Weekly Service and Bible Reading

North East Circuit of Independent Methodist Churches
Devotional for Sunday 10 th January 2021
Prepared by Christine MacTier

Hymn Mission Praise 740
We three kings of Orient are; bearing gifts we traverse afar,
field and fountain, moor and mountain, following yonder star.
O star of wonder, star of light, star with royal beauty
bright,
westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy
perfect light.
Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain, gold I bring to crown him
again,
King forever, ceasing never, over us all to reign.
Frankincense to offer have I; incense owns a Deity nigh;
prayer and praising, voices raising, worshiping God on high.
Myrrh is mine; its bitter perfume breathes a life of gathering
gloom;
sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying, sealed in the stone-cold
tomb.
Glorious now behold him arise; King and God and sacrifice:
Alleluia, Alleluia, sounds through the earth and skies.
Bible Reading. Matthew 2 vs 1 – 12
1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time
of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem
2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the
Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship
him.”
3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all
Jerusalem with him.
4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests
and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah
was to be born.
5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the
prophet has written:
6 “ ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means
least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a
ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’ ”
7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from
them the exact time the star had appeared.
8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search
carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me,
so that I too may go and worship him.”
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and
the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it
stopped over the place where the child was.
10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.
11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother
Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they
opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold,
frankincense and myrrh.
12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to
Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
On the TV quiz program QI, they were discussing Christmas
and it was mentioned that Matthew and Luke were the only

Gospels that mentioned the Birth of Christ and that they didn’t
give the same version of the story. They added that Mark and
John don’t mention the Birth of Christ. To me it showed that it
is not OK to have a limited overview of Scripture rather than
actually looking at the whole picture from Scripture. With their
limited knowledge of scripture, they didn’t know that each
Gospel writer wrote to a specific group of people, and from
their own experiences
When we look at the visit of the Magi as described in Matthew.
We see how these visitors from the East went to visit the Christ
Child after seeing and following the star of Bethlehem. They
brought gifts appropriate to whom they thought this special
baby could be.
Although surprised at the fact that this special child had been
born in such a lowly place, they recognized His greatness and
offered their gifts.
Gold for a king. This child was indeed the King of kings. He
had left the Glory of Heaven to become this helpless baby and
one day after conquering sin and death He would return to
Heaven and reclaim His crown
Frankincense for a priest. When we read the books of the Law
as given by God to Moses, we read of the use of frankincense
in the Temple worship. The priest would take any sacrifice
brought by the people and offer it to God as described in the
Law. The priest was acting as an intermediary between the
people and God. Jesus is our intermediary. The letter to the
Hebrews shows how Jesus is our Great High Priest who
intercedes for us with the Father
Myrrh, often used in burials. I sometimes wonder if Mary kept
the myrrh and if it was one of the spices taken by the women
to anoint His body when they went to the tomb on that first
Easter Morning. That small baby who was worshipped by
Shepherds and magi would become our King; Priest and
Saviour
On the first Sunday of the New Year we often hold a Covenant
Service when we remember God’s Covenant with us and
renew our Covenant with Him
A favourite Carol is “In the Bleak Mid Winter”. The last verse
says “What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.
As we continue to look back at 2020 may we thank God for the
way He brought us through and look forward to this relatively
New Year with all it’s opportunities and give Him our hearts
and lives to be used by Him to His Glory
May the Lord continue to Bless You and Best wishes for 2021
Prayer
Father God, we stand at the beginning of a New Year, a year
of opportunities for service for you. We cannot change what
happened in 2020, all we can do is look forward in faith and
trust You to guide us and keep us safe in the year ahead.
We bring to you our families and friends; our country and the
people of this world

Father we need you to intervene in this pandemic which has
taken over the world. We need your healing power and
strength
May we look to You in all circumstances and glorify your
precious Name. Amen
The Lord’s Prayer

North East Circuit of Independent Methodist Churches

Circuit Devotion for Jan 3 rd 2021

Prepared by Jean Merton


Psalm 121
“I look up to the mountains-does my help
come from there? My help comes from the
Lord, who made the heavens and the earth.
He will not let you stumble and fall; the One
who watches over you will not sleep. Indeed,
He who watches over Israel never tires and
never sleeps. The Lord Himself watches over
you. The Lord stands beside you as your
protective shade. The sun will not harm you
by day, nor the moon at night. The Lord keeps
you from all evil and preserves your life. The
Lord keeps watch over you as you come and
go, both now and forever, Amen.

