[Did you miss last week’s Sunday Services? They can now be found at Worship Archive – January 1st 2023.]
[You can find the English language Covenant Service from the Methodist Service Book at: Covenant Service.]
Sunday Service from Connexion for January 8th 2023:
Sunday Service from Hillside Circuit for January 8th 2023:
Lectionary Theme: A covenant of righteousness and obedience
[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.
Come, now is the time.
Lord, I come to you.
Light of the world.
Come, let us use the grace divine.
In my life, Lord, be glorified.
Take my life, and let it be.
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 All of you angels in heaven,
honour the glory and power of the LORD!
2 Honour the wonderful name of the LORD,
and worship the LORD most holy and glorious.
3 The voice of the LORD echoes over the oceans.
The glorious LORD God thunders
above the roar of the raging sea,
4 and his voice is mighty and marvellous.
5 The voice of the LORD destroys the cedar trees;
the LORD shatters cedars on Mount Lebanon.
6 God makes Mount Lebanon skip like a calf
and Mount Hermon jump like a wild ox.
7 The voice of the LORD makes lightning flash
8 and the desert tremble.
And because of the LORD,
the desert near Kadesh shivers and shakes.
9 The voice of the LORD makes deer give birth
before their time.
Forests are stripped of leaves,
and the temple is filled with shouts of praise.
10 The LORD rules on his throne,
king of the flood forever.
11 Pray that our LORD will make us strong
and give us peace.
1 Here is my servant! I have made him strong.
He is my chosen one; I am pleased with him.
I have given him my Spirit,
and he will bring justice to the nations.
2 He won’t shout or yell or call out in the streets.
3 He won’t break off a bent reed or put out a dying flame,
but he will make sure that justice is done.
4 He won’t quit or give up until he brings justice
everywhere on earth,
and people in foreign nations long for his teaching.
5 I am the LORD God. I created the heavens
like an open tent above.
I made the earth and everything that grows on it.
I am the source of life for all who live on this earth,
so listen to what I say.
6 I chose you to bring justice, and I am here at your side.
I selected and sent you to bring light
and my promise of hope to the nations.
7 You will give sight to the blind;
you will set prisoners free from dark dungeons.
8 My name is the LORD! I won’t let idols or humans
share my glory and praise.
9 Everything has happened just as I said it would;
now I will announce what will happen next.
34 Peter then said:
Now I am certain that God treats all people alike. 35 God is pleased with everyone who worships him and does right, no matter what nation they come from. 36 This is the same message that God gave to the people of Israel, when he sent Jesus Christ, the Lord of all, to offer peace to them.
37 You surely know what happened everywhere in Judea. It all began in Galilee after John had told everyone to be baptized. 38 God gave the Holy Spirit and power to Jesus from Nazareth. He was with Jesus, as he went around doing good and healing everyone who was under the power of the devil. 39 We all saw what Jesus did both in Israel and in the city of Jerusalem.
Jesus was put to death on a cross. 40 But three days later, God raised him to life and let him be seen. 41 Not everyone saw him. He was seen only by us, who ate and drank with him after he was raised from death. We were the ones God chose to tell others about him.
42 God told us to announce clearly to the people that Jesus is the one he has chosen to judge the living and the dead. 43 Every one of the prophets has said that all who have faith in Jesus will have their sins forgiven in his name.
13 Jesus left Galilee and went to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. 14 But John kept objecting and said, “I ought to be baptized by you. Why have you come to me?”
15 Jesus answered, “For now this is how it should be, because we must do all that God wants us to do.” Then John agreed.
16 So Jesus was baptized. And as soon as he came out of the water, the sky opened, and he saw the Spirit of God coming down on him like a dove. 17 Then a voice from heaven said, “This is my own dear Son, and I am pleased with him.”
1 The LORD was on our side! Let everyone in Israel say:
2 “The LORD was on our side!
Otherwise, the enemy attack 3 would have killed us all,
because it was furious.
