Week Commencing Sunday 29th November 2020

Week Commencing Sunday 29th November 2020

Please Note. Our morning service for the 6th December WILL go ahead in the church buildings. 10.30am start. Places of worship are allowed to reopen from 2nd December for church services in person. (Today’s service is only in printed format and only for home use.)

Call to worship

 

Praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord, you his servants;
    praise the name of the Lord.
Let the name of the Lord be praised,
    both now and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
    the name of the Lord is to be praised.

The Lord is exalted over all the nations,
    his glory above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God,
    the One who sits enthroned on high,
who stoops down to look
    on the heavens and the earth? (Psalm 113: 1-6)

 

 

Hymn

 

RESTORE, O LORD,
The honour of Your name,
In works of sovereign power
Come shake the earth again;
That men may see
And come with reverent fear
To the living God,
Whose kingdom shall outlast the years.

Restore, O Lord,
In all the earth Your fame,
And in our time revive
The church that bears Your name.
And in Your anger,
Lord, remember mercy,
O living God,
Whose mercy shall outlast the years.

Bend us, O Lord,
Where we are hard and cold,
In Your refiner's fire
Come purify the gold.
Though suffering comes
And evil crouches near,
Still our living God
Is reigning, He is reigning here.
 

 

 

Graham Kendrick and Chris Rolinson

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1g4p3v06lhk

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father we give you praise that you are great and powerful, no one and nothing compares to you. We marvel at your wonderful agape love shown to us in the person of your Son the Lord Jesus Christ who gave himself for our sakes and you have awakened love in our hearts for you in return. At the same time we recognise you are holy and pure, and we do not wish to do anything that would displease you or hurt your good purposes for us and for your world.

We come to you today to give thanks. Thank you for keeping and protecting us. Thank you for your guidance and direction. Thank you for picking us up when we were at our lowest. You are an awesome God and it is because of you we choose to live and walk in your ways.

Please lead us this morning by your Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Reading. Romans 8:14-27

814 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba,[b] Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

 

Sermon. What is God saying at this time? Roy Connor

I was to come and preach at ABC on the 29th November but now that has all changed. I’m so sorry not to see you all. It seems best to resort to a printed sermon again.

You may like to re –read the opening verses of our service from Psalm 113:1-6 as I begin.

It used to be all Brexit, Brexit and now it has changed to Covid 19, Covid 19. The Coronavirus is having such a devastating effect worldwide. Even our language has changed and we have new meanings for – furlough, shielding, tiers and bubbles! Distancing, lockdown etc. As I write the U.K. had 492 deaths yesterday! What a picture of pain, suffering, loss and mourning this presents! We are grieved about the state of our nation, and indeed of the whole world.

The Word says:-

a) Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.

b) Righteousness exalts a nation.

c) Where there is no vision the people perish (there is chaos and people run amok).

God has been rejected, ignored and side-lined in all this. Let me remind you of what He says:

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7 v 14).

How sad that God is ignored. There has been no voice of the Church leaders in national authority. There has been absolute silence in this arena. Is God silent? Does He not still speak? Of course, surely He is still a speaking God as usual. He loves to communicate, especially with His friends! So what is God saying to us, the world and the Church at this time? Are we listening and attentive to His heart and voice? He has not ignored or forsaken us. He is still God with us (Immanuel) in all our pain and sorrow and sin.

Elie Wiesel has written a book entitled ‘Night’. It is a record of his childhood in the death camps of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Here is a powerful recollection from that book:

“The Oberkapo of the fifty-second cable unit was a Dutchman, a giant, well over six feet. Seven hundred prisoners worked under his orders, and they all loved him like a brother. No one had ever received a blow at his hands, nor an insult from his lips.

He had a young boy under him, a pipel, as they were called- a child with a refined and beautiful face, unheard of in this camp.

One day the electric power station at Buna was blown up. The Gestapo, summoned to the spot, suspected sabotage. They found a trail. It eventually led to the Dutch Oberkapo. And there, after a search, they found an imperial stock of arms. The Oberkapo was arrested immediately. He was tortured for a period of weeks, but in vain. He would not give a single name. He was transferred to Auschwitz. We never heard of him again.

But his little servant boy had been left behind in the camp in prison. Also put to torture, he too would not speak. Then the SS sentenced him to death, with two other prisoners who had been discovered with arms.

One day when we came back from work, we saw three gallows rearing up in the assembly place, three black crows. Roll call. SS all around us, machine guns trained: the traditional ceremony. Three victims in chains- and one of them, the little servant, the sad- eyed angel.

The SS seemed more preoccupied, more disturbed than usual. To hang a young boy in front of thousands of spectators was no light matter. The head of the camp read the verdict. All eyes were on the child. He was lividly pale, almost calm, biting his lip.

This time the Lagerkapo refused to act as executioner. Three SS replaced him.

The three victims mounted together on the chairs. The three necks were placed at the same moment within the nooses.

‘Long live liberty!’ cried the two adults.

But the child was silent.

