Home Service 39

Sunday 6 December 2020 ~ ‘Angels bring Messages of Hope and Joy’ ~ Compiled by Louise Ratcliffe

Prayer
Lord, As we celebrate this Advent and look forward to the celebration of your birth, we come before you with expectation and anticipation. May you reveal to us more of the Hope, Joy and Peace that you bring to this broken world. May we remember that your love for us transcends everything. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Amen

Song Good News by Graham Kendrick

Good news, good news to you we bring. Alleluia!
News of great joy that angels sing. Alleluia!
Tender mercy He has shown us, joy to all the world
For us God sends his only Son. Alleluia!
Let earth’s dark shadows fly away. Alleluia!
In Christ has dawned an endless day Alleluia!
Now God with us on earth resides Alleluia!
And heaven’s door is open wide Alleluia!

Reading: Luke 1 v 11-14 The Appearance to Zechariah
All at once an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing just to the right of the altar of incense. Zechariah was startled and overwhelmed with fear. But the angel reassured him, saying, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God is showing grace to you. For I have come to tell you that your prayer for a child has been answered. Your wife, Elizabeth, will bear you a son and you are to name him John. His birth will bring you much joy and
gladness. Many will rejoice because of him.

Thought
Go back 2000 years. God was about to enter human history and do what he had long ago promised. Such an arrival certainly required special preparation. The main person to provide this preparation was a man who would eventually be known as John the Baptist, the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth. Zechariah and Elizabeth were normal people with normal routines when God broke into their world. Zechariah and Elisabeth were content with their lives at that time. The angel said, “Do not be afraid, you have found favour with God”. This great joy that the angels proclaimed so long ago changed everything about life, and it can still transform our lives today. What does this story mean for us today? Will you let Jesus break into your life and flood it with the Joy that only he can bring?

Song Angels from the realms of glory arranged by Paul Baloche

Angels from the realms of glory
Wing your flight o’er all the earth
You who sang creation’s story
Now proclaim Messiah’s birth
Come and worship Come and worship
Worship Christ the newborn King
Shepherds in the field abiding
Watching o’er your flocks by night
God with man is now residing
Yonder shines the infant light
Come and worship
Come and worship
Worship Christ the newborn King
Emmanuel, Emmanuel.
You are the God who saves us
Worthy of all our praises
Emmanuel, Emmanuel.
Come have Your way among us
We welcome You here, Lord Jesus
Come have Your way among us
We welcome You here, Lord Jesus
Oh come and worship
Worship Christ the newborn King
God is with us, Even now His love is here
Come and worship
Worship Christ the newborn King
God is with us, Even now His love is here
His love is here
Emmanuel, Emmanuel,
You are the God who saves us.
Worthy of all our praises
Emmanuel, Emmanuel,
Come have Your way among us
We welcome You here, Lord Jesus
Come have Your way among us
We welcome You here, Lord Jesus. Emmanuel.

Reading: Luke 1 v 28-38 The Appearance to Mary
Gabriel appeared to her (Mary) and said, “Grace to you, young woman, for the Lord is with you and so you are anointed with great favour.” Mary was deeply troubled over the words of the angel and bewildered over what this may mean for her. But the angel reassured her, saying, “Do not yield to your fear, Mary, for the Lord has found delight in you and has chosen to surprise you with a wonderful gift. You will become pregnant with a baby boy, and you are to name him Jesus. He will be supreme and will be known as the Son of the Highest. And the Lord God will enthrone him as King on his ancestor David’s throne. He will reign as King of Israel forever, and his reign will have no limit.” Mary said, “But how could this happen? I am still a virgin!” Gabriel answered, “The Spirit of Holiness will fall upon you and almighty God will spread his shadow of power over you in a cloud of glory! This is why the child born to you will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your aged aunt, Elizabeth, has also become pregnant with a son. The ‘barren one’ is now in her sixth month. Not one promise from God is empty of power, for nothing is impossible with God!” Then Mary responded, saying, “This is amazing! I will be a mother for the Lord! As his servant, I accept whatever he has for me. May everything you have told me come to pass.” And the angel left her.

