• Rossendale Circuit

Let There Be Light - Sunday Service 10.01.21

with Revd. David Burrow


Video Service

Watch on youtube here.


Part 1



Hymns & Songs:


MP 1086 'Light of the world you stepped down into darkness'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZc8fRRBXbM


Or you could go with a much loved favourite and focus on the wonder of God’s creation.


MP 506 'O Lord my God!'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rm4O_UdItY



Don’t forget the brilliant reggae version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opA7UmbzJdU



Part 2



Hymns & Songs:


MP 835 'Great is the darkness'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vo74LSKIJY



Part 3



Hymns & Songs:


MP 445 'Lord the light of your love is shining'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAFcwns4uHc

Graham Kendrick performs his own song


MP 18 'All over the world, the Spirit is moving'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UR4tE1kh-mE


from the BBC Songs of Praise with a short interruption in the middle – all good fun though.




Transcript

*Not always exact to the videos.


Rossendale Methodist Circuit Worship 10th January 2021 Revd David Burrow


Welcome.

I hope that you all have had as enjoyable Christmas and New Year as were possible given the circumstances in which we are living.

At this time of year the church’s year takes, what to me seems a rather large step – in terms of time.

We go from Jesus the baby in Bethlehem, possibly pausing to think about his circumcision at 8 days old, perhaps reflecting for a moment on the visit of the Magi – the wise men if you have a service on January 6th – which is Epiphany of course. We don’t seem to acknowledge when Joseph and Mary left a 12-year-old Jesus behind in Jerusalem, and before you know it Jesus is around 30 years old and we are at his baptism - on only the 3rd Sunday after Christmas.

It all seems a bit rushed, but we are after all, on a countdown to Ash Wednesday, Lent and Easter.


So, here we go. Let’s check out Jesus’ baptism as recorded for us in Mark’s gospel.


Call to Worship

Come and hear the voice of John the Baptist crying in the wilderness. Come and be challenged.

Come and hear the voice of God affirming his love of his Son. Come and be inspired. Come and hear your own voice as you sing and as you pray. Come and be bold. Amen.


On Christmas Eve 1968 Apollo 8 was orbiting the earth.

The crew were told that they would be making a broadcast ‘which would have the largest audience that had ever listened to a human voice’, and to ‘do something appropriate’.

No pressure then!

What did they do? They beamed pictures of the earth as they were seeing it and took turns to read the creation story from Genesis 1.

From the furthest distance that humans had ever travelled, they read about the Holy Spirit, who was there at the beginning of it all, moving over the waters of chaos.

Imagine the earth as it is seen from space as you listen to these first words from the book of Genesis – the book of beginnings:


Read Genesis 1:1-5


MP 1086 'Light of the world you stepped down into darkness'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZc8fRRBXbM


Or you could go with a much loved favourite and focus on the wonder of God’s creation.


MP 506 'O Lord my God!'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rm4O_UdItY



Don’t forget the brilliant reggae version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opA7UmbzJdU


Photo by Valeriy Andrushko via Unsplash


Prayer of Adoration and Confession


Almighty God you created all things by your Word and through the power of your Spirit.


You became flesh and lived among us to show us how to live.

Forgive us when we take you, your love and your creation for granted.

Lord Jesus, through your death on the cross you speak of forgiveness, hope and the renewal of our lives; a new beginning and your light opening our eyes.

Heavenly Father as we confess our sin, forgive us and fill us with the joy, power and light of the Holy Spirit. Amen


The Lord’s Prayer.


We read the story of Jesus’ baptism in Mark 1:4-11

I wrote this on January 6th, which is Epiphany, the celebration of the visit of the Magi to see Jesus.

An epiphany can be described as a moment when you see something in a new or a very clear way as the astronauts on board Apollo 8 saw the earth for the first time all those years ago.

Likewise the Magi saw God in a new and clear way. No doubt they left with lots to think about.


During Holy Week a few years ago, a busy minister had such an experience.

Holy Week is never an easy journey, but for various reasons this minister was finding it particularly hard.

On the Thursday she was sitting on the bus heading off to the hospital to make a couple of difficult visits. An earlier phone call had told her of a sudden death. Other pastoral issues and a piece of work for the wider church were demanding a lot of her time, attention and energy.


Pictures from the news that morning of distraught families of teenagers lost in a ferry boat disaster in Korea kept returning to her mind, and underlying all this was the usual minister’s concern, “What am I going to say on Easter Sunday morning that hasn’t already been said?”

The minister was so preoccupied that she didn’t notice a mother and child get on the bus and slip into a seat a couple of rows behind her.


That is, she didn’t notice them until the mother began to sing. It was a simple child’s song. And soon the little child joined in. They sang in a language she didn’t understand, but that really didn’t matter.

Neither mother nor daughter were particularly wonderful singers, yet with their song something changed.

The minister’s eyes were opened.

She saw the girl with Down’s syndrome who was sitting opposite her begin to beam.

A fractious toddler a few rows in front who had been giving her mum quite a bit of grief settled down. An older lady bent forward and spoke kindly to the young mum.