I imagine many people were pleased to close
the door on what, I’m sure you’ll agree has
been a difficult year. As we think back, many
will have found comfort and strength in
familiar Bible readings, which have reminded
us that God is always with us. And as surely as
God was with us during 2020 He will be with
us during the good times and bad that awaits
us in 2021.
Hymn;
I do not know what lies ahead,
The way I cannot see;
Yet one stands near to be my guide,
He’ll show the way to me.
Chorus, I know who holds the future,
And He’ll guide me with His hand;
With God things don’t just happen,
Everything by Him is planned.
So as I face tomorrow,
With its problems large and small,
I’ll trust the God of miracles,
Give to Him my all.
I do not know how many days
Of life are mine to spend;
But one who knows and cares for me
Will keep me to the end.
I do not know the course ahead,
What joys and griefs are there;
But one is near who fully knows
I’ll trust His loving care.

Michael Angier wrote, “In order to
embrace the new, we must release
the old. A trapeze artist cannot swing
from one bar to another without
letting go. An important part of
preparing for a New Year is to review
the past year, to release it and to learn
from it.”
I pray we will indeed put all the
problems we experienced in 2020
behind us and that we will go forward
using all the good things that we
learnt during the past year as a base
from which to grow even further.
We read in Jeremiah 29:11 “’For I
know the plans I have for you’
declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper
you and not to harm you, plans to give
you hope and a future.”’
The realization that God has a plan for
each and every one of us and for our
churches can encourage us as we
begin a new year of service. Focusing
on His plan will help us become the
people we are meant to be.
Prayer;
Heavenly Father, we praise and
worship You. We live in an ever
changing world, but thankfully You are
the same. Yesterday, today and
forever, You are the rock on which we
can depend. We thank you for the
Fatherly care with which You watched
over us during what has been a
difficult year. You have protected us
from the evils of this world and have
showered us with blessings. As we
begin a new year in service, we ask
that You will guide us as individuals
and as churches, and by the Power of
Your Spirit may we have the strength
and courage to be obedient. We ask
all things in the precious Name of
Jesus Amen.
Repeat ‘The Lord’s Prayer’.

North East Circuit of Independent Methodist Churches
Devotional for Sunday 27 th December 2020
Prepared by Len Ogilvie

