Prepare (December 16, 2018)

This blog gives you a glimpse into the upcoming Sunday Gathering. It's an opportunity to read through the passage we'll be studying together, pray through some of the liturgy we'll be using, and listen to a selection of the songs we’ll be singing


HIDDEN CHRISTMAS - The Shepherds

SERMON

This Sunday, Gary Aston will be preaching to us from Luke 2:8-20 looking at the shepherds’ story.

LITURGY

CALL TO WORSHIP

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

(John 1:1-5)

MUSIC

  • O Come All Ye Faithful: A call to come and remember Jesus’ coming into this world, to behold the incarnate God and praise his majesty!

  • Hark the Herald Angels Sing: A celebration of Christ and all that he came to do on earth. A reminder that he brings light and life into this world and that he is worthy of all of our praise.

Reflect (December 9, 2018)

Reflect.png

Welcome to the Sunday Gathering recap (songs, hymns, liturgy and sermon). This blog gives you an opportunity to reflect on what you heard in the gathering or catch up if you weren’t able to be with us.

*The indented sections are responses read aloud by the congregation during the Gathering


HIDDEN CHRISTMAS - The Manger

CALL TO WORSHIP

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

(Isaiah 9:2;6)

Song: Joy to the World

READING

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. (Luke 2:1-7)

Song: O Come O Come Emmanuel

READING

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

(Luke 2:8-20)

SongAngels from the Realms of Glory

Song: O Come all ye Faithful

PREACHING OF THE WORD

Gary Aston preached to us a shorter message as part of our Hog Roast and Carols from Luke 2:1-7. Click here to listen to that sermon.

Song: O Holy Night

Song: Hark the Herald Angels Sing

PRAYER

O Christ, our morning star, splendour of light eternal, shining with the glory of the rainbow, come & waken us from the greyness of our apathy, and renew in us your gift of hope.

[The Venerable Bede, 672-735]

Father shine light into our darkness, allow us to hear the challenge of the message but don’t let us get stuck there. Instead, even as we acknowledge our need help us to see you Son as the one who came to meet that need. Amen.

Reflect (December 2, 2018)

Reflect.png

Welcome to the Sunday Gathering recap (songs, hymns, liturgy and sermon). This blog gives you an opportunity to reflect on what you heard in the gathering or catch up if you weren’t able to be with us.

*The indented sections are responses read aloud by the congregation during the Gathering


HIDDEN CHRISTMAS - The Birth

CALL TO WORSHIP

This is the first gathering in our Advent series. The season of Advent, is a season of waiting, it's designed to cultivate our awareness of God’s actions—past, present, and future. In Advent we heighten our anticipation for the ultimate fulfilment of all Old Testament promises. In this way Advent highlights for us the larger story of God’s redemptive plan. While we remember Israel’s waiting and hoping and we give thanks for Christ’s birth, we also anticipate his second coming at the end of time It is a season of expectation of anticipation. The coming birth of our Saviour, Jesus was foretold to the people of Israel and to a world, who like us now, was longing for a Saviour to bring relief from the suffering and sin: Hear these words from the prophet Isaiah:

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” which means, God with us. (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23)

In Jesus, God has promised to be with us. Let's sing out together now in celebration of that truth and in anticipation.

Song: O Come O Come Emmanuel

Song: O Come All Ye Faithful

CONFESSION AND ASSURANCE

When we remember and celebrate Jesus coming into this world, we are humbled to remember why he came. One of the truths of the gospel is that humanity was in need of rescue. The prophet Isaiah says that the people of Israel were walking in darkness, in need of light. The same is true of us today. Without God, we are in darkness, in need of Christ's light. Our sin enslaves us and we need a rescuer. The promise of the gospel is that Jesus came to save us from our sins. We no longer need to feel weighed down by our sin, instead we can know the freedom that comes in Christ. Let's pray these words, thanking God for this truth together now.

Father God, thank you that even though we were once walking in darkness, you shone your light into our lives. Thank you that in sending Jesus, you brought light and life into this world.

We praise you that the darkness could not overcome his light. We ask that you would deal with our darkness this Christmas and help us to live in the light you bring. Amen.

SongYou Alone Can Rescue

PASSING OF THE PEACE

PREACHING OF THE WORD

Pete Petra from North Church Leicester opened our Advent sermon series by preaching to us from Matthew 1:18-23. Click here to listen to that sermon.

COMMUNION

Every week we want to respond to what God has done for us in Jesus. One of the great ways he has provided for us to remember the truth of the gospel is giving us communion. As we take the bread and wine we remember what Jesus has done for us.

POST COMMUNION READING

Jesus’ death brings us life and this meal reminds us that we are fed by Jesus and forgiven because of Jesus.

We rejoice that You have died, rose again, and are now with the Father advocating for us. Amen.

With our money, time, and talent we give generously, knowing that through Your Son, Jesus, You have generously given to us.

We rejoice that You have given everything and we joyfully give everything back to Your care. Amen.

Song: Here is Love

Song: Jesus is the Lord of All

COMMITMENT READING

The birth of Jesus is a key part of what we believe as Christians. One thing we sometimes like to do as a church is affirm our faith and what we believe by reading the Apostle's Creed together. The Apostle's creed is a summary of what the church believes and teaches.

As we say the Creed, we join Christians past and present, and from all over the world, in proclaiming our common faith. You'll notice the word 'catholic' is used which simply means the 'whole church' and is not referring to Roman Catholic here. So when we say I believe in the catholic church we mean that every follower of Jesus is a member of The church.

Would you like to join with me in reading these words together:

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; the third day he rose from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from there he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Song: This I Believe

BENEDICTION

In this season of advent, may God’s light shine in your darkness. May the spirit open your eyes to see his coming, and may Jesus’ glory captivate your hearts this season. Go in hope of the peace he brings to the world.

Peace be with you.

And also with you.

Prepare (December 2, 2018)

This blog gives you a glimpse into the upcoming Sunday Gathering. It's an opportunity to read through the passage we'll be studying together, pray through some of the liturgy we'll be using, and listen to a selection of the songs we’ll be singing


HIDDEN CHRISTMAS - The Birth

SERMON

This is the first Sunday in Advent and Pete Petra from North Church Leicester will be preaching to us from Matthew 1:18-23.  The season of Advent, is a season of waiting, it's designed to cultivate our awareness of God’s actions—past, present, and future. In Advent we heighten our anticipation for the ultimate fulfillment of all Old Testament promises. In this way Advent highlights for us the larger story of God’s redemptive plan. While we remember Israel’s waiting and hoping and we give thanks for Christ’s birth, we also anticipate his second coming at the end of time. 

LITURGY

CALL TO WORSHIP

The coming birth of our Saviour, Jesus was foretold to the people of Israel and to a world, who like us now, was longing for a Saviour to bring relief from the suffering and sin: Hear these words from the prophet Isaiah:

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel”  which means, God with us.

(Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23)

MUSIC

  • O Come All Ye Faithful: A call to come and remember Jesus’ coming into this world, to behold the incarnate God and praise his majesty!

  • O Come O Come Emmanuel: A celebration that God came down into this world to be with us people and to save us from our sin.