Notices 2021

 Sunday Services December 5th                                                                                            10.30 am at St John’s Burlington Methodist Church ( Geoff Bellamy)                                             6pm at St John’s Burlington Methodist Church (Dorothy Spurr)

Sunday service (for home use) provided by Revd. Nic Bentley                                                2nd Sunday of Advent

Call to Worship

Advent God, we are waiting for you.
Advent God, come amongst us.
Advent God, we look to your coming,
Trusting in the power of Immanuel,
God with us.

Hymn – 169 STF – Come, thou long-expected Jesus

Prayers
Praise be to you, O God, source of all justice and fount of all peace.
You summoned the universe from chaos –
amidst the confusion of our lives we adore you.
You breathed your Spirit into humanity to give life –
with the breath we have we worship you.
In this season of expectation,
we rejoice in your harmony, Creator God,
we receive your peace, Jesus Christ,
we are filled with your hope, Holy Spirit.
Advent God, we hear your words of hope echoing down the centuries and give you thanks.
From the dawn of time you have poured out your love on humankind,
when we became slaves, you freed us
when we wandered in the wilderness, you found us,
when we rebelled, you wooed us back
when we had forgotten how to live, you came in Jesus
when we needed courage, you gave us your Holy Spirit.
As we anticipate this season of celebration,
as we rejoice again in your coming amongst us,
we hear your words of hope echoing down the centuries and give you thanks.
Amen.
We say the Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory                                                                                                             for ever and ever.
Amen.

Reading: Luke 3:1-6 New International Version – UK
1 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar – when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene – 2 during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3 He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:
‘A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
“Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.
5 Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low.
The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth.
6 And all people will see God’s salvation.”

Hymn – O come, O come, Immanuel (StF 180)

Sermon
About a quarter century ago Bette Midler recorded a song by Julie Gold called “from a distance.” The idea behind the lengthy lyrics is that if you get far enough away from planet earth, it all looks green and blue and serene. You can’t see at that distance the interpersonal conflicts and battles that closer up are visible and become headline news. And it goes on to say that “God is watching us from a distance.” The lyrics are hopeful and schmaltzy and, from God’s true perspective– total malarkey.
Today is the 2nd Sunday of Advent. Advent refers to the coming of Christ and reminds us not only of His birth but also of His return. It is customary to announce important people before welcoming them. John came to announce the coming Messiah. In spite of this and the many revelations about His birth, only a few people took notice of His presence. Is the same thing not possible concerning His return in spite of the many revelations about His second coming? Advent therefore should not only be a time of preparation for the celebration of Christ’s birth but also a time of preparation for His return. Advent is a time to reflect on the birth of Christ, His finished work on the cross and His promised return and rejoice in our salvation.
Today’s Gospel tells the truth. God is watching, alright, but that is not all God is doing.
Luke 1:11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense.
12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord.
One day, Charles Wallace tells Meg that he has seen a drive of dragons in the broccoli patch. Meg goes with her brother to check it out, but all they find is a pile of odd-looking feathers. Later, Meg goes to the garden alone, and she has the terrifying experience of discovering that the feathers haven’t been left by a dragon at all. They belong to a cherub, of all things, an angel named Proginoskes. And there he is! Right in front of her. Now, this cherub is certainly no innocent looking, plump, little winged baby. Progo, as the children later come to call him, is huge, and he is all feathers and eyes and movement – frightening, unsettling even, in his appearance. It is no wonder that, in the Bible, whenever an angel appears to someone, the first thing the angel has to
say is, “Do not be afraid.” Those were the angel Gabriel’s very first words to Zechariah, weren’t they?
Zechariah the old priest was going about his duties in the temple when “there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense.” And Luke tells us that, “when Zechariah saw him, he was terrified” – just like Meg in L’Engle’s novel was when she saw the angel. In fact, Luke says, “fear overwhelmed him.” But the angel said…what? “Do not be afraid, Zechariah….”
John the Baptist who was announced by Angels …. spoke harsh words that were not easy to hear. Angels today tell us the same message Don’t be afraid God is at work.
Every single person is concerned about the future but not many people invest in it. This is because for most people their understanding of future relates only to time. Only very few people understand that future extends beyond time and into eternity. An average person invests 10-20 years of his or her life preparing for a working life of 20-50 years. He or she often expects that this will take care of him or her for the rest of their life. But what does he or she do about eternity?
2nd Sunday of Advent (Year C) December 5th, 2021 He or she spends very little time preparing for it. When Christ returns it will not be like His first coming when He was mocked, beaten, spat upon, and crucified on a cross. He is going to return in glory, clothed in power and every knee on earth and in heaven will bow down before Him and every tongue will confess that He is Lord. What would happen to those who had refused to acknowledge His lordship and who had rejected and made fun of Him? They would now have to kneel before Him and face His judgement.

Hymn – Long ago, prophets knew Christ would come (StF 178)

Prayers of intercession
Good and gracious God,
we give you thanks for all who have told us of your love and your presence among us.
We give thanks for John the Baptist preparing the way for our Saviour.
Mighty God, guide and empower all preachers of the word and ministers of the sacraments.
Bless all who proclaim your love and glory through the arts, music, broadcasting and publishing,
all who prepare hearts and minds for your coming.
Blessed Lord, hear us, and set your people free.
Lord of freedom and grace, we pray for all held prisoner by tyranny and oppression, all whose eyes are blind to your glory and deaf to your word.
We remember all who whose lives are darkened by fear.
Blessed Lord, hear us and set your people free.
We give thanks for all who taught us the faith and led us to you.
For all who have given us glimpses of glory.
We pray for teachers and Sunday school teachers, for families, friends and all who are dear to us.
We remember any who are having special difficulties or troubles at this time.
Blessed Lord, hear us and set your people free.
Lord of love, we pray for all who are consumed with hatred,
all who do not know how to accept or receive forgiveness,
all who are not at peace with themselves or the world.
We remember all who are anxious and fearful at this time.
We pray for all who are weakened by illness or incapacity.
Blessed Lord, hear us and set your people free.
Amen

Hymn – O love that wilt not let me go (StF 636)

BENEDICTION
May the God of peace guard you,
May life itself befriend you,
May the peace of the spirit be with you,
From the day that we have here together,
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Monday 6th December 9.30-11.30am – Festival of Nativity Scenes Coffee morning

Wednesday 8th December 9.30-11.30am – Festival of Nativity Scenes Coffee morning

Friday 10th December 9.30-11.30am – Festival of Nativity Scenes Coffee morning                      10.30am entertainment by Bay Primary School 

Saturday 11th December 9.30-11.30am – Festival of Nativity Scenes refreshments from 9am – 4pm 2pm entertainment by Cadenza Choir

Val Emmersons Contact details

Church Notices to be in by Tuesday’s to Val Emmerson 01262 678242.                                       email valdalheim@talktalk.net

Further details of Church Activities and events are available on the SJB Website.

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