A young man wearing a hoodie stood up and held the folding seat down for an elderly man who had just got onto the bus.

As that song, sung gently by a mother and child touched the ears of the travellers, the bus was no longer simply a means of getting from A to B.

It became, however briefly, a community who were on a journey together. And a minister rediscovered the peace and presence of Christ that had been eluding her all week and she knew what she had to say on Sunday to another community on a journey – a community with its own song to sing – an Easter song of life and faith, of hope and love! The minister had had an epiphany.


Our world, our nation, our community, continue to be overwhelmed by the coronavirus, and it would be easy to join with Isaiah and cry out to God: O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence’. Isaiah 64:1


When I read those words in Isaiah, and then Mark’s description of Jesus baptism, I had a bit of an epiphany of my own.

Did you notice? Mark introduces us to Jesus in a dramatic way with his account of the baptism. Not only were the heavens torn apart, but the Spirit descended like a dove, and a voice spoke from heaven. Isaiah’s prayer, some 700 years after it was uttered, was answered with extra!


This was an epiphany for those who were there. A special moment which leads us into a new and deeper awareness of God’s presence and purpose giving us a clearer understanding of God’s nature and love.


Epiphany moments happen to each of us from time to time on faith’s journey. Some are more dramatic than others, but they all have something in common, they help us to see things in a new light.

In such moments, our eyes are opened to understand more of who God is and who we are.

We are given a glimpse of the presence and activity of God in the world.

It is as if God said: “Let there be light.”


I wonder . . . .

Can you identify such moments in your life?

Times when you had an epiphany?

Try and remember the details: what did you see, touch, taste, smell; how did you feel?

What was it like when heaven broke in, your eyes were opened and God said, “Let there be light”?

I have sometimes experienced such moments as I have ministered to those on the edge of death. God’s peace has been tangible, even in the midst of the suffering and grief.


As I reflect on the pain and damage caused by the coronavirus I have to admit, in spite of what I have said, that I am often tempted to cry out like Isaiah, “O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence”.

But then I am reminded again of God’s answer to Isaiah’s prayer at Jesus’ baptism, when heaven was torn open, the Spirit came down on Jesus like a dove and God spoke.


The Holy Spirit was present when the earth was created.

The Holy Spirit was present when Jesus was baptised and the Holy Spirit is present when we receive Jesus into our lives.


Let me read a short story form Acts 19:1-7. Paul has just arrived in Ephesus and meets some disciples. This is what happened next:


Read: Acts 19:1-7

No wonder Paul encouraged his listeners to receive the Holy Spirit.

Here were twelve disciples who had received John’s baptism of repentance, but no more. There had been no baptism in the Holy Spirit, no epiphany, so Paul laid hands on them and the Holy Spirit came down upon them as heaven was once again torn open.

This time they had an epiphany and were filled with power.

Two years later ‘all the residents of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord’. When the Spirit moves things happen and more people come to know Jesus – they have an epiphany. God says, ‘Let there be light.’


Every time believers are filled with the Holy Spirit it means that heaven has been torn open and God has come down in the Holy Spirit.

I pray, that in the face of all that is happening at the beginning of this year, that Isaiah’s prayer will continue to be answered as heaven is torn open as once again you and I are filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and we are empowered to introduce Jesus to others, to bring Jesus onto centre stage and share with others the epiphany, we have experienced and God says, ‘Let there be light’. Amen


MP 835 'Great is the darkness'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vo74LSKIJY


A beautiful song and the perfect song and prayer for today


Prayers of Intercession:

Father God, we thank you for all who respond to your call to work because of their faith. We pray for those who are inspired to care for your creation and are caught up in the struggle to protect those parts of the world where others seek only to destroy for the sake of wealth and power.

Lord give us eyes to see the need and respond in love and action

Let there be light


We give thanks for those whose labour is prompted by love of you and their neighbours. We continue to pray for an end to the coronavirus pandemic. Give our leaders and scientists wisdom, our health workers strength and our carers patience and compassion as they do all they can to protect the vulnerable.

Lord give us eyes to see the need and respond in love and action

Let there be light


We give you thanks for those whose endurance is inspired by their hope in the Lord Jesus Christ.

We pray for those who struggle through poverty and injustice, for those persecuted for their faith, who have been tortured and imprisoned.

Lord give us eyes to see the need and respond in love and action

Let there be light


We pray for the nations of the world especially those torn apart by war like Yemen and Syria. We pray too for the United States, for reconciliation and peace. And we remember our own nation before God with all its needs.

Lord give us eyes to see the need and respond in love and action

Let there be light


Loving God, in prayer we are like Jesus, stamped with your image of compassion and kindness. We entrust the world, the church, our community, and those whom we love and care for to your love. In Jesus’ name.


Amen.


Blessing: May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all today and always. Amen.


MP 445 'Lord the light of your love is shining'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAFcwns4uHc

Graham Kendrick performs his own song


MP 18 'All over the world, the Spirit is moving'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UR4tE1kh-mE


from the BBC Songs of Praise with a short interruption in the middle – all good fun though.

75 views0 comments