Worship Archive – February 6th 2022

[Did you miss last Sunday’s services? They can still be found at Worship Archive – January 30th 2022.


Sunday Service from Hillside Circuit for February 6th 2022:

Theme: Our past should not define our availability for mission

Occasion: 5th after Epiphany

Lectionary readings:
Psalm 138
Isaiah 6: 1-13
1 Corinthians 15: 1-11
Luke 5: 1-11

[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.]

Songs:

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.

I the Lord of sea and sky.
Here I am (Majesty).
We bow down and confess.
Make me a channel of your peace.
Brother, sister, let me serve you.

Prayers:

You can listen and join in with prayers from the English Methodist Service Book. They can be found at the Prayers for worship webpage.


Children’s Address:

Audio Children’s Address for Hillside Circuit on February 6th 2022, with Ms Sihle Sibanda.

Sermon:

Audio message for Hillside Circuit on February 6th 2022 in English, with Dr Christine Tenga.

[Click or tap here to jump down the page to the text version of this message so that you can read it for yourself.]


Bible readings:

Psalm 138

1 With all my heart I praise you, LORD.
In the presence of angels I sing your praises.
2 I worship at your holy temple
and praise you for your love and your faithfulness.
You were true to your word
and made yourself more famous than ever before.
3 When I asked for your help,
you answered my prayer and gave me courage.

4 All kings on this earth have heard your promises, LORD,
and they will praise you.
5 You are so famous that they will sing
about the things you have done.
6 Though you are above us all,
you care for humble people,
and you keep a close watch on everyone who is proud.

7 I am surrounded by trouble,
but you protect me against my angry enemies.
With your own powerful arm you keep me safe.

8 You, LORD, will always treat me with kindness.
Your love never fails.
You have made us what we are. Don’t give up on us now!

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Isaiah 6

1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I had a vision of the LORD. He was on his throne high above, and his robe filled the temple. 2 Flaming creatures with six wings each were flying over him. They covered their faces with two of their wings and their bodies with two more. They used the other two wings for flying, 3 as they shouted,
“Holy, holy, holy, LORD All-Powerful!
The earth is filled with your glory.”

4 As they shouted, the doorposts of the temple shook, and the temple was filled with smoke. 5 Then I cried out, “I’m doomed! Everything I say is sinful, and so are the words of everyone around me. Yet I have seen the King, the LORD All-Powerful.”
6 One of the flaming creatures flew over to me with a burning coal that it had taken from the altar with a pair of metal tongs. 7 It touched my lips with the hot coal and said, “This has touched your lips. Your sins are forgiven, and you are no longer guilty.”
8 After this, I heard the LORD ask, “Is there anyone I can send? Will someone go for us?”
“I’ll go,” I answered. “Send me!”
9 Then the LORD told me to go and speak this message to the people:
“You will listen and listen, but never understand.
You will look and look, but never see.”

The LORD also said,
10 “Make these people stubborn! Make them stop up their ears,
cover their eyes, and fail to understand.
Don’t let them turn to me and be healed.”

11 Then I asked the LORD, “How long will this last?”
The LORD answered:
Until their towns are destroyed and their houses are deserted, until their fields are empty, 12 and I have sent them far away, leaving their land in ruins.
13 If only a tenth of the people are left, even they will be destroyed. But just as stumps remain after trees have been cut down, some of my chosen ones will be left.

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1 Corinthians 15

1 My friends, I want you to remember the message that I preached and that you believed and trusted. 2 You will be saved by this message, if you hold firmly to it. But if you don’t, your faith was all for nothing.
3 I told you the most important part of the message exactly as it was told to me. That part is:

Christ died for our sins, as the Scriptures say.
4 He was buried, and three days later
he was raised to life, as the Scriptures say.
5 Christ appeared to Peter, then to the twelve.
6 After this, he appeared
to more than five hundred other followers.
Most of them are still alive, but some have died.
7 He also appeared to James,
and then to all of the apostles.

8 Finally, he appeared to me, even though I am like someone who was born at the wrong time.
9 I am the least important of all the apostles. In fact, I caused so much trouble for God’s church that I don’t even deserve to be called an apostle. 10 But God was kind! He made me what I am, and his wonderful kindness wasn’t wasted. I worked much harder than any of the other apostles, although it was really God’s kindness at work and not me. 11 But it doesn’t matter if I preached or if they preached. All of you believed the message just the same.

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Luke 5

1 Jesus was standing on the shore of Lake Gennesaret, teaching the people as they crowded around him to hear God’s message. 2 Near the shore he saw two boats left there by some fishermen who had gone to wash their nets. 3 Jesus got into the boat that belonged to Simon and asked him to row it out a little way from the shore. Then Jesus sat down in the boat to teach the crowd.
4 When Jesus had finished speaking, he told Simon, “Row the boat out into the deep water and let your nets down to catch some fish.”
5 “Master,” Simon answered, “we have worked hard all night long and have not caught a thing. But if you tell me to, I will let the nets down.” 6 They did it and caught so many fish that their nets began ripping apart. 7 Then they signalled for their partners in the other boat to come and help them. The men came, and together they filled the two boats so full that they both began to sink.
8 When Simon Peter saw this happen, he knelt down in front of Jesus and said, “Lord, don’t come near me! I am a sinner.” 9 Peter and everyone with him were completely surprised at all the fish they had caught. 10 His partners James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were surprised too.
Jesus told Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you will bring in people instead of fish.” 11 The men pulled their boats up on the shore. Then they left everything and went with Jesus.

