[Did you miss last Sunday’s services? They can still be found at Worship Archive – November 29th 2020.]
Sunday Services from Connexion for December 6th 2020:
Sunday Services from Hillside Circuit for December 6th 2020:
Theme: Prepare the way
[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.
On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry.
Christmas isn’t Christmas.
King of kings, majesty.
O come, O come Emmanuel.
Rejoice, the Lord is King.
As with gladness.
You can listen and join in with prayers from the Methodist Service Book, they can be found at the Prayers for worship webpage.
Friends, how are you? I hope you are having a good weekend. Today our theme reads: Prepare the way. Some may wonder, whom are we preparing the way for? As we all know we are in the Advent week that means we are preparing for the coming of Jesus Christ into the world.
Therefore the scripture readings invite us to prepare our ways. John the Baptist preaches a message of repentance that we confess our sins and be born again and be baptised of water. Those who have been baptised already need not to be baptised again, but spiritual renewal is needed for those who are in need of it. In other words John is calling us all to a new beginning because we all have sinned. At times we sin by being bullies, stealing and beating others. And we need to repent from that. John the Baptist is not the one who forgives sins but it is Jesus Christ. And l invite you dear friends to accept Christ into your lives, to welcome him into your lives, to prepare a way for him by living a holy life, a life that pleases God. May we go and share with our friends the Gospel of Christ, his love and care for us.
I love you all but God loves you more. Stay blessed.
1 Our LORD, you have blessed your land
and made all go well for Jacob’s descendants.
2 You have forgiven the sin
and taken away the guilt of your people.
8 I will listen to you, LORD God,
because you promise peace to those
who are faithful and no longer foolish.
9 You are ready to rescue everyone who worships you,
so that you will live with us in all of your glory.
10 Love and loyalty will come together;
goodness and peace will unite.
11 Loyalty will sprout from the ground;
justice will look down from the sky above.
12 Our LORD, you will bless us;
our land will produce wonderful crops.
13 Justice will march in front,
making a path for you to follow.
1 Our God has said:
“Encourage my people! Give them comfort.
2 Speak kindly to Jerusalem and announce:
Your slavery is past; your punishment is over.
I, the LORD, made you pay double for your sins.”
3 Someone is shouting:
“Clear a path in the desert! Make a straight road
for the LORD our God.
4 Fill in the valleys; flatten every hill and mountain.
Level the rough and rugged ground.
5 Then the glory of the LORD will appear for all to see.
The LORD has promised this!”
6 Someone told me to shout, and I asked,
“What should I shout?”
We humans are merely grass,
and we last no longer than wild flowers.
7 At the LORD’S command, flowers and grass disappear,
and so do we.
8 Flowers and grass fade away,
but what our God has said will never change.
9 There is good news for the city of Zion.
Shout it as loud as you can from the highest mountain.
Don’t be afraid to shout to the towns of Judah,
“Your God is here!”
10 Look! The powerful LORD God is coming
to rule with his mighty arm.
He brings with him what he has taken in war,
and he rewards his people.
11 The LORD cares for his nation,
just as shepherds care for their flocks.
He carries the lambs in his arms,
while gently leading the mother sheep.
2 Peter 3
8 Dear friends, don’t forget that for the Lord one day is the same as a thousand years, and a thousand years is the same as one day. 9 The Lord isn’t slow about keeping his promises, as some people think he is. In fact, God is patient, because he wants everyone to turn from sin and no one to be lost.
10 The day of the LORD’S return will surprise us like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a loud noise, and the heat will melt the whole universe. Then the earth and everything on it will be seen for what they are.
11 Everything will be destroyed. So you should serve and honour God by the way you live. 12 You should look forward to the day when God judges everyone, and you should try to make it come soon. On that day the heavens will be destroyed by fire, and everything else will melt in the heat. 13 But God has promised us a new heaven and a new earth, where justice will rule. We are really looking forward to that!
14 My friends, while you are waiting, you should make certain that the Lord finds you pure, spotless, and living at peace. 15 Don’t forget that the Lord is patient because he wants people to be saved.
1 This is the good news about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2 It began just as God had said in the book written by Isaiah the prophet,
“I am sending my messenger
to get the way ready for you.
3 In the desert someone is shouting,
‘Get the road ready for the Lord!
Make a straight path for him.’ “
4 So John the Baptist showed up in the desert and told everyone, “Turn back to God and be baptized! Then your sins will be forgiven.”
5 From all Judea and Jerusalem crowds of people went to John. They told how sorry they were for their sins, and he baptized them in the Jordan River.
6 John wore clothes made of camel’s hair. He had a leather strap around his waist and ate grasshoppers and wild honey.
7 John also told the people, “Someone more powerful is going to come. And I am not good enough even to stoop down and untie his sandals. 8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit!”
Text version of message for Hillside Circuit on December 6th 2020 in English, with Mr Mishack Mugiyo:
In the book of Isaiah, we read about the prophet Isaiah foretelling of one who is going to come with a proclamation to the people to prepare a way for the Lord. We read about Isaiah talking about a highway being made for the Lord, the prophet also mentions about valleys being lifted and mountains being made low.