Introduction
“Here it is – Merry Christmas!??? to quote Slade – question
marks my own! In Advent we trace God’s plan through to
Christmas but Isaiah reminds us that God’s Christmas Party is
scheduled not for the 25 th December but when time will be no
more.
Isaiah 25. 6-8 (abridged)
On this mountain the LORD of Hosts will prepare a rich banquet
of rich fare for all the peoples; a banquet of wines well matured.
On this mountain the LORD will destroy the veil shrouding all
the peoples, the pall thrown over all the nations. He will destroy
death forever. Then the Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from
every face and throughout the world remove the indiginities
from his people. The LORD has spoken.
Luke 14. 15-24
One of the company at the meal said, “Happy are those who will
sit at the banquet in the Kingdom of God!” Jesus replied, “A
man was giving a big dinner party and had sent out many
invitations. When the time came he sent his servant to tell the
guests, “Please come, everything is now ready.” One after
another they all sent excuses. The first said, “I have bought a
piece of land, and I must go and inspect it; please accept my
apologies.” The second said, “I have bought five yoke of oxen
and I am on my way to try them out. Please accept my
apologies.” The next said, “I cannot come; I have just got
married.” When the servant reported this the master of the
house was furious and said to him, “Go out quickly into the
streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the
crippled, the blind and the lame.” When the servant informed
him that his orders had been carried out and there was still
room, his master replied, “Go out on the highways and along
the hedgerows and compel them to come in; I want my house
full. I tell you, not one of those who were invited shall taste my
banquet.”
For those who have prayed that Christmas would be less
commercialised it certainly shows you have to be careful what
you pray for. Certainly the feasting and the banqueting will have
been somewhat constrained this year.
The same is true about the meal that Jesus was was invited to
in Luke 14. 15-24. The invitation had come from a well-to-do
religious leader and you might be able to guess that it was not a
heart-felt invitation but a summons for examination. When one of
the guests says, “Happy are those will sit at the banquet in the
Kingdom of God”, as Kenneth Bailey* points out, Jesus would be
expected to reply something like, “O that we might keep the Law
in a precise fashion so that we may be counted worthy to sit with
the Messiah and all true believers at this great banquet.” As we
might expect, Jesus fails their test – deliberately and
spectacularly.
The text of Isaiah’s magnificent, compassionate and all-
encompassing vision of that final banquet had been deliberately
distorted and diminished by the Jewish religious teachers over the
years to make it out to be an exclusive club dinner only for those
in a particular religious clique. So Jesus not only deliberately
challenges their interpretation, but goes on to condemn them for
their narrow restrictive outlook. The reasons that the guests in the
parable offer for not attending were not lame excuses but
deliberate insults. Who would buy a piece of land or oxen without
inspecting or testing beforehand? The third guest doesn’t even
bother to apologise.The guests at the real banquet would be well
aware of that.

Oh yes! The master is angry but not in a negative way. It
makes him determined to show his generosity to the whole of
humanity wherever they happen to be. God’s Christmas Party will
be exactly as Isaiah saw it – compassionate and all-
encompassing – personal without being exclusive – and it is the
coming of Jesus that make’s it all happen. God wants us to be
good and also beautiful. Let’s listen to Isaiah again: The arid
desert shall be glad, the wilderness shall rejoice and burst into
flower with fields of white roses. It shall rejoice and shout for
joy. Brace the arms that are limp, steady the tottering knees.
Say to the anxious of heart “Be strong and fear not, your God
comes to save you. He himself is coming to give you triumph.”
Then the eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the
deaf will be unstopped. The lame will leap like deer and dumb
shout shout aloud. And a causeway will appear there and it shall
be called the way of Holiness. No-one unclean shall pass along
it and no fool will trespass on it. No lion will come there, no
savage beast shall set foot on it. But by it the redeemed shall
return and the Lord’s people, set free, will come back and enter
Zion with shouts of triumph crowned with everlasting joy.
Gladness and joy will come among them while suffering and
weariness flee away. (Isaiah 35. 1-10) Of course you, like the
elder of the father’s two lost sons (Luke 15. 11-32), can choose to
miss out on the party. No-one, least of all God, is going to force
you to enjoy yourself. Are you up for some gladness and joy and
seeing the back of suffering and weariness? See you at God’s
Christmas Party then?
*Kenneth E Bailey “Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes”
SPCK 2008.
Angels from the realms of glory, wing your flight o’er all the earth
Ye who sang Creation’s story now proclaim Messiah’s birth
Come and worship Christ the New-born King [Gloria in excelsis
Deo]
Shepherds in the fields abiding watching o’er your flocks by night
God with man is now residing: yonder shines infant light
Come and worship ….. [Gloria in Excelsis Deo]
Sages leave your contemplations, brighter visions beam afar
Seek the Great Desire of Nations, ye have seen his natal star.
Come and worship ….. [Gloria in Excelsis Deo]
Saints, before the altar bending, watching long in hope and fear
Suddenly the Lord descending; in his temple shall appear.
Come and worship ….. [Gloria in Excelsis Deo]
[Though an infant now we view him, he shall fill his Father’s
throne
Gather all the nations to him, every knee shall then bow down
Gloria in excelsis Deo]
Two links – to get all these marvellous words in!
https://youtu.be/Snzio4Rlk3k
https://youtu.be/LZwlK1ugMZ8
Prayer: Lord we thank you for the message of repentance,
generosity, forgiveness, belonging and joy that Christmas brings
us. Help us by the power of your Holy Spirit that, no matter what
we are challenged with in the year ahead, we may faithfully reflect
that message as we live our lives to the honour and glory of your
compassionate, generous and Holy Name. Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer

