HADDENHAM-cum-DINTON BAPTIST CHURCH
SUNDAY 15th November 2020
Jonny and the deacons are meeting via zoom and are continually monitoring the situation and trying to support people the best way they can, we will try to help, but please let us know of your needs.
Thank you to everybody who is still supporting the church financially whether that be via bank transfer or money through the door. Offerings have averaged £481 per week, and the mission total is now £2551, including donations for Operation Chad standing at £695. Thank you to everybody who has made a gift towards the Manse renovation, so far, this totals £11,200.
Thoughts and prayers
Please continue to remember Jo Brown and Jean Stevens in your prayers as this is a very difficult time for them both. Remember Doris, Carol Francis and Beryl Pearce ain your prayers. If you know of anyone who needs our prayers, please let us know.
BMS Birthday Scheme
The Birthday scheme is now up and running again, and December is a busy time for birthdays. We wish Bill Johnston and David Francis a very happy birthday. If you are celebrating, Happy Birthday, and if you haven’t but would like to join the birthday scheme please have a word with Pam or Jan.
Please remember Tom and Mel Spears, our Link missionaries in your prayers. They are working under immense pressure due to staff shortages. You should have received their latest prayer letter if not please let me know and I will get you a copy. Please don’t forget to save your stamps. Lockdown calendars are still available from a member of the mission committee.
This week our online service will be led by Jonny, 10.15am via our Facebook page. WE hope we can meet again in church but we will keep you informed of progress.
As a church we have raised £695 for ‘Operation Chad’, what a fantastic result. Thank you
Following the recent advice from the government, the guidelines indicate that we are not allowed to conduct communal worship so we will not be holding any afternoon gathering in the foreseeable future. Thank you. We will of course keep people informed when this changes.
This group is meeting on a Monday evening via ZOOM at 7 pm. If you are interested in joining please have a word with Jonny.
Cuppa and chat
We had our ‘cuppa and chat’ virtual coffee morning on Saturday via ZOOM. Some ‘old faces’ joined from far and wide, it was lovely to see them. Josh and Toby Fillis won the best biscuit, handmade in the shape of a Christmas Tree and a dinosaur. Next week’s is challenge who has the best breakfast pastry. See you on Saturday 28th November at 10.30am
The burial ground could do with a bit of a tidy up. Under the current restrictions a working party is not feasible but there are some specific jobs to be done. If you could help in any way that would be fantastic. The jobs include mowing between the gravestones, cutting back some saplings that are growing, and there is always the ivy that has fallen off the wall. The tasks can be done at any time, just let Teresa know when you are doing it and she can make sure that rubbish bags are available. You will need to bring your own tools and always be aware of your own safety and that of others using the burial ground.
Many thanks Paul Email Teresa on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01844299169
Christmas Quiz for Mission
These are now available, you should have received one by e mail, if you could push your donation through the door or pay directly into the church bank account that would be much appreciated, or ask one of the Mission team for a copy or contact Marjorie for an electronic version.
Christian aid Soup book
The Christian Aid committee have produced a book which includes 22 tried and tested recipes, many of which will have been made for the annual Christmas Eve soup lunch which sadly will be unable to take place this year. A bargain at £2. Please contact Katharine Whitney if you would like to purchase one.
Reverse Advent Calendar
As a church we always organise a reverse advent calendar, which is simply the opposite of a normal advent calendar. Rather than opening a window every day you donate an item of food to the foodbank, during December. Instead of getting a chocolate reward, you will be rewarded with the gift of Christmas love and cheer. Thank
Prayer sheet for Sunday 29th November 2020
Prayer: Loving Heavenly Father you spoke to the prophets of old about a Saviour who would bring peace and love to the Earth. You helped them to spread the message of his wonderful kingdom. Help us, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, to share with those around us, the good news of your power and love. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, the light who shines in the world. Amen.
Readings: Mark Chapter 13 vs 24 – 27
Psalm 80 vs 1 – 7 17 – 19
This passage of scripture highlights three points, being aware and prepared for the second coming, looking after others and the world and living our lives as Jesus taught us. In today’s world we hear a great deal about the effects of global warming, and our human contribution to that. How the gradual erosion of the planet is happening because of how we live and how we treat God’s creation. In Mark’s gospel we read about the story of Jesus when he was teaching the disciples about how to look after God’s creation. He goes on to explain to the disciples that he won’t be around for ever, but during his time here on earth he had shown the disciples how to care for the people and the planet. They must use that guidance to teach and show generation after generation the right way to live, acting as caretakers until He comes again.
At the beginning of this chapter, we read about the last conversation Jesus has with his disciples before his crucifixion. In his conversation Jesus gives special attention to the future, talking about the “things to come”, and alludes to the destruction of the temple, which was a very important illustration as the temple was central to Israel’s identity, its destruction would represent a schism between God and God’s people.
In verses 24 – 27 Jesus predicts some ideas of a possible apocalypse. Before the temple falls, some event will cause the sun to go dark, and the stars to plummet from the heavens. We then read about God’s judgment being likened to the fruit of a fig tree, which could mean that we must remain prepared for the day of the coming of the Lord. If we are not ready at the precise moment of His coming, we, like the immature fig, will not be harvested. Then in the last section of these verses, there is a warning, the exact day of the coming is not known, therefore we should all always remain vigilant and attentive in anticipation.
In verse 37 Jesus says to his disciples, and to all his followers, “stay woke”, which might lead us to believe that Jesus is again warning us to be ready for his return, or it may be a warning against passivity. The assurance that Christ will, at some point, come back and save us, should not be interpreted by us in a way that means we can do whatever we want and then be forgiven, or alternatively we should do nothing and be rewarded equally for that. We need to practice spiritual discipline to give us the strength and energy to do the work God calls us to do.
The Christian relationship with God is not like that of slave and master, as we have the gift of free will and the slave never gets to choose.
This text encourages us to do the work there is to do, and we are the ones who must do it. God is not going to do the work for us while we sit on our laurels. When the “master”, Christ, leaves, the “slaves”, we His people, are left to figure out how to run the estate on our own. The slaves are left with instructions and guidelines, but the master is not present, and cannot ensure each task is completed, nor can each detail be micro-managed. Indeed, by leaving, the master has given great trust to his servants. The work to be done is building God’s New Creation, and this work does not stop when Jesus is out of the office. Hence, Christ’s order to remain vigilant is a commission. “Do my work and make the world as it is in heaven.”
Jesus has entrusted us with the well-being of this world, His world and we need to look after it, “do we really want the Master to come back and find it in its current state?”
Prayer: The Advent story is one of hope and mystery, anticipation, preparation, and a king appearing when we least expect. A story of when Heaven touches the Earth, where the footsteps of the divine walk dusty roads as once they did in Eden, and of a people, searching for a Saviour, and walking past the stable. Open our eyes and hearts, that this Advent might be one of hope to the world. Amen
Blessing: From the beginning of creation you have shown us your love: and when we needed a Saviour, you sent your Son to be born of the Virgin Mary. You bring joy and peace, justice, mercy, and love into our lives. Lord, bless all who look upon the manger, may it remind us of the humble birth of Jesus, and raise up our thoughts to him, who is God-with-us and Saviour of all, and who lives and reigns with us for ever and ever. Amen
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