t have to look for ways of getting round them- because we know we can cope within them- because change is coming.
And in our spiritual lives, we don’t put off doing things for God because we’re stuck inside at the moment. What can we do?
Prayer hasn’t stopped. Learning and reading our bibles has stopped. Contacting others hasn’t stopped.
Worship hasn’t stopped…
John prepared people for Jesus and then Jesus arrives. And Jesus bring the fulfilment of that hope. He’s here! The heavens open as Jesus is baptised and God’s voice affirms his Son. This is the epiphany or revelation. Jesus is the one whom God has sent. He brings us hope- real hope of change.
Jesus promises us his Holy Spirit. John says that Jesus will baptise us with the Holy Spirit.
So this is our hope. 
God brings order out of chaos and light out of darkness

John urges us to keep going and to set our lives straight

Jesus brings us the Holy Spirit so we can do it. 

The Holy Spirit changes us to be more like Jesus.



We are not alone as God is with us. We do not despair but can prepare for action. We have the power to live as God wants as Jesus sends us his Holy Spirit.
So in this very odd January, what do we decide to do?
Stay close to God- prayer Bible study, worship.
Stay close to each other- contact, small groups, phone calls and texts.
Look for ways within the restrictions of serving each other and our neighbours.
And asking God again and again to fill us with his Spirit.

The Creed

Let us declare our faith in God.

          We believe in God the Father,

          from whom every family

          in heaven and on earth is named.

          We believe in God the Son,

          who lives in our hearts through faith,

          and fills us with his love.

          We believe in God the Holy Spirit,

          who strengthens us

          with power from on high.

          We believe in one God;

          Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Prayers:

At the start of our prayer time let us turn our eyes towards God in worship and praise.

I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.

As we see you in your glory and power so we now come to bring you are thoughts and requests

The situation in the USA:
Our hearts go out to those in the United States as the political situation has become so unstable. We pray for the incoming president that you will give him wisdom as he deals with this crisis. We pray for a peaceful and smooth transition for the new government and a graceful exit for the outgoing president.

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer

Our heart for our mission contacts across the seas:
We want to thank you for our Christian brothers and sisters in Djembering and the IBBA girls school. Would you protect them, please, from Covid, and strengthen them day by day in their faith that they would continue to be a witness and testimony for your love and hope to those around them. For the girls in the school we pray that you will enable them to have a really good foundation both educationally and in their Christian faith they, too, can make a difference and transform their society in the future.

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer

Closer to home:
Lord we want to lift our students to you. We thank you for them and we pray for Antony, Wilson, Precious, Tadiwa, Tyrone, & Victor that you would enable them to be focused in their studies, to thirst after you, and to be able to be your witnesses to their friends and in the place where they find themselves.

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer

Our children:

Lord Jesus we also want to bring out children to you. You who loved them and drew them to yourself. We are so conscious of these restricted, unsettled and physically dangerous times that we are living in. We want to bring each of our church families to you asking for protection over the children, for joy for each of them, in the little things of daily life in lock down and that these unsettled times will build character and resilience in each of them. Pour your blessing out on them.

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer

We then pray for ourselves:

Lord God, we are thrown on to you in these uncertain and difficult times. We praise you that you are our rock, you are our foundation and that our future is certain in you. As your children we pray for your peace to reign in our hearts today, for wisdom to know how to act as we live our daily lives, and we pray for protection during the Covid situation. Lord, it is in times like these that we see how frail we are, and how little we control. Thank you that you are our strength, our guide and our joy no matter what our circumstances. We lift our hearts to you…

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer

The Peace

God has made us one in Christ.

He has set his seal upon us and, as a pledge of what is to come,

has given the Spirit to dwell in our hearts. Alleluia.

 

The peace of the Lord be always with you

And also with you.

Let us offer another a sign of peace

Song: Shine Jesus Shine   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3iB30gCqAc

Holy Communion

The Lord is here.

His Spirit is with us

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.           

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give thanks and praise.

                     

Almighty God, good Father to us all,

your face is turned towards your world.

In love you gave us Jesus your Son

to rescue us from sin and death.

Your Word goes out to call us home

to the city where angels sing your praise.

We join with them in heaven’s song:

Holy, holy, holy Lord,

God of power and God of might,

heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest

 

Father of all, we give you thanks

for every gift that comes from heaven.

To the darkness Jesus came as your light.

With signs of faith and words of hope

he touched untouchables with love and washed the guilty clean.

This is his story.

This is our song:

Hosanna in the highest.

 

The crowds came out to see your Son,

yet at the end they turned on him.

On the night he was betrayed

he came to table with his friends

to celebrate the freedom of your people.

 

This is his story.

This is our song:

Hosanna in the highest.

Jesus blessed you, Father, for the food;

he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and said:

This is my body, given for you all.

Jesus then gave thanks for the wine;

he took the cup, gave it and said:

This is my blood, shed for you all

for the forgiveness of sins.

Do this in remembrance of me.

This is our story.

This is our song:

Hosanna in the highest.

 

Therefore, Father, with this bread and this cup

we celebrate the cross

on which he died to set us free.

Defying death he rose again

and is alive with you to plead for us and all the world.

This is our story.

This is our song:

Hosanna in the highest.

 

Send your Spirit on us now

that by these gifts we may feed on Christ

with opened eyes and hearts on fire.

May we and all who share this food

offer ourselves to live for you

and be welcomed at your feast in heaven

where all creation worships you,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit:

Blessing and honour and glory and power

be yours for ever and ever. Amen.

 

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray:

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours

now and for ever.

Amen.

 

We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.

Though we are many we are one body because we all share in one bread.

Jesus, Lamb of God

have mercy on us.

Jesus bearer of our sins,

have mercy on us.

Jesus, redeemer of the world,

grant us peace.   

 

Draw near with faith.

Receive the body of our Lord Jesus Christ

which he gave for you,

and his blood which he shed for you.

Eat and drink

in remembrance that he died for you,

and feed on him in your hearts

by faith with thanksgiving.

 

Song: Great is the darkness https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQ8qe3CggWo&ab_channel=WeAreWorshipLyrics%26Chords

Prayer of Spiritual Communion 

Thanks be to you, Lord Jesus Christ, 

for all the benefits you have given me, 

for all the pains and insults you have borne for me. 

Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, 

I ask you to come spiritually into my heart. 

O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother, 

may I know you more clearly, 

love you more dearly, 

and follow you more nearly, day by day. Amen

 

Lord of all time and eternity,

you opened the heavens and revealed yourself as Father

in the baptism of Jesus your beloved Son:

by the power of your Spirit

complete the heavenly work of our rebirth

through the waters of the new creation;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen

 

Almighty God,

we thank you for feeding us

with the body and blood of your Son Jesus Christ.

Through him we offer you our souls and bodies

to be a living sacrifice.

Send us out

in the power of your Spirit

to live and work

to your praise and glory.

Amen.

 

The Blessing:

May God the Father,

who led the wise men by the shining of a star

to find the Christ, the Light from Light,

lead you also in your pilgrimage to find the Lord. Amen.

May God the Son,

who turned water into wine at the wedding feast at Cana,

transform your lives and make glad your hearts. Amen.

May God the Holy Spirit,

who came upon the beloved Son

at his baptism in the river Jordan,

pour out his gifts on you

who have come to the waters of new birth.

Amen.

And the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always.

Amen.

 

Song: We are marching

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqNdoExJido

 

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ.  Amen.

 

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