‘Where is God? Where is He?’ someone behind me asked.

At a sign from the head of the camp, the three chairs topped over.

Total silence throughout the camp. On the horizon the sun was setting.

‘Bare your heads! Yelled the head of the camp. His voice was raucous. We were weeping

‘Cover your heads!’

Then the march past began. The two adults were no longer alive. But the third rope was still moving, being so light the child was still alive. For more than half an hour he stayed there, struggling between life and death, dying in slow agony under our eyes.

Behind me, I heard the same man asking:

‘Where is God now?’

And I heard a voice within me answer him:

‘Where is He? Here He is- He is hanging there on the gallows…’

That night the soup tasted of corpses.” (Elie Wiesel)

 

You see, even in the direst of circumstances and in the most extreme pain – God is with us! You do believe this don’t you? I believe that at this, our extreme time (yet another ‘lock-down’) God is speaking and asking us for 2 things:-

1. Repentance. Repentance was the first word of the prophets, of John the Baptist, of Jesus, of the Apostles and the early Church. It really issues from a change of mind, leading to a change of heart and then a change in our life’s direction. A 180 degree about turn – from going our way to going God’s way. A turning from the world, the flesh, the devil and all his works to the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.

‘For they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, (1 Thessalonians 1 v 9).’

How our nation (and we?) need to repent and turn! In Ephesus as Revelation 2 and verse 1- 7 says – they needed to Remember, to repent, to return. They had lost their first love.

How I wish those in authority in our land and Church would call for a National day of Repentance and Prayer. Is it impossible? We too have fallen short. Jesus says ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.’(Luke 10 v 27). This was Jesus 1st Commandment after all!

Not only do we need to remember, repent and return – I think we need to repeal some of our laws that are breaking God’s heart. Laws for example like Abortion and Same Sex Marriage. Just for example.

2. Holiness. To be holy as He is Holy. To be different from and separate from. When Israel entered Canaan they were not to have a King like all the other Nations. They were different. God was their King. But they compromised, disobeyed and wanted to be like the other Nations and have a king. Reluctantly, God gave them their way.

At the crucifixion of Jesus, the cry went up – “We have no king but Caesar”. So says our nation today – sadly.

Judges 21 says that there was no king and everyone did as he saw fit. That sounds very current doesn’t it? We have side-lined God and not asked for His direct and will in all things.

So finally, let me come back to our Romans 8 reading for today’s sermon.

In v 22 we are told that Creation groans awaiting the consummation. In v 23 we see that we ourselves groan in pain and unfulfillment.

Then in v 26 the Holy Spirit groans but aids us in our prayers. There is groaning in pain, anguish all over.

We know that the fulfilment will come v 35-39. God is not mocked. God is still on the throne.

Yes, we live in the reality of suffering, deaths, disease, mourning and disillusionment now, but God has provided a way of return.

The way, I believe is through Repentance and Holiness. We, of the church, are to be more positive, kind, helpful, attractive and forward-looking in faith and hope. A Church I know has this strap-line – “In 2020, we go out of our way to talk to God about people, and, we go out of our way to talk to people about God”. What a motto to live by!  (Rev. Roy Connor)

……………………………

Prayer of Confession

The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt. (Isaiah 24:5, 6).  

Lord God of the Covenant, we confess that our country is guilty of breaking covenant with you. We have violated your statutes and disregarded your laws. We ask for forgiveness and pray that you will remember your covenant with us in Jesus Christ. Please remove the curse that came on us because of our disobedience to your laws. Amen (Jericho Walls International Prayer Network).

 

Hymn

 

Verse 1

God forgave my sin in Jesus' name 

I've been born again in Jesus' name 

And in Jesus' name I come to you 

To share His love as He told me to 

 

Chorus

He said: 'Freely, freely, you have received 

Freely, freely give 

Go in My name, and because you believe 

Others will know that I live.' 

 

Verse 2

All power is given in Jesus' name 

In earth and heaven in Jesus' name 

And in Jesus' name I come to you 

To share His power as He told me to. 

 

Chorus

He said: 'Freely, freely, you have received 

Freely, freely give 

Go in My name, and because you believe 

Others will know that I live.' 

 

 

