31st January 2021

This meeting is also being live streamed on Morley SA's facebook page at 10:15am.


Welcome to worship at Leeds West Hunslet. This service has been prepared by Majors David and Gill Coates, who are appointed to Homelessness Services in the North East Region. We pray that God will challenge, inspire and bless you as you share in this act of worship and communion with God. We will be thinking about the light of the world and how we can BE the light.


Song 25 God’s Love to me is wonderful


Prayer We would invite you to spend some time in quiet prayer as you listen to the selection, The Light of the world.


Band: The Light Of The World


Bible Reading Matthew 5.14-16 and selected verses from1 Peter 2(The Passion Translation)


14 And you, beloved, are the light of the world. A city built on a hilltop cannot be hidden. 15 Similarly it would be silly to light a lamp and then hide it under a bowl. When someone lights a lamp, she puts it on a table or a desk or a chair, and the light illumines the entire house. 16 You are like that illuminating light. Let your light shine everywhere you go, that you may illumine creation, so men and women everywhere may see your good actions, may see creation at its fullest, may see your devotion to Me, and may turn and praise your Father in heaven because of it.

1 Peter 2 9 But you are God’s chosen treasure[o]—priests who are kings,[p] a spiritual “nation” set apart as God’s devoted ones. He called you out of darkness to experience his marvellous light, and now he claims you as his very own. He did this so that you would broadcast his glorious wonders throughout the world 12 Live honourable lives as you mix with unbelievers, even though they accuse you of being evildoers. For they will see your beautiful works and have a reason to glorify God in the day he visits us.[t] 15 For it is God’s will for you to silence the ignorance of foolish people[w] by doing what is right. 17 Recognize the value of every person and continually show love to every believer. Live your lives with great reverence and in holy awe of God. Honour your rulers.


Song 418 People need the Lord


Every day they pass me by,

I can see it in their eyes;

Empty people filled with care,

Headed who knows where.

On they go through private pain,

Living fear to fear;

Laughter hides their silent cries

Only Jesus hears


People need the Lord,

People need the Lord;

At the end of broken dreams,

He's the open door.

People need the Lord,

People need the Lord;

When will we realise People need the Lord?


We are called to take His light

To a world where wrong seems right;

What could be too great a cost

For sharing life with one who's lost?

Through His love our hearts can feel

All the grief they bear;

They must hear the words of life

Only we can share.


Thoughts

We became engrossed in the American elections before Christmas (shows how bored we had become). Once the result was finally confirmed we looked forward to the Inauguration of the new President (the first one we had ever watched); but it was fascinating and amazing. There were many references to God and the President laid his hand on a massive old family bible to take his vows. The actual inauguration ceremony took less than 60 seconds.


One of the things I was absolutely inspired by was the poem by the young poet laureate, Amanda Gormen. It was an amazing speech lasting around 5 minutes. Some of her first words were ‘Where can we find light in this never-ending shade?” And then at the end of her poem she said this: “There is always light, if only we are brave enough to see it, brave enough to be it”.


Those words reminded me again of the words of Jesus when he said ‘I am the light of the world’

It was John 8.12 that reminds us of one of the great ‘I am’ statements that Jesus made: “I am the light of the world, whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life”. Matthew Henry in his commentary on John 8 says ‘If Christ be the light, then ‘It is our duty to follow him, to submit ourselves to his guidance, and in everything take directions from him, in the way that leads to happiness’.


It is not enough to look at this light, and to gaze upon it, but we must follow it, believe in it, and walk in it, for it is a light to our feet, not our eyes only.

God has sent the light into the world through Jesus. Are we brave enough to see it? People today don’t want to see it; they would rather live their lives in their own way and do their own thing. But what they don’t understand is that the light brings life in all its fullness.


We have all been through some difficult and challenging times and have had a lot of or lives stripped away. But we have come to realise what’s important in our lives, family and relationships.

It’s fantastic that we now have the vaccinations that will take us out of this dreadful pandemic, but the even greater truth that we need to share with the world is that a relationship with Jesus can bring peace and joy and fulfilment, regardless of our circumstances.


Are we brave enough to see that light and to accept the commitment it demands? Over these past few weeks we have been thinking about the covenant relationship we have with God. As in any covenant there is a requirement for us to fulfil and accept the terms of that covenant. Our covenant is made real through our relationship with Jesus, the Light of the World.


