Sunday Evening Service from Connexion for August 23rd 2020:
Sunday Services from Connexion for August 23rd 2020:
Sunday Services from Hillside Circuit for August 23rd 2020:
Occasion: 12th Sunday After Pentecost
Old Testament: Exodus 1:8-2:10
Letter: Romans 12: 1-8
New Testament: Matthew 16: 13-20
[Click or tap on a Bible reference above to go down the page to the Bible reading to read it for yourself or hear a recording (or both) and then click or tap on Back to top to come back here.]
Theme: Obedience to God shapes lives
Here are the songs for Sunday morning service. Click or tap on a song to open it in YouTube or go to the Songs for worship webpage to find them embedded.
Trust and Obey.
How great is our God.
Spirit of the living God.
Speak, O Lord.
If you would also like to use prayers from the Methodist Service Book, they can be found at the Prayers for worship webpage.
1 The LORD was on our side! Let everyone in Israel say:
2 “The LORD was on our side!
Otherwise, the enemy attack 3 would have killed us all,
because it was furious.
4 We would have been swept away
in a violent flood 5 of high and roaring waves.”
6 Let’s praise the LORD!
He protected us from enemies who were like wild animals,
7 and we escaped like birds from a hunter’s torn net.
8 The LORD made heaven and earth,
and he is the one who sends us help.
Exodus 1 and 2
Exodus 1: 8 Many years later a new king came to power. He did not know what Joseph had done for Egypt, 9 and he told the Egyptians:
There are too many of those Israelites in our country, and they are becoming more powerful than we are. 10 If we don’t outsmart them, their families will keep growing larger. And if our country goes to war, they could easily fight on the side of our enemies and escape from Egypt.
11 The Egyptians put slave bosses in charge of the people of Israel and tried to wear them down with hard work. Those bosses forced them to build the cities of Pithom and Rameses, where the king could store his supplies. 12 But even though the Israelites were mistreated, their families grew larger, and they took over more land. Because of this, the Egyptians hated them worse than before 13 and made them work so hard 14 that their lives were miserable. The Egyptians were cruel to the people of Israel and forced them to make bricks and to mix mortar and to work in the fields.
15 Finally, the king called in Shiphrah and Puah, the two women who helped the Hebrew mothers when they gave birth. 16 He told them, “If a Hebrew woman gives birth to a girl, let the child live. If the baby is a boy, kill him!”
17 But the two women were faithful to God and did not kill the boys, even though the king had told them to. 18 The king called them in again and asked, “Why are you letting those baby boys live?”
19 They answered, “Hebrew women have their babies much quicker than Egyptian women. By the time we arrive, their babies are already born.” 20-21 God was good to the two women because they truly respected him, and he blessed them with children of their own.
The Hebrews kept increasing 22 until finally, the king gave a command to everyone in the nation, “As soon as a Hebrew boy is born, throw him into the Nile River! But you can let the girls live.”
Exodus 2: 1 A man from the Levi tribe married a woman from the same tribe, 2 and she later had a baby boy. He was a beautiful child, and she kept him inside for three months. 3 But when she could no longer keep him hidden, she made a basket out of reeds and covered it with tar. She put him in the basket and placed it in the tall grass along the edge of the Nile River. 4 The baby’s older sister stood off at a distance to see what would happen to him.
5 About that time one of the king’s daughters came down to take a bath in the river, while her servant women walked along the river bank. She saw the basket in the tall grass and sent one of the young women to pull it out of the water. 6 When the king’s daughter opened the basket, she saw the baby and felt sorry for him because he was crying. She said, “This must be one of the Hebrew babies.”
7 At once the baby’s older sister came up and asked, “Do you want me to get a Hebrew woman to take care of the baby for you?”
8 “Yes,” the king’s daughter answered.
So the girl brought the baby’s mother, 9 and the king’s daughter told her, “Take care of this child, and I will pay you.”
The baby’s mother carried him home and took care of him. 10 And when he was old enough, she took him to the king’s daughter, who adopted him. She named him Moses because she said, “I pulled him out of the water.”
1 Dear friends, God is good. So I beg you to offer your bodies to him as a living sacrifice, pure and pleasing. That’s the most sensible way to serve God. 2 Don’t be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him.
3 I realize how kind God has been to me, and so I tell each of you not to think you are better than you really are. Use good sense and measure yourself by the amount of faith that God has given you. 4 A body is made up of many parts, and each of them has its own use. 5 That’s how it is with us. There are many of us, but we each are part of the body of Christ, as well as part of one another.
