[Did you miss last week’s Sunday Services? They can now be found at Worship Archive – December 25th 2022.]
Presiding Bishop’s New Year Message to the Connexion 2023:
Sunday Service from Connexion for January 1st 2023:
Sunday Service from Hillside Circuit for January 1st 2023:
Lectionary Theme: God’s love saves
[Click or tap on a Bible reference above to jump down the page to the Bible reading to 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.
It came upon the midnight clear.
Another year is dawning.
Sing a new song.
The steadfast love.
To be in your presence.
Let earth and heaven combine.
Love came down.
Day by day.
You can listen and join in with prayers from the English Methodist Service Book. They can be found at the Prayers for worship webpage.
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!
7 I will tell about the kind deeds the LORD has done.
They deserve praise!
The LORD has shown mercy to the people of Israel;
he has been kind and good.
8 The LORD rescued his people, and said,
“They are mine. They won’t betray me.”
9 It troubled the LORD to see them in trouble,
and his angel saved them.
The LORD was truly merciful,
so he rescued his people.
He took them in his arms
and carried them all those years.
10 Everything belongs to God, and all things were created by his power. So God did the right thing when he made Jesus perfect by suffering, as Jesus led many of God’s children to be saved and to share in his glory. 11 Jesus and the people he makes holy all belong to the same family. That is why he isn’t ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters.
12 He even said to God,
“I will tell them your name and sing your praises
when they come together to worship.”
13 He also said,
“I will trust God.”
Then he said,
“Here I am with the children
God has given me.”
14 We are people of flesh and blood. That is why Jesus became one of us. He died to destroy the devil, who had power over death. 15 But he also died to rescue all of us who live each day in fear of dying. 16 Jesus clearly did not come to help angels, but he did come to help Abraham’s descendants. 17 He had to be one of us, so that he could serve God as our merciful and faithful high priest and sacrifice himself for the forgiveness of our sins. 18 And now that Jesus has suffered and was tempted, he can help anyone else who is tempted.
13 After the wise men had gone, an angel from the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up! Hurry and take the child and his mother to Egypt! Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is looking for the child and wants to kill him.”
14 That night, Joseph got up and took his wife and the child to Egypt, 15 where they stayed until Herod died. So the LORD’S promise came true, just as the prophet had said, “I called my son out of Egypt.”
16 When Herod found out that the wise men from the east had tricked him, he was very angry. He gave orders for his men to kill all the boys who lived in or near Bethlehem and were two years old and younger. This was based on what he had learned from the wise men.
17 So the LORD’S promise came true, just as the prophet Jeremiah had said,
18 “In Ramah a voice was heard
crying and weeping loudly.
Rachel was mourning for her children,
and she refused to be comforted,
because they were dead.”
19 After King Herod died, an angel from the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph while he was still in Egypt. 20 The angel said, “Get up and take the child and his mother back to Israel. The people who wanted to kill him are now dead.”
21 Joseph got up and left with them for Israel. 22 But when he heard that Herod’s son Archelaus was now ruler of Judea, he was afraid to go there. Then in a dream he was told to go to Galilee, 23 and they went to live there in the town of Nazareth. So the LORD’S promise came true, just as the prophet had said, “He will be called a Nazarene.”
Text version of the Children’s Address for Hillside Circuit on January 1st 2023, with Mr Ivan Chigwada:
GOD’S LOVE SAVES. Isaiah 63:7-9; Hebrews 2:10-18; Matthew 2:13-23
Today is the first day of the year 2023 and it happens to be a Sunday a thing which encourages me to believe that as those who chose to be the children of God were are really starting on the correct and right note! So Happy New Year to all of you boys and girls! May the Lord God continue to bless you as He has done in the past, is doing now and shall always do as long as you continue being His children!
