Sunday Services from Hillside Circuit for December 27th 2020:
Theme: Christ brings freedom and redemption
[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 or go to the Songs for worship webpage to find them embedded.
Angels from the realms of glory.
It came upon the midnight clear.
Let earth and heaven combine.
Love came down at Christmas.
May the Lord, mighty God.
You can listen and join in with prayers from the Methodist Service Book, they can be found at the Prayers for worship webpage.
Children’s Address, with Mrs Talenta Chakoma:
1 Shout praises to the LORD!
Shout the LORD’S praises in the highest heavens.
2 All of you angels, and all who serve him above,
come and offer praise.
3 Sun and moon, and all of you bright stars,
come and offer praise.
4 Highest heavens,
and the water above the highest heavens,
come and offer praise.
5 Let all things praise the name of the LORD,
because they were created at his command.
6 He made them to last forever,
and nothing can change what he has done.
7 All creatures on earth, you obey his commands,
so come praise the LORD!
8 Sea monsters and the deep sea, fire and hail,
snow and frost, and every stormy wind,
come praise the LORD!
9 All mountains and hills, fruit trees and cedars,
10 every wild and tame animal, all reptiles and birds,
come praise the LORD!
11 Every king and every ruler, all nations on earth,
12 every man and every woman, young people and old,
come praise the LORD!
13 All creation, come praise the name of the LORD.
Praise his name alone.
The glory of God is greater than heaven and earth.
14 Like a bull with mighty horns,
the LORD protects his faithful nation Israel,
because they belong to him.
Shout praises to the LORD!
Isaiah 61 – 62
10 I celebrate and shout because of my LORD God.
His saving power and justice
are the very clothes I wear.
They are more beautiful than the jewellery worn
by a bride or a groom.
11 The LORD will bring about justice and praise
in every nation on earth,
like flowers blooming in a garden.
1 Jerusalem, I will speak up for your good.
I will never be silent till you are safe and secure,
sparkling like a flame.
2 Your great victory will be seen
by every nation and king;
the LORD will even give you a new name.
3 You will be a glorious crown, a royal headband,
for the LORD your God.
4 But when the time was right, God sent his Son, and a woman gave birth to him. His Son obeyed the Law, 5 so he could set us free from the Law, and we could become God’s children. 6 Now that we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts. And his Spirit tells us that God is our Father. 7 You are no longer slaves. You are God’s children, and you will be given what he has promised.
22 The time came for Mary and Joseph to do what the Law of Moses says a mother is supposed to do after her baby is born.
They took Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem and presented him to the LORD, 23 just as the Law of the Lord says, “Each first-born baby boy belongs to the Lord.” 24 The Law of the Lord also says that parents have to offer a sacrifice, giving at least a pair of doves or two young pigeons. So that is what Mary and Joseph did.
25 At this time a man named Simeon was living in Jerusalem. Simeon was a good man. He loved God and was waiting for God to save the people of Israel. God’s Spirit came to him 26 and told him that he would not die until he had seen Christ the Lord.
27 When Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple to do what the Law of Moses says should be done for a new baby, the Spirit told Simeon to go into the temple. 28 Simeon took the baby Jesus in his arms and praised God,
29 “Lord, I am your servant,
and now I can die in peace,
because you have kept your promise to me.
30 With my own eyes I have seen
what you have done to save your people,
31 and foreign nations will also see this.
32 Your mighty power is a light for all nations,
and it will bring honour to your people Israel.”
33 Jesus’ parents were surprised at what Simeon had said. 34 Then he blessed them and told Mary, “This child of yours will cause many people in Israel to fall and others to stand. The child will be like a warning sign. Many people will reject him, 35 and you, Mary, will suffer as though you had been stabbed by a dagger. But all this will show what people are really thinking.”
36 The prophet Anna was also there in the temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was very old. In her youth she had been married for seven years, but her husband died. 37 And now she was eighty-four years old. Night and day she served God in the temple by praying and often going without eating.