Annual Christmas Carol Service

As we are all aware this has been a very difficult year without exception

Everyone has in some way been affected but we now can see some light at the end of what has been a dark tunnel

These next couple of weeks are very important for us in the church where we look to celebrate the real meaning of christmas

This Sunday ( 20th December ) we will be holding our Annual Christmas Carol Service but due to the Covid 19 pandemic our normally full church will be limited to the guidelines of 30

We send an open invite to all to join our service via the church’s zoom link which is attached below

We hope you can join us and be part of our service albeit remotely

From all at Easington Lane Independent Methodist Church have a peaceful Christmas

Take care and God Bless

Topic: Christmas Carol Service 2020

Time: Dec 20, 2020 05:15 PM London
Join Zoom Meetinghttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/83251528467?pwd=RlExQ3BUSndHOVFGUm16cVFHeXRLQT09
Meeting ID: 832 5152 8467Passcode: 718135

North East Circuit of Independent Methodist Churches

Devotional for Sunday 20th December 2020 

Introduction

The wait is nearly over, Christmas is almost here but can we spare a thought for Mary who had to wait 9 months facing an uncertain future after an incredible experience. The faith of Mary is an example to us all. 

Song: 

Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Will one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Will save our sons and daughters?

Did you know that your baby boy
Has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered
Will soon deliver you

Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Will give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Will calm a storm with his hand?

Did you know that your baby boy
Has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby
You’ve kissed the face of God

Oh, Mary, did you know
Oh, Mary, did you know

The blind will see, the deaf will hear
The dead will live again
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak
The praises of the lamb

Oh, Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Will one day rule the nations?

Did you know that your Baby Boy
Is Heaven’s perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you’re holding
Is the great I am

Mary, Mary, did you know

Bible Reading: Luke chapter 1 verses 26 – 38

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants for ever; his kingdom will never end.’

34 ‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’

35 The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.’

38 ‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.’ Then the angel left her.

Devotional:

Every year the complaint is heard that Christmas begins earlier, Cards go on sale in August, shops fill their shelves with Christmas items in October and people decorate their homes from the beginning of November. Spare a thought for Mary whose preparations began 9 months before the birth of Jesus.  When greeted by Gabriel she was troubled and wondered but when told that she would bear the Son of God from her virgin womb she responded with faith and acceptance.

Mary risked rejection by Joseph for expecting a child before their marriage, this could have destroyed her reputation and caused her to spend the rest of her life alone and an outcast.  Whilst we are familiar with the story of the virgin birth imagine how disbelieving her family and the community would be. 

Mary did not know what would become of her or her child but she accepted the news from Gabriel trusting that God would fulfil His purpose through her.  She had no idea that she would give birth far from home with only Joseph to help her. Mary could not foresee that her son would be visited by humble shepherds or by wise men from afar. There would be no thought of fleeing to Egypt to live in exile.

The life that Mary’s son was to live could not be imagined by her nor the death that He would die but Mary accepted with faith that it should be as the Lord decreed. 

After a year like no other and facing many uncertainties may we have the same faith that Mary had to accept that whatever the future holds the Lord holds the future and may we, like Mary, be the Lord’s faith filled and willing servants.   

Prayer:

Gracious God, in this season of Advent you invite us to wait and wonder again after a year full of wondering and waiting – wondering what this pandemic all means, and what the future holds; waiting for lockdowns to end, to meet friends, to see if vaccines work. So much wondering and waiting overshadowed by anxiety and loss.

And yet this waiting is different in Advent – we wait for your coming, for the fulfilment of the Kingdom promises in Christ and for time to be wrapped in eternity. We wait full of wonder at your grace, love and mercy; we watch and wait for the signs of your coming, overshadowed not by fear but by your sheltering wing.