Carol Owens

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mo3MGpcBC5M

Prayer Diary

  1. Our Minister, Rev. David Barnes, his wife and ministry.
  2. Our Church Secretary, Wendy Breese, and her continuing work.
  3. Our Treasurer, Dick Gibb, and his work for the church.
  4. For our country, as lockdown is removed. 
  5. For the Deacons, for God-given wisdom.
  6. For the message of the Advent Season to be heard.  
  7. The Missionary Prayer Fellowship.
  8. Tim and Linda Hobson
  9. Mary and Martin Barber; their work in Madagascar.
  10. Judy Cook, her work in Thailand and at the Hope Home.
  11. David and Lorna Sivyour, seeking God’s guidance for the Dell Club.
  12. Church members and friends in hospital or residential homes.
  13. St.  Margaret’s Church, the Rector, Rev. Mark Standen.
  14. Peace in Israel and the Middle East.
  15. Safety and security in Angmering.
  16. Doctors, nurses and all working in hospitals and care homes.
  17. The Torch Fellowship; that it may be soon resume.
  18. Paul and Alison Guinness: for a safe birth of the new baby.
  19. Members and friends unwell or confined to home.
  20. The Immanuel Church; the leader Rev. Ben Redding.
  21. Our caretaker Rosalyn, and all who care for our premises.
  22. Our musicians; thank the Lord for their talents.
  23. Leaders of the national churches to call the nation to prayer.
  24. In the excitement of Christmas … children to hear the real story.
  25. AS WE CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS, THANK GOD FOR THE BIRTH OF JESUS.
  26. The church to be a testimony to all living nearby.
  27. A re-awakening of the Holy Spirit in the church and village.
  28. The ABC Singers, growth in numbers.
  29. Numerical and spiritual growth in the church.
  30. Our Government as we prepare to leave the European Union.
  31. AS WE LEAVE 2020 AND ITS’ PROBLEMS, PRAY FOR GOD’S BLESSING ON THE CHURCH, THE VILLAGE AND OUR NATION.

 

 

Advent

We would normally be lighting the first Advent Sunday candle today. Here is a poem that symbolises the meaning behind the first candle:

 

The Candle of Hope

 

Hope for the hopeless and hope for the lost.

No matter the price, whatever the cost.

Jesus has come and was willing to pay
being born as a babe that first Christmas day.

 

Hope that’s a certainty, hope that is sure.

Though the earth is shaken we are secure.

Trusting in Jesus and safe in His care.

Knowing that He’s with us and always there.

 

 

Fellowship News

Our dear bother Jim Kostelyk has died. Jim went into hospital recently after a bad fall. It was discovered he had a kidney infection and then Jim was taken into palliative care, but the condition could not be abated. Please remember Jim's wife Dorothy in your prayers who is battling cancer.  'I am the resurrection and the life,' says the Lord. 'Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.' John 11: 25, 26.

 

Prayer

Loving God, we come to you in our need. You have given us birth and now we face the mystery of death. Help us to find you in the whole of life, its beginning and its ending. Help us to discover you in our pain as well as our joy, that we might find comfort in your word and light for our darkness. In the name of Jesus we ask it. Amen.

 

David, Val and Kevin Fenton. A residential home in Crawley has a place available for David but he cannot take it up yet because coronavirus has struck there. Respite has been arranged for David so he has now left hospital and is staying temporarily in Gillingham. Val has been diagnosed with colitis and at the time of writing is in hospital. Pray for Kevin as he supports David and Val.

 

Joan Milner. Joan experiences some discomfort in her back but is not in pain. Joan is very tired and misses not having her physical strength. Her next phone appointment is 5th February 2021.

 

Brian and Brenda Head. Please pray for Brian and Brenda Head at this time. Brenda had a fall and is in hospital recovering from a broken hip. 

Pauline Greer had her operation to correct carpal tunnel. Pauline’s thumb and two of her fingers are still numb so pray that she can still use her hand, but Pauline is not in pain.

 

Dick and Barbara Gibb. Please do continue to pray for them both during this difficult time.

 

Others in need of prayer are Vi Jordan, Anne Bedford-Groom, Janet Tarrant, Joan Jones, David and Val Clapp, Maureen Phillips, Doris Poole, Cecil Davies, Susie Stewart, Maureen Lima, Judith Simmons, Gerald Challis, Ellen Riecker and Rose Howell.  

 

Our Treasurer Dick Gibb would like to thank you for your financial giving to the church.

 

Huge thanks to Nigel, Lisa, Stephen and Thomas Wilson for all the work they have put in to make possible the broadcasting of our services through our website and on YouTube.

 

Hymn

 

O Lord, the clouds are gathering
The fire of judgment burns
How we have fallen!
O Lord, you stand appalled to see
Your laws of love so scorned
And lives so broken

Have mercy, Lord, (Men)
Have mercy, Lord, (Women)
Forgive us, Lord, (Men)
Forgive us, Lord (Women)
Restore us, Lord (All)
Revive your church again
Let justice flow (Men)
Let justice flow (Women)
Like rivers (Men)
Like rivers (Women)
And righteousness like a never failing stream (All)

O Lord, over the nations now
Where is the dove of peace?
Her wings are broken
O Lord, while precious children starve
The tools of war increase Their bread is stolen

O Lord, dark powers are poised to flood
Our streets with hate and fear
We must awaken!
O Lord, let love reclaim the lives
That sin would sweep away
And let your kingdom come

Yet, O Lord, your glorious cross shall tower
Triumphant in this land
Evil confounding
Through the fire your suffering church display
The glories of her Christ
Praises resounding!

 

 

Graham Kendrick

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xfv9OI59_7o

 

 

Blessing

May the God who gives us peace make you holy in every way and keep your whole being- spirit, soul and body- free from every fault at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (From 1 Thessalonians 5).

 

David Barnes 25/11/20