30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW Weekly Update #181 3rd December 2023
Hello again everyone, from John.
As I write this the world is waiting to see if the truce will be extended again between Israel and Hamas, indeed, many will be praying for that. A small step of Peace is a big step for mankind, yet a huge step of God was an incredible step for mankind. Loving us as much as He does, He decided to step back from the previous ‘battles’ with these unruly mortals and send Jesus to show us the error of our ways and the right way.
Did it work? What do you think? He still loves us though, and hopes.Now we come to the time of remembering and celebrating His gift.
This Sunday usually has the theme of prophecy or hope, and in particular, the prophets in the Old Testament who predicted the arrival of Jesus are remembered. For this reason, the first candle, also known as The Prophecy Candle, represents hope found by Christians in the anticipation and arrival of Jesus.
Perhaps it could also remind us of the hope God has in us.
Picture on Creazilla. No attribution required
Loving Lord, we are not hopeless, all our hope is in You at his time, with our trust and faith and as much love as we can spare out of our hectic lives, for we are not perfect, yet! Hear our prayers for hope in this world, especially those apparently hope-less situations which are never hope-less with You.
Worship SUNDAY 3rd December 2023
10.30 A.M. SERVICE Advent Sunday Communion Service for Advent Sunday led by Trevor Jamison
(Note that Communion has been brought forward from next Sunday)
Livestreamed Worship from Saint Columba’s
To watch the morning service live, catch up with it later in the week, or view previous services, click here.
3.00 p.m. Messy Church Christmas Our popular Messy Church for all ages, exploring Christmas through craft, activities and interactive worship, and all followed by Christmas Tea! Come along and bring your friends.
Bible readings for this week Isaiah 64: 1-9. Awesome God, come down and save us, for we are Your people. Forgive us!
Psalm 80: 1-7,17-19. Shepherd of Israel, come from Your throne, restore us through Your Son of Man.
1 Corinthians 1: 3-9. God has enriched you through His grace with spiritual gifts through Jesus Christ.
Mark 13: 24-37. ‘People will see the Son of Man coming with great power and glory, be ready!’.
These O.T. readings tell us the relationship between God and the Israelites. The prophet calling God to come down and show His awe and might to the nations as of old. The Psalmist calls on God to ‘awake your might, come and save us’ (v2) and ‘make Your face to shine upon us’, that we may be saved’ (v3). Why is there this distress and plea for salvation? Because the people have turned away from God. They are no longer His People and He has turned His anger upon them and has turned them over to their sins. Isaiah pleads for forgiveness for ‘we are all the work of Your hand’ (v8). Fancy blaming God for the faults and sins of the people! At least the Psalmist seeks assistance of a 3rd party in these troubles, ’the Son of Man you have raised up for yourself’ (v17).
Reading and studying these scriptures, there is a similarity between those pleadings and those we should offer up today. For a large percentage of the world’s population has turned from God; but at least there are some who ‘hear His word, perceive His acts, not all are unclean and behave like filthy rags. Neither are all of us ‘shrivelled up and blown away’ (as referred to in Isaiah v4-6). But we do need to pray for the World; to pray that they will see and accept our Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul gives thanks to “my God for you because of the Grace given you in Christ Jesus” (v4), and St. Mark’s Gospel reminds us of the promise of the 2nd coming, a statement from Jesus Christ who says,“ Be on guard, be alert. (v 33) What I say to you, I say to everyone. Watch!” (v 37)
I wonder how many of us are on guard and are alert, watching? Can we imagine what it must be like for people, who do not have the distractions that we have around them, when they see the storms and weather activity around the world nowadays? Do they expect the Second Coming?
Christ came to save and restore God’s created people, was it just from each other or was it also from ourselves, the way we treat Creation?
With God there is always hope!
A hymn for today’s readings: –
Hark the glad sound sung by St Luke’s Choir of Chelsea
7.15 p.m. at St Columba’s, North Shields.
Help needed for Christmas Market Weekend! The church will be open to visitors during the North Shields Christmas Market on Saturday and Sunday 9th and 10th December. We need volunteers to be welcome stewards in the church, to provide baked goods for the refreshments, and to serve refreshments. Please add your name to the appropriate list in the church hall now or contact Norma.
‘Christmas Greetings’ to be shared need to be with Catherine by 2nd Dec.
‘The Christmas Post Box’ is in the hall from 2nd December and cards can be collected on 17th December.
Special Collection for Compassion.
This Sunday there will be a collecting box for Compassion to give extra support to their children this Christmas. We are asking for donations of £1 if possible.
Christmas Leaflet drop volunteers needed
During the week of Monday 11th Dec. help is needed to distribute leaflets about our Christmas services in our local area, See the next Weekly Update for details of how you can help.
Next Update – Sunday 10th December.
Trevor will edit the next Update. To get your information in for that date please have it with him by Tuesday 5th December.
Keeping in Touch
You can contact your Elder, the Minister, or Church Secretary.