Our Scriptures for today are Isaiah 63:7-9, Hebrews 2:10-18 and Matthew 2:13-23 and our theme is God’s love saves! To save is to rescue from danger, to protect, to choose to care and keep the beloved person safe at all times! This is what God does for you as long as you are His children. God knows who His children are and He makes it His business to care for them. As long as you choose to become a child of God through believing in Him He will welcome you and make you His Child. Let me now read Matthew 2:13-23 for you, so you can see how God rescued, protected, chose to care for and kept the Baby Jesus safe!
‘After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. ‘Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother’, the angel said. ‘Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him’.
That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary his mother, and they stayed there until Herod’s death. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: ‘I called my Son out of Egypt.’
Herod was furious when he realized that the wise men had outwitted him. He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, based on the wise men’s report of the star’s first appearance. Herod’s brutal action fulfilled what God had spoken through the prophet Jeremiah:
‘A cry was heard in Ramah-weeping and great mourning. Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted for they are dead’.
When Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt. ‘Get up’ the angel said. Take the child and his mother back to the land of Israel because those who were trying to kill the child are dead.’
So Joseph got up and returned to the land of Israel with Jesus and his mother. But when he learned that the new ruler of Judea was Herod’s son Archelaus, he was afraid to go there. Then, after being warned in a dream, he left for the region of Galilee. So the family went and lived in a town called Nazareth. This fulfilled what the prophets had said: ‘He will be called a Nazarene.’
Boys and girls I know you have brothers, sisters and friends that you like and love very much! I know you don’t like to see these get into trouble and so you will warn them whenever you see them about to get into trouble and if they are smaller than you, you will even them carry them from where there is danger to a place of safety. Your love for them will cause you to come to their help! But what happens when you are not near them or they are faced by danger which is too big for you can you help them? You cannot because you do not have super power.
This is the difference with the story of Jesus that we have just read. God sees what happens everywhere all the time-He has the power to do that. God has so much love, love He is! So at all times He will choose to rescue and protect those He loves. If you want God to love you you must also choose to love Him and continue being His child. We see that the moment God saw that Baby Jesus was in danger, He sent His angel to Joseph so that Joseph as the father of the helpless infant could carry out God’s instruction to take the child to safety. God sent His angel to go and tell Joseph to move his family to Egypt where Herod would not be able to reach them. After their stay in Egypt for some years God sent His angel to Joseph to tell him to go back to Israel and Joseph thought he was supposed to go back to Bethlehem in Judea, but God had His plans, so Joseph as had happened before was warned in a dream to go to Galilee, where they settled in the town of Nazareth!
Boys and girls here is more good news! God saved and protected His own Son Jesus and the same God will save and protect you. Loving God saves his children from physical and spiritual danger and if those children of His pray to God to save those who are close to them God will in turn save their families and nations provided the families and nations also love God which makes God love them. You will notice that whenever Joseph was told to do something by the angel of the Lord he obeyed. Similarly God will send his angels to you to direct and guide you on your journey in this world! You must always do two things- you must listen and you must obey! When you do so and follow the path God will be telling you to follow you will stay protected from danger and remain safe! The Bible contains stories of how various people who believed God were saved from doing the wrong thing and from falling into danger. You will learn that God saved Noah, He saved Abraham, He saved King David, He saved Paul, He saved His Son Jesus! If you choose to be and continue to be a child of God, He will save you in the same manner He saved the people I have mentioned by name. The Scriptures we have read show that God talks to us His children through dreams, through other people He sends to us and sometimes directly through His voice. We must learn to listen to the messages from God and obey them. In that way we will remain safe and also keep those entrusted to us safe as well. If we fail to obey we will endanger ourselves and other people who will be in our care. Good boys and girls listen and obey instructions given to them at all times. Do that and as a child of God all will be well with you. You will soon be going back to school pray to God for His love to guard and guide you! Once again Happy New Year boys and girls and remember God loves you so much, when you remain in His love and obey Him, His love will save and protect you all the days of your life!
In the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit Amen!