October 18th Trinity 19
O God, forasmuch as without you
we are not able to please you;
mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit
may in all things direct and rule our hearts;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen
The Lord is king: let the peoples tremble;
he is enthroned above the cherubim: let the earth shake.
The Lord is great in Zion
and high above all peoples.
Let them praise your name, which is great and awesome; the Lord our God is holy.
Mighty king, who loves justice, you have established equity;
you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.
Exalt the Lord our God;
bow down before his footstool, for he is holy.
Moses and Aaron among his priests and Samuel among those who call upon his name;
they called upon the Lord and he answered them.
He spoke to them out of the pillar of cloud;
they kept his testimonies and the law that he gave them.
You answered them, O Lord our God;
you were a God who forgave them and pardoned them for their offences.
Exalt the Lord our God and worship him upon his holy hill, for the Lord our God is holy.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now and shall be forever. Amen.
12 Moses said to the Lord, ‘You have been telling me, “Lead these people,” but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, “I know you by name and you have found favour with me.” 13 If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favour with you. Remember that this nation is your people.’
14 The Lord replied, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’
15 Then Moses said to him, ‘If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?’
17 And the Lord said to Moses, ‘I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.’
18 Then Moses said, ‘Now show me your glory.’
19 And the Lord said, ‘I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But,’ he said, ‘you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.’
21 Then the Lord said, ‘There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.’
1 Thessalonians 1.1-10
1 Paul, Silas and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace and peace to you.
2 We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. 3 We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labour prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
4 For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia – your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, 9 for they themselves report what kind of reception
you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead – Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.
15 Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. 16 They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. ‘Teacher,’ they said, ‘we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are. 17 Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the poll-tax to Caesar or not?’
18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, ‘You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.’ They brought him a denarius, 20 and he asked them, ‘Whose image is this? And whose inscription?’
21 ‘Caesar’s,’ they replied.
Then he said to them, ‘So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.’
22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.
Let us pray to God the Father,
who has reconciled all things to himself in Christ:
For peace among the nations,
that God may rid the world of violence
and let peoples grow in justice and harmony
For those who serve in public office,
that they may work for the common good
For Christian people everywhere,
that we may joyfully proclaim and live our faith in Jesus Christ;
For those who suffer from hunger, sickness or loneliness,
that the presence of Christ may bring them health and wholeness;
Let us commend ourselves, and all for whom we pray,
to the mercy and protection of God. Amen.
O LORD MY GOD! when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works Thy hand hath made,
I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed:
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to Thee,
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!
When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,
And hear the brook, and feel the gentle breeze;
And when I think that God His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die—I scarce can take it in.
That on the cross my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin:
When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home—what joy shall fill my heart!
Then shall I bow in humble adoration
And there proclaim, my God, how great Thou art! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBLRsUMtuFQ
THE KING OF LOVE my Shepherd is,
Whose goodness faileth never;
I nothing lack if I am His
And He is mine forever.
Where streams of living water flow
My ransomed soul He leadeth,
And where the verdant pastures grow
With food celestial feedeth.
Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,
But yet in love He sought me,
And on His shoulder gently laid,
And home rejoicing brought me.
!n death’s dark vale I fear no ill
With Thee, dear Lord, beside me;
Thy rod and staff my comfort still,
Thy cross before to guide me.
Thou spread’st a table in my sight;
Thy unction grace bestoweth:
And O what transport of delight
From Thy pure chalice floweth!
And so through all the length of days
Thy goodness faileth never;
Good Shepherd, may I sing Thy praise
Within Thy house forever. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcCwUF0s_-Y
SEEK YE FIRST the kingdom of God
And His righteousness,
And all these things shall be added unto you,
Hallelujah! Hallelu, hallelujah!
Man shall not live by bread alone,
But by every word
That proceeds from the mouth of God,
Ask and it shall be given unto you,
Seek and ye shall find.
Knock and the door shall be opened up
Hallelu, hallelujah! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FuurRAJkZY
ALL I ONCE HELD DEAR, built my life upon,
All this world reveres, and wars to own,
All I once thought gain I have counted loss;
Spent and worthless now, compared to this.
Knowing You, Jesus,
Knowing You, there is no greater thing.
You’re my all, You’re the best,
You’re my joy, my righteousness,
And I love You, Lord.
Now my heart’s desire is to know You more,
To be found in You and known as Yours.
To possess by faith what I could not earn
All-surpassing gift of righteousness.
Oh, to know the power of Your risen life,
And to know You in Your sufferings.
To become like You in Your death, my Lord,
So with You to live and never die. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxJUT0vhBLc
IN CHRIST ALONE my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
Here in the love of Christ I stand.
In Christ alone! - who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied –
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.
There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine –
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.
No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gax8GL7EViE
Heavenly Father, bless the words I speak and open our hearts, minds and ears to your message. Amen.
We have just read the opening of Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians. It gives a snapshot of the life of this early Christian community. What an amazing letter of encouragement! It prompted me to find out more about the events which led Paul to write
the letter and about its contents and to ponder how we can relate this to our lives today.
According to Acts 17, Paul visited Thessalonica on his second missionary journey. This was an important city, the capital of the Macedonian province, in what we now know as Northern Greece. Paul remained there for at least three weeks, but his time was cut short by the Jews of the city, who became so enraged by his teaching about Jesus that they created a riot and took Paul's host, Jason, captive. This prompted Paul to leave the city and travel south.
