[Did you miss last Sunday’s services? They can still be found at Worship Archive – August 14th 2022.]
Sunday Service from Connexion for August 21st 2022:
[Sorry. The video from Connexion with the Ordination Service could not be downloaded and converted to audio format. You can still find it on Facebook, but it uses quite a lot of megabytes because it is almost 3 hours long.]
[Click or tap here to jump down the page to see the text version of the Sermon to the 45th Conference of the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe so that you can read it for yourself.]
Sunday Service from Hillside Circuit for August 21st 2022:
Lectionary Theme: Humble yourself
Occasion: 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
Psalm 71: 1-6
Jeremiah 1: 4-10
Hebrews 12: 18-29
Luke 13: 10-17
[Click or tap on a Bible reference above to jump down the page to the Bible reading to listen and/or read it for yourself and then click or tap on Back to top to come back here.]
Here are the songs for Sunday morning service. Click or tap on a song to open it in YouTube.
Praise to the Lord.
O my soul, arise and bless your Maker.
Be still, for the presence of the Lord.
Here I am (Majesty).
Guide me, O Thou great Redeemer.
Take my life.
To God be the glory.
You can listen and join in with prayers from the English Methodist Service Book. They can be found at the Prayers for worship webpage.
[Click or tap here to jump down the page to see the text version of this message so that you can read it for yourself.]
1 I run to you, LORD, for protection.
Don’t disappoint me.
2 You do what is right, so come to my rescue.
Listen to my prayer and keep me safe.
3 Be my mighty rock,
the place where I can always run for protection.
Save me by your command!
You are my mighty rock and my fortress.
4 Come and save me, LORD God,
from vicious and cruel and brutal enemies!
5 I depend on you,
and I have trusted you since I was young.
6 I have relied on you from the day I was born.
You brought me safely through birth,
and I always praise you.
4 The LORD said:
5 “Jeremiah, I am your Creator, and before you were born,
I chose you to speak for me to the nations.”
6 I replied, “I’m not a good speaker, LORD, and I’m too young.”
7 “Don’t say you’re too young,” the LORD answered. “If I tell you to go and speak to someone, then go! And when I tell you what to say, don’t leave out a word! 8 I promise to be with you and keep you safe, so don’t be afraid.”
9 The LORD reached out his hand, then he touched my mouth and said, “I am giving you the words to say, 10 and I am sending you with authority to speak to the nations for me. You will tell them of doom and destruction, and of rising and rebuilding again.”
18 You have not come to a place like Mount Sinai that can be seen and touched. There is no flaming fire or dark cloud or storm 19 or trumpet sound. The people of Israel heard a voice speak. But they begged it to stop, 20 because they could not obey its commands. They were even told to kill any animal that touched the mountain. 21 The sight was so frightening that Moses said he shook with fear.
22 You have now come to Mount Zion and to the heavenly Jerusalem. This is the city of the living God, where thousands and thousands of angels have come to celebrate. 23 Here you will find all of God’s dearest children, whose names are written in heaven. And you will find God himself, who judges everyone. Here also are the spirits of those good people who have been made perfect. 24 And Jesus is here! He is the one who makes God’s new agreement with us, and his sprinkled blood says much better things than the blood of Abel.
25 Make sure that you obey the one who speaks to you. The people did not escape, when they refused to obey the one who spoke to them at Mount Sinai. Do you think you can possibly escape, if you refuse to obey the one who speaks to you from heaven? 26 When God spoke the first time, his voice shook only the earth. This time he has promised to shake the earth once again, and heaven too.
27 The words “once again” mean that these created things will someday be shaken and removed. Then what cannot be shaken will last. 28 We should be grateful that we were given a kingdom that cannot be shaken. And in this kingdom we please God by worshipping him and by showing him great honour and respect. 29 Our God is like a destructive fire!
10 One Sabbath, Jesus was teaching in a Jewish meeting place, 11 and a woman was there who had been crippled by an evil spirit for eighteen years. She was completely bent over and could not straighten up. 12 When Jesus saw the woman, he called her over and said, “You are now well.” 13 He placed his hands on her, and right away she stood up straight and praised God.
14 The man in charge of the meeting place was angry because Jesus had healed someone on the Sabbath. So he said to the people, “Each week has six days when we can work. Come and be healed on one of those days, but not on the Sabbath.”
