PRE SERVICE SONG: OUR GOD
WELCOME AND CALL TO WORSHIP
All: Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Rescue me from my enemies, O LORD, for I hide myself in you. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. For your name’s sake.
OPENING HYMN: ALL CREATURES OF OUR GOD AND KING
PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
Leader: God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practise the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. So, let us confess our sins to God, knowing that he is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:5-6, 9 ESV)
All: God, our heavenly Father, you bid us to come into your house to worship you, yet we confess that our hearts are too full of this world. The cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the pleasures of this life seduce us and lead us astray from an undistracted devotion to You. Forgive us for treasuring the material over the spiritual, our bodies over our souls, things of time over those of eternity. Give us grace to heed Your invitation to repent and run again to Jesus, who is our most gracious Lord and only Saviour.
VERSES OF ASSURANCE
Leader: Hear the good news: Christ died for us while we were yet sinners; that proves God’s love toward us. In the name of Jesus Christ we are forgiven!
All: In the name of Jesus Christ we are forgiven! Glory to God.
STATEMENT OF FAITH
Leader: Now let us tell God together that we believe in him:
All: I believe that God is my Father in heaven. I believe that he made the world, that he gives me life, that he helps me grow. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God and the Son of Mary. Jesus shows me that God is love. Jesus lived and died for me. Jesus is alive now, alive in me, and in my neighbour. I believe in the Holy Spirit who helps me love others, who makes me holy, who helps me to know God better. I believe in God’s family, the church. I believe that I will be happy with God for ever and ever.
The WhatsApp fellowship group will open at 10:30 this morning.
PRAYER BEFORE READING
Almighty God, in you are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Open our eyes that we may see the wonders of your Word; and give us grace that we may clearly understand and freely choose the way of your wisdom; through Christ our Lord.
1 Why do the nations conspire[a]
and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth rise up
and the rulers band together
against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
3 “Let us break their chains
and throw off their shackles.”
4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord scoffs at them.
5 He rebukes them in his anger
and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
6 “I have installed my king
on Zion, my holy mountain.”
7 I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:
He said to me, “You are my son;
today I have become your father.
8 Ask me,
and I will make the nations your inheritance,
the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You will break them with a rod of iron[b];
you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”
10 Therefore, you kings, be wise;
be warned, you rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear
and celebrate his rule with trembling.
12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry
and your way will lead to your destruction,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
HYMN BEFORE SERMON: ALL HEAVEN DECLARES
SERMON: Hopes, dreams and expectations in a new year
HYMN AFTER SERMON: WHAT GRACE IS MINE
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
Christ Our King,
Our world is overtaken by unexpected
calamity, and by a host of attending fears,
worries, and insecurities.
We witness suffering, confusion, and
hardship multiplied around us, and we find
ourselves swept up in these same anxieties and
troubles, dismayed by so many uncertainties.
Now we turn to you, O God,
in this season of our common distress.
Be merciful, O Christ, to those who suffer,
to those who worry, to those who grieve, to
those who are threatened or harmed in any
way by this upheaval. Let your holy compassions
be active throughout the world even now—
tending the afflicted, comforting the
brokenhearted, and bringing hope to
many who are hopeless.
Use even these hardships to woo our hearts
nearer to you, O God.
Indeed, O Father, may these days
of disquiet become a catalyst
for conviction and repentance,
for the tendering of our affections,
for the stirring of our sympathies,
for the refining of our love.
We are your people, who are called by you,
We need not be troubled or alarmed.
Indeed, O Lord, let us love now more fearlessly,
remembering that you created us,
and appointed us
to live in these very places,
in the midst of these unsettled times.
It is no surprise to you that we are here now,
sharing in this turmoil along with the rest of
our society, for you have called your children
to live as salt and light among the nations,
praying and laboring for the flourishing of the
communities where we dwell, acting as agents of
your forgiveness, salvation, healing, reconciliation,
and hope, in the very midst of an often-troubled world.
And in these holy vocations
you have not left us helpless, O Lord,
because you have not left us at all.
Your Spirit remains among us.
Inhabit now your church, O Spirit of the Risen Christ.
Unite and equip your people for the work before them.
Father, empower your children to live as your children.
In times of distress let us respond, not as those
who would instinctively entrench for our own
self-preservation, but rather as those who—in imitation
of their Lord—would move in humble obedience toward
the needs and hurts of their neighborhoods and communities.
You were not ashamed to share in our sufferings, Jesus.
Let us now be willing to share in yours, serving
as your visible witnesses in this broken world.
Hear now these words, you children of God,
and be greatly encouraged:
The Lord’s throne in heaven is yet occupied,
his rule is eternal, and his good purposes
on earth will be forever accomplished.
So we need never be swayed by the brief and
passing panics of this age.
You are the King of the Ages, O Christ,
and history is held in your Father’s hands.
We, your people, know the good and glorious
end of this story. Our heavenly hope is secure.
In this time of widespread suffering then,
let us rest afresh in the surpassing peace of that
vision, that your whole church on earth might be
liberated to love more generously and sacrificially.
Now labour in and through us, O Lord, extending and
multiplying the many expressions of your mercy.
For prayer for our community:
Thanksgiving for the rains, and all God’s blessings to us.
For our nation to uphold justice and righteousness, and our leaders to humble themselves before God.
For the reform of our prisons and those still imprisoned unjustly.
For those struggling financially due to the lockdown, that they will know God’s provision.
For the sick:
Boetie York, Francis McGovern, Barry and Nettie Price, Lily Milne, Idah Towenezvi, Ivan Farmer, John Barry and Pookie Darlow. For Mike Lander awaiting tests. For a full recovery from covid for Hansie, Di and Pam.
For the Sellick’s on the death of Alan and all those who have been bereaved this past year.
Leader: Eternal God, Maker of all things and our gracious Father:
All: We praise You for Your fatherly love which has cherished man throughout the centuries, suffered his follies, rebuked his failures and spared no sacrifice to save him from ignorance, sin and death of the soul. We thank and praise You for caring for our souls, which placed us within the family of believers, sheltered us in the church, nourished us on Your word and sacraments, and gave us a perfect revelation of Yourself in Jesus Christ Your Son. To You, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be the glory now and forever.
CLOSING HYMN: IN CHRIST ALONE