3rd Sunday of Advent
God for whom we watch and wait, you sent John the Baptist to prepare the way of your Son: give us courage to speak the truth, to hunger for justice, and to suffer for the cause of right, with Jesus Christ our Lord.
Old Testament Zephaniah 1. 14-end
New Testament Philippians 4. 4-7
Gospel Luke 3. 7-18
The kingdom of Israell had become divided into two because the descendants of King Solomon had quarrelled bitterly over who should succeed him. There arose two kingdoms as a result, Israel to the North and Judah, the southern kingdom. The Prophet Zephaniah comes from the royal line of Judah.
He warns of devastating punishment for sins against the religious code. There will be “a Full, terrible end” to “all the inhabitants of the earth”. You may recall that once before the Holy One had decided that enough was enough and only Noah, his family and his zoo were saved. However, in Zachariah’s opinion there does not seem to be anyone worth saving at present, though by the end of his book, he does offer hope to a reformed nation.
The prophet connects the religious failings of everyone in Judah as the cause of the overwhelming disaster he forecasts. It is not a condemnation of individuals members of the nation, but of the nation itself, “Because they have sinned against the Lord”. He believes that the destruction will be the work of an invading army and such invasions in the Old Testament were interpreted as God in his fury using enemy forces as his agents to punish the unfaithful nation. The country has turned its back on God and devastation could only be expected as a direct result.
In fact, while spring-cleaning the Temple at Jerusalem in 621 B.C. someone found a document in a jar which so alarmed the king, Josiah, that he instituted radical religious reforms. The most enduring was the destruction of every other altar where formerly sacrifices to God had been offered and the Jerusalem Temple became the unique religious centre which Jesus would have known. This document would become the source of the book of Deuteronomy, found in our Old Testament today. Brian
Services Next Sunday – 23rd December 4th Sunday of Advent
|Hope Mansel||Parish Communion||9.30 a.m.|
|The Lea||Carol Service||6.00 p.m.|
|Aston Ingham||Holy Communion||8.00 a.m.|
|Upton Bishop||Carol Service||4.00 p.m.|
Forthcoming Services & Events
Weston. Advent Window Trail Carol Singing. Monday 17th December, 7.00 pm at Village Hall, mince pie and drink at The Rectory after.
Weston Church. “WESTON POP UP CHRISTMAS SHOP
St Lawrence Carol Service 11:15am Sunday 16th December.
A bright array of Christmas Cards, Books, Childrens’ Gifts, Wrapping Paper, Candles, Stocking Fillers. All supporting the local Christian Bookshop and celebrating the real meaning of Christmas. Also some Bazaar bits to finalise funds for Weston Church Path. Please come with laden wallets and purses !!”
ShoeBox Appeal, ‘The shoe boxes we packed and collected have gone to Albania. In total there were just under 5000 sent from this area (Hereford & Worcester). Thanks again to all who contributed. Marion Martin’
Pew Sheet, there will be no Pew sheet for Sunday 30th December, next Pew sheet will be 06th January, please submit anything you wish included by 01st January. Many Thanks Debs
Please be aware that if you have any events you would like to advertise here, do please contact Debs directly (details below) and she will be pleased to include them.
Please pray for all who are sick,
And remember all who have died, John Turner (Lea)
Rev David Howell 01989 568736 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to receive this pew sheet via email please email Debs email@example.com