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. We are now joining with many parts of the body of Christ in worshiping as families in our homes.
Please find this weeks Sunday service below
Sunday 29 March 2020
You may be fortunate to have someone in your household who plays an instrument. If not, our talented brother and sister team, Louise and David Campion, have recorded a Sunday worship set on our YouTube channel.
Alternatively, you can enjoy an extended playlist of songs from worship leaders and teams like Matt Redman, Hillsong, Jeremy Riddle, and Leeland.
Our message today comes from Keath. You will be able to see his notes and questions questions below.
In light of the above and the Sunday message you have just heard, consider the following passages of scripture:
- Exodus 12:1-20
- John 6:22-59
- 1 Corinthians 5:6-8
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!
- Do you think there is power in ritual and liturgy? God gave the nation of Israel festivals during the year to pause, think, repent and remember. These regular repeatable moments were intended to imbed the story of who they were and who their God was. In the NT we have been given the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit but we have also been given certain “rituals” (e.g. the Lord’s supper, gathering together weekly) to help and strengthen us in our walk with God. Can you think of some other examples? Do you think these are important and if so why?
- Can you think of any “leaven” that you have allowed into your life?
- How does being a “New Creation” (which is what we are in Christ) help us deal with the “leaven” of sin and the temptations in the world around us?
As part of our Sunday package we really want people to engage with the Bible. We believe that one of the best ways in which a Christian can grow in their faith and be discipled is through their own personal study and reflection on the scriptures. In order to facilitate this, we are going to give you three passages to reflect on off the back of every Sunday message. You can look at all three right after the message OR you can choose to use them for your personal prayer and reflection during the week. However we do strongly encourage you to engage in some way – for your own spiritual growth.
One of the ways of engaging with scripture that has been practiced through the centuries is called Lectio Divina. There is much to this but I will try and summarise what it means in four basic steps:
- Read the passage. This should not be rushed but rather in a slower measured way and repeated more than once (maybe two or three times for those trying it for the first time)
- Meditate on the passage. What does the passage say to me today, in my life. I approach this by praying “Holy Spirit highlight something in this passage for me today”. I then reflect on that word, verse, phrase that seems to grab my attention – even in the slightest way.
- Pray. What can I pray to God in response to what the Holy Spirit has highlighted
- Contemplate. Sit quietly and reflect on what conversion of the heart, mind and life that God is asking of me
Obviously there are many other ways of engaging with scripture which are very fruitful and even the above approach can be adjusted in some way to be done in a group/family e.g.
- Take five minutes to read and meditate on the passage in silence OR let each person in the group read the passage (particularly if they have different translations)
- Take five minutes to talk about what you feel God has been saying to you through the passage
- Pray together
I hope this is helpful and has given you some tools!
- Think of one other person in your church community and pray for them. Pray for peace, protection, provision and a deep awareness of God’s sufficiency in this moment. If you want, you can even send them a text afterwards to say you prayed for them.
- Pray for our leaders whether in government, schools, business, church that God would grant them wisdom, strength and courage.
- Pray for your own walk with God at this time and echo David’s words in Psalm 139 “Search me, O God, and know my heart Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
Don’t doubt the power of your prayers!
Also, as we pray today, we join other believers in a global prayer initiative to combat this virus.
COME TO THE TABLE
The ‘breaking of bread’, or communion, was originally a full meal celebrated by Christians. When we gather as churches in larger groups we focus on the bread and the wine, which Jesus infused with great meaning during the final meal he ate with his first dicsiples. Today, in your own homes, you could either enjoy a full communon meal together, or simply take break and wine (or grape juice) and refelct on the following passage of scripture:
1 Cor 11:23-25
Here is something to say together:
Here is the table of the Lord,
we are gathered to his supper,
a remembrance of events and a foretaste of things eternal.
Come, when you are fearful, to be made new in love.
Come, when you are doubtful, to be made strong in faith.
Come, when you are regretful, and be made whole.
Come, old and young,
there is room for all
A prayer for communion:
I am giving you worship with all my life,
I am giving you obedience with all my power,
I am giving you praise with all my strength,
I am giving you honour with all my speech.
