Sunday Services from Connexion for August 2nd 2020:
Sunday Services from Hillside Circuit for August 2nd 2020:
Date: August 2nd
Occasion: 9th After Pentecost
Old Testament: Genesis 32: 22-31
Letter: Romans 9: 1-5
New Testament: Matthew 14: 13-21
[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: Offer it to God to be multiplied
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.
Lord I lift your name on high.
Shepherd of my soul.
We bow down.
If you would also like to use prayers from the Methodist Service Book, they can be found at the Prayers for worship webpage.
1 I am innocent, LORD!
Won’t you listen as I pray and beg for help?
I am honest! Please hear my prayer.
2 Only you can say that I am innocent,
because only your eyes can see the truth.
3 You know my heart,
and even during the night you have tested me
and found me innocent.
I have made up my mind never to tell a lie.
4 I don’t do like others.
I obey your teachings and am not cruel.
5 I have followed you, without ever stumbling.
6 I pray to you, God, because you will help me.
Listen and answer my prayer!
7 Show your wonderful love.
Your mighty arm protects those who run to you
for safety from their enemies.
8 Protect me as you would your very own eyes;
hide me in the shadow of your wings.
9 Don’t let my brutal enemies
attack from all sides and kill me.
10 They refuse to show mercy, and they keep bragging.
11 They have caught up with me!
My enemies are everywhere,
eagerly hoping to smear me in the dirt.
12 They are like hungry lions hunting for food,
or like young lions hiding in ambush.
13 Do something, LORD! Attack and defeat them.
Take your sword and save me
from those evil people.
14 Use your powerful arm and rescue me
from the hands of mere humans
whose world won’t last.
You provide food for those you love.
Their children have plenty,
and their grandchildren will have more than enough.
15 I am innocent, LORD, and I will see your face!
When I awake, all I want is to see you as you are.
22-23 Jacob got up in the middle of the night and took his wives, his eleven children, and everything he owned across to the other side of the Jabbok River for safety. 24 Afterwards, Jacob went back and spent the rest of the night alone.
A man came and fought with Jacob until just before daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not win, he struck Jacob on the hip and threw it out of joint. 26 They kept on wrestling until the man said, “Let go of me! It’s almost daylight.”
“You can’t go until you bless me,” Jacob replied.
27 Then the man asked, “What is your name?”
“Jacob,” he answered.
28 The man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob. You have wrestled with God and with men, and you have won. That’s why your name will be Israel.”
29 Jacob said, “Now tell me your name.”
“Don’t you know who I am?” he asked. And he blessed Jacob.
30 Jacob said, “I have seen God face to face, and I am still alive.” So he named the place Peniel. 31 The sun was coming up as Jacob was leaving Peniel. He was limping because he had been struck on the hip,
1 I am a follower of Christ, and the Holy Spirit is a witness to my conscience. So I tell the truth and I am not lying when I say 2 my heart is broken and I am in great sorrow. 3 I would gladly be placed under God’s curse and be separated from Christ for the good of my own people. 4 They are the descendants of Israel, and they are also God’s chosen people. God showed them his glory. He made agreements with them and gave them his Law. The temple is theirs and so are the promises that God made to them. 5 They have those famous ancestors, who were also the ancestors of Jesus Christ. I pray that God, who rules over all, will be praised forever! Amen.
13 After Jesus heard about John, he crossed Lake Galilee to go to some place where he could be alone. But the crowds found out and followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus got out of the boat, he saw the large crowd. He felt sorry for them and healed everyone who was sick.
15 That evening the disciples came to Jesus and said, “This place is like a desert, and it is already late. Let the crowds leave, so they can go to the villages and buy some food.”
16 Jesus replied, “They don’t have to leave. Why don’t you give them something to eat?”
17 But they said, “We have only five small loaves of bread and two fish.” 18 Jesus asked his disciples to bring the food to him, 19 and he told the crowd to sit down on the grass. Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish. He looked up toward heaven and blessed the food. Then he broke the bread and handed it to his disciples, and they gave it to the people.
