Angels and the gift of light

Sunday 6th December 2020 is the second Sunday of Advent: Rev Mike leads us deeper into the Christmas season with this weeks service.

This Advent Season we’re going to take the time to actively wait in preparation for the Christ-event.  Our focus for these four Sundays is going to be on the gifts of Advent, as we await the greatest gift of all…the gift of Jesus.  The Apostle Paul expressed this perfectly when, in 2 Corinthians 9: 15, he says,Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.’

We are live: In Church, In Person. On Demand:  On your phone, your tablet, and your computer.

Throughout these uncertain times, we continue to operate in accordance with Scottish Government requirements and guidelines.  In order to accommodate as many members and friends as possible, we are holding two services, at 10:00am and at 11:00am.  Attending numbers have to be restricted, and it is essential to book in advance (see our section below titled Sundays re-started).

We are also presenting this weeks sermon and a home worship order of service, here for you to use if you are not able to make it to Wilson Memorial Church in person, or if you just want to listen to Rev Mike again.

This weeks order of worship that you can use:

  • Light a candle – to remember that Christ is the light of the world, and overcomes every darkness.
  • Opening prayer -“Even if we cannot gather in person, Immanuel, God is with us!  Even if some Christmas traditions have had to go, Immanuel, God is with us!  Even if we might not get to hug family and friends, Immanuel, God is with us!  Even if we cannot sing carols beside each other, Immanuel, God is with us!  Even if Christmas cheer is harder this year, Immanuel, God is with us!  Lord, Your word is not distant, Your love is not rationed, Your grace is at hand, for You are present with Your people as we call upon You.  We come to bless You as our Creator.  We come to honour You as our Saviour and Sustainer.  You are our Heavenly Father, revealed through Jesus Christ, You Son, and we have come to revel in Your word and be transformed by Your love.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.
  • Opening praise – read or sing “The first noel” – here is a you-tube video with music, that you can sing along to.

  • Scripture reading – Luke 2:8-20
  • Video Sermon Angels and the gift of light – This weeks video sermon was presented live at Wilson Memorial Church on Sunday 6th December 2020.

  • Praise – Read or sing “Hark the Herald Angels sing” – here is a you-tube video with music, that you can sing along to.

  • Prayer of the people“Sometimes we may feel too damaged and broken ourselves, and therefore think that we are unworthy to reflect God’s light.  Well, we’re not alone in thinking this…the Apostle Paul felt exactly the same way at times.  Paul said, ‘We have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure.  This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.’ (2 Corinthians 4: 7).  There is a Japanese art form, called Kintsugi, in which broken and shattered pieces of pottery are put back together using gold mixed with a lacquer.  The result is more beautiful than the original, because their are veins of gold running all through the once broken pieces.  The chips and cracks, the let-downs and break-ups, the mistakes, griefs and tragedies that have inevitably visited our lives this year don’t have to destroy us, or render us useless.  We don’t have to ignore them or sweep them aside, but rather acknowledge them as the places where the light gets in, and also shines out.  Leonard Cohen picks this up beautifully in the song Anthem, which has the refrain ‘Ring the bells that still can ring.  Forget your perfect offering.  There is a crack, a crack in everything.  That’s how the light gets in.’

    Today, as we pray, I invite you to allow God to shine His light into the cracked places of your life…let’s pray:

    God of Wisdom and Patience, in this season of Advent, we wait for Your gifts of hope, peace, joy and love.  We wait on You in prayer, knowing You hear us even before we speak.  Prepare our heats and minds to welcome the coming of Your Son once again and prepare our courage and conviction to follow His Way.  Thank You for leading us on the Way, especially in these difficult days and places, when the pandemic still overshadows our lives, even with the glimmer of hope and light that we see in the new vaccines.  We are thankful that we can rely on Your strength and comfort when so much around us has become so uncertain.  Comfort those who are troubled in mind and spirit as the days continue to grow shorter.  Strengthen the bodies and spirits of the who are tired or suffering.  Embrace those who are living with loss, and protect young and old for whom the future seems confusing and unimaginable.

    God who makes all things new, turn our lives upside down and shake out the unnecessary distractions of this season.  Help us to focus on what is truly important and upon who truly matters to us.  Turn our lives upside right so that our priorities and purposes match those we have learned from Jesus.  Shape and reshape us until we conform to His way of living and His likeness.

    Turn us upside down, O God, so that we value what is hidden and small more than what is showy and grand.  Open our eyes to the needs of the most vulnerable in our community and help us speak out with them and for them.  Turn us right side up, O God, so that we can see have more than enough resources to share with those who have much less than they need day by day.

    God, You are Alpha and Omega, our beginning and our end.  Strengthen us with Your Spirit to build Your kingdom, here and now, now and always.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.”

  • Closing praise – Read or sing “Angels carol” – here is a you-tube video,, that you can sing along to.

  • Benediction “On you, the Light of Hope has shined.  Keep that light in your hearts and spirits.  Remember that even the smallest beam of light can illuminate a path for someone.  Let your light shine before others that they may know the love of God.…and the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be with us all now and always.  Amen.
  • Extinguish the candle

What else is happening at Wilson Memorial this week?

basics bank imageWe have created a program of on-line events that you can join in from the comfort of your favourite armchair. Details of these events can be found on our “What’s on – Lockdown special” web page.  Go and check it out, NOW!

In addition to video sermons, we also now have podcast sermons available to download and listen to on your mobile device wherever you are.  We also have a “dial a sermon” service available, where you can listen to sermons by telephone.  To phone a service, simply call us on 0131 297 6174, you will hear an automated greeting, and then after a short pause the latest sermon will play.

Private prayerSundays re-started– As permitted by the Scottish Government, we are now open for Sunday worship services.  Unfortunately, we do have to introduce some restrictions in order that we can manage the required social distancing rules, and keep everyone as safe as possible.  This means we have had to significantly reduce our seating capacity, and introduce a booking system to ensure we do not exceed the allowed number of worshipers in our church building.  In order that as many people as possible can join us, we will be holding two Sunday worship services: At 10:00am and 11:00am.  Details of the  booking process can be found in the August Issue 5 Newsletter. Social distancing measures and hygiene precautions are in place.

Our Basics Bank, Food Bank, continues to operate as normal every Tuesday providing a critical service to individuals and families suffering hardship in our local community.  Follow the link to find out how we are preparing for Christmas at the Basics Bank.

Read more about the United Free Church of Scotland

 

The October/November 2020 edition of STEDFAST, our denominations magazine, is now available from Wilson Memorial Church.

We have hard copy coffee-table editions and soft copy tablet/PC editions available.

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