This sermon was presented by Rev Deborah on Sunday 2 February 2020. She was ably assisted by our Sunday School.
Sunday School led our service which was based the Presentation of Jesus at the temple by Mary and Joseph and what that means for us, based on the hymn by Bernadette Farrell, ‘Christ be our light’. We switched the lights off as Sunday School sang,
Longing for light, we wait in darkness
Longing for truth, we turn to You.
Make us Your own, your holy people
Light for the world to see.
Christ be our light!
Shine in our hearts.
Shine through the darkness.
Christ, be our light!
Shine in Your church gathered today.
We then had an interactive version of the story of Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus as they went to the temple and met Simeon and Anna. During this, figures of Mary, Joseph and Jesus were placed at the top of our display.
At Candlemas we think about Jesus being the light of the world but what does that mean for us today?
Sunday School then sang verse 2 for us as a globe was placed on the display.
Longing for peace, our world is troubled
Longing for hope, many despair.
Your word alone has power to save us.
Make us your living voice.
We then reflected on the brokenness of our world and our role through prayers, love and service we can let Christ’s light shine in the darkness and strive for peace.
Sunday School then sang verse 3 as bread and water were laced on the display.
Longing for food, many are hungry.
Longing for water, many still thirst.
Make us your bread, broken for others,
shared until all are fed.
We then reflected on those who are hungry and have no access to clean water. Today, as never before, there is need for food banks and charities such as Porch Boxes and Barnabus (local charities) in everyday life. We can make a difference – we can be the light that shines in the darkness.
Sunday School then sang the 4th verse as a sleeping bag was added to the display and we reflected on the homeless in our area and how we can help.
Longing for shelter, many are homeless.
Longing for warmth, many are cold.
Make us your building, sheltering others,
walls made of living stone.
The final verse of the hymn talks about what we can do.
Many the gifts, many the people,
many the hearts that yearn to belong.
Let us be servants to one another,
making your kingdom come.
On the display we added items that reflect what we can give – time (a clock), money (coins), skills and talents (mixing bowl and hammer) and prayers (hands in prayer). All of us can make a difference. We had the story of the starfish.
One day an old man was walking along a beach that was littered with thousands of starfish. As he walked, he came upon a young boy who was eagerly throwing the starfish back into the ocean, one by one. Puzzled the old man looked at the boy and asked what he was doing. Without looking up from his task, the boy simply replied, ‘I am saving these starfish sir.’ The old man chuckled out aloud. ‘Son,’ he said, ‘there are thousands of starfish and only one of you. What difference can you make?’ The boy picked up a starfish, gently tossed it into the water, and turning to the man, said, ‘I made a difference to that one.’
We then placed candles around the display, looking at the difference they made, and that we too can make. The sermon finished with the congregation joining in the chorus to Christ be our Light.
After communion we had our Candlemas procession with candles.
Thank you to our Sunday School and their leaders for making our service so special. The singing was beautiful and Chloe and Josh did a great job in setting up the display.