Shortly after this, Paul became worried about the community he had left behind. Having dispatched Timothy and hearing his subsequent report, Paul wrote to them. This is one of Paul’s first Epistles, written soon after the church was founded at Thessalonica, in around 50AD. Paul began the letter by commending the Thessalonians for their faith and for their eagerness to spread the gospel throughout their region. He encouraged them to remain strong, despite persecutions, for the sake of the gospel. He wrote to provide assurance, comfort, gentle admonition and conciliation, encouragement, and pastoral care. Overall, he wrote to encourage the believers of Jesus to persevere in their Christian life. The young church in Thessalonica was situated in an extremely dangerous world and the Thessalonian Christians were facing extremely perilous times.
Like a father urging his growing children, Paul urged the Thessalonians to lead lives worthy of Christ’s kingdom, which would soon be established. It is worth remembering here that the return of Christ was expected imminently, which gave an urgency and intensity to everything that they did. The message the Thessalonians needed to hear was that of the hope expressed in this letter.
Paul is continually thankful in prayer for these believers, for the triad of their faith, their love, and their hope. Paul makes the point that if you have true faith, if you have love, if you are born of the Spirit; and if you have hope in the coming of Christ, you will be motivated to live as you ought today. Faith is not merely belief; it is something that changes you. Faith makes you turn from what is wrong to what is right, from dark and hurtful things to right and true and healthy things.
Verse 4 says that, "We know, loved by God, that he has chosen you." Everything starts with God's love for us. God has chosen us and not the other way round. Also, as Paul says, the gospel came "by the Holy Spirit." The Spirit of God fills the human spirit. He begins to be at work in minds and hearts from within, opening them up to understand these events. Finally, the gospel came "with full conviction." It moved the wills of the Thessalonians. They acted; they did something about it; They yielded their lives to God. They believed that God was their Father and would take care of them no matter what happened. That simple faith had become very evident in their lives.
Paul’s practical advice to the Thessalonians is that faith and work are not mutually exclusive. The Thessalonians had been transformed by their belief in Christ, but that does not mean that regular life has come to an end. They are still responsible to be faithful in their vocations. For them to continue to grow, work needs to be an element right along with faith, hope, and love. It seems that some had been so convinced Jesus was returning at any moment that they had stopped their daily work.
The response of the people of Thessalonica to the gospel message, and all that had happened to this point, is something to thank God for. This little group of Christians had endured persecution. They were deprived of their teachers abruptly, due to the rioting mentioned earlier, yet they stood firm. More than that, within months they became an example of unwavering faith to the rest of Greece.
In spite of their suffering, the Thessalonians stopped complaining and started rejoicing. Oh, how we need this today! When afflictions and hardships come, we have a chance to demonstrate how God can sustain us and show his work in our lives. These Christians were rejoicing in their afflictions. It was part of their labour of love. They simply shared with their neighbours and friends what God had done in their lives. They explained the new
joy and peace that had come into their hearts. Then, when their friends began to ask questions about what had happened, they invited them over and shared from the Scriptures what their faith was all about. Silently, without fanfare, the gospel spread throughout this whole area of the Roman Empire. The entire countryside was stirred by what was happening in people's lives.
This letter of encouragement could also be useful for us today. In this time of Covid19, 2020 has quite literally been the pits – personally, communally, and worldwide. We too are living in dangerous and unsettling times. Are we an inspiration? How do we follow Christ in these days?
God cares for us. God loves us. We belong to him. He is a loving Heavenly Father, and he has a thousand and one ways of meeting our needs. Maybe our challenge today is to work out how we can be like the Thessalonians and share our faith with those around us?
17 Though the fig-tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the sheepfold and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour.(Habakkuk 3:17-18)
October 18th Today’s services
8am Holy Communion at St Andrew’s
9.30am Morning Prayer at St Andrew’s hall
11am Morning Prayer at St Peter’s
Oct 21st 10am
Holy Communion at St Andrew’s
11am Burial of ashes, Douglas Woodbridge
Keith and Anita Barham: congratulations on 60th wedding anniversary
8am Holy Communion at St Andrew’s
9.30am Holy Communion at St Andrew’s hall
11am Holy Communion at St Peter’s
A Living Advent Calendar is an opportunity to create something different and accessible that brings a bit of Christmas cheer in these difficult times. The idea is that 24 houses, businesses or schools will volunteer to turn a window of their property into a festive scene. Each on a different day over advent. The reveal will happen in person and at the same time on social media, making it accessible for those shielding or self-isolating. A map of the windows involved will be available from our website and from the churches so that people can go around the houses, businesses and schools in whatever mode of transport that suits them.
The aim is for the Shoebury Living Advent Calendar to grow year on year involving more of the community and hopefully next year a carol service. If you would like more information and to volunteer to decorate a window please speak to Hannah. (01702 317627)
Magazine Deadline: Oct 18th
Please pass items for inclusion in the November magazine to Geraldine today.
As many of you know one of our congregation, Geoff Baines and his wife Cesia are based in Guatemala working for Latin Link. Follow this link to see the latest update on the situation there
Another update from Guatemala https://www.facebook.com/latinlinkpage/videos/2953047008149197/