Kindle afresh your hope in us, as we respond to human need; renew within us your joy, that we might banish despair; and light afresh the flame of your love and light within and through us as we proclaim the angels’ message of great joy for all people, the birth of a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. For we put our trust in you and run with wonder to see afresh the baby in a feeding trough, the bread of life on his mother’s breast.

So, we pray for those in palaces to be granted generous hearts; for those in cowsheds, that you would come to their aid; for those on hillsides, bring light into their darkness, and for those far from home, that you would be their guide. For all the powerless in the world, may your kingdom come,

Through Christ, born of Mary and coming King, Amen.

(Advent prayer by the Rev Dr Paul Goodliff, General Secretary of Churches Together in England)

The Lord’s Prayer

Devotional for Sunday 13th October 2020 3rd Sunday of Advent

Prepared by Shaun Newton 

Introduction

Have you noticed that Christmas decorations went up far earlier than usual this year in a lot of households? Maybe the desire for some cheering up or a sense of hope is needed.

As we consider this in this season of Advent maybe this is how the people of Jesus’ day felt as they waited in expectancy and hope for the coming Messiah?

What is it that we desire this year as we prepare and then celebrate to remember the birth of Jesu, the Messiah?

Bible Reading: Micah 5:2-4

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.
Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labour has given birth;
then the rest of his brothers shall return to the people of Israel.
And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord,  in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great
to the ends of the earth.

Devotional:

Our reading is a familiar one featured in our Carol Services. 

The focus of the reading is an ancient prophecy about an insignificant little place called Bethlehem. We remember Bethlehem as the place of Jesus’ birth. But to the hearers of Micah and across the centuries that followed, this prophecy relates to a little town with no seeming reputation yet will actually produce a leader with worldwide impact. Bethlehem’s past reputation will not hide its future influence.

That picture of the small and insignificant becoming powerful and having an impact is often lost on us. Wesley wrote “Our God contracted to a span” whilst Townend & Getty wrote, “In Christ alone who took on flesh, fulness of God in helpless babe.”

Yet so often at this time of year the small and insignificant is overlooked for the bigger and better. From parties and celebrations to gifts of the latest model and versions.

Small and insignificant will just not do so often.

Yet it was Bethlehem, insignificant as it was that was chosen for the place of the Messiah’s birth.

Yet the plans and purposes of God are so often at odds with the world’s priorities.

Small and insignificant are not problems or barriers to God. In fact it could be said that the small and insignificant can reach further and wider and that bigger is not always better.

Christmas will be different this year, that is for sure. And no matter what Tier we may find ourselves in come the Review on the 16th we can rest assured that he insignificant and poor will become great to the ends of the earth. (v.4) That is the heavenly response to an earthly dilemma; God’s solutions don’t follow the logic of the human mind. The usual places people search for answers are not those places where God begins to provide the resources to transform our lives.

Hymn: O little town of Bethlehem

O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell;
Oh, come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!

Prayer:

Almighty God, we thank You that you used Bethlehem of old despite it being small. In so many ways we too are small and insignificant and we pray that we may be used in places and ways that would not be possible otherwise. Help us be encouraged that you still work in and through people like us so help us serve you even though in the eyes of the world it may be small and insignificant. Be those who need our prayers and we pray for the effective implementation of the vaccine in the coming days. 

The Lord’s Prayer

Devotional for Sunday 6th December 2020 – 2nd Sunday of Advent

Prepared by Christine MacTier

Hymn Mission Praise 1086

Light of the world
You stepped down into darkness
Opened my eyes, Let me see
Beauty that made this heart adore you
Hope of a life spent with you

Here I am to worship
Here I am to bow down
Here I am to say that you’re my God
You’re altogether lovely
Altogether worthy
Altogether wonderful to me

King of all days
So highly exalted
Glorious in heaven above
Humbly you came to the earth you created
All for love’s sake became poor

Here I am to worship
Here I am to bow down
Here I am to say that you’re my God
You’re altogether lovely
Altogether worthy
Altogether wonderful to me

I’ll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross

Here I am to worship
Here I am to bow down
Here I am to say that you’re my God
You’re altogether lovely
Altogether worthy
Altogether wonderful to me

Bible Reading. John 1 vs 1 – 14

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John.

