30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #38: Sunday 6th December 2020
From the Minister Two candles burning…
Is it my imagination, or have many people put up their Christmas lights earlier this year? That seems to be the case where I live. I’ve even spotted one or two houses sporting external decorations they never displayed last year. (Our “Christmas? Bah, humbug” household will probably switch on the lights in late December.)
Preparing for Christmas feels different this year, frustratingly so, and maybe early Christmas lights are a statement about the determination to be positive in an otherwise gloomy time.
It’s not unlike the prophet Isaiah telling exiles to ‘prepare the way of the Lord’ – not because the good times have arrived, but because we believe that they are on the way. Early lights, late lights, or no lights, courtesy of a birth that has already taken place, Christmas has come, and will come around again, no matter what.
Image: Second Candle of Advent (photo by MH; Advent ring by NMc)
‘The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.’ (Isaiah 9:2)
As candles burn in the gloom, and Christmas lights shine in the dark,
Give us hope, O God for better times to come,
And remind us of the light that dawned upon the world
Through the birth of your Son, Jesus Christ.
Song for Advent Light
‘those who lived in a land of deep darkness – on them light has shined’
James MacMillan’s wonderful O Radiant Dawn
Click here to listen.
MORNING WORSHIP THIS WEEK – December 6th – BACK IN THE BUILDING
To be able attend to attend the 10.00 a.m. or 11.15 a.m. service, contact Alison Drew between Thursday morning and midday on the Saturday before the service. (Contact details below.)
Please remember to follow the practices that keep you and others safe in worship.
And some special reminders:
your safety and that of others comes first – you are not obliged to attend
if you have a cough or a sniffle, please don’tcome to church that Sunday
wear your mask over both nose and mouth at all times when in the building
To receive paper copies of orders of service please contact Trevor Jamison
Television BBC1 Worship for Advent 11.30 a.m.
Songs of Praise 1.15 p.m.
NOTE THE TIME CHANGES TO BBC1 THIS WEEK!
DISCLAIMER: TV and Radio schedules can change, so check the timings are correct!
Bible readings for Sunday
From the Revised Common Lectionary
Isaiah 40:1-11 A voice cries out in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of the Lord”
Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13 A prayer to God for salvation
2 Peter 3:8-15a How should we lead our lives whilst waiting for God?
Mark 1:1-8 ‘I am sending my messenger … one crying out in the wilderness’
This week, the Gospel reading quotes the Old Testament reading. Having begun by informing us that ‘this is ‘the beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Mark’s next words are, ‘as it is written in the prophet Isaiah …’ (1:1, 2) Another way of putting it would have been, “prepare yourselves!” In Isaiah, captives are told to get ready for God is about to rescue them. In the Gospel story, John the baptizer tells the people of his day that God is sending someone to their rescue: ‘one more powerful than I is coming after me.’ (1:7) Reading these passages, we’re invited to prepare ourselves for the celebration of the birth our rescuer, Jesus Christ.
Join In These Advent Activities
Advent Conversations – a series of three relaxed conversations, on Thursday evenings at 7.15 p.m., led by Trevor Jamison, on the themes that will addressed in worship the following Sundays
Thursday 3rd December God’s Word (the prophet Isaiah)
Thursday 10th December Our faith (John the Baptist)
Thursday 17th December God’s love (Mary, the mother of Jesus)
To take part in any of the meetings, click on the Zoom link or follow the instruction for telephone :
Telephone: 0131 460 1196 Meeting ID: 860 7160 3960 Passcode: 684583 Northern Synod Advent Prayers – simple daily prayers, lasting approximately fifteen minutes, 9.00 a.m., Monday-Friday, led by members of congregations from around Northern Synod – come and join in with this large and growing group
When the time comes, click here to join.
Meeting ID: 982 5776 5048 Passcode: worship
Christmas Concert and Message of Hope – December 11th at 7.30 p.m.
An evening concert featuring local singer/songwriter Gareth Davies-Jones and a short Message of Hope. Organised by the URC Northern Synod.