15 The Lord replied, “Are you trying to fool someone? Won’t any one of you untie your ox or donkey and lead it out to drink on a Sabbath? 16 This woman belongs to the family of Abraham, but Satan has kept her bound for eighteen years. Isn’t it right to set her free on the Sabbath?” 17 Jesus’ words made his enemies ashamed. But everyone else in the crowd was happy about the wonderful things he was doing.
Text version of the message for Hillside Circuit on August 21st 2022, with Dr Christine Tenga:
I greet you all in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour .
Let us pray
Our heavenly Father we come to you with hearts filled with joy and humility because this is the day that we can gather together to worship YOU and thank you for all the good things YOU do for us. We thank you for the gift of life for good health and your abundant love.
We remember others in their different situations and ask YOU to be in their presence.
We ask all this in Jesus name.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable to you Lord God our Saviour and redeemer.
In today’s theme we are instructed to humble ourselves. That is to position ourselves in a low position, to put others at the fore front as well as acknowledge our inadequacy and insufficiency. That can only happen when we listen to others and open our hearts to learn new things.
Looking at our Jeremiah Passage, Jeremiah is called to do a mammoth task by God, to take a message not only to Judah and Israel but to nations. He was young and felt his inadequacy and lack of experience and knowledge to do that. He expressed it to God but God told him that He would be there to help him. By touching him, God was purifying and setting him apart and preparing him for the task. He was going to bring change to people. To destroy bad and replace with good. Make them change old ways of worship and worship God alone. When you are called to do God’s work, be prepared to ask God’s guidance in prayer and not only that, but be prepared to learn from other Christians. We often mess up when we think we know it all. Humble yourself and be a listener. Christianity involves changing people’s social and spiritual thinking that includes their lives. You can only influence them with. a humble approach. In what ever means think of the people you are dealing with by putting them first. As a Christian always know that God is with you when He assigns duties to you, so don’t allow fear of any kind to stop you or to intimidate you. Have courage knowing that God is with you.
Jews in the Luke passage, lacked the qualities of humility. They were not prepared to learn new things. They were stuck in the law of Moses and could not open their minds to Christ. Yes, Sabbath had to be observed but good things had to be done even on a Sabbath. Lives had to be saved. They grumbled when Jesus healed a woman from a bad spirit that had crippled her for 18 years. Surely could observing a day be better than saving a life? They did not think of the NEED for healing for a woman who had suffered for many years. Jesus rebuked them and reminded them that on a Sabbath they care for their animals. Couldn’t they care for the woman? People suffer both physically and spiritually. They need Christians to take the message of God to them. The Jews did not understand what Sabbath is all about. There are Christians who go to church always and never approach those who need Christ and invite them to church or invite them to bible study.
Jesus saves those who are crippled by sin. We need to go to him for healing both physically and spiritually. Speak to others who need Christ in a humble way without looking down upon them. Humility is about putting others first and caring for them but Pharisees only regarded themselves as knowing it all. They did not want to hear anything from Jesus and learn from him. They held onto the old covenant but Jesus brought in a new covenant which made things better and easier. The old law was not easy because people continued to sin but Jesus paid for the sin and healed everyone. If you do not humble yourself and listen and obey him, you will not be saved. Open your hearts to God’s word and it will change the way you see things, the way you relate to others and your relationship with God as you begin to do what pleases Him.
In the Hebrews passage we are shown a contrast between the experiences on Mt. Sinai and Mt. Zion. Mt. Sinai represents our earthly experience where we suffer and God seems far from us. God said to Moses, people must stay far from the mountain even animals must not come near. People were so afraid to hear the voice of God . Now we experience the life on Mt. Zion where we can communicate with God through Christ without any fear. This points to our spiritual lives where we focus on the heavenly things. Judgement is evident at the end. We must be obedient and not be like Jews on Mt Sinai because they didn’t want to hear God’s voice again. We must not give up on God’s word even if it is not telling us good things but we must be ready to change, to be corrected. We must humble ourselves because we are lower than God. We live in the new covenant era where we must remain firm in our faith. Those who are weak will not be accepted in the kingdom of God. Those who will not change because of His word that is preached to nations will be judged. God is removing bad things and leaving only the good that is suitable for His kingdom.
In conclusion let us be humble, do good, continue to worship God in the right way so that we may be acceptable in the unshakable kingdom.
Let us pray.
Thank you Father for your voice which speaks to us through your word each and everyday. Teach us to humble ourselves and learn from it. May our lives be continuously changed as the word is planted in our hearts. We worship you and thank you for the kingdom in which we are already living in and pray we shall continue living in it even in the life to come. Thank you for our Lord Jesus Christ who lives with us through His Spirit and is ever guiding us.