7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe.

8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.

10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.

11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.

12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—

13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Isaiah 60 v 1 “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.

Recently the expression “There is light at the end of the tunnel has been used on several occasions on the News when referring to the COVID vaccine

We can picture being in a tunnel and watching the light grow bigger as we move toward it until we are out in the light again.

Perhaps this is how we have been feeling over recent months, especially for those who have been and are still shielding or self-isolating

We need hope and perhaps the news of a vaccine has given us hope

In Isaiah we read of a time when the Children of Israel needed hope. They had been taken captive by other nations and had lost sight of God. God through His prophet Isaiah gives a message of hope. He tells how the people will return to their own land. Through Isaiah God promises that He will call His people from the farthest corners of the world and they will return home. He tells them to arise and shine for their light has come. Other prophecies in the Book of Isaiah point toward the Birth of a Saviour who redeem His people

John reminds us in his first chapter that light has come into the world.

Light that shines in the darkness.

We may feel that we are living in darkness at the moment, but we have a Saviour who came into the world to bring light.

We are called to shine His light.

Sometimes people speak of the ‘Dark days before Christmas’, the time when we have short days and long nights. For many, it isn’t just the physical darkness, there is mental and spiritual darkness. We are called to show His light in these dark times. As Christians we can allow His light to shine through us. Our Light has come so let Him shine in our hearts

As we go through Advent and look towards rejoicing in the birth of our Saviour, may we show His Light to others, Happy Christmas and every blessing for the New

Prayer

Father God, there are so many uncertainties around us at the moment. So many things to bring darkness into our lives yet we know that the Light of the World has indeed come.

Help us to see that light and allow Him to shine again in our hearts

May His light shine through us and enable us to bring light to others and may that light illuminate the world around us and may we live to your Glory

The Lord’s Prayer

CIRCUIT DEVOTION Nov. 29TH 2020

The One who is the True Light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. [John 1:9]

Today is the first Sunday of Advent, and tonight in my home church we will light the first candle on our Advent Wreath, the Candle of Hope. After the events of this year, the World, now more than ever, needs hope.

Hymn O come, let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord. 2] We’ll give Him all the glory……………….. 3] For He alone is worthy……………………

Bible Reading. Is.9:2, 6-7 2] The people who walk in darkness will see a great light, a light that will shine on all who live in the land where death casts its shadow. 6] For a child is born to us, a Son is given to us. And the government will rest on His shoulders. These will be His royal titles; Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.7]His ever expanding, peaceful government will never end, He will rule forever with fairness and justice from the throne of His ancestor David, The passionate commitment of the Lord Almighty will guarantee this. Amen. The definition of the word hope in my dictionary is; “A feeling that something you want may happen; A course for hope; something that you wish for.” Although not in my dictionary I prefer this definition, “Hope is like a light shining in a dark place.” On the Legonier Ministries web site, they have a list of “Reasons to hope when all seems hopeless”; I share with you some of that list which I feel is most applicable for us today. 1] Hope moves us forward; Christian hope is a realistic expectation of a joyful longing for future good and glory based upon the reliable Word of God. 2] Hope energizes the present; It is worth living today because the eternal tomorrow is so much brighter. 3] Hope lightens our darkness; Hope doesn’t always remove our pain and sorrows, but it does shine bright light into those valleys of despair and points to the sunrise at the end of them. 4] Hope increases faith; Faith fuels hope and hope fuels faith. Heb.11 makes it clear hope and faith are closely tied together. The greatest believers are the greatest hopers and vice-versa. 5] Hope is infectious; we can inspire and motivate through our inspiring hope. We cannot only encourage other Christians; unbelievers may ask the reason for the hope they see in us. 6] Hope stabilizes in the storm; like an anchor hope grabs what is out of sight. As one Puritan put it ‘The cable of faith casts out the anchor of hope and lays hold of the steadfast rock of God’s promises. In this season of Advent may we all put our hope in God, the things of this world may disappoint us, people may let us down, but in God we can trust. Prayer Heavenly Father, we praise and worship You for You alone are worthy of our praise and adoration. We are in the season of Advent, regardless of what is said in the media, Christmas is not cancelled, no matter what is happening in the world, in the coming weeks help us as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the reason for which He came and the Hope we have in Him. Help us to share this good news with family and friends, the greatest gift is always available, we don’t have to queue for it or spend hours on the internet seeking it, all we have to do is open our hearts and minds to Jesus, for to seek Him is to find Him. We pray this Christmas many will seek and find this gift of greatest price, so that they too will have the hope that is in Jesus, for as surely as He was born in Bethlehem over 2,000 years ago He will one day return in all His glory; in Him the best is yet to come. Thank You Lord Amen The Lord’s Prayer