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Text version of the message for Hillside Circuit on February 6th 2022 in English, with Dr Christine Tenga:

I greet you all, in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Let us pray.
Our Holy and loving Father, we come before your throne of Grace to worship you, to honour you and give you glory for everything on earth and above belongs to you. As we join the heavenly hosts to praise you, we are aware that we are not worthy because of our sinful nature. Yet we do so trusting in your mercy and the forgiveness of sins through Christ who died for the atonement of our sins and we are forgiven. What a privilege.
Father, visit the sick, the less privileged, the old and the young who need you for different needs. We thank you Father in the name of Christ, the way and the truth. Amen.
Let us pray. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of all our hearts be acceptable to you, my Lord and Redeemer. Amen.

Every Christian has a record of good or bad deeds which they have done in their lives. The bad things are the ones which will cause you to have no confidence in rising up and avail yourself for God’s mission. Yet when we go into scriptures we discover that God does not call the righteous only for His mission but sinners are very welcome.

When we look at Romans Chapter 3 v10, it says “There is no one righteous, not even one.
God is looking for those who are willing to avail themselves regardless of their status.

First, before you avail yourself know who you are working for. Its not an issue if you are doing God’s mission because God reveals Himself to those whom He calls to His mission in order to build their trust in Him.
In the passage of Isaiah, God reveals Himself to Isaiah in a vision and He is seated on His throne. All what was happening there depicted the Glory of God. The seraphim were shouting to each other about His holiness.The temple was filled with smoke and there was feel of an earthquake. That was the experience at Mt. Sinai when God revealed Himself to Moses. Isaiah was afraid because he knew he had an encounter with God and was not a clean man and people around him were the same. God is holy and who ever is connected with Him must also be holy. That is how Isaiah thought but its not so.

God is ready to cleanse and purify you to make you ready for His mission. One of the seraphim brought a live coal from the altar and touched the mouth of Isaiah and declared that his sin had been atoned, he did not have to feel guilty. Jews used atone for their sins with animal blood at the altar. That is why the seraph in the vision brought a live coal from the altar to cleanse Isaiah. At that point , God then asked whom He was going to send and who was going to go for them. God is a triune God hence the US. God had prepared Isaiah in all that was required, so he availed himself without hesitation to be God’s messenger.
The message to deliver wasn’t a juicy one. It was a warning to the Israelites who were disobedient and hard hearted. The message was not going to transform their hearts. They would not leave their sinful ways. Only a few would listen and would be a remnant for the land.
After learning about how God’s revelation worked in Isaiah, we can boldly go for God’s mission knowing that our sinful nature is not considered by God but He cleanses us and takes the fear away. None the less the task required of us is not easy. People out there are not willing to accept the Gospel because of the corrupt world we live in. We must not be discouraged but continue to talk about Christ, some will hear and their sins will be forgiven.

In Luke’s passage, Jesus was teaching a crowd by the lake of Gennesaret and performed a miracle for 4 fishermen who had tried to fish the whole night but caught nothing. These were Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John. Having been instructed to throw in their nets, into the deep, they had a big catch. Peter realised who Jesus was and went on his knees, that was a way of respect and humility. Peter confessed his sinful nature and asked Jesus to leave him alone . Peter could not find himself associated with Christ because of his sins. He must have heard about. Jesus and his teaching and miracle performances and that He is the Son of God. All the fishermen were amazed . In performing the miracle, Jesus had revealed to them who he was. He told Peter not to be afraid. When Jesus told them that they were going to be fishers of men, they didn’t hesitate, they followed him. Even in this passage we see how our sin hinders us from taking up mission work or the Gospel mission. We fear to be judged by those who know us. We fear to be ridiculed. We fear to be unworthy before God, but He is calling you as you are. Bring just your obedience, your humility and God will send you. If you think you wont have suitable words to address the people, God will feed you with the words. Your foul words will be turned to words that change lives for the better.

In the passage of 1 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul thought that after persecuting Christians he wasn’t worthy to preach the Gospel of Christ but God called him nevertheless. Christ revealed himself to Paul who was Saul at that time. He was commissioned to take the gospel to Jews and Gentiles.
Speaking to the believers in Corinth, Paul tells them about the benefits of having received and accepted the gospel. Through their belief, they would be saved from sin. He told them to hold firm to it so that it is not in vain. They must know that Christ died to save them from sin. The gospel hasn’t changed even today. Christ died for us . Let us share this message with everyone especially those who do not know Christ. People must be saved as said John Wesley.
Jesus revealed himself to the disciples and other followers after he arose from death. Why did he do that? This was proof that he died and rose from death .Without revealing himself, noone would have believed that he died and rose again. Therefore what we believe is true. Paul said that it was God’s Grace that helped him to accomplish the mission.

In conclusion, we must not allow our past to hinder us from being missionaries of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. From the passages which we read today, we see how God prepares everyone he chooses to carry out His mission. We must not fear that we shall fail Him by perhaps speaking wrong things because we shall be cleansed. What we speak or do comes from our thoughts therefore we shall be purified from inside out to serve him. His Grace, as says the Apostle Paul, will be sufficient for us to accomplish the mission of the Gospel.
Amen.

Let us pray.
Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your word. We ask that when you reveal yourself to us we must be aware of your presence and we must listen to what you want us to do. Prepare us in order to be pure before you and be worthy to carry your mission work to your people for the sake of the forgiveness of sins and SALVATION through Christ who died for us all.
May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all, now and forever more. Amen.

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