Readers will have noticed that throughout 2011 we have included in the newsletter articles on the Bible. All were part of the celebration of the 400th Anniversary of the King James’ Bible. One the second Sunday in Advent the church held a celebration service. The ordering of the service was by Tom Birch based on ‘The Word Revealed’ compiled by Peter Moger & Charles Taylor published by the Royal School of Church Music. The links were provided by Jonathan Davies, Sandra Birch & Tom Birch. The readers were: Maggie Howarth, Wendy Slattery, Ann Shadbolt, Rene Stevenson and Jean Roby. Music was provided by Tom Birch with David Wilkinson on the sound system controls. Advent candles were lit by Caitlin Diver & Jasmine Ellarby.
WORDS ON WHICH TO MEDITATE AS WE PREPARE FOR WORSHIP:
We will not hide from you,
God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We come to you just as we are.
We see that what we are is not all you made us to be;
and we ask you to help us to be honest about our weaknesses,
our lack of all consuming love,
our concentrating only on our own needs,
our deafness to your call,
our blindness to others’ claim on our attention and action,
the grudges we bear.
Forgive the faults of which we are aware,
and those we hide even from ourselves;
each day let us bring more of ourselves into the searching light of your beauty so that we may be changed,
to reflect your own glory back to you.
GATHERING OF THE PEOPLE OF GOD
NOTICES FOR THE COMING WEEK
An elder will carry in an open Bible and place it near or on the communion table. In true Reformed tradition this simple act is a reminder that our authority is God’s Word revealed to us in Scripture open before us.
The congregation is asked to stand as the Bible is carried to the table and, unless directed otherwise, remain standing for the Call to Worship.
THE CALL TO WORSHIP
Praise the Lord,
the God of Israel!
He alone does these wonderful things.
Praise his glorious name for ever!
May his glory fill the whole world.
(Psalm 72, Verses 18 – 19)
LIGHTING OF THE TWO ADVENT CANDLES
The Word of our God will stand forever.
Come to us in words of your prophets in every age and time.
Come to us, O God.
HYMN 319: Thanks to God whose Word was spoken (Tune: Regent Square. Music: Henry Smart. Words: RT Brooks.)
- THE DECLARATION FROM THE FRONTISPIECE OF THE KING JAMES BIBLE
- A PRAYER
THE EARLY CHURCH: THE STORY
- Here then the Word as it was recorded in the 4th Century
- Proclaiming the Scripture
- Acts of the Apostles
- The Epistles
READING from the AUTHORISED VERSION: Luke, Chapter 4, Verses 16 to 21
Bench ‘Good News Bible’ New Testament page 79: The ministry of Jesus is prophetic. That should surprise no reader. The quotations from Isaiah concentrate the prophetic theme on the person of Jesus. Those gathered in the synagogue may not yet understand that the quotation applies to Jesus himself. The language is the language of liberation. However, those who thought they could ‘see’ find themselves blinded, and still others refuse to see what is put before their eyes.
- HYMN 317: Lord, thy word abideth (Tune: Ravenshaw. Music: Adapted WH Monk from a melody in M Weisse’s Ein New Gesengbuchlen. Words: HW Baker.)
THE STORY OF THE BIBLE IN ENGLISH
- THE ROOTS OF THE REFORMATION
READING: Romans, Chapter 15, Verses 4 to 13 from William Tyndale’s Bible
Bench ‘Good News Bible’ New Testament page 202: This reading reinforces the theme of the gospel as revealing God’s righteousness for all people. That all alike are redeemed by God’s grace. This is no general reconciliation but powerful assertions about God’s righteousness as it alters the lives of real human beings by the power of the Holy Spirit.
HYMN 321: Your words to me are life and health (Tune: Capel. Music: English traditional carol melody arranged by R Vaughan Williams. Words: G Currie Martin.)
