All Saints Together – January 2nd 2022

Welcome

Todays Theme: Emerging from the darkness with new hope

Some opening Activities to Introduce the Theme

What kind of journeys have you been on recently? Where do you hope to go this year? Encourage people to think about all types of journeys, not just holidays – e.g. hospital visits, school or business trips, shopping, pilgrimage.

This morning we are going to think about the journey that the Wise Men took, but also a journey that we will be taking

Call to worship
Arise, shine for your light has come!
As the magi followed the star to a new place,
a place where dreams became reality,
let us follow our Lord and saviour
to a place of renewed hope.
Not looking back, but always moving forward,
let us seek and find the king.

A gathering prayer
Lord Jesus,
we gather at the start of a new year,
we gather to worship you.
May you journey with us always,
especially through the dark and uncomfortable places,
and into places filled with hope and new possibilities,
into a place of light and love.
Amen.

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Worship

Word

The Magi visit the Messiah

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi[a] from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. ‘In Bethlehem in Judea,’ they replied, ‘for this is what the prophet has written:

‘“But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.”[b]

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, ‘Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.’

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

Mathew 2
1-12

Reflection

At the start of the service, I asked you to think about the type of journeys you have been on and there lots of different journeys we can make – there are the regular ones e.g. to school or work or the shops or perhaps to our clubs and our interests. – ask for examples
There are the journeys that we make for fun, e.g. walking or on our bikes, maybe by boat or paddle board. – ask for examples
Our gospel story this morning tells of the journey of the Magi, the wise men, the assumption that is made that there were three of them as that is the number of gifts that were recorded as being given to Jesus upon their arrival but we don’t know that for sure.

The passage begins with the star guiding the Magi from the East and despite the stop-off at Herod’s palace in Jerusalem the star guides them to where Jesus is in Bethlehem. And it is there that the Magi worship Jesus, as King of the Jews and they offer their gifts of Gold, Frankinsence and Myrrh, before heading home via a different route as warned by an angel not to go back to Herod.

The Magi’s, the outsider’s respone of welcome and wonder and worship is in stark contrast to that of the Herod, who was one of opposition and commentators suggest that Matthew highlights this contrast as a foretaste of what will be seen throughout Jesus ministry.

I wonder if the Magi knew were they were going when they set off.
I wonder if the Baby Jesus was what they expected when they set off.
Yet no matter what their expectations they were able to recognise Jesus and worship him too.

At the start of this New year we too continue on the journey, as we head towards the church graft and welcoming Ben and the team as they prepare to move to All Saints.

Just as the Magi, were guided, we too need to be guided into the place that God is drawing us into.

Just as the Magi, were open to see Jesus, we too must be open to Jesus to see what he is doing in and around us.

Just as the Magi, offered gifts to the king, we too must offer the gifts of our skills and talents and all that we are in this,

Just as the Magi, were obedient to the angel who told them to find their way home via another we need to be able to discern what is of God and what is in opposition to all that God is doing and avoid it.

This year the journey we undertake is different to the one we have faced in previous years, but lets us choose to follow wherever it leads just as the Magi did.

Amen.

A prayer for all ages together

God of journeys,
as the wise men followed the star:
We will follow too.

As the wise men kept going on their journey:
We will keep on going too.

As the wise men saw the light in the dark:
We will look for your light too.

As the wise men found Jesus:
We have found Jesus too.

As the wise men followed the star:
We will follow Jesus.
Amen.

Witness

Prayers 

Our prayers are based four images which have drops of frankincense on them, as we pray we drop them into the water to release the smell

Image of a globe – We pray for areas around the world


Image of a church community – Pray for church here

Image of someone working – Pray for our Frontlines – School, Work, Home etc.

Image of a heart with a hug – Who do we want to ask God to look after

Diocesan Vision Prayer
Living God, Jesus calls his followers to seek first your Kingdom.
Renew us as we make your love known;
Release us to share freely together in mission;
and Rejuvenate us to be fruitful in your service.
Give us courage, wisdom and compassion,
that strengthened with the grace of the Holy Spirit,
we may, as the Diocese of Sheffield,
both flourish and grow through Christ our Lord.
Amen

 

The Lord’s prayer 

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

Our Father in heaven, 
 hallowed be your name, 
 your kingdom come, 
 your will be done, 

on earth as in heaven. 

Give us today our daily bread. 

Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. 
 Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. 

For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours 

now and for ever. 

Amen.

A sending out prayer

God of hope, Jesus our companion, Holy Spirit our strength,
travel with us as we journey onwards
into paths known and unknown, familiar and unfamiliar,
through times of darkness and into your marvellous light,
always knowing that you are by our side.
Amen.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

In the name of Christ. Amen

Notices

Christmas Card – £100 to Archer Project

 Next Stage in the Graft Plan – items to look out for:

  • Ben attending Sunday 9th Jan, opportunity for members to ask questions and speak to Ben about the plans.
  • Saturday 15th Jan, Continue the Hopes and Dreams exercise in worship, prayer, building the picture.

Diversity & Inclusion

  • Sunday 16th Jan, Liz & I will be with the older group.
  • Thursday 27th Jan, Coffee and Chat session in the church lounge from 8:00pm to 9:15pm

For a copy of the Church Graft Roadmap and timelines for the next months please click here

Community

The community of S17 has drawn together during these unusual times in a very special way. This is reflected in the great work of the S17 COVID-19 Community Support group.

The group aims to support those in the community who may be in need and to provide a support network to the S17 community at this time.

“If there are needy people in our community let’s ensure we help them out with things like bringing shopping to their door.”

The Wardens of All Saints Totley have been producing regular newsletters with helpful links, thoughts and resources. The latest of these is here.

We have also started to add resources for the younger members of our church, to add to this virtual service. They can be found here, and here.

Reminder

If you have any feedback on this service or any other ideas, suggestions or contributions, for future services please do send these to comments@allsaintstotley.church