Sunday Worship – 10th December 2023 – Advent 2

(All our songs this morning are from Singing the Faith (StF) numbers will be given where available)

Welcome to our Sunday Service, today shared on paper across our circuit and with the congregation at Calverley Methodist Church and led by Rhona North one of our circuit local preachers.

Click on the blue links to follow them for bible readings and associated links


Father and Son take your place on your thrones of light and glory. Holy Spirit we welcome you! Have your way with is as we worship. Where love, comfort and reassurance is needed fall afresh. Where we need to turn more to you, repent and leave things of the world behind, fall afresh. Where we need healing, fresh calling and power for our ministries we welcome you.

We light this second candle remembering John the Baptist who made a way for Jesus in the wilderness. Use this to do the same Intro:


Psalm 46: 1-5  

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells, God is within her, she will not fall God will help her at break of day.

Think: How safe you feel as you gaze up into heaven

Song – StF 11 – Holy, holy, holy


Tell God why you adore Him. Thank God for giving you Jesus to wash away every sin and prepare a place in heaven for you. Say sorry to him for the things this week that have not honoured Him, times not prayed read bible etc. …… Be reassured: 1 John 1 v 9: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Thank God for what’s in your heart. Thank God for the people that shared good news of Jesus with you, saints, and those that have helped you and given you hope. Round off your prayers by saying the Lord’s Prayer, part of whole community of Christians across the world. How good it is to have a perfect God who is such a place of refuge.

Song – StF 434 – Rock of ages


Mark 1:1-5

“This is the Good News about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It began as the prophet Isaiah had written: “God said, ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you to clear the way for you.’ Someone is shouting in the wilderness , ‘Get the road ready for the Lord; make a straight path for him to travel!’ ” So John appeared in the desert, baptizing and preaching. “Turn away from your sins and be baptized,” he told the people, “and God will forgive your sins.” Many people from the province of Judea and the city of Jerusalem went out to hear John. They confessed their sins, and he baptized them in the River Jordan.”


a) Intro: What springs to mind when you hear the word wilderness? A huge mass of tangled undergrowth, empty, a desert? No path through? Unfarmed or ungardened?

  1. Clearing:  I had the pleasure of working with St Paul’s church, Hirstwood Regeneration group and Shipley Town Council to help make Hirstwood Burial Ground less of a wilderness. 18 people came, a dead hedge was created, a huge covering of ivy was taken down, graves weeded and a path created through. What a feeling of satisfaction as we looked around after.
  1. Spiritual Wilderness: People in John’s day were in a spiritual wilderness. What do you think what a spiritual wilderness is? Can’t see the way ahead, everything tangled and going wrong? No hope? No leadership to lead and give hope? In debt, addicted or in a violent cycle? Feel anxious , fearful, depressed or miserable? If that describes how you feel see Jesus and roll these burdens onto Jesus.

Song – StF 18 – Be still and know

  1. What did John do? John bravely went into the wilderness to tell the people that Jesus was coming be prepared! He baptised people after they confessed what they had done wrong. That feeling of freshness of their turning to God and then being baptised was amazing. And then he added that Jesus and was even greater than himself. What humility and pioneering spirit. Let’s celebrate the work John did with….

Song – StF 182 – On Jordan’s bank the Baptist cries


1 Cor 10:13

“Every test that you have experienced is the kind that normally comes to people. But God keeps his promise, and he will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, he will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out.”

  1. I adore this verse, what hope! When we or others get themselves in a mess and end in the wilderness without an obvious path what does God do? He lets the Spirit fall and gives an escape route! And not only an escape route but Hosea 2 v 14 says: “So I am going to take her into the desert again; there I will win her back with tender words of love. I will give back to her the vineyards she had and make Trouble Valley a door of hope. She will respond to me there as she did when she was young, when she came from Egypt.” How amazing is God’s love!!

Song – StF 480/481 – The Lord’s my shepherd


RESPONSE: Father God For those in trouble provide a door of Hope in Jesus’ name  we ask it, Amen.

  1. Pray for nations and world leaders that come to mind, war and natural disasters.  Response
  2.  Pray for the UK, King Charles, Parliament, MP’s, Christian leaders in UK.      


  • Pray for West Yorkshire, Kerry Tankard, Phil, Nick and Christine, your churches, communities groups and charities there that give hope.    


  • People / Youth you know to be in the wilderness, escape routes for them. Pray that you can give them a message of hope that Jesus is in doorway of trouble.    


  • Ourselves: Climb on God’s knee, roll your burdens onto Him and  next week’s diary, asking him for your needs and a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit.   


We ask our prayers in the name of our King of Kings , Jesus

Song – StF 167 – Colours of day


May you go from here showing hope into doors of trouble and now may the tender love of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit fall afresh on you and all those that you love now and for ever more, Amen

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