I am giving you love with all my heart,
I am giving you affection with all my sense,
I am giving you my being with all my mind,
I am giving you my soul, O most high and holy God.
Praise to the Father,
Praise to the Son,
Praise to the Spirit,
The Three in One.
The Unleven Bread
Note to Parents:
We’d love you to take your children on this journey with us as they are as much a part of our community as we are, we’d also love to have their feedback, and their comments as you work through this with them.
This is not written with a particular age group in mind – when we run our Easter Experience over Easter we engage with each age group, even the youngest, and we do our best to make it age-appropriate for them, we encourage you to do the same as you are tuned in to their understanding level. So, here we go!
Some Useful Steps:
As you spend time exploring this part of God’s big story today this can be a time where you can chat with your parent/s, or your sibling/s about this, it can also be a time for you to chat to God about it either today or when you are on your own. It is wonderful to know that God is always listening to us as we talk to him, and he wants us to listen to him too.
Things to think about:
- What God did for you years ago (long before you were even alive)
- What God is doing for you now (He’s right with you where you are)
- How much God loved you back then (He loved you before you were created)
- How much God still loves you now (His Love is so wide you can’t get over it, so wide you can’t get around it, so high you can’t get over it…it’s BIG)
Last Sunday we tried some of the bitter herbs. The bitter herbs serve as a reminder that God wanted the Israelites to remember back to the time when they were slaves, before God saved them from the Egyptians, it wasn’t a good time in their lives, it was horrible, so eating something bitter reminded them about that time… but it also reminded them that God had helped them, and delivered them.
Today we will be focussing on the next part of the meal, the unleavened bread.
Why do you think anyone would have this as a part of a meal?
Well part of it was that it symbolised the haste with which the Israelites had to leave Egypt – they didn’t even have time to leaven their bread. They had to leave Egypt quickly. So the unleavened bread is a reminder of that incredible day.
Some of our bibles, use the word yeast instead of leaven. Do you know what yeast is used for? (yeast is what causes bread to rise)
Leaven was similar in that it made their bread rise, but each time they baked bread they would keep back a little portion of last week’s dough, allowing it to ferment, then adding to this week’s dough, which in turn was thoroughly fermented to give it lightness. The little bit of leaven impacted all the dough!
When you read through the Bible you will see that often, leaven is used to symbolise sin and the old ways of their past in slavery. What can seem like a “small sin” can lead to more sin, and us feeling like we are far away from God.
Can you think of “small sins” that can lead to more sin?An example could be where you sneak a sweet out the sweety jar, but then it tastes soooo good that you keep going back for just one more. A few days pass and Mum/Dad ask where all the sweets are. You don’t say anything!Or you’ve been given some homework assignments to do, you get home from school each day and decide to watch TV instead. Friday comes, and the assignments are due…what do you do now?
Why don’t you hand over those sin to Jesus now:
Let’s give them to Jesus (parents you can take a cracker if you have put them in front of you on a plate)
Pray with them, and give Jesus those sins and ask Holy Spirit to come and comfort them.
Thank God, for the unleavened bread. For forgiveness and new life because of Jesus.
Remember this today:
As Christians, no matter where you are, you are not alone, you belong to Jesus, and are a part of His powerful story. As you sit with your family in your house, other families who are a part of our church are doing the same thing in their homes, and Jesus joins us together.
Engage with this activity as it covers the whole of the Passover meal.
How about making your own unleven bread. Here is a recipe:
- 1 cup plain flower
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup water
- Line a baking tray with baking paper
- Mix flour, oil and salt together in a mixing bowl.
- Add water and mix until dough is soft.
- Using your hands, form the soft dough into six balls, and press into flat disks on the baking paper.
- Bake at 220 degrees for 8-10minutes, or until the bread is cooked.
Remember: it won’t rise!
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.
Account Name: KingsGate Church (Kingston)
Account Sort code: 40-52-40
Account Number: 00019298
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 thar you would like the gift to go to. This could be a wonderful opporunity 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 content. If you are new to the Christian faith or would like to know more about Jesus please send us your questions.