APPOINTED TO BE READ IN CHURCH BY HIS MAJESTY’S SPECIAL COMMAND
- THE HAMPTON COURT CONFERENCE (1604)
- READING: 1 Corinthians, Chapter 14, Verses 6 to 12 from the Authorised Version
Bench ‘Good News Bible’ New Testament page 217: The simple imagery used here is akin to ‘it’s not what you say but how you say it.’ However, if what you say is unclear or untrue that it not worth the saying. God’s word to us is very simple: Love the Lord your God… and the truths which come from that simple statement are self-evident. Tell out the truths as you live your life in God’s love.
- MUSIC: ‘And the glory of the Lord’ from ‘Messiah’ by GF Handel
INTO ALL THE WORLD
HYMN 269: Jesus shall reign where’er the sun does his successive journeys run (Tune: Rimington). Music: Melody from T William’s Psalmodia Evangelica, Words: Psalm 72:12-19 paraphrased by Isaac Watts.)
CARRYING THE GOSPEL TO FAR OFF LANDS
- Thomas Bray’s Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge
- Society for the Propagation of the Gospel
- Church Missionary Society
- British and Foreign Bible Society
- John Wesley pictured below
HYMN: I, the Lord of sea and sky (Tune: Here I am. Music: Dan Schutte. Words: Based on Isaiah 6 by Dan Schutte.)
- READING: Matthew, Chapter 28, Verses 18 to 20 from the Authorised Version
Bench ‘Good News Bible’ New Testament page 44: The church must always beware of claiming too much for itself. It always baptises, teaches, serves, speaks, makes disciples in the awareness of the presence of the risen Jesus. Its authority is dependant on the One who possesses all authority. The Church – the people – are never abandoned. Though sent like sheep into the midst of wolves it can count on the attendance of the living Christ, even in its darkest hours.
GOD’S WORD TOLD TO US: THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION
HYMN 38: Thou whose almighty word chaos and darkness heard (Tune: Moscow. Music: adapted from Felice Giardini. Words: John Marriott.)
Come to this sacred table,
not because you must but because you may;
come, not to declare that you are righteous,
but that you desire to be true disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ:
come, not because you are strong,
but because you are weak;
not because you have any claim on heaven’s rewards,
but because in your frailty you stand in constant need of heaven’s mercy and help.
THE APPROACH TO COMMUNION
- THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE BREAD AND WINE
THE STORY OF THE BIBLE IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
- Revised Standard Version
- New English Bible
- Jerusalem Bible
- New International Version
- The Bible in Modern English
- Street Bible
- The Message
- READING: Matthew, Chapter 13, Verses 3 to 9, 18 to 23 and 34 to 35 from The Message
Bench ‘Good News Bible’ New Testament page 44: The Christian church has always been faced with the mystery of the gospel: why some people hear and eagerly respond and other hear and remain either indifferent or openly hostile. While disciples sow the word there is the absolute assurance about the ultimate outcome of the sowing of the word. Though the numbers may be small, the opposition painful, and the rejections many, the remarkable size of the harvest is a reminder of God’s blessing, the assurance of a grand and glorious conclusion.
HYMN 313: Spirit of truth, essential God (Tune: Melita R&S 58). Music: JB Dykes. Words: Charles Wesley.)
THE SENDING OUT
- THE LORD’S PRAYER
HYMN 574: Go forth and tell! O Church of God, awake! (Tune: Woodlands (R&S 740). Music: Walter Greatorex. Words: James E Seddon.)
(During the singing of the final hymn your gifts for the work of God in and though this place will be received.)
- OUR FINAL PRAYERS
whose glory fills the heavens,
cleanse you by his holiness and send us to proclaim his word.
Christ the Word made flesh fill us with his grace and truth that we may behold his glory.
The Spirit of truth lead us into all truth,
and strengthen us to proclaim the word and works of God.
And the blessing of God the Father,
the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be among us and remain with us always.
Hear the teaching of Jesus;
‘Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it.’
Go now to do God’s will.
THANKS BE TO GOD.