In the days of Isaiah, it was customary for the people to prepare themselves for the coming of a king. They would improve roads, fill in the ditches, smooth the hills so that the king would not have to go over mountains or down the valleys. A more level highway provided the king with a more comfortable trip. Perhaps our modern-day African parliaments have copied this trend from the olden days. I have seen in Zimbabwe when the president or someone special is going to visit a place, the roads they are going to use are fixed, the road linings are repainted, potholes are filled, litter is picked up, but if it’s just a mere ordinary person no one would bother to do all that.
I also remember growing up at home, whenever important visitors were coming we had to clean the house and straighten out everything. Good food was prepared, drinks where bought and we dressed appropriately. About three years ago my Uncle Kennedy was coming from the United States for a visit and was going to be staying with my younger sister Josephine, my sister got into a frenzy and even hired extra help to clean the house and yard. Why did she do that? A very important person was coming and she wanted him to find everything in order. I would want to suppose that is what many of us would do if someone important were visiting them. You wouldn’t want to get embarrassed, would you?
Jesus Christ is the most important guest one can ever receive; He is coming soon. Are you ready for His coming, how are you preparing for His arrival?
Our Lord Jesus was taken up in the clouds and one day He will come back to take his own. Peter mentions that no one knows the day or hour that he will come. Peter urges us to repent from any evil and encourages that we live holy
and Godly lives as we await the return of Jesus Christ. That according to the apostle is how we prepare the way.
In the book of Mark, we see the fulfilment of the prophecy in Isaiah. We read about John telling the people that a great king is coming and they needed to get their personal lives straightened up and to clear out all obstacles in their life so that the coming Lord would have a smooth entry.
John challenges the people’s complacency, he readies them for change, he readies them for Christ’s arrival. He pointed people away from death towards life. He urged people to prepare themselves morally and spiritually to receive the Messiah.
John was called and sent to prepare the people of Israel for the coming of the Messiah. He called people to repentance which is one of the greatest ways of preparing the way. To prepare the way is to get ready for Jesus ‘s arrival.
We need to get rid of the mountains in our lives and level the valleys in our lives. Those of us who have not received Christ as Lord and Saviour of their lives need to do so. Some of us have received Christ as Lord but we still have mountains and valleys in our lives. You may ask, what are these mountains and valleys that still affect our Christian walk and are hindering our way that if Christ were to come today, we may miss the chance of going up with Him in the clouds. Some of these mountains include pride, jealously, unfaithfulness, fornication, adultery, lies, hatred, the list goes on and on.
We need to prepare the way in our hearts for the coming of the Lord. The same Lord that John talked about that was coming to baptize the people, that same Lord is coming back again to take those who belong to Him, He will judge both the dead and the living. He will take those that have prepared the way for Him to come.
In the book of Saint Mathew chapter 25, a parable is told of ten virgins waiting for a groom. The bible says five of them were wise and five where foolish. The wise ones took oil for their lamps and the foolish ones did not. The bridegroom delayed in coming and the virgins slept. At midnight the bridegroom came and the wise virgins lit their lamps, the foolish virgins asked for oil from the wise ones but alas they could not get any as the wise ones had enough for themselves only. The foolish ones had to go and buy and by the time they
came back the bridegroom had gone with those who were ready and the door to the banquet hall was closed.
When Christ comes will He find you ready or like the five foolish virgins you will need to look for oil first and miss out on the eternal banquet. It is my prayer thou that He finds you ready. The time to pave a way for His coming is now.
In the name of God, the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit
Prepared by Christ’s servant Mishack M Mugiyo
Text version of message for Hillside Circuit on December 6th 2020 in Shona, with Mrs Tracey Chigwada:
Dingindira RaNhasi: Gadzirirai Nzira YaTenzi
Muparidzi: Mai Tracey Chigwada, Hillside Circuit
2 Pita 3:8-15a
Nhasi isvondo yepiri yekurindira kuuya kwaJesu Kristu. Kurindira Christmas pakazvarwazve Jesu Kristu Muponesi wedu.
Christmas haizinguva yekungodya makeke nekupfeka hembe dzakanaka chete, tichishongedza miviri yedu, tichifara tichiita nezvimwe zvisina maturo. Shoko raMwari ririkuti tizvishongedze mumoyo yedu nepamweya yedu napamunhu womukati kuitira kuti tigogamuchiri Murumbwana wavo Jesu Kristu, moyo yedu yakanaka, yaka tsvairwa, tirivatsvene, tichivanamata mumweya nomuzvokwadi.