North East Circuit of Independent Methodist Churches Devotional for Sunday 22nd November 2020 Prepared by Len Ogilvie

Introduction

This is the last Sunday of the church year before Advent starts. Recently it has been designated the feast of “Christ the King”. In the current situation that might sound a bit hollow but our bible reading encourages us to hold on to and respond to the faith in a God who can and does turn terrible situations around. Bible reading: Matthew 9. 34 – 10.1 So Jesus went round all the towns and villages, teaching in the synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every kind of illness and infirmity. The sight of the crowds moved him to pity; they were like sheep without a shepherd, harrassed and helpless. Then he said to his disciples, “The crop is heavy, but the labourers are too few; you must ask the owner to send labourers to bring in the harvest. Then he called his twelve disciples and gave them authority to drive out unclean spirits and and to cure every kind of illness and infirmity. I came across a picture recently depicting the two main characters of the Back to the Future films, Marty McFly and Doc Emmet Brown. Marty is sitting in the driver’s seat of the De Laurien and the Doc is saying earnestly, “Whatever you do, don’t set it for 2020.” As we progress through this terrible year I think most of us will have a certain empathy with those sentiments and just long for the time when somehow things will get turned round. What Matthew is trying to get across is that God is in the process of turning things around and this is going to be done through Jesus. He is the one with the authority to turn things on their head. Early in the gospel there was the Sermon on the Mount which systematically changed our perspective on the things we should really rejoice about: being poor in spirit, being mourners, being humble, being merciful, being pure, being peacemakers, and even being persecuted! Whatever the words mean to us now the people listening then were amazed at his teaching; unlike the religious leaders of the day, he taught with a note of authority (Matthew 7.29) But it wasn’t just words. Matthew then goes on to describe the miracles. Immediately, a leper approaches – definitely a “hands, face, space” case. Touching meant infection and ritual uncleanness. So what does Jesus do? – deliberately touches him but instead of Jesus being infected the leper is dis-infected. The normal expectations turned around. There follows a whole series of miracles which demonstrate the same thing: Peter’s mother-in-law in bed with a fever – definitely a case for self-isolation but not for Jesus; a paralysed man comes to terms with his sinful past and starts walking again; a woman with chronic internal bleeding who would render anyone she touched ritually unclean, but again the tables were turned; the dead twelve-year old daughter of a synagogue official – touching the dead brought ritual uncleanness but Jesus takes her by the hand and she’s no longer dead. You can read about them all in Matthew 8 and 9. No wonder the words of Isaiah sprang to Matthew’s lips: “He took away our illnesses from us and carried away our diseases.”(Isaiah 53.4). And what about the onlookers – the crowd: “the people were filled with awe at the sight and praised God for giving such authority to a human being.” (Matthew 9.8) But “hang on,” I hear you say. That was Jesus. I haven’t got the authority to march into a hospital and cure those suffering from Covid 19 even if they were my nearest and dearest. And you’d be right. But the world’s abilities to deal with health issues have never been as assured and as authoritave as they are today – just look at what has been learned so quickly over the last few months – take President Trump’s treatment for example and the astounding speed at which effective vaccines have been found. But what about the inequalities; what about the causes? We seem by the grace of God to be OK at trouble-shooting but not so hot at avoiding the trouble in the first place; not so good at identifying causes and dealing with the careless and malign attitudes that bring such suffering and devastation. Another poster I’ve seen recently: “Science should stop analysing animal behaviour and start studying human stupidity.” Well, that may or may not happen. But we know that someone who loves us more than we love ourselves, has already got a handle on the problem, who, indeed, knew about it before ever the world came into being. He came into the world to challenge and deal with it once and for all. The questions we have to ask of ourselves is how much do we want to be identified with that project; and can we be trusted with the authority he has promised for us to be able, like the Jesus we claim to follow, to challenge and be instrumental in turning the consequences of so-called “normality” around. Hymn: https://youtu.be/ceyyGuoMzf8 Restore, O Lord, the honour of your name! In words of sovreign 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/Chris Rolinson Prayer: Lord God, help us to remember as we live and try to cope in a world which seems in such disorder, that you came to turn the world’s values and expectations upside down. We are sorry that often our attitudes and behaviours suggest that we condone the world’s false values and expectations. Forgive us, O Lord, as we look forward to celebrating the time when you quietly entered your world to challenge those norms. By the power of your Spirit, encourage us to worship and work more faithfully in serving your purposes. We pray especially for those who are involved and are suffering directly from this pandemic all over your world and we earnestly pray that those words, “He took away our illnesses from us and carried away our diseases” will be gloriously fulfilled as your Kingdom comes. In the name of Jesus we offer these prayers. Amen. The Lord’s Prayer