4 We would have been swept away
in a violent flood 5 of high and roaring waves.”
6 Let’s praise the LORD!
He protected us from enemies who were like wild animals,
7 and we escaped like birds from a hunter’s torn net.
8 The LORD made heaven and earth,
and he is the one who sends us help.
1 Samuel 7
1 The people of Kiriath-Jearim got the chest and took it to Abinadab’s house, which was on a hill in their town. They chose his son Eleazar to take care of it, 2 and it stayed there for twenty years.
During this time everyone in Israel was very sad and begged the LORD for help.
3 One day, Samuel told all the people of Israel, “If you really want to turn back to the LORD, then prove it. Get rid of your foreign idols, including the ones of the goddess Astarte. Turn to the LORD with all your heart and worship only him. Then he will rescue you from the Philistines.”
4 The people got rid of their idols of Baal and Astarte and began worshipping only the LORD.
5 Then Samuel said, “Tell everyone in Israel to meet together at Mizpah, and I will pray to the LORD for you.”
6 The Israelites met together at Mizpah with Samuel as their leader. They drew water from the well and poured it out as an offering to the LORD. On that same day they went without eating to show their sorrow, and they confessed they had been unfaithful to the LORD.
7 When the Philistine rulers found out about the meeting at Mizpah, they sent an army there to attack the people of Israel.
The Israelites were afraid when they heard that the Philistines were coming. 8 “Don’t stop praying!” they told Samuel. “Ask the LORD our God to rescue us.”
9-10 Samuel begged the LORD to rescue Israel, then he sacrificed a young lamb to the LORD. Samuel had not even finished offering the sacrifice when the Philistines started to attack. But the LORD answered his prayer and made thunder crash all around them. The Philistines panicked and ran away. 11 The men of Israel left Mizpah and went after them as far as the hillside below Beth-Car, killing every enemy soldier they caught.
12-13 The Philistines were so badly beaten that it was quite a while before they attacked Israel again. After the battle, Samuel set up a monument between Mizpah and the rocky cliffs. He named it “Help Monument” to remind Israel how much the LORD had helped them.
For as long as Samuel lived, the LORD helped Israel fight the Philistines. 14 The Israelites were even able to recapture their towns and territory between Ekron and Gath.
Israel was also at peace with the Amorites.
15 Samuel was a leader in Israel all his life. 16 Every year he would go around to the towns of Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah where he served as judge for the people. 17 Then he would go back to his home in Ramah and do the same thing there. He also had an altar built for the LORD at Ramah.
Text version of the Children’s Address for Hillside Circuit on January 8th 2023, with Rev Nobuhle Sibanda:
Good morning Sunday School, and Happy New Year. I have prepared a Back to school lesson for you all. Going back to school can be exciting and at the same time challenging. You make new friends, adjust to new teachers. It can also be a time where our faith as children is tested but l hope we find strength in Jesus Christ when challenges arise.
In our Bible text, the Disciples are going “back to school” and Jesus here is their teacher. Jesus often took his disciples aside to often teach them important lessons about the kingdom of God. This was one of those days that Jesus began his lesson that day by asking his disciples a question. “Who do men say that l am?” Jesus asked. Imagine that one disciple who raised his hand to say that some people said Jesus was John the Baptist. Another one raise his hand to say that some people said he was Elijah. A third one raised his hand to say that some people said that he was Jeremiah or one of the other prophets. Jesus wanted to know one thing and he asked, “Who do you say lam?” And Peter immediately said to Jesus, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus was happy that Peter had not learned that from anyone else but from the Father in heaven. I pray and hope that as we go to school and continue to learn, we may have time to read the word of God, to learn also about Christ and to know him, not based on what other people say but from our own experience of being children of God and that as young as we are we may know who Christ is in our lives. Let us also be ready to answer that question when people are searching who Christ is? May God help us to be ready to answer that question. Amen