6 God has also given each of us different gifts to use. If we can prophesy, we should do it according to the amount of faith we have. 7 If we can serve others, we should serve. If we can teach, we should teach. 8 If we can encourage others, we should encourage them. If we can give, we should be generous. If we are leaders, we should do our best. If we are good to others, we should do it cheerfully.
13 When Jesus and his disciples were near the town of Caesarea Philippi, he asked them, “What do people say about the Son of Man?”
14 The disciples answered, “Some people say you are John the Baptist or maybe Elijah or Jeremiah or some other prophet.”
15 Then Jesus asked them, “But who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter spoke up, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus told him:
Simon, son of Jonah, you are blessed! You didn’t discover this on your own. It was shown to you by my Father in heaven. 18 So I will call you Peter, which means “a rock.” On this rock I will build my church, and death itself will not have any power over it. 19 I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven, and God in heaven will allow whatever you allow on earth. But he will not allow anything that you don’t allow.
20 Jesus told his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
Message for Hillside Circuit in English, with Mr Arnold Mahonye:
Allow me to greet the church of God in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, amen.
LET US PRAY
Heavenly Father, we come before thy throne of grace cognizant of the fact that you loved us before we knew you, For this is the day you have made, indeed we shall rejoice and be glad in it, thanking you for the gift of life and this precious opportunity to meet as your children to share the bread of life, despite this lockdown, bless us all as we await your word in season which you have sent me to deliver, not from own understanding but yours, Amen.
CHURCH OF GOD allow me to take you to scriptures of the day with the theme OBEDIENCE TO GOD SHAPES LIVES.
BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST –
The word obedience according to the dictionary will mean
1. To obey.
2. To be compliant.
3. Submission to authority.
The 3 meanings I have given above reminds of a video clip which went viral in the social media not so long ago, where purported “Law Enforcing Agencies” are seen battering a teenage boy for reasons best known to themselves, this video clip sparked a lot of controversies and talk in many circles including one of my groups where member posted different opinion mostly condemning the barbaric action. one of the members responded saying that look at these Hungry Fools Beating Up Hungry Boys, this subsequently opened a protracted debate, with some mixed views coming up, the majority concurred that the so said Law Enforcing Agencies were being cruel and misdirected. Then one member raised a very sobering and pertinent question saying, “gentlemen, “Don’t you think these policemen are only but carrying out their duty and also submitting to authority This debate went on and on and on until some of us exhausted our data”.
What am i saying Brothers and Sisters in Christ, is in as much as the law enforcing agencies were given authority to maintain law and in my view they acted in an uncivilized way or they were just overzealously by not respecting human rights and also the ultimate authority they were meant to submit to who is our God Almighty.
Looking at the scripture we read in Exodus 1 : 8
We are told of a new king who had not known Joseph, Egyptians forgetting that Joseph had been brought as light to Egypt by God Almighty. However, I am amused in the same book of exodus 1 vs 15 where in we read of 2 Hebrews midwives who were given a lawful instruction by their king to which they vehemently defied the authoritative order from the King of Egypt to kill all boys born of Hebrews women at birth as they were potential warriors and men of tomorrow. This was SHIPHRAH AND PUAH, these 2 ladies looked at a bigger picture that of fearing God not men, again let us be reminded that being obedient to God than men is what shapes life.
BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST
How many times have we obeyed or submitted to authority we know exactly to be misguided for fear of victimization, fear of losing employment, losing a wife, husband and friendship we have feared men instead of God. I say to you today only obedience to God will shape your life as what SHIPHRAH AND PUAH did. My question is how many of us did in this world of ours full of corruption would do what these 2 ladies did?
We further want to look to our second reading where Paul writes a letter to the Roman Church, urging them to present their bodies as a living sacrifice, this being in sharp contrast to the traditional animal sacrifice or perhaps living in the sense of having a new life of the Holy Spirit in a true and proper worship NOT merely ritual activity BUT the involvement of heart, mind and will in worship and obedience services.
Paul doesn’t stop there but went on to say in Chapter 12
Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by renewing our mind so that you may discern what the good, pleasant and perfect will of God.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ we are all being called to be transformed meaning to be completely changed. This word reminds of early School days when we were learning nature study. The word Metamorphosis which means a complete change of form, structure, substance, character, appearance, etc or a stage of growth e.g Chrysalis to Butterfly.
The challenge which is being encountered by the Church is that of Christians are remaining half baked. We are not transforming as it where. We change our structure, our appearance and forget or refuse our character. Children of God, we are being urged to be transformed not to partially change.