20 After everyone had eaten all they wanted, Jesus’ disciples picked up twelve large baskets of leftovers.
21 There were about five thousand men who ate, not counting the women and children.
Message for today in English, with Rev Margaret James:
Let’s praise the Lord our God in the words of Psalm 145 verses 8 & 9 and verses 14 – 21
”The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.
The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.”
Verses 14 to 21
“The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time.
You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made.
The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfils the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.
The LORD watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.
My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever”.
LET US PRAY.
Lord God Almighty, we praise and worship you for all that you are and for all that you have done for us.
We thank you for this psalm which reminds us that you are gracious and compassionate, and rich in love.
Lord, you know that there are times when we have been feeling lonely, isolated and afraid but we thank you that you are indeed near to all who call on you; that you hear our cries and save us.
We pray for our precious Zimbabwe. Lord you know the many problems that our people are facing.
Lack of basic things such as food, water and health care.
You know that the hearts of our people are full of fear; fear of Covid-19, fear of strangers who might be carrying the disease, fear of the police and the army patrolling the streets.
We pray for all our hospital staff, for doctors and nurses who are exposed to the virus and don’t have adequate Personal Protective Equipment.
We pray for those who are ill with Covid-19 and those who have been in contact with them and are in isolation, waiting to see if they become ill themselves.
We pray for the families and friends of all who have died recently. Many of the family members are in other countries or in other towns in Zimbabwe and cannot even attend the funerals.
We pray for every person who is reading this service or listening to it, that God may bless the preaching of his word and touch our hearts.
Our Old Testament reading comes from Isaiah 55 v 1 – 5.
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labour on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.
See, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander of the peoples.
Surely you will summon nations you do not know, and nations that do not know you will hasten to you, because of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendour.”
When we read a passage like this and compare it with the present situation in Zimbabwe, we begin to wonder
“Where is God?
What has become of his promises?”
There is an extremely serious water shortage in the City of Bulawayo. People are struggling to find any water at all. People are getting up at extra-ordinary early times in order to join a queue at a borehole, or at an illegal well, or at a broken pipe.
We are supposed to be staying at home because of Covid-19 but people are hungry and have to go out to queue for food!
It is even worse in some of the rural areas.
The cattle are dying; the crops are a write off; it is very difficult to find any safe source of water;
and many people are dying from treatable conditions.
When we read a passage like Isaiah 55 “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!“
Then we cry ‘God where are you now?’
Why have you saved others, but abandoned us?
We forget the circumstances in which Isaiah was preaching in this part of his prophecy. The Jewish people had been conquered and had been taken away into captivity in Babylon where they had spent 70 years of captivity. They knew plenty about suffering.
Isaiah is encouraging the people to believe that God would intervene in their situation and that the time would come when they would be able to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their lives.
God is saying the same to us today, even in the midst of a terrible drought and this frightening lockdown because of fear of infection from Covid-19, God has a plan for us!
The time will come when Zimbabwe will become the peaceful, prosperous country that we want it to be.
The corruption, the nepotism and the brutality will end.
In the mean time we must be willing to live in ways that give testimony to our Christian faith.
We must live lives that radiate with the love, joy and peace of Jesus, even in the face of tremendous difficulties and challenges.
Yes, sometimes we feel so depressed, so desperate that we think that there will never be a solution to the problems of our nation, but we must walk day by day with Jesus, seeking his guidance at every step.
The people who were captives in Babylon had no idea how God would enable them to go back to Jerusalem. I’m sure that they didn’t expect that a different nation would conquer Babylon and that that king would free the Jews and let them go back home if they wanted to do so.
Our reading from the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 14, verses 13-21 also talks about a problem of people who were very hungry and were in a place where there was not enough food available.
Jesus had just heard of the way in which King Herod had cut off the head of John the Baptist and he wanted to go to a lonely place with his disciples in order to mourn the death of John his cousin and fellow preacher. However, Jesus had compassion on the crowd and he healed the sick and preached for a very long time, until the daylight had almost gone.
Matthew tells the story this way:-
“When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place.
Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns.
