Shipley Church Self-Service
Sunday 6th December 2020
Thought for the Week – Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand
John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher who told people to believe in the one who would be coming after him. His remarkable ministry included the baptism of Jesus as a young man, in the river Jordan. “I baptise you with water for repentance” (Matthew 3:11). Baptism was a symbolic act of spiritual cleansing – an expression of repentance, but also an act of preparation for the coming of the Messiah.
Baptism administered in Jesus’ name today is seen as one of the foundations of the Christian community, and combines into one sacramental rite both concepts of repentance and initiation, when a person is willing to humbly repent of their sins in public, and then be admitted into the membership of the Christian Church. At infant baptisms these undertakings are of course made for them by Godparents. At such a point in our lives we are taught that life isn’t just a pleasure cruise! It does matter whether we are truthful or untruthful, honest or dishonest, kind or unkind, for we have obligations according to God’s purposes for each of us. (Mark 1:1-8)
Hymn for Today
Come thou long expected Jesus
Born to set thy people free,
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in thee.
Prayer for Today
We pray and prepare to celebrate another Christmas, in the hope that at the end of a uniquely difficult year those who have lost loved ones or who are unable to be together, or face losing their own livelihoods, may find comfort and consolation. Amen.
Note: The Gospel and Readings set for today can be downloaded from the top right of this page.