John answered them all, ‘I baptise you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Luke 3:16 (NIV)
Father God, help us to hear the challenges of John The Baptist for ourselves and work out what we have to do to live out our faith.
We welcome our preacher this morning who is Mrs Naomi Squire
After service tea hosts Keith and Myra
Our thanks for the flowers this morning which are given by Barb Cole
Organist: Lydia Edwards
Sunday 20th December
11.00am Family Christmas Service
Vestry Stewards – Ian and Sheila
Friday 25th December
9.15am Rev John Wiggall
Vestry Steward – Ian
Mon 14th Every Day with Jesus Bible Study in Lounge 10.30am
Wed 16th Festival of Carols at Overton 7.00pm
Thu 17th International Carol Service at Regent Street at noon
Thu 17th Christmas Celebration at Rhosddu 2.00pm
Fri 18th Mince Pies & Carols at Rhosymedre 7.00pm
Sat 19th Christmas Tree Festival at Llangollen 10.00am – 3.00pm
Sun 20th Christmas Tree Festival at Llangollen 12.30am – 3.30pm
Sun 20th Carol Service Llangollen Town Hall 6.00pm
Tue 22nd Christingle at Rhosddu 10.00am
Wed 23rd Midweek Communion at Regent Street 11.15am
Wed 23rd “Time Out” a monthly reflective worship at Hope Parish Church 7.30pm (4th Wed in the month)
Please pray for the following:
All those who care for those in need.
We thank God for answered prayer and ask that he helps us to understand that all things do work together for good.
Church Family Christmas Card
We will again have a Church Family Christmas card in the lounge which you can add your greetings to.
We ask that in lieu of giving each other individual cards that we make a donation for Hope House Children’s Charity
Advent should admonish us to discover
in each brother or sister that we greet,
in each friend whose hand we shake,
in each beggar who asks for bread,
in each worker who wants to use the right to join a union,
in each peasant who looks for work in the coffee groves,
the face of Christ.
Then it would not be possible to rob them,
to cheat them,
to deny them their rights.
They are Christ,
and whatever is done to them
Christ will take as done to him.
This is what Advent is:
Christ living among us.
“And just what were you expecting?”
Expectations play a significant role in the emotional landscape of our lives. They can be a force in determining what we do. And delight or disappointment can follow from whether they are fulfilled or not.
Central to John the Baptist’s call to repentance is a re-calibration of the people’s expectation regarding salvation. In the text immediately preceding this Sunday’s Gospel he has been aggressively attacking the presumptuous expectation of the people that their descent from Abraham would be the source of salvation for those who could claim such. Shock and disappointment must have reverberated through his hearers and we hear their response three times in this Sunday’s Gospel – “What must we do?”
His responses would have challenged them yet again. Having come out into the wilderness to hear this firebrand preacher they must have expected a vigorous program of ascetic endeavour and prayer. They probably shook their heads and wondered if they had heard him right when he told them, essentially, to be generous and just in the ordinary course of their lives. No fasting, no praying and what, no deprivation! ‘Give from your excess when there is a person in need.’ ‘Even if your job is a despised one like tax-collecting or soldiering for the occupying force, do it justly and be content with the right income.’ No wonder the people thought John might be the Christ – these views were so radical.
Having heard John’s challenges to the people, it is a good idea this Advent to hear and apply them to ourselves. We need to ask some serious questions: just what do we expect from our faith and what do we think we have to do to live out our faith? Applying John’s criteria to our lives might not be what we expected but fulfilling them may well challenge us more than we could know.