Izvi ndizvo zvinobva zvatiunza paDingindira redu ranhasi rinoti: Gadzirirai Nzira YaTenzi….’Prepare The Way’. Kana zvichinzi apo pane nzira, zvinoreva kuti pakaitwa basa rekugobora, pakacherwa pachigadziriswa, makoronga achivharwa, makomo namatombo zvichibviswa, minzwa inobaya ichibviswa kana kupiswa. Dzimweni dzenguwa potoiswa netara, potoita yatinoti High Way. Munoona basa rakaitwa mugwagwa unobva kuPlumtree uchienda kwaMutare. Vakambofamba nayo nzira iyi vanoziva kunaka kwayakaita. Hauna makoronga kana magadhi, wakatsetseka, wakarurama! Unofadza nokunakidza kufamba nawo. Ndizvo zvirikutaurwa naMwari kuti moyo yedu iite apo takarindira, tigowanikwa takarurama, tirivatsvene. Asi tingagone kuzviita tiri tega here? Aiwa kwete, tinoda simba ravo Mwari, tinotoda kukumbira ivo Mweya Mutsvene kuti vatibatsire. Ivo voga ndivo mugoni wehupenyu hwedu, ndivo vanoti ruramisa. Ngoni dzavo dzakawanda, dzinogara nokusingaperi .
Muporofita Izaya varikuprofita vachiti, aripo achauya kuzogadzirisa mugwagwa, kuti Murumbwana waMwari agowana vanhu vake vari vatsvene. Mugwagwa uyu moyo yedu. Uyu arikutaurwa nezvake ndi Johane Mubhabhatidzi. Achazviita seiko izvi? Achazviita neruwombeko rworuponeso, rwokuti vanhu vabude muzvivi, vadzokere kunaMwari wavo – ‘Baptism of Repentance’. Panouya Jesu Krisitu, vanhu vake vanenge vatsveneswa. Johani anenge agadzira nzira, inova mweya nemoyo yedu kuti tigogamuchira Jesu takanaka tirivatsvene. Johane anobva ati iye mudiki kuna achauya, nokuti iye Johane Mubhabhatidzi aiwombeka nemvura asi achauya Murumbwana waMwari , ayizowombeka naMweya Anoera wataurwa na Izaya kuti vachanyaradza nekusimbisa vanhu vaMwari. Tapuhwa mumwe mukana wekugadzirisa zvinhu, Jehovah vari muyamuri wedu. God is a God of second chances – Alleluiah!
Zvino tsamba ya Pita iri kuti kurudzira kuti tigare takarindira, tiri vatsvene, nokuti hatiziva musi nenguwa apo murumbwana waMwari achauya. Mwari ndiMwari vane rudo vatipa mumwe mukana wekuti tivanate, Mwari vatiregerera zvivi zvedu. Nazvino tino fanira kutora uwoyu mukana tigadzirisa hukama hwedu naMwari, ivo vari Muyamuri wedu, our Helper. Zvanzi tisiye zvese zvakaipa, tisiye zvehupenzi hwedu. Mwari vane rudo rukuru, vanoda kuti buritsa muBhabhironi yatiri, kana kuti mumatambudziko atinawo, titarise kwavari. Mwari ndivo Mununuri noMudzikinuri wedu. Ndivo munyaradzi wedu. Ndivo voga vanotinyaradza mumadzudzo atinosangano navo. Tanzwa Muprofita Izaya vachidaidzira inzwi raMwari vachiti, ‘nyaradzwai vanhu vangu’. Vanoziva matambudziko edu ese namazita avo. Vachatinyaradza ivo mbune.
Hama dzinodiwa, ngatishndirei mweya yedu. Isu sedongo, dai tingakumbira Jehovah Muponesi, muumbi wehari kuti vatiputse, vatinyungudutse, vatiumbe, vaitite mudziyo wavo wakakodzore vagotishandisa mumunda wavo wemizambiringa.
Kana tiri pachedu tinofunga nezveyi, tinotaura nezveyi, hurukuro dzedu ndedzeyi. Hurukuro dzedu ngadzive dzino fadza Changamire Jesu Muponesi wedu. Kufunga kwedu ngakuve kwaJesu. Chirega godo, ruvengo nderweyi, turura zvawakatakura, chirega kufungaya… Jesu ariko ndiye achatipa zororo, achatipa runyararo, achatinyaradza. Ngatikumbire kunatswa ndiye. Tapiwa mumwe mukana hama yangu. Ngatishandisei nyasha idzi.
Jehovah ndiye mufudzi wedu, ndiye nzira, ndiye chokwadi, ndiye hupenyu. Ndiye kumuka ndiye hupenyu. Mufudzi wakanaka. Haanga tongotirasi. Ndiye Muzambiringa wechokwadi, akauya kuzotipa hupenyu, kutipa hupenyu huzere.
Zvese zvaitwa zvanaka tinotarisira kuti nezuva riya, apo hwamanda yavo icharira tichisangana mumbiri yevo yemakore, ticha wanawo mazita edu akanyorwa mubhuku ravo dzvene rehupenyu.
Muzita raBaba nereMurumbwana neraMweya Anoera. Amen
Ngoni dzaIshe wedu Jesu Kristu, rudo rwenyu Mwari Baba nokuwadzana koMweya Mutsvene, ngazvive nesu tose. Amen