Although the Watford Congregation is meeting today face to face, in person, at St. Peter’s at 11am as before lockdown, there are still a number of our congregation that are sheltering/shielding/quarantining and so we present you here with a guided virtual worship and hope that it is of benefit to any who may use it.

Tomorrow is the second Sunday of Advent with a Theme of LOVE ~ my theme today. Greg Williams speaks of this love that prompted Jesus to enter our story to redeem humanity:
SPEAKING OF LIFE – GREG WILLIAMS – SLOW-RELEASE TRUTH
Internet Link: Speaking of Life 2035 | Slow-Release Truth | Grace Communion International (gci.org)

HYMN NO. 1 – I LOVE TO TELL THE STORY Youtube link: I Love To Tell The Story – YouTube
We apologize that some of the youtube links have an ad before it plays the hymns–you can click on ‘skip ads’ when it allows. Don’t forget to hover over the bottom right of the video to enter ‘Full Screen’. And then click the ‘back’ arrow to return to this page.

HYMN NO. 2 – HOW WONDERFUL, HOW GLORIOUS
youtube link: how wonderful, how glorious – YouTube

HYMN NO. 3 – LET THERE BE LOVE
Youtube link: Let There Be Love – YouTube

We dwell in his love, with a fresh understanding as we continue to look in God’s Word today. However as there is no live-streaming sermon today from GCI UK, and we are not yet up and running to Zoom from St. Peters, we present a written study/sermon below on ~

LOVE: A MORE EXCELLENT WAY
By Michelle Fleming

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so must you love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13:34-35 (NIVUK) 

Before working for GCI, I worked as a middle-school maths teacher. To earn my teaching credentials, I spent over 1,000 hours, first observing and then practising instruction in a variety of schools.

I quickly saw a common thread in the most effective teachers’ classrooms. The common denominator in these rooms was love. It didn’t matter what the subject was, teacher’s age, or location of the school, in the classrooms where the teacher’s care for the students was palpable, students were more engaged and successful in mastering the content. Without love, the teacher’s efforts were that of a clanging cymbal. Perhaps this is why in 1 Corinthians 13, Paul starts the love chapter with, “And yet I will show you the most excellent way,” because without love we can accomplish nothing.

Paul goes on to illustrate the kind of love God extends to us: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).

When received, this kind of affection cannot be bottled up. The love of God transforms us, and flows through us to those around us. In these verses Paul is describing what it truly means to be a Christian. In fact, what Paul is doing here is helping us get a better understanding of Jesus’ new command. On the night he was betrayed he shared with his disciples this more excellent way of love, quoted above in the header scripture.

When God calls us to himself, he is calling us into a relationship where we can experience his unconditional love. And here’s the good news: he doesn’t just offer this to some, he offers a relationship of love to all. He will never force us to accept the offer; he gives us the freedom to live outside of that relationship. But when we do accept, we can know that the one who loves us is patient and kind, and does not hold our wrongs against us. May you receive the love God is extending to you today. His love that never fails.

Prayer
Loving Father, you are the perfection of love, a love that we can only grasp in part. Help us, as we walk with you daily, to learn more about your love for us, unfailing and eternal. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen

Even though there is not much different between lockdown and Tier 2 Restrictions, at least the advice to stay at home is relaxed and the shops are open. I need to get out and practice social-distancing from the refrigerator!

I would never have believed that a few weeks of uncut hair would weigh 20 pounds, but that’s what the scale says!

Mind you, during lockdown we were all frequenting this restaurant called THE KITCHEN—you have to gather all the ingredients and make your own meal—I have no clue how this place is still in business!

Brain cells, hair cells and skin cells—they all die constantly, but fat cells seem to have eternal life!

Now that I’ve lived during a plague, I understand why most renaissance paintings are of chubby women laying around without a bra!

HYMN NO. 4 – IF I HAVE NOT CHARITY Youtube link: If I Have Not Charity – YouTube

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