When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, ‘This is a remote place, and it’s getting late.
Send the crowds away, so that they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.
Jesus replied, ‘They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.’
‘We have here only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish’, they answered.
‘Bring them here to me’, Jesus said.
And he directed the people to sit down on the grass.
Taking the 5 loaves and the 2 fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves.
Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.
They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.”
Here we have another story about a shortage of food.
The disciples behaved what seems to us to be a normal, logical way, by suggesting that the people be sent away to find whatever food was available in any of the villages in the area.
Jesus seemed to set them an impossible task ‘You give them something to eat.’
They complained that it would take 8 months wages to feed that enormous crowd!!
However, John’s Gospel tells us that Peter found a boy who had brought to the disciples his lunch of 5 small bread buns and 2 little fish.
Jesus multiplied that small meal into enough to feed that enormous crowd and with plenty left over!!
The lesson for us is that God has a plan for our lives.
We cannot imagine how God will solve the many problems facing Zimbabwe, but we know that he will do so.
We should not say that because God solved similar problems in a certain way in the past, he will do so again.
God certainly has a plan and a purpose for each one of us as individuals and for Zimbabwe as a whole, BUT we should not try to tell God what he must do to solve our problems.
God has his own plan for our lives and it is our job to be faithful to our Lord Jesus and to wait for God’s leading and guiding as to what we as individuals should be doing.
I’m sure that you remember the wonderful promise found in Romans 8 verse 28:-
“We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
God is calling us to continue to be faithful in doing the work that he has called us to do, and not to become discouraged when things seem to be going from bad to worse.
We are called to be faithful in our daily lives, witnessing to the power of God as we live for him day by day.
We are called to be faithful in the work that we need to do for God within his Church.
We are called to be faithful in our sacrificial giving to maintain the work of God here in Hillside Circuit.
LET US PRAY.
Lord God almighty, we confess that we easily become depressed and discouraged by all the problems that we face as individuals, as a local community and as your people witnessing in Zimbabwe.
We pray that you will so fill us with your Spirit that we will radiate with your love, joy and peace, even though all the people around us are depressed and despondent.
May we know your leading, your guiding and your protection day by day. AMEN.
Message for today in Shona, with Mr Shingirai Chifamba:
IPA KUNA MWARI ZVIWEDZWERWE
Vanhu vaviri vanopinda basa nguva imwe chete mukamabani imwe chete,vachiwana mari yafanana asi mekufamba kwenguva mumwe anoramba arimurombo mumwe opfuma.Chikonzero chiri chei?Mumwe akawana mari anoitenderedza kuti itsvake imwe iwande mumwe anoisungirira pasi pepillow,mumwe unodya yese.
Nhasi ndauya neInvestment yaJehovha.Pano pasi pane mbavha dzinoba,pane mhepo,mvura nemujuru unopardza asin kuna Mwari zvakachengetedzwa kune insurance yedenga.
Kuna Mateo Jesu anopiwa zvingwa zvishanu nehove mbiri zvakakwana zviuru zvishanu.Isu tinodzidza kuti Mwari vanotipa izvo zvatine nhunha nazvo panyama.Chikomana chakapa Jesu zvingwa zvishanu zvakawadzwa.Isu humwe urombo hwatinawo ndewe kuomera nezvishoma zvatiinazvo.Imwe nzara yatinayo ndeye kuti tikuomera nembeu.Ngatipe kuna Kritsu zvizotiringana.
Jacob paakatiza mukoma wake akange asina kana chinhu.Anopa mhiko kuti Mwari makandiropadza ndichakupai chegumi.Abviswa pauranda aiswa pauboss ,abviswa paubhachura arorora ave nevana vakawanda anofunga kupa kuna Esau avakunganwa Mwari.Nesuwo vamwe takabva kumusha netrank ripamusoro pebhazi,man’a achisvika tiri marombe.Tasvika kuno kudhorobha tane mari,tatenga motakari,tava nedzimba.Mwari vatiropadza ,asi takanganwa Mwari, Mwari anotuma mutumwa kuti amurwise.Asi Jacob anozvipa kuna Mwari nekuramba abatira paMutumwa kusvika muropafadza.Isu ngatizvipirei kuna Mwari makomborerwo agowedzerwa.