38 At that time Anna came in and praised God. She spoke about the child Jesus to everyone who hoped for Jerusalem to be set free.
39 After Joseph and Mary had done everything that the Law of the Lord commands, they returned home to Nazareth in Galilee. 40 The child Jesus grew. He became strong and wise, and God blessed him.
Text version of the Children’s Address for Hillside Circuit, with Mrs Talenta Chakoma:
Good Morning boys and girls. l greet you all in name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
l am Mrs Chakoma.
As we all know that on Friday 25th day of December we were celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Bible tells us that Jesus is God. However, we are also told that he once came to the world and he was born by a mother just like us, he came to live here in the world with us, he experienced the pains, even the hunger that we experience he too experienced it. We are also told even in our theme that his coming brought us Freedom and Redemption.
However my question is Freedom from what and Redemption from what?
My answer is freedom from sin and redemption from the power of the devil.
From our readings today we are told in Galatians that because of Jesus’s coming if we accept him we become the sons and daughters of God and we are given the Holy Spirit to help us overcome our day to day challenges of life.
As children let me encourage each and every one of you to copy the way Christ lived for you to be children that please God. The Bible tells us that Jesus pleased God and also pleased men. You can not please God whilst you are a child who does not listen to his parents, a child who always complains when sent to do one or two home chores, a child who does not pray to God or believe in God can never please God.
Ask yourself a simple question How did Jesus live as a child?
The Bible tells us that Jesus never sinned he never did what was wrong he always did what was right. Which means he respected his parents and his elders he had a relationship with God. At one time we are told in the Bible that his parents found him at the temple talking with elders at the Church about the word of God. He also did his chores at home without complaining, he was not a bully to other children, hence l encourage each and every one of you to emulate our Lord Jesus, to copy the way he lived and to be more like him as we grow up.
As we are still celebrating his birth, let us also copy his life and this way we shall surely have freedom and redemption and his Holy Spirit will always be with us in our hearts and we will always please God.
l love you all and l wish you all a Prosperous 2021 as you continue to live and copy the ways of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Let us pray
Father, in the mighty name of our Lord Jesus Christ, l come before your throne of grace with the children especially the children of Methodist Church in Zimbabwe; bless them and protect them Father from different challenges of life and also protect them from this Covid-19 pandemic that has brought so much unhappiness in the world. Help them to grow up and be the children that please you. In the name of our Lord and Saviour Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Text version of the message for Hillside Circuit in English, with Mr Ivan Chigwada:
Whenever a momentous event happens we tend to ask why? We really are human! Two days after Christmas some are already asking, what was the fuss all about? To them it was a fuss but to us Christians, Christmas is actually the event of the year. Upon examining scriptures tied to the theme Christ brings freedom and redemption, we not only get an answer for them but we become privy to why God chose to be incarnate. May we be granted eyes of faith to see how Christ bestows freedom and redemption on miserable sinners who walk earth’s dusty roads? The Gospel of Luke introduces us to the occasion when Joseph and Mary take their son Jesus, to the Temple where, as firstborn son he was to be presented before the LORD God and be redeemed in terms of Jewish law! As the ritual went on two elderly persons Simon a priest and Anna a prophetess spoke, bringing to the fore that the baby who was being presented in the Temple that day was no ordinary person. He was God in person invading earth so that He could deal with the condition of man! What was that condition of man that needed to be dealt with? Man was under the prison of the power of evil and rebellion that had to be broken! You see at creation the LORD God commissioned human beings to be His representatives on earth. They were to take care of the earth and govern the other creatures (Gen 1:1-2:25). Instead of acting as God’s representatives on earth the first man and woman –Adam and Eve-listen to the serpent and follow his advice. Their disobedience has devastating results for all mankind and for the entire created world. ( Genesis 3:1-24; 6:5-6) Adam and Eve’s penchant to rebel, err and disobey was not merely passed on but is ingrained in each and every one of us their off spring. It is that nature which Christ and Christ alone transforms and overcomes through divine impartation. Christ frees us from the chains of being rebels before God and redeems us so we can go back to live in the household of the family of God. On our own and in our own power we cannot get close to pardon, sanctification and eternal life! The words of Simon that the baby brought to the Temple was destined to be a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to God’s people Israel signalled the dawn of that salvation, no wonder Anna commended the baby to all those who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