We are also reminded not to think more highly than we should, as we are all one body in Christ with many parts which do not function the same. We have different gifts:-
If In prophecy then use it according to standard of Faith
If its service then save
If it’s teaching then teach
If its exhortation then advice
If it’s giving then give generously
If its mercy then do it cheerfully
It is now a common feature in churches that there are members who think more highly of themselves causing divisions, this again reminds me of a book I read titled THE ANIMAL FARM where disgruntled all animals on a farm congregated to express their displeasure on how some animals were treated more equal than the others. This is what we are experiencing in our churches some promoting the holier than thou attitude. Let us be reminded that no man is an island we all need one another.
We have been made a spectacle in the world, to angels as well as to men and the real work is formed by the Holy Spirit upon human character and its fruits are seen clearly. 1 Corinthians 4:9. As we all know that a good fruit tree is planted in the garden to bear fruits, similarly with us we are put in this world to bear fruits brothers and sisters in Christ.
Has it ever dawned unto you that what sort of fruit you are bearing in your society, family, church.
Let us not be sucked by this world with its malt instead let us be above reproach by doing good in our families, community, church, place of work. Let’s desist from having two identities, one for Sunday and one for the week, one for church and one for work places.
As I conclude children of God, allow me to say, lets do away with evil habits, bad tendencies which has been biased towards wrong. Wrong dispositions and feelings to be done away with and a new standard or character be formed but I say to you – whilst all this is not possible in our human strength and we have failed to accomplish our resolutions and mission DON’T GIVE UP
Let us put ourselves wholly in his hands and trust him, (Proverbs 3:5 says trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not in your own understanding) the believer can only trust and God works. In the gospel according to St Matthew 16: 13 – 20 where Jesus is asking the disciples what do they say the Son of Man is, all sort of answers were given and Simon Peter said you are the messiah. My question to you brothers and sisters is who do you say yourself son of men. Mind you this is not corporate submission but an individual commitment – Amen.
Message for Hillside Circuit in Shona, with Mrs Gloria Nyamambi:
Theme:Obedience to God shapes lives/ Kuteerera Mwari kunoumba hupenyu.
Bible reading:- Rukoko:
181- Hoyo mushandiri waShe.
88- Vakaropa avo vanetsika yenduramo
163- Kana tichifamba muizwi raMwari.
Ndinokukwazisai mose muzita raIshe wedu Jesu Kristu, Amen.
Ndinotenda Mwari zvikuru nemukana uno wandapiwa kuti ndishumire kunemi munguva yakadai uye nenzira iyi. Iri izuva raitwa naShe, ngatifare tifarisire mariri nokuti hatizivi zviri mangwana. . Obedience kana kuti kuteerera kuzviisa pasi peuyo anesimba aripamsoro.(submitting to a higher authority). Izvi zvinogoneka bedzi kana taziva nekubvuma kuti iye aripamsoro anesimba neruzivo panyaya yatinotaura yakadai neyanhasi irikutaura pamsoro pekuumba. Zvoreva kuti hatiremerwi nekuteerera Mwari nokuti tinoziva kuti ndiye anesimba rekusika kubva kuna Genesis:1. Pasina chakanga chiripo, vakaita zvese zvatinoona nezvatisingaoni kuburikidza nezwi rawo. Mwari vakazozviziwisa kuvanhu nemuna Jesu Kristu apo izwi rakazovanyama rikararama nevanhu semunhu(John1:14).
KunaJeremia 1:5 tinonzwa Mwari vachitaura kwaari vachiti “Ndakakuziva ndisati ndakuumba mudumbu ramai, ndakakuita mutsvene usati wabuda muchizvaro chamai, ndakakugadza kuti uwe muprofita wamarudzi avanhu.” Tinodzidzawo kuti kuumba hakuzi kwezuva rimwe chete asi mazhinji, uye chinoumbwa hachizivi zvachinoumbwa kana chinoumbirwei. Muumbi anofadzwa kwazvo kushandisa mudziyo vaaumba sezvaanoda mubasa rake.
Nokuti Mwari vane simba neruziwo pamsoro pezvinhu zvese, havatadzi kuumba zvavanoda nekuzvishandisa sezvavanoda. Isu tiri vanhu takasikwa naMwari tinoraramiswa naye,tinofanira kuteerera iye kuti tizive hurongwa hweupenyu hwedu.