Text version of the message for 45th Conference of the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe, August 2022:
THE METHODIST CHURCH IN ZIMBABWE.
45TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE
READING: PSALM 85: 6 “Will you not revive us again, That your people may rejoice in you? Show us your mercy, Lord, And grant us your salvation”
JOEL 2: 25 “I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter. The great army sent among you”.
THEME: THE LORD OF REVIVAL AND RESTORATION.
1 Most Bible Interpreters are in agreement that Psalm 85 was written soon after the return of the Jews from Babylonian captivity.
2 The Psalmist felt that God had been very favourable and gracious to His people, and while considering the goodness of the Lord in restoring them to the land, he breaks out in prayer for revival of spiritual power among them.
3 They returned to a ruined city, a fallen Temple, and a mourning land, where they were surrounded by jealous and powerful enemies. The enemies and adversaries didn’t want them rebuild Jerusalem.
4 After God’s people returned from the Babylonian captivity they were suffering new afflictions and new threats.
5 Thy cried to God in prayer and what they cried for is that they maybe revived. “Will you not revive us again: -This is a simple and wonderful prayer for revival.
6 The prayer recognizes that revival is not man-made, but given by God. Yet it also recognizes that one may and should pray for revival, and pray with godly expectation.
7 The prayer for revival implies that the people who were alive once; have died in a spiritual sense, and now need to be given spiritual life again. And so how do we define revival?
WHAT IS REVIVAL?
1 Revival is re-awakening and re-igniting the flames that are dying. The flames which fuel the Mission of God, the Flame of the Holy Spirit within the church. The Holy Spirit who is the way paver, the voice that says to the church, “Here is the way and the path of God, walk in it”.
2 Revival is a spiritual reawakening from a state of dormancy or stagnation in the life of the church, especially when the goal is simply perpetuating the past and when stagnation is interpreted as stability.
3 It encompasses the resurfacing of a love for God, an appreciation of God’s holiness, a passion for His Word, and His Church, a convicting awareness of personal and corporate sin, a spirit of humility, and a desire for repentance and growth in righteousness.
4 Revival invigorates and sometimes deepens a believer’s faith, opening our eyes to the truth in a fresh, new way.
5 Revival generally involves the connotation of a fresh start with a clean slate, marking a new beginning.
6 We are not only crying for revival but for restoration as well.
WHAT IS RESTORATION?
1 Restoration is taking something that has left its place, dusting or cleaning it off and putting it back where it belongs.
2 The assumption is that the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe starting from this Conference should ask God to help us correct perceived shortcomings of the current church.
3 The shortcomings may seem to fulfil John Wesley’s prophecy that this church may continue to exist but without power.
4 In Joel 2: 25, God promised to restore the years eaten by locusts. But lost years can never be restored literally. Time once past is gone for ever. The locusts did not eat the years but ate the fruits of the years’ labour, the harvests of the fields.
5 Methodist Church in Zimbabwe cannot have its time back but God can give back wasted blessings.
6 There is power to restore which is beyond all things. No man, by wisdom or power, can recover what has been utterly destroyed. God alone can do for us what seems impossible.
We sit in this Conference to seek His face and not to display our thinking capacity or exhibit our eloquence in speeches. But to say Lord without you we are nothing and even our wisdom is folly without you.
Who will deny that this Conference has sharp minds, who will deny that there are many delegates endowed with wisdom, who will deny that we have a perfect strategic plan but with all these, our productivity is questionable.
7 The locust has eaten our Stipends, our SAMU, our healing power, our integrity, our oneness, our moral life. We plough and sow but reap nothing.
8 We pray for the restoration of the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe.
1 Apart from the challenges they were encountering on their return from Exile, the Jews were aware that their relationship with God was disturbed in Babylon especially through intermarriages and idol worship. Their return was mercifully provided by God not that they deserved but that God wanted to remain faithful to His promises.
2 For the past two years we were literally in Babylon and our Nebuchadnezzar was COVID-19.
3 Our faith was shaken.
4 It was in Babylon where prophetic utterances about the future were vehemently announced and so the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe in its captivity in 2021 prophetically raised a theme for 2023, “The Lord of Revival and Restoration “.
5 God, through His Holy Spirit, calls us to revival in a number of situations.
6 We cannot be the same after passing through the fire of COVID-19 so we need to rise with new strength and new determination to worship our God who has gone through the waters with us. A higher level of gratitude must be shown.
THE CONTEXT OF PSALM 85.
