Worship

Every Sunday at 11 am we have a Family Church Service.

We are continuing with a hybrid Church/Zoom Service, with worship led mainly from the church, but occasionally from home (via Zoom) at the discretion of the worship leader of the day. Most of our congregation is now back in Church – as is our organist!

Hymns are played and sung in church (from behind masks) and those participating at home via Zoom can sing along. Those in church can see those at home on a TV screen and can follow the parts of the Service that are “Zoomed” on the TV screen as well.

We distribute an Order of Service and the Service Hymns via e-mail and include the Zoom log-in details which change for each service. If you would like to receive the weekly invitation e-mail, please let us know with an e-mail to pottersbarurc@googlemail.com

On the first & third Sunday of the month Holy Communion is celebrated at this service. Participants in church no longer need to bring their own bread.

An edited video of our weekly Service can be viewed on our Services Page.

September – On behalf of the Elders

“Seasons of mists and mellow fruitfulness!”

    Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;

Conspiring with him how to load and bless

    With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;

To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,

    And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;

The above lines are the beginning of the poem “ To Autumn “ written by  John Keats In September 1819. The work was composed by him after an  autumnal walk one evening near Winchester and beautifully evoke the nature of this time of year.

As I write this however the summer seems to have reappeared for a few days  and yesterday I spent a very warm sunny day in Brighton.

September is a time of new beginnings for all age students and gradually we
are starting to mix again with other people. The Church Picnic where we welcomed members from Brookman Park and Hatfield URCs was very enjoyable. Hopefully our relationships with these two churches will bring blessings to us all.

The next Church special service is Harvest Festival on the first Sunday in October. Harvest reminds us of all that God has provided for us and that we so often take for granted. We think of all those people who are not as fortunate as ourselves. It shows us that we have a responsibility to care for this world as well as each other.

The following refrain comes from a hymn written by Johnson Oatman, Jr. an American Methodist Episcopal minister in 1897.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,

Count your blessings, see what God hath done.

Janet Green

On behalf of the Elders.

 

……To God be the Glory great things He has done!

In the September News I took you on a voyage of discovery through the Trinity of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. I concluded that September item with the suggestion that you finish by reading the introduction to the Gospel of John – I referred to it as the Logos reading or teaching – reading from St John, chapter 1 and verse 1 to verse 18. I trust that you did this and that you enjoyed its content. The reading finished with the statement that

‘’ God gave the Law through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. The only Son, who is the same as God and is at the Fathers side, he has made Him known’’.

One of the wonderful things about our Gospel accounts is that they are measured accounts, measured in the sense that they have been written down very carefully. You may remember that in the introduction to the Gospel of Luke, he tells us that he had first studied the events carefully and that he wished to write an orderly account so that Theophilus might know the full truth about events. We know too, that John was recounting events, probably to a scribe, and toward the end of his life when he had had time to ponder at length about the meaning of what had happened, and what Jesus had taught him together with the other disciples. Much would not have made sense at the time, but later he began to see the deeper meaning. The realisation that Jesus had existed before time with the Father and was at one with the Father is a case in point.

      The second person of our Trinity of the Godhead then is Jesus the Son of God. Luke tells us so about this relationship, and John in awe does similar.

     Jesus was born the son of Mary and in a short time we shall be hailing the event of that birth at Christmastime, in our December. We shall read the accounts of that miracle, and its wonder and as a Christian church rejoicing in it. The end of the year is not far away now!

     We do not read much about Jesus’ early life although we are told that he was presented at the Jerusalem Temple at the due time and that he found time, as he grew, to sit with the learned in the Temple. He would have been taught the laws of Moses from an early age. If we think a little deeper, we know that his father, Joseph, was the village carpenter.  We surmise that Joseph probably died while Jesus was young, and so Jesus would have been the eldest child of a poor family and as such responsible for the feeding and living of Mary’s other younger, children. He would have had experience of growing up with his younger siblings and the tensions and troubles of family life.

     Had you thought that John would probably have known him during some of these years – possibly around the lake and amongst the fishing folk?

   Then came those three years or so of ‘ministry’ and which brought confrontation with the Jewish worship authorities.

The Rabbis had interpreted the worship of God as a strict following of the ‘law’ as defined originally by Moses, but then these had become much more rigorous and petty and had then developed into a rigid, calculated structure. Jesus by contrast taught his listeners that love was the central theme of worship. Love of ones neighbour, love for ones enemies, and love as shown in the caring for others, and of compassion for others, this then would lead to love for God, the Father.

     John records that Jesus told his disciples, in that upper room just prior to the ‘’Easter events’’ to love one another.

 ‘’My commandment is this: love one another just as I love you’’ (15, 12) and ‘’this then is what I command you: love one another”.  (15,17).

     Love for the other person then should be the driving force in our own Christian faith, not whether our worship structure is ‘’right’’ or “wrong’’. To serve one’s neighbour, however you define that love, is to show the love that we have for our God.

This is a quite an amazing realisation of what our God wants from us, particularly when we recall that much of earth’s history has been bound up with the exact opposite in human behaviour.

     Earlier I note that we shall soon be looking forward to Christmas-time – soon after comes Easter when we celebrate the most amazing example of love in action. Jesus said in that upper room that –

The greatest love a person can have for his friends is to give his life for them. (15, 13) –

He was shortly to do this on the Cross at Calvary for them, and us, although they did not know this at the time. We give our thanks to God the Father that he, Jesus, rose again on the third day as he promised. This fact proves to us that he truly was and is the Son of God the most high. John says –

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that everyone who believes in him might not die but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge but to be its Saviour. (3, 16).

To have a friend like that is a privilege indeed – which brings to my mind that lovely hymn ‘’to God be the glory’’ a song made famous by Beverly Shea:

To God be the glory, great things He hath done;
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that all may go in.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He hath done.

O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our rapture, when Jesus we see.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He hath done

May God the Father bless you as you read John’s record of what God has done and may God the Son fill your heart this month with His love – and for all time.

Geoffrey Peterson

 

One thought on “Worship

  1. Mairianna 19/02/2019 at 11:26 pm Reply

    Really great to hear from you Nick. Wishing you all the best for 2019 and may your recovery continue.

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