If we have received The Light and have given ourselves to Him, we must now BE the light and share the light with others.

We are now the Light of the World. Are we brave enough to BE the light?

Matthew 5. 14 ‘And you, beloved, are the light of the world. A city built on a hilltop cannot be hidden’. Ancient cities were often built of white limestone, standing out as they reflected the blazing sunshine. May we not be hidden but give light.


Good News Translation (Phil 2.15): ‘You must shine among them like stars lighting up the sky, 16 as you offer them the message of life’. Or as The Message says ‘Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night’ (Philip 2.14-16 The Message)

You and I are the light of the world, that’s how God intends to get his work done today, through us.


I read a lovely story of a school in Nairobi, where the class had dirt floors, rusting metal walls and wooden benches. But against these extremely humble surroundings, one person stood out, her name was Brilliant, and her name couldn’t have fit her better. She was colourfully dressed and possessed joy and determination, her appearance and the joy with which she instructed and encouraged the children was just stunning. Brilliant was a bright light in her dismal surroundings.


The mission statement for Harlesden Corps says this: – ‘To be a shining light in our community: receiving God's light, reflecting God's light and drawing others into God's light’

Well it’s pretty clear from all of this that we need to be The Light of the World. And what a world it is at the moment, never has the world needed the light more than it does today. People are searching for help, for console, for support, for guidance, for sanity. So how can we be the light what do we have to do?


We are ‘the hands and feet of God’

Matt 5.16 (NIV) ‘In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven’

Do we glorify God in what we do?

When Christ purchased you at Calvary, he purchased all of you, body, soul and spirit. There is no division, we are to glorify God through our actions, regardless of where they take place and what role we are in at the time. We are to glorify God as a spouse, as a parent, a friend, an employee, a boss, as a neighbour. We can glorify God by being the light on zoom and teams calls, by our welcoming smile and our kind words. By our Godly living.

What you do at the office or working at home, is no less spiritual than what you do in worship or prayer. There is not much we can do at the moment with lockdown, we can’t go anywhere far from our door.


But I have become much fitter over the past 9 months as I try to walk every day. My walks are fantastic for thinking time, and praying time, but one of the other things I try to do is smile at people passing. It’s amazing if they smile back, I feel much better.

More advice from 1 Peter 2 (The Passion Translation) 9 ‘But you are God’s chosen treasure[o]—priests who are kings,[p] a spiritual “nation” set apart as God’s devoted ones. He called you out of darkness to experience his marvellous light, and now he claims you as his very own. He did this so that you would broadcast his glorious wonders throughout the world 12 Live honourable lives as you mix with unbelievers, even though they accuse you of being evildoers. For they will see your beautiful works and have a reason to glorify God in the day he visits us 15 For it is God’s will for you to silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing what is right. 17 Recognize the value of every person and continually show love to every believer. Live your lives with great reverence and in holy awe of God. Honour your rulers’.


Peter was addressing those who were surrounded by unbelieving Gentiles who would spread lies about the Christians. So, a believer’s good words and exemplary behaviour could influence them to repent and believe. This is the way to convince them.

We will listen to the lovely tune The Candle of the Lord in a few moments. We can be the candle of the Lord in this dark world.


A candle in a bright room isn't particularly significant or easy to notice. A candle in the darkness shines like a lighthouse and offers the only source of guidance for movement.

We have a tremendous opportunity to shine in the darkness right now

The difficulties and challenges we are facing at the moment could well be testing our love and quenching our light. So how will we respond?

Jesus is the Light of the World, but he calls us now to be just that, The Light of the World. Are we a shining light in this dark world?


Matthew 5.16 reminded us ‘let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven’

Does the way we live our life glorify God? Put yourself in the shoes of the non-believers in your life, what do they see when they observe how you live your life?

The challenge for us, is that our exemplary behaviour, and our Godly speaking can influence people to become believers. ‘


Let’s listen and reflect on the ‘Candle of The Lord’.


Final Song 261 Shine Jesus Shine


Benediction 1040

The Lord bless thee and keep thee:

The Lord make His face shine upon Thee,

And be gracious unto thee:

The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee,

And give thee peace.

Amen.


Thank you for reading

Prepared by Majors David and Gill C




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