1 The context of Psalm 85, tells us when to pray for revival:-
a) We should pray for revival when we remember the great things God has done in the past and when those things are no longer happening in our day. 85:1-3.
It’s up to this Conference to remember those things or not.
b) The prophet Habakkuk says (3v2) “Oh Lord I have heard what you have done, and I am filled with awe. Now do again in our times the great deeds you used to do. Be merciful even when you are angry”.
c) How we wish the coming back of those days when MCU would embark on MBUSERERE, preach the Gospel, heal the sick, drive out demons and would leave an offering each time they meet a demanding situation and sinners would follow them back to church. Where are these MCUs? The locust ate them.
When we extinguish the fire of the Gospel, sin finds its place. And sin takes away the anointing.
d) How we wish the coming back of a rare breed of Ruwadzano Manyano women who would sing and the Holy Spirit would come down. Where are they? Havachadhakwi naMweya Mutsvene asi newine as they frequent evil parties of our day.
e) We desire the coming back of Easter revivals when the youths would dramatise the crucifixion of Jesus and the congregation would shed Holy tears because the youths of those days pursued holiness and could touch hearts of men and women.
f) We should pray for revival when we sense we are under a cloud of divine displeasure or an evident lack of blessing. 85:4-6
g) We should pray for revival when we realise that the whole business of Conference is on how much money did we raise and how much did we save instead of discussing who was saved.
1 We need a revival starting from this Conference and it starts by acknowledging that we are no longer in the rightful place and that we need to repent.
We need to accept that we no longer stand as a bearer of God’s light and as the salt that seasons the world.
We must acknowledge that we are a source of dishonour and a causer of pain where we must be a healing balm.
2 We need a revival because the people of faith are being secularised by the world and so many of the people of faith now believe that the Bible has errors. Revival should start within Ministers because our belief in the completeness and holiness of the Bible is no more. The Ministers who should defend the inerrancy of the Bible are the very people telling our congregants that the Bible has errors.
We need a revival especially when clergy is so learned and there is nothing bad about being learned but that we become Bible Doctrine Experts and not have spiritual illumination. We become Bible students and scholars and not Bible believers.
3 Who can deny a revival in the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe when church politics is so dirty and wicked without any difference to that in the world. And the dirty politics is exacerbated by the increase of moral decadence and growth of carnality even among clergy to the extend that Ministers Retreats which should attract blessings are gatherings to receive curses. Hate and gossip is taking centre stage and a general lack of sisterly and brotherly love is taking root. What will come out of such a church.
4 Who will deny a revival when a National 2022 BCU convention fits in a High school Hall instead of spreading all over the school open grounds.
5 Who will deny a revival when a GCU and Manyano Convention is over and what you see being posted on Facebook pages are their uniforms without any reflection on the Word they received.
6 Who can deny a revival when year in year out what tops the agenda of conference is our failure to pay stipends without talking about our failure to take care of widows, opharns and the poor. Maybe our stipends are cursed because we have used benevolent fund to top up the stipends. Where is our concern for the poor.
5 We need a revival to deal with the problem of compromise and we compromise with the world in the name of inclusivity.
Jesus didn’t eat with sinners and tax collectors because He wanted to appear inclusive, tolerant and accepting. He ate with them to a changed and fruitful life, to die to self and live for Him. His call is transformation of life not affirmation of identity.
6 God would like to raise Methodist Church in Zimbabwe to be a church which accepts everyone not to keep them in their state but to transform them into model Christians and citizens. A church which says come as you are but agree to be changed by the true Word of God.
7 Are we not giving locusts and the destroyer more space as we squeeze time for the reports on Ministry and Service and give more time to elections and appointments and continue each and every year in an election mode. Isn’t our Conference a tip of the iceberg as we mirror our societies that notices are given almost if not more time in some instances to that of the preacher.
1 No revival shall take place without the power of the Holy Spirit. It is entirely something that God does.
2 No revival shall take place unless we accept that we have erred and we need the grace of God to lift us up again and sit us in heavenly places with Christ Jesus.
3 We will be revived once we vacate the seat of God and let Him be in the driving seat of His church.
God would like to revive and restore back. But notice that this revival and restoration follows upon a true and genuine repentance. Without that this National theme will ring like a bell without meaning.
4 A piece of furniture that is to be restored is sanded down first before it is repainted. We have to give ourselves over to God so that He prunes off all that is irrelevant. It is painful but that is the only way we can then be purified and restored for His glory in Jesus Christ Name Amen.
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