4th October

27th September

Blessed Assurance

17th July 2020

Because He Lives 

By The West Coast Choir

YouTube

God will make a way 

By Don Moen 

YouTube

 Jesus Be The Centre 

From Keswick Convention

YouTube

10 July 2020

14th June

Whenever Life’s burdens oppress you,

And trials are too much to face;

Remember God’s strength in your weakness

He’ll give you His power and His Grace. 

30th May

24th May

2nd May The Lord’s Supper

27th April

Sunday 19th April

Sunday 12th April

Easter Day

Friday 10th April

Good Friday

6th April

2nd April

A never-ending prayer chain has been formed around the world. to be included we are asked to pray the following short prayer between 10 and 10-15pm every night until this crisis is over.    ”Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy upon Your world.”


There is a candle of hope poster available on the following web-site, please download and display in your window. http://www.cte.org.uk/prayersofhope 

31st March

Father God in the mighty Name of Jesus! I pray, speak and declare healing all over the land! We are standing and trusting in Your promises! By Your stripes we are healed! Touch the minds and hearts of our leaders! I humbly ask that Your will be done! I pray a special blessing over the ones that are reading this prayer and passing it on to others! I declare and decree Victory in Jesus! Amen.

30th March

23rd March

16th March

In these testing times for all take time out to look after the elderly

9th March

Celebrating our 104th Women’s Auxillary weekend

2nd March

24th February

17th February

Just remember if you did not get a Valentines card or gift this past week

10th February

3rd February

27th January

20th January

13th January

6th January

The Leaders, Members and Congregation would like to wish you all a Blessed New Year

22nd December

The saviour is born

16th December

Remembering the real reason for Christmas

9th December

2nd December

18th November

11th November

28th October

21st October

14th October

16th September

9th September

2nd September

25th August

God never said that the journey would be easy, but He did say that the arrival would be worthwhile

19th August

12th August

Believe in Faith

“My faith didn’t remove the pain, but it got me through the pain. Trusting God didn’t diminish or vanquish the anguish, but it enabled me to endure it.” 

5th August

22nd July

15th July

8th July

23rd June

16th June

  • On this Fathers Day

9th June

2nd June

Footprints in the sand

20th May

13th May

6th May

30th April

For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.'”