Nokuda kwechivi chiripanyika pfungwa yemunhu inopesana nepfungwa yaMwari zvikuru asi hazvitadzisi Mwari kuita kuda kwawo. Mundima yataverenga kuna Exodus, Mwari vane hurongwa hwevana vaIsrael kuenda kunyika yawo yechipikirwa, asi zvakatora nguva refu kuti vabude muEgypt kuenda Kanana. Farao unovatambudza zvikuru achida kuparadza rudzi rwese paanoraira kuti vanakomana vese vaurawe pakubarwa. Mwari vanochengetedza hupenyu hwaMoses nokuda kwebasa ravanoda kuti aite. Tinosangana nezvakadai nguva dzese muupenyu hwedu, panoda kuurawa vana vedu, mhuri dzedu, mabasa, michato, hushamwari, hukama chaihwo. Asi Mwari wedu vanomutsa vanhu vakaita saShifura naPua vanotya Mwari nekuita zvakaipa. Vasingateereri avo vanesimba renguva pfupi uye rinopera, vasingazivi rudo rwaMwari kana kumuteerera. Mwari vanomutsa vakadzi vakaita samai vaMoses vane meso anoti aona chakanaka, vanochiviga pakanaka vachitsvaga mazano kuti chirarame nokuti vanoziva kuti zvakanaka zvinobva kuna Mwari uye zvinebasa razvakatsaurirwa. Kana taponeswa munhamo dzedu tokudza Mwari tichiti saDavid “Dayi asiri Mwari vakava nesu patakamukirwa, dayi takamedzwa, takafushirwa takaparara.” Asi nokuti vanoumba hupenyu, ndiMwari, vanoziva destination yedu, ndiMwari, vanesimba rekuti tisvike, ndiwo Mwari saka tivateerere. Kana Mwari vachitiraira mushoko rawo, varikutipa nzira yokurarama nayo hupenyu, chido chawo kutidzivirira kubva pane zvakaipa. Tinonzwa Paul kuvaRoma 12:1 “Ndinokumbira zvikuru haha dzangu, netsitsi dzaMwari kuti muise miviri yenyu chive chibayiro chipenyu, chitsvene chinofadza Mwari, ndiko kunamata kwenyu kwemoyo.” Paul arikutidanira kunzira yehupenyu inofadza Mwari, iri nzira yaKristu Jesu vakatifira pamchinjiko kuti tiponeswe tichiva nehupenyu husingaperi. (John 3:16) Sezvatiri izvozvo Kristu vanotigamuchira. Hazvinei nerudzi, necolour, status, mupfumi kana murombo. Mifungo yedu ndiyo inofanirwa kushandurwa neshoko rakristu kuti tibve mune zvenyika zvinopesana naMwari. Kana mifungo yashandurwa, zvino tobata mabasa edu nezvipo zvatakapiwa tisingazvikudzi, asi tichiziva kuti inyasha dzaMwari.
MunaMateu, Jesu anobvunza vadzidzi kuti vanonyatsomuziva here, uye kuti vakavingei panyika. Vanhu vazhinji vakamuona zvakasiyana siyana vakamufananidza nevamwe vaprofita. Asi Peter unoti “Ndimi Messiah, mwanakomana vaMwari mupenyu.” Iwe nhasi unoti kudini? Unobvuma here kuti Jesu ndiye Mwari, ndiye nzira yekuenda kunababa. Zvino kana taziva nzira hatirambi tichifamba sezvatinoda, tichigara sezvatinoda, tichitaura zvatinoda, tichiita zvatinoda nekunzwa zvinotifadza chete, tichida vatinoda, kwete. 1 vaKorinte 6:12 inoti “Ndakatenderwa zvinhu zvese, asi hazvisi zvese zvinondibatsiri.” Tinofanira kusarudza zvinhu zvinotibatsira muhupenyu zvichifadza Mwari muumbi weupenyu. . Ndinoda kupedzisa ndichiti hama dzangu, hatigoni kuteerera Mwari nezuva rimwe, zvinotora nguva kuumba mudziyo vakanaka, vebasa rapamsoro. Inzira yehupenyu yatinofamba zuva nezuva takananga kuchinangwa, tichiverenga shoko raMwari, tichinamata nguva dzese, tichifara munaShe. Saka, ngatizvichenesei kubva kune zvese zvinosvibisa miviri nemweya, tikwanise vutsvene pakutya Mwari nokuda kwezvipikirwa zvatinovana mushoko ravo. Vakateerera Mwari vakakomborerwa kwazvo. VanaShifura naPua vakavana mhuri, may vaMoses varipwa pakuchengeta mwana vawo naiye Kristu muenzaniso wedu mukuru vakakudzwa kwazvo akapiwa simba pamsoro pezvinhu zvese, nezita riri pamsoro pemazita ese. Ngatishuwei kuva vashindiri, vanoda kurairwa naShe, kungechengeta shoko nekuedza kuda kwavo, kuti tigova vakaropafadzwa tichifadza Mwari wedu. Muzita raMwari baba, neremwanakomana, neremweya unoeya. Amen.
Wenyu munashe Gloria S Nyamambi