On the first day of the week
From the earliest days, the church formed a tradition of gathering to worship on the day after the Jewish sabbath, the day we now call Sunday or “first day of the week”.
The church has gathered to worship in every conceivable place. From caves to cathedrals this ancient weekly pattern has been observed. Despite changing circumstances and government guidelines due to coronavirus, we are doing our best to provide a number of different ways for people to engage, to meet with God and to have communion with each other. We trust you take full advantage of what we can do and encounter God in new ways.
- To join our meeting on Zoom email email@example.com for joining instructions.
- To watch our Zoom gathering live click the link below.
- To watch the message and use the study materials provided continue below.
- To join us for an in-person gathering find booking details on the calendar section of the website.
Sunday 24th January 2021
Preparing for a wedding
We are streaming our morning gathering live at 10am every Sunday.
Pre-recorded Sunday package
One of our goals with these Sunday service packages is that you will be encouraged to engage with scripture yourself and to wrestle through the things that have been shared. In light of that take time this week to read through one or more of the following texts:
In addition to the passages mentioned above, here are a few questions you may want to reflect on today or during the week. Even better still, phone a friend and have a “virtual coffee” as you reflect on one of these questions together!
- Can you think of ways where your actions or words have not accentuated Jesus’ brides beauty?
- How can you change how you act or communicate to still hold your opinions but to build towards unity rather than division?
- In what other ways can you work to make yourself and all of Jesus’ bride more beautiful, more prepared for his return?
- Pray for us all that we would be ambassadors of reconciliation and that this would be a noticeable trait to others.
- Pray for the other churches who are part of the Kingston community. Heres a list of their names and leaders
- Pray for The Bridge, our support service for those who are isolated due to covid. Pray that many churches would get involved, that there would be lots of volunteers and that we would be able to bring light and joy to the people they serve.
COME TO THE TABLE
During this time of unprecedented ‘lockdowns’ and ‘distancing’, there’s much that we can’t do. Yet, in a certain sense, we can join with followers of Jesus in homes around the world (and indeed in homes over the last twenty centuries) as we take communion together.
The simple symbols of communion – bread and wine – are rich with meaning orienting us within the Biblical story. Communion is grounded in the gospel story in which we encounter and ‘feast on’ God’s self-giving love, that we might have kindled in us a self-giving love for God, for others, and for God’s good creation.
Here is a simple liturgy to guide you through taking communion together as a household. If there are at least 3 of you, you might choose to have a different person read each numbered section below.
Set out the bread and the wine (or whatever alternatives you might be using at home).
1: Lord of Creation,
from your loving hands you have made us all.
Every person, young and old, every creature, great and small.
All nature sings with vibrant diversity
Emerged from your bounty of grace and generosity.
Yet your good world is stained, stretched and swollen.
Your beloved creation distorted by our sin
In silence we sit, hearing earth’s groan
Your contorted cosmos, our hurting home.
Allow a minute of silence as you reflect
2: Lord of Liberation,
A crown formed of thorns you wore
as the crowd declared their angry scorn
Water and blood from your pierced side poured
As the temple’s curtains wide open were torn
The Prince of Peace lay crushed by human violence
As the skies dimmed and darkened and the indignant mob was silenced
Behold the The Son of Man who came from above
Behold the Son of God, gave up his life for love.
Pass around and take of the bread and the wine, symbolic of Jesus’ body, broken for you, and his blood shed for you. When everyone has done so, read the final prayer stanza below.
3: Lord of Resurrection Life,
On your broken body we sip and we chew
We feast on your fallen frame raised anew
Your life now our life, sustained and restored
Breath to our bones, death-defeating Lord.
Let us see from your eyes, heal our blindness
Form in us true Christlikeness
Though now this world groans, strains and strives
Jesus, creator, liberator, he’s alive!
**Thanks to Clark Buys for putting this communion liturgy together.
Preparing for a Wedding
Hello Parents and Children,
Last week we spoke about the Church being like a Bride, and that this is a way that Jesus describes the Church – we learnt about how he as the groom (the one who will marry the bride) loves the bride so very much that he would do anything for her, and how in fact he died for her in order to make a proper home for her, a place where she could come at the end of time. We know one day he will meet us, his Church, and we will have a huge wedding feast as we celebrate our being able to be together forever and ever, never apart, and forever together.
Today I want to read one of the bible verses we read last week again – so find your bibles and read
For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault.
Going back over last week we spoke about The Bride – and the Groom being betrothed – or promised to each other – something we call being engaged. And one of the things that happened was the Groom would go away and prepare a home for his Bride, and the Bride would get herself ready for the day her groom would come back.
Now in Hebrew culture the Father of the Groom would actually say when everything was ready, and he would be the one who would then say to the groom now is the time to go and get your bride, and marry her and bring her to her new home. This is very much like what’s happened with Jesus – he’s gone to make a place and His Father (God) will let him know when to come back and get his bride.
Think about the Bible verse above and read it again
This next bit is what the bride has to do! She has to get herself ready – this is us, the Church we have to get ourselves ready.
What does the Bride need to do?
The bride (Church) needs to believe, and when the Bride (church) believes in Jesus, then the bride (Church) is made clean, and all her sins are washed away – the Holy Spirit then helps the bride to get better at living like this – Holy Spirit helps to make the bride aware when she sins so she has a choice to stop, and he walks with the bride (church) to help her. You see by believing, we are holy and without blemish, but this doesn’t happen because of us, but because of Jesus forgiving us.
There are lots of things as the Bride that we can do to make ourselves ready:
To be unified – i.e to be living happily together, we may not agree about everything, but we live together in harmony, and in love. So we respect that we may have different ways of seeing things. We are not people on our own – individuals, but we are together, the Church, His bride and so we need to learn to live with differences but still together.
When we chat about things together and we don’t agree we need to be careful not to be ready to fight, and be grumpy, we need to be able to listen, and respect what someone else believes without being horrid to them.
In James 1:19 the word says ‘Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
Jesus said in
‘By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
So part of preparing to be His Bride is to love each other and to be different to the world around us. These things may seem easy but they aren’t always easy. And we need Jesus to help us do this.
Activity: Draw a beautiful bride getting ready for her groom to arrive.
Colour this picture of some of the bride’s things she needs to get ready for her groom, click here
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Giving is part of our worshipful response to God. It is an ackowledgement that everything, even in the most difficult circumstances, comes from him and that we are ultimately dependant on him for our daily bread.
Giving can be done via ChurchSuite online giving facility.
Alternatively, you can give directly through the bank account.
Reference: please reference your giving with your Gift Aid reference number if you have one.
In addition to your regular giving you can give specifically towards the needs of those inside and outside the KingsGate family, and even specify the name of a person, family or initiative that you would like the gift to go to. This could be a wonderful opportunity to practice something of the Acts 4 church:
“…All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need..”
Thank you for engaging with this Sunday Service Package. If you are new to the Christian faith or would like to know more about Jesus please send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.