This is Christmas Sunday, 20th December 2020, and the fourth Sunday of Advent: Rev Mike continues to lead us on our journey to Christmas.
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 – “God of Majesty and Mercy, Creator, Christ, and Spirit, You are powerful, You are holy, and You are loving. You come among us not as a warrior or a tyrant, but as a child. New life born among us and for us. And so we come to worship You today, trusting Your wisdom with Joseph, and pondering Your mystery with Mary. We offer to You our love for all that You have been, all that You are, and all that You will be, One God, Holy and loving, now and forever.
God of Mystery and Mercy, You came to be with us and offer us new life in Christ, and yet we often stray from Your side. You came to offer us love, but we confess that can be stubborn and selfish in the ways we live. You came to reconcile all people, but we confess that we often resist repairing relationships and so remain divided. Forgive who we have been, amend who we are, and direct who we shall become, through Jesus Christ who reaches out to us from the manger and the cross. Amen.”
- Opening praise – read or sing “Love came down at Christmas” – here is a you-tube video with music, that you can sing along to.
- Video Sermon – “The gift of service” – This weeks video sermon was presented live at Wilson Memorial Church on Sunday 20th December 2020.
- Scripture reading – Luke 23:50 – 24:8
- Praise – Read or sing “In the bleak mid-winter” – here is a you-tube video with music, that you can sing along to.
Prayer of the people –
“Spirit of Hope, whenever the world seems confusing and bleak, You pierce the darkness with light, bringing hope and vision for the way ahead. This has been a difficult and confusing year, but we thank You for the lessons learned and the changes of heart, for new discoveries and hope restored. As the creation around us prepares for the long sleep of winter, we pray for those who are ill or dying, and for those who are bereaved or feel the burden of loss…O God, reach out to all of us in Christ, and give us hope for the living of these days.
O God of Peace, within our lives and relationships, and in communities around the world, there is conflict and antagonism, mistrust and resentment. We pray for all places where violence has done its worst, where cruelty and suspicion appear to win the day, and where the vulnerable live in fear and despair…O God, reach out to all of us in Christ, and give us peace in our times.
O Creator of Joy, we thank You for moment of joy and celebration in our lives, for gifts of joy given and received, for quiet times spent in reflection and remembering, and for happy gatherings, even if they have to be small. In these colder, darker days, we remember those who feel left out or neglected, those who have found the months of pandemic restrictions a heavy burden to bear, and those who we find difficult to love, even at a distance…Be their light and their warmth, O God, and reach out to all of us in Christ, and give us joy to share in the days ahead.
O Love Come Down at Christmas, You call us to live in communion with You and with one another. You form us into families, circles of friendship and community. Today we pray for our family members, whether we’re close or estranged, for our friends, whether nearby or far away, and for our neighbours who share our community, like minded or not…Help us express both our love and concern in gentle words and kind actions. O God, reach out to all of us in Christ, and strengthen our love for You and for one another.
In the name of Immanuel – God With Us – we pray. Amen.”
- Benediction – “Dreams and angels, prophecies, mystery, Magi and shepherds have accompanied us on our journey towards Christmas, and we are almost there…and may the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be upon you, now and always as hope, peace, joy and love find their place in your hearts and in the hearts of those you love this Christmas. Amen.
- Extinguish the candle
What else is happening at Wilson Memorial this week?
We 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.
Sundays 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.