Let us leave the scriptures we have just read for a short while as we look at a typical example of Jesus Christ giving freedom and redemption to a man he came across. In a story told at Chapter 9 of the Gospel of John Jesus healed a man who was born blind! Here is a man who was locked in the prison of blindness and in the darker dungeon of despair, built for him by the cruel Jewish theory that all suffering was the immediate response of God to man’s sin. In this case Jewish religious leaders taught that the blind man was born in suffering because of his parents’ sin, yet the greatest book in their Scriptures, Job had been written to banish this doctrine, and so written in vain-in vain even onto this day. The man was a hopeless prisoner in body and mind, imprisoned through the evil of misshaped physical life and by a theology of untruth born of the Father of Lies whose lusts corrupt the whole earthly scene. When Jesus stepped onto the scene, the sightless man was anointed with light and the spirit of the man was redeemed into invincible faith just by the touch of Jesus Christ. The Jews may excommunicate him, cast him to the dogs, but he has found his Saviour and is free of Jerusalem and all her earth-born fogs. For him there is no more night. We need not wonder that on this undeniable fact of deliverance and power, there sprang up in every street dissension and controversy, but the truth is penetrating some minds. This is not the way a mad-man talks-this makes sense and gives peace. This is how the God who invaded earth deals with the condition of man. If Christ can free that blind man, He surely can do the same to the next prisoner of sin who believes in him! If you join the blind man in believing who Jesus is you surely will be freed and redeemed just like he was.
If Christ offered freedom and redemption to an individual who had a problem, does it then follow that everybody else needs to be freed and redeemed? Yes all need these, as all can be freed and redeemed! Remember we are descendants of Adam and Eve! There is need to restate what really went wrong! God created man that He might love him, and be loved by him. It was necessary that man should be like Him, and in particular possess freewill. Man uses that freewill to turn from God, and so involves him-self in perversion and disaster; once on the road to perversion the further man travels on that road the harder it becomes for him to turn back of his own power, therefore God sets out to save him from that disaster and to win him back to Himself. God does this by means of the Cross. To preach about the Cross, then, is to preach on the meaning of life and to preach about that which concerns and appeals to all mankind. This is why we preach Christ and Him Crucified, because on the Cross is found the guarantee of pardon for now, holiness as the years pass and heaven hereafter a package that is reserved for the freed and redeemed children of God! Christ’s incarnation, death and resurrection were the means through which He brought this about. It can only be the pardoned offender who is now free and it can only be the redeemed offender who is positioned to be made holy, and it can only be the free and redeemed former offenders who have their passports to heaven safely in their hands! Does this not sound like an Easter message? Yes and no! For Him to live among us He had to be borne by the Virgin Mary! And for Him to bestow freedom and redemption on us He had to die! For Him to keep on making us holy He has to be alive, and exalted to the right hand of the Father in glory! We know that the fundamental teaching of the Methodist Church is that no one is beyond the reach of the love of God. Through Jesus’ death on the cross, and his resurrection we believe that God has broken the power of all that is evil in the world and in ourselves. If as individuals we accept forgiveness and liberation, and are willing to be open to the Holy Spirit, God can enable us to resist evil and to live life to the full. That is the divine impartation. As preachers we must never stop talking about this good news of the Gospel of Christ. Sing Because He Lives!
More than 700 years before the Virgin was with Child a prophet named Isaiah told his audience of what would happen and what that child would achieve! How I wish we all could make the words of Isaiah our daily hymn and say ‘I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God! For, He has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his suit or a bride in her jewels.’ In one of his parable Jesus taught about wearing the correct apparel. The man who was in inappropriate gear was chucked out of the king’s wedding banquet to which he had been invited. Similarly you and I, despite the open invitation cannot get into the Kingdom of Heaven unless we are appropriately dressed in the righteousness of Christ and not the dress of our works. No one else but Christ dresses you with the clothing of salvation and drapes you in a robe of righteousness. Once we are in that beautiful attire and in relationship with God we never stay stagnant. Rather we grow in grace. We grow just like a garden. Those who are growing in this manner will like Isaiah, pray for the glory of their church, home and city! It is time you copied Isaiah’s pattern in prayer!
