Saturday 26 November 2022

DIY Sunday Service Kit 27/11/2022 - Navigating life's 'defining' moments


Welcome to the DIY Sunday Service Kit for 27th. November 2022.

In our Bible passage today, life for Esther comes to a defining moment ... you might think it was a crisis moment ... but the momentous conclusion she came to at that point was crucial for the securing of both the Old Testament and the New Testament people of God.

It is an absolutely gripping piece of narrative, and one with very helpful things to take away from it.

But first, here's the Word for the Week video filmed on location in Llandovery's Wednesday livestock market ...




Lord please forgive us for the times this week when we have not adequately valued those things that have eternal value, and have set our choices and priorities for the day without valuing what lass for ever.
Teach us again we pray to value your presence and your counsel, and lead us to enjoy your presence, your wisdom and your felt presence with us 
- and please begin as we open this time of worship we are about to spend in your presence now.

AMEN.


The season of Advent - which many believers celebrate - is about to begin, but even yet this first song today seems more appropriate to our theme than the season that we're about to see play out.

But it seems nevertheless relevant, so let's sing anyway!

The band Celti Worship put a fresh spin on it for us ...




Let's pray





As we approach the start of the Christmas season and consider the opportunities it presents, we pray specifically today for the situation that currently exists in our own land of Wales.

Society

The Bevan Foundation regularly commissions the research organisation YouGov to produce assessments of the social situation in Wales, the latest covering summer 2022.

This latest reports highlights that:

  • Families are struggling to make ends meet – More than one in eight Welsh households (13 per cent) either sometimes or often struggle to afford everyday items. In total 45 per cent of Welsh households never have enough money for anything other than the basics. 
  • The majority of people are now cutting back on essential items – 57 per cent cut back on heating, electricity and/or water, 51 per cent cut back on clothing for adults, 45 per cent cut back on transport costs and 39 per cent cut back on food for adults between January and July.
  • Children are going hungry – the number of people in households with one or two children who are having to cut back on food for children has nearly double since our last Snapshot report in November 2021, with one in ten families with one child and one in five families with two children cutting back on food for children.
  • Household debt has remained static – the number of people that are reporting that they are in arrears on a bill or that they have borrowed money has not increased significantly since November 2021. In total 14 per cent of people have been in arrears on a bill for more than one month with 25 per cent borrowing money.
  • A third of people have no savings – 22 per cent of people in Wales had no savings at the start of 2022, whilst 10 per cent spent all their savings on day-to-day items between January and July 2022. Only 31 per cent of people had savings in January 2022 and did not use them to cover day-to-day items.
  • More people are worried about losing their home – 11 per cent of people are worried about the prospect of losing their home over the next three months. This rises to a quarter of private rental sector tenants and 17 per cent of social housing tenants.
  • The cost-of-living crisis is affecting people’s health – 43 per cent of people in Wales have seen their mental health deteriorate as a result of their financial position whilst 30 per cent have seen a deterioration in their physical health.
  • People are very pessimistic about their prospects over the next three months – nearly two thirds (63 per cent) of people expect to have cut back on at least one essential over the next three months, up more than 20 percentage points from the position in November 2021.


Church

The Church in Wales's bishops are all in favour of changing their church's position on marriage and human sexuality, and one of them (a woman) lives openly in a civil partnership with another woman ... and this is causing confusion amongst the general population.

Opinion in non-Conformist denominations on this issue is not so much in the public arena, and their official stance is not easy to determine ... which can only lead to further confusion.

Chapels that have released their grip on Scripture struggled during COVID times and anecdotally quite a few are now failing to meet regularly in their buildings.

In recent months, I have heard that in response to the energy price show, chapels are now beginning to close due to unaffordable heating costs. 

Apart from a few very notable pin-pricks of light where Evangelicals have continue to faithfully engage with Scripture and with people outside their congregations, it appears that the last few years have seen serious reversals for the visible church in Wales.

And Evangelical churches - even the larger city churches - commonly report significantly decreased congregations in attendance post-COVID.

The churches often seem characterised by reversals and confusion.

The spiritual condition of the land

Unsurprisingly then, there is significant confusion in Wales about what the Gospel is, about what God wants from us, about the root cause of our human problems as we live in this world ... even about Who Jesus is, what He did and does, and what He is like.


  • Let's pray as we approach the annual festival of Christ's birth for the Lord to raise up a clear testimony to His truth right across Wale that dispels the widespread current spiritual confusion.

  • Let's pray that as He does so there would be a genuine outpouring of the Holy Spirit, bringing new spiritual birth and establishing a widespread fellowship across the land of people living in genuine spiritual fellowship with Him.

  • And let's pray that He empowers and supplies the needs of those people in addressing the social, economic and spiritual needs of this land, reaching out with His compassion and in the strength His Spirit goes to the people of this land of Wales.

As we approach the time of year Lord when we celebrate the Light coming to shine in the darkness, please ordain that the darkness shall not overcome the light.
Please flood our lives with your light and life and truth so that we might reflect your light - each in our own way, as you lead us one by one - so that people of all the nations of our land might come to the brightness of Christ's rising.

We ask for Jesus' sake.

AMEN.





Click on the pic below to read God's Word together













The studio camera recorded this while the sermon podcast sound-track was being made ... 👇




Let's sing




Thank you for being with us in this DIY service today.
If you would like to support our work financially please click the graphic below to go to our online giving link.
If we can be of help to you please contact us through Simon's email HoWChaplain@gmail.com, or on WhatsApp, by text or when time is pressing by phoning 07748 644958
Let's commit ourselves for the coming week into the Lord's hands as we pray for one another in the words of the apostle Jude ...

Let's pray

"Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and 
    to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 
to the only God, our Saviour, 
    through Jesus Christ our Lord, 
    be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, 
        before all time 
        and now 
        and forever. 
Amen."




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