Kereke yeVaRoma yaiva yakasanga VaJudha nevasi vaJudha.Asi vasi vaJudha vakazvipira kuna Mwari makomberero akawedzera vakava vadyi vanhaka yaiva yakachengeterwa paJudha panyama.Nesuwo tikazvipira kuna Mwari makomborero akavimbiswa kunaAbhrahama,Isaka naJacobo anouya kwatiri nekuti tinge tava vana Abhrahama pamweya
Pakupedzisira ndoda kukuzivisai kuti Mwari unoropafadza nenzira dzeanoda.Kupa kuna Mwari kwasiyana neInvestments epano pasi ekuti ukaisa mari inodzoka iri mari.Mwari vanodzosa nenzira yavoda kune vamwe ipfuma, kune vamwe hutano hwakanaka ,vamwe vanopiwa vana.Mwari unotiwedzera nenzira yaanoda.Pane vanhu vakaseeder kuMupofita zvichinzi pfuma yavo ichawedzerwa.Vaona Gore rapera hapana chauuya vakanosungisa Muporofita.Pavakadzidziswa havana kudzidziswa kuti kuna Mwari hakuna chimbadzo.Mwari vanokuropadza nenzira yavanoda kwete yatinoda. Panguva ino yeHarvest ndatipei Mwari nemoyo inofara ue ngatisangapa zvipo chete isuwo ngatizvipire kunaKritsu.
Message for today in Ndebele, with Dr Christine Tenga:
Phezu kwakho konke yikunikela impilo yakho usesemhlabeni ukuze uthole impilo engunaphakade. Ukupha isivuno sakho lakho kuyindlela yokupha uNkulunkulu.
Kuncwadi ka Matewu, uJesu waphiwa izinkwa ezinhlanu lenhlanzi ezimbili ngabafundi bakhe wazithatha wakhangela phezulu wabonga kuNkulunkulu wasehlephuna wabapha ukuze baphe abantu Ukudla lokho kwenela amadoda azinkulungwane ezinhlanu kungabalwa omama labantwana. Lokhu kusitshengisa ukuthi uNkulunkulu nguye ophayo njalo upha ngokuphindiweyo ngakho ungesabi ukumupha olakho uzakukwengeza awusoze uswele. U Nkulunkulu ulozwelo. U Jesu laye ulozwelo, ngoba wathi ebona ixuku elalimlandele ngezinyawo livela emadolobheni ahlukeneyo walamukela loba wayedinga ukuba yedwa akhulumisane loNkulunkulu futhi wayezwe indaba ebuhlungu yokufa kuka Johane umbhabhathizi. Welapha bonke ababegula.Lokhu kwakutshengisa ukuzinikela kuka Kristu emsebenzini wakhe. Lawe kumele uzinikele emsebenzini kaNkulunkulu. Amandla kaNkulunkulu ayamangalisa ayasilisa inyama lomphefumulo walabo abamdingayo. Abantu bahamba ngenyawo bedinga ukusiliswa . Bathola ukusiliswa okuphindiweyo okwenyama lokomphefumulo ngoba u Jesu ngokubapha isinkwa wayetshengisa ukuthi nguye isinkwa okwakumele basidle. Ku Johane 6:22-26, u Jesu uthi uyisinkwa sokuphila esipha inswelo zomuntu. Usilisa inyama kunye lomphefumulo. U Jesu ubusisa ngokuphindiweyo. Uthi njalo uJesu, “ungasebenzeli ukudla okuphelayo kodwa sebenzela ukudla okungapheliyo okuphiwa yindodana your muntu ngoba UNkulunkulu umvumele. Uyindlela leqiniso lokusindiswa kwakho. Okufika ezandleni zikaJesu kuyengezwa kuyabusiswa . Muphe olakho uzakukubusisa.