Paul tells us ‘But when the right time came, God sent His Son born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent Him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that He could adopt us as His very own children. And because we are His children, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts prompting us to call out ‘’Abba Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are His child, God has made you His heir!’ I cannot ask for anything better? All that belongs to the Father is now yours!! Tell yourself ‘God has made me His heir!’ More divine impartation!
After being circumcised at eight days and his mother had completed the mandatory forty day cleansing period for a son the Boy Jesus is taken to the Temple to be presented to the LORD in strict compliance with Jewish law. Later when Jesus said ‘Do you think that I have come to abolish the Law and the Prophets, I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them,’ he was just giving us the pattern of his life. He was presented at the Temple so He could do the will of the Father. At the Temple Simon under the control of the Holy Spirit took Jesus into his arms and praised God, saying: ‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may dismiss your servant in peace, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.’ From that very point, pardon, holiness and heaven hereafter were openly on offer to those who would have the faith to step forward and believe that this child whom Simon held in his arms was God come down to free and redeem Jews and Gentiles from the power of sin. My brothers and sisters that offer still stands and you can take it and make it yours. Believe that Jesus Christ born to Mary and Joseph is the Son of God who saves. Those who made it their business to have faith in him like the blind man we heard about earlier, the Samaritan woman at the well, Mary Magdalene, Blind Bartimaeus, the penitent thief on the cross, and others were granted freedom from infirmity and salvation of their souls while others like Lazarus were raised back to life. You too who has made the first step of coming into the house of the Lord here at Hillside can be granted the salvation of your soul by believing in Jesus Christ. He will dress you in the clothing of salvation and drape you in a robe of righteousness. Do not delay for freedom and redemption belong only to all those who will make it their business to trust in Him as Son of God! We are here to pray with anyone who feels it in his/her heart to renew their commitment to God. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be blessed as you step into the future which starts with the year2021! Happy New Year to you all. Let us share the Good News until next Sunday. Amen!
Text version of the message for Hillside Circuit in Ndebele, with Mrs Betty Ncube:
Dumisani iNkosi ezulwini,
Idumiseni Lina zithunywa zayo zonke
Idumiseni Lina maBandla ayo wonke asezulwini.
Ngibingelela iBandla lonke ngeHubo likaDavida eliku sahluko 148 langeGama loMkhululi wethu uJesu Kristu.
Sizavula inkonzo ngeculo eliku 42 kuzihlabelelo zesiZulu.
Lilamazwi okuqala athi:-
IGama lakho Jesu,
EGameni likaYise leleNdodana lelikaMoya Ongcwele.
Siyabonga Jehova ngokusithanda kwakho. Usigcinile phakathi kwengxakangxaka zakuloluhambo lwase mhlabeni. Busisa amaBandla onke akholwa yiLizwi lakho. Bahawukele bonke abagulayo, basilise wena Msilisi olamandla onke. Bana labaskhulayo ubakhokhele ezimpilweni zabo bengahugwa ngolomona. Ngibeka kuwe zonke izinkonzo zanamhlanje labo bonke abazikhokheleyo kunye lobavumele ukuthi balizwe iLizwi lakho. Ngaye uMsindisi wethu uJesu Kristu. Ameni.
Izifundo zethu zimi ngalolu hlobo;-
Ezikuqala siku Testamente elidala ku Isaiah 61:10 laku 62:3
Esesibili encwadini kaPawuli kwabase Galatiya 4:4-7
Esesithathu kuVangeliv elalotshwa nguLuka. Isahluko 2:22-40.