Thought
This great joy that the angels proclaimed so long ago changed everything about life, and it can still transform
our lives today. I imagine that the joy of this couple on this occasion was the greatest this world has ever seen,
because it came from God and was centred in the birth of the Saviour. If you know this joy, then you can go on, as the angels did, to give glory to God and you can possess that peace of heart and soul which transcends our understanding.

Song Rumours of Angels by Graham Kendrick

Rumours of angels. Visions of light.
New star appearing piercing the night
Town full of strangers sleeps in the gloom
God comes among us. There is no room
Rumours of angels. Songs in the night
Deep in the danger. Unquenchable light
World full of strangers. Sleeps in the gloom
God comes among us. There is no room
And the years of our sorrow have rolled on and on
And the wars of our pride never cease
We have ravaged the earth with our envy and greed
Tell me when will we welcome his peace
When will we welcome His peace?
Hearts full of longing. Eyes filled with tears
Nations are waiting at the end of the years
Empires are falling. Judgments appear
God comes among us His kingdom is near
And the years of our sorrow have rolled on and on
And the wars of our pride never cease
We have ravaged the earth with our envy and greed
Tell me when will we welcome his peace
When will we welcome His peace?
Oh when we will we welcome the Prince of Peace

Reading: Luke 2 v 9-14 The Appearance to shepherds
That night, in a field near Bethlehem, there were shepherds watching over their flocks. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared in radiant splendour before them, lighting up the field with the blazing glory of God, and the shepherds were terrified! But the angel reassured them, saying, “Don’t be afraid. For I have come to bring you good news, the most joyous news the world has ever heard! And it is for everyone everywhere! For today in Bethlehem a rescuer was born for you. He is the Lord Yahweh, the Messiah. You will recognize him by this miracle sign: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a feeding trough!” Then all at once, a vast number of glorious angels appeared, the very armies of heaven! And they all praised God, singing: “Glory to God in the highest realms of heaven! For there is peace and a good hope given to the sons of men.”

Thought
The Advent season is a beautiful reminder to prepare our hearts as we prepare our homes, to celebrate the birth of our Saviour, Jesus. Is your heart filled with hope? Do you have a confident expectation of your tomorrow? What happens when the road ahead is filled with loss and stress weighs your shoulders down? When confident expectation for tomorrow dwindles, what can you do? How can you walk in hope when you feel hopeless inside? The answer to our confident expectation is “JESUS”, the Jesus whose birth we celebrate at
Christmas. Hope in Jesus comes from more than just a belief that He was once a baby in a manger. This hope in Him is something deep within that secures us through the storms of life. It is time to re set our thinking this Advent look forward to what is to come with positivity. Belonging to the one whose birth we are about to celebrate helps enable us to keep moving forward and holding on to one of the greatest truths. Jesus light of the world.

Song The First Noel by Pentatonix

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
The First Noel, the Angels did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the East beyond them far
And to the earth it gave great light
And so it continued both day and night
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel

Prayer
Dear Lord, our Heavenly Father, We have chosen to go our own way and have put our hope in so many things that have disappointed us. Thank you that you sent Jesus, that first Christmas long ago, to be our Saviour and friend. Forgive us and lead us today and every day. Show us how to live in the confident expectation of how You can impact our lives, our characters and our circumstances. We place our hope in You right now and ask You to make Yourself known to us in our lives right where we are now. Give us that peace and joy and hope that can only come from you. Thank you, Amen

Song Come, thou long expected Jesus sung by Chris Tomlin

Come, thou long expected Jesus
Born to set thy people free
From our fears and sins release us
Let us find our rest in thee
Israel’s strength and consolation
Hope of all the earth thou art
Dear desire of every nation
Joy of every longing heart
Born thy people to deliver
Born a child and yet a king
Born to reign in us forever
Now thy gracious kingdom bring
By thine own eternal spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone
By thine own sufficient merit
Raise us to thy glorious throne

Let’s use this last song as a closing blessing

Song: Hope by The Brilliance

Hope
We will find our hope
We will find our hope
We will find our hope in You
Hope
We will find our hope
We will find our hope
We will find our hope in You
Peace
We will find our peace
We will find our peace
We will find our peace in You
Peace
We will find our peace
We will find our peace
We will find our peace in You