U Jakobe encwadini kaGenesisi wayekhathazekile enhliziyweni. Wayekhube umfowabo uEsau. Loba wayelayo yonke inotho kodwa wayesecabanga ukulungisa impilo yakhe. Yebo impilo yasemhlabeni wayezayilungisa kodwa eyomphefumulo eyangaphakathi yayinga lungiswa ngu Nkulunkulu kuphela. Ese chaphise konke okwakungokwakhe umfula u Jabhoki, wasala yedwa. Ebusuku wabindana lendoda kwaphosa kwasa.Ukubindana lokhu kwakutshengisa ukuzimisela ukubusiswa. Indoda le, ekulwisaneni yathinta inyonga ka Jakobe unyawo lwakhumuka. UJakobe wanqoba kodwa kwakungelula. Amadoda amabili egiqana phela kwakungafa umuntu. Usuke wazimisela na ngamandla onke ukuhlangana loNkulunkulu uwedwa ukhulume laye umbikela konke okukuhluphayo? Uyabusisa ngoba ulozwelo. Wamzwela uJakobe ngoba wamutha igama elitsha ngemva kokuba ethe unguJakobe ibizo elitsho iqili. Kwakufana lokuvuma izono zakhe ngakho wathethelelwa wabusiswa Lawe vuma izono zakho ubusiswe. Laye uJakobe watha indawo leyo wathi yi Pheniel , okutsho ukuthi “ubuso buka Nkulunkulu” Wasesithi “ngibone uNkulunkulu ngamehlo njalo impilo yami iphephile.” Impilo ekhulunywa lapha yimpilo oyiphila ngendlela kaNkulunkulu hatshi eyokwenza okufunwa yinhliziyo yakho Impilo engunaphakade ngoba usuza kwenza okulungileyo okuthandwa yinkosi. Ibizo u Izrael litsho ukuzama ngamandla wonke. Ukuze ube kucele likaNkulunkulu kumele uzame ngamandla wonke akulula. UJakobe wathiwa lelobizo kusitsho ukuthi impilo yakhe yayisitshintshiweIsithembiso sika Nkulunkulu ku Abraham sasizagcwaliswa kuye. Ukulwisana kwakhe kwabumba isimo sakhe. Uma ufuna ukukhula kwezokholo kumele uphikelele umelane lobunzima. Ukuqhula kwakuzakuba yisikhumbuzo sokuhlangana loNkulunkulu. Thina singahlangana njani laye? Singabala incwadi egcwele sikhuleke siziphe isikhathi sisodwa sidinge ukuzwisisa imibhalo. Uma sithintiwe kuzakuba sobala indlela esizakwenza ngayo izinto. Ukuba se Pheniyeli kwenza uJakobe wathola ibizo njalo wabona uNkulunkulu Wathola ukubusiswa okuphindiweyo.
UMpostoli uPawuli kuncwadi yabase Roma ukhathazekile ngabaka Israeli abakhethwa bakaNkulunkulu abangamamukelanga uJesu. Baqakathekisa umthetho lokuthi bayisizukulwane sika Abraham lokuthi balethempeli lapho abakhonza khona. Abakwazanga ukuthi u Jesu ngu Nkulunkulu loba laye eyisizukulwane sika Abraham. UPhawuli ukhuluma ngokusindiswa ngokukholwa ku Kristu. AmaJuta angakholwayo azaswela na izithembiso zikaNkulunkulu? Umuntu wonke ngenxa kaKristu ungu mtaka Nkulunkulu. Kumele wonke umuntu akholwe ngoba uKristu yisinkwa sokuphila uyindlela leqiniso ukuze usindiswe. Singathini pho ngokupha kuNkulunkulu? Kusenza sibelempilo enhle emhlabeni eyenza ukuthi sibelempilo engunaphakade.
Siyabonga Nkulunkulu olesihawu. Sengathi ngalelilizwi singakulambela sikudinge sikufumane ukuze usibusise sibe lokuphila okunaphakade.Amen.Umusa weNkosi yethu uJesu Kristu lothando lukababa lobudlelwano bukaMoya ongcwele akube lani lonke kuzekube nini lani.