Indikimba yalamhlanje ithi:-
UKristu uletha inkululeko kumbe ukusikhulula ezonweni zethu.
(Christ brings freedom and redemption)
UIsaya uthi ngizathokoza kakhulu ngeNkosi, umphefumulo wani uzajabula ngoNkulunkulu wami, ngoba ungambathise ingubo yokukhululwa . Zihlobo ezithandekayo, zingaki izinto esithokoza sijabule ngazo ngemva kesikhatshana sibuye sidane injabulo isiphelile? Mingaki imiqhele esiyibona kuzihlobo zethu, hlalehlale bayatshintsha bafake eminye
Namhlanje iLizwi lisitshela ngehdaba ezinhle zokukhululwa. Thina sonke besibitshiwe ngentambo ezehlukeneyo lanxa sibotshwa ngumoya munye oyi sono. Kodwa uThixo uMdali wakho konke usithandile wasilethela uMkhululi onguJesu Kristu.
Ivangeli elalotshwa nguLuka lilendaba emnandi lapho kubikezelwa ukuzalwa kukaJesu.
uJesu wazalwa kulesizatho esikhulu kakhulu. UMariya wakhethwa wakhethwa nguNkulunkulu ngoba emthandile, wambona emsulwa lanxa wayesegane uJosefa. Sizwa kuthiwa iBethlehema kwakuyi Lizwe elincane kubabusi bakoJuda. YiLizwe elalingakhangelelwe ukuba lingaba loMbusi ongabusa izizwe zonke jikelele
Sibuye sikhangele zihlobo indlela uNkulunkulu akhetha ngayo, akenzi njengaba kulo umhlaba. Thina namhlanje abanye bethu imitshado siyithi bakhethene. Siyakhohlwa ukuthi umtshado uyintando ka Nkulunkulu onguyena owadala konke okusemhlabeni lasezulwini lakhe. Ngokunjalo labantwana yizibusiso ezivela kuye.
kuVangeliv likaLuka lithi ilizwi lithi ukuzalwa kukaJesu kuyabikezelwa. Kungani kubikwa ngalolu hlobo bazalwane eNkosini? Sitholakala sonile , uNkulunkulu usethulela uMsizi lomMeli wokwesula izono zethu lokusikhulula emaketaneni ka satane. Yikho wathumela ingelosi yakhe engcwele ujwazisa uMariya ngokusizalela umntwana onguMdindisi.
Kayubanganzima indaba kuMariya kaJosefa ngenxa yokuthembeka langokukholwa kwakhe kuNkulunkulu. Imibuzo waba layo kodwa wacina esithi kakube njalo Nkosi njengokutsho kwakho. Nansi iNkosi uJesu isizelwe. Uzalelwe thina. Izono zethu zizohlawulwa nguye. Sonile sonke phambi kwayo iNkosi. NgoMusa wakhe ongelamalanga, ongela balalamntu uzayithuma indodana yakhe ukuba ifele imilandu yethu.
Bazalwane asimkhonzeni ngiqiniso uThixo. Asimlandeleni ngezenzo langezimilo ezinhle. Usithandile, kasingehluleki ukuthandana thina, njengaye uIsaya, usembathisile ingubo yokukhululwa. Asithokozeni senze imisebenzi efaneleyo. Asikhuthazaneni ebuthakathakeni bethu. UJesu kazange azalelwe amadili esiwenza lesiwabona ngamakhisimusi kodwa kodwa ufuna siphilele yena laye aphile ngaphakathi kwethu kuze kube Nini lanini.
Ngiphetha ngisithi uJehova wasendulo lokhu enguye lanamhlanje. Sikhululwe bathandekayo. Asimkhonzeni isikhathi sisakhona.
Sizavala inkozo ngokuhlabela iculo eliku 49 kuZulu. Lithi:- Bethaba basendulo,
Nkosi elomusa kithi,
Sokungathi umusa weNkosi yethu uJesu Kristu, lothando lukaBaba, lolukaMoya Ongcwele ubelathi sonke kube naphakade. Ameni.