Sunday, 2nd January 10.30 am Family Service

Sunday 2nd January 2022 10.30am

Family Service

WELCOME

SONG. SoF 31 As with gladness men of old

  1. As with gladness men of old
    Did the guiding star behold,
    As with joy they hailed its light,
    Leading onward, beaming bright;
    So, most gracious Lord, may we
    Evermore be led to Thee.
  2. As with joyful steps they sped
    To that lowly manger bed,
    There to bend the knee before
    Him whom heav’n and earth adore;
    So may we, with willing feet,
    Ever seek Thy mercy seat.
  3. As they offered gifts most rare
    At that manger rude and bare;
    So may we with holy joy,
    Pure and free from sin’s alloy,
    All our costliest treasures bring,
    Christ, to Thee, our heav’nly King.
  4. Holy Jesus, every day
    Keep us in the narrow way;
    And, when earthly things are past,
    Bring our ransomed souls at last
    Where they need no star to guide,
    Where no clouds Thy glory hide.

PRAYER

READING John 3:16. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

1 – The Greatest Gift

Using card or cardboard, cut out the shape of a cross, with the right dimensions so that you can fold up the sides to make a cube (the long bit makes a side and a lid, while the top and cross pieces make the other 3 sides).

Place a doll or jelly babies inside and wrap up the box.

Ask the children what the best gift ever is, accept responses. Open the gift to reveal the baby. But why? He’s not as much fun as a bike or an X-box is He?

John 3:16. Well actually He’s better because He was given to us, as a free gift, to save. [Open out the box to reveal the cross]. Jesus died so that we would not perish but have eternal life.

SONG.SoF 559 To God be the glory!

To God be the glory, great things he has done!
So loved he the world that he gave us his Son,
who yielded his life an atonement for sin,
and opened the life-gate that we may go in.

(Refrain)
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
let the earth hear his voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father thro’ Jesus the Son,
and give him the glory, great things he has done!

O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood!
To ev’ry believer the promise of God;
the vilest offender who truly believes,
that moment from Jesus forgiveness receives.

(Refrain)
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
let the earth hear his voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father thro’ Jesus the Son,
and give him the glory, great things he has done!

Great things he has taught us, great things he has done,
and great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
but purer and higher and greater will be
our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.

(Refrain)
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
let the earth hear his voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father thro’ Jesus the Son,
and give him the glory, great things he has done!

READING. Matthew 27:28-30

28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. 30 They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again.

2- The Christmas Wreath

Wreaths have been used at Christmas for hundreds of years. People hang them on doors, over mantles, and in windows.

  • The wreath is made of evergreens, most often pine branches or holly. This symbolizes growth and everlasting life.
  • The wreath is circular. This also represents eternity, for it has no beginning and no end.
  • Holly branches have thorns. When used in the wreath, that represents the thorns in Jesus’ crown when He was crucified.
  • Holly branches also have bright red berries. This symbolizes Jesus’ blood that He shed for us.

SONG. SoF 555 Thou didst leave thy throne

Thou didst leave thy throne and thy kingly crown,

when thou camest to earth for me;

but in Bethlehem’s home was there found no room

for thy holy nativity.

Refrain:

O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,

there is room in my heart for thee.

Heaven’s arches rang when the angels sang,

proclaiming thy royal degree;

but of lowly birth didst thou come to earth,

and in great humility.

Refrain:

O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,

there is room in my heart for thee.

Thou camest, O Lord, with the living word

that should set thy children free;

but with mocking scorn and with crown of thorn,

they bore thee to Calvary.

Refrain:

O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,

there is room in my heart for thee.

When the heavens shall ring, and the angels sing,

at thy coming to victory,

let thy voice call me home, saying “Yet there is room,

there is room at my side for thee.”

Refrain:

O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,

there is room in my heart for thee.

READING Galatians 5:1

Paul speaks of Freedom in Christ. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

3 – Set Free & Augustine’s Reflection

A.J. Gordon was the great Baptist pastor of the Clarendon Church in Boston, Massachusetts. One day he met a young boy in front of the sanctuary carrying a rusty cage in which several birds fluttered nervously. Gordon inquired, “Son, where did you get those birds?” The boy replied, “I trapped them out in the field.” “What are you going to do with them?” “I’m going to play with them, and then I guess I’ll just feed them to an old cat we have at home.” When Gordon offered to buy them, the lad exclaimed, “Mister, you don’t want them, they’re just little old wild birds and can’t sing very well.” Gordon replied, “I’ll give you $2 for the cage and the birds.” “Okay, it’s a deal, but you’re making a bad bargain.” The exchange was made and the boy went away whistling, happy with his shiny coins. Gordon walked around to the back of the church property, opened the door of the small wire coop, and let the struggling creatures soar into the blue. The next Sunday he took the empty cage into the pulpit and used it to illustrate his sermon about Christ’s coming to seek and to save the lost—paying for them with His own precious blood. “That boy told me the birds were not songsters,” said Gordon, “but when I released them and they winged their way heavenward, it seemed to me they were singing, ‘Redeemed, redeemed, redeemed!’”

This is Advent. And the message of these times is the song of those wild birds.

It’s the song sung in every carol this season: Redeemed!

It’s the meaning behind every gift given under the tree: Redeemed!

It’s the Word the shepherds heard: Redeemed!

It’s the assurance Mary received: Redeemed!

It’s the star the Wisemen followed: Redeemed!

You and I have been trapped by sin, but Christ has purchased our pardon. We have been redeemed!

Augustine’s Reflections

In this poem written some fifteen centuries ago, Augustine tried to capture the mystery of the Incarnation:

Maker of the sun,
He is made under the sun.
In the Father he remains,
From his mother he goes forth.
Creator of heaven and earth,
He was born on earth under heaven.
Unspeakably wise,
He is wisely speechless.
Filling the world,
He lies in a manger.
Ruler of the stars,
He nurses at his mother’s bosomHe is both great in the nature of God,
And small in the form of a servant.

SONG. SoF 192 How lovely on the mountains

How lovely on the mountains are the feet of Him

Who brings good news, good news

Proclaiming peace, announcing news of happiness

Our God reigns, our God reigns

Chorus:

Our God reigns, our God reigns

Our God reigns, our God reigns

You watchmen lift your voices joyfully as one

Shout for your King, your King,

See face to face the Lord restoring Zion

Your God reigns, your God reigns!

Waste places of Jerusalem break forth with joy

We are redeemed, redeemed

The Lord has saved and comforted His people

Our God reigns, our God reigns!

Ends of the earth, see the salvation of your God

Jesus is Lord, is Lord.

Before the nations He has bared His holy arm

Our God reigns, our God reigns!

Benediction

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