Sharing Our Faith Together

Worship for 2 January 2022

by Peter Blount 2 January 2022

Over the next 7 weeks we shall be exploring the fundamental question –

‘What Christians Believe’ and ‘why does it matter’

To this end we thought it fitting to defer our annual Covenant service until the end of the series on 27th February.

Now I’m sure that the more scholarly we are the more complicated and in depth the answer to that question will become, however, for me and I trust we all can identify with the answer to the first part at least is fundamentally straightforward.

I/we, believe in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

The Trinity 
Expanded into ‘The Apostles Creed’  (Believed to date back to the teaching of Jesus Apostles). 
Further expanded into ‘The Nicene Creed’. Formulated at the Council of Nicea in AD 325  

Today, we begin our journey into The Apostles Creed.

Hymn – All Praise to Our Redeeming Lord

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Opening Prayer 
Gracious and loving God as we approach your throne of grace to begin our journey into what we believe, first of all we ask that you would be present to guide us, direct us and encourage us. 

We realise this will be no easy task and that there are no simple answers but, as we have always done we look to you our God, Saviour and Friend to help us.

As we gather on this first Sunday of a new year looking back with gratitude as we have, once again, celebrated the birth of your son so many years ago. Being grateful in the knowledge that his birth was the start of his perilous journey through life as a human being, which would ultimately lead to pain and suffering to gain our salvation. 

Walk with us now in this new year with its challenges and surprises, disappointments and joys, granting us patience, kindness and peace. 

Now we spend a few moments in silence to pray for others –
The sad and the lonely 
The homeless and hungry 
The weak and the poorly 
Those lost physically, mentally and spiritually.
Any known to us personally who have any kind of need. 


Lord grant these our prayers through Jesus Christ your Son our Saviour AMEN 

The Lord’s Prayer 

Reading – John Ch 1 v 1 – 5  

The Apostles Creed 
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen

Lord grant us wisdom and understanding as we examine these words together. AMEN 

Hymn – Thou Whose Almighty Word 

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This Morning’s Thoughts 
The first line of the Apostles Creed reads 

‘I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of Heaven and Earth.  

‘I made that’  -  A claim that has been made by many, designers, architects, artists, builders, writers, chefs, watchmakers, even inventors, and many more.

I guess each of us too, has used this same claim ‘I made that’ at some point in our life.

But did they/we really ‘make’ something, or do we simply take what there is and change it in some way by adding things together, by putting paint on canvas, or by changing the combination of elements that already exist. 

Let’s take a look at how it all began. 

Reading – Genesis Ch 1 – 2 : 1  (Selected verses)

Quote from NIV notes on V1 of this reading 
‘A summary statement introducing the six days of creative activity. The Bible always assumes and never argues the existence of God. Although everything else has a beginning, God has always been’.  This affirmed ‘In the Beginning God’ can be found throughout scripture, for example in poetry in Psalm 90 v2 & 102 v25, in prophesy Isaiah 40 v21 and the Gospel of John 1 v1. 

So God created the Heavens and the Earth and everything in it. 

Hold on a minute, there are those such as the eminent Professor, Brian Cox who would argue that the creation theory is archaic and outdated to be replaced by the scientific theory and evidence of evolution. 

In his book the wonders of the solar system Cox is writing about the sun and he says -

‘Throughout human history, this majestic wonder has been a constant source of comfort, awe and worship, but our understanding of the sun has developed slowly. For centuries, the finest minds in science struggled to understand how it created such a seemingly endless source of heat and energy. As recently as the nineteenth century science has little knowledge of what the Sun was made of, where it had come from, or the secret of its phenomenal power’.     

Our Brightest star. The sun is just one of billions of stars, but to all living things on earth it is of crucial importance – without it no life could exist. 

The Sun, the very first thing on God’s list of created things – let there be light – coincidence that science should agree with God on its vital nature for existence of all other life? 

Professor Cox on his latest programme ‘The Universe’ talks at length about the development of the planetary systems, the vastness of the universe quoting unimaginably large numbers of years and vast distances in billions of light years, yet he seems unable to give a simple answer as to where the origin of the 118 known elements that form the planets and everything else, actually is. 

Returning to our beliefs and, for a moment, to this statement ‘In the Beginning God’ in Colossians Ch1 after giving a thanksgiving prayer for the church at Colossi, Paul then attempts to describe ‘The Supremacy of Christ’ and he begins – He (that is Christ) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him (that is God) all things were created, things in heaven and things on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities, all things were created by him and for him. He (God) is before all things and in Him all things hold together. 

So, over time, men and women, created by God have taken the skill, ability and brain power that God gave them to develop – physically using medicine and surgery, technically using research, education, invention and building.

And more recently, micro technology has given us computers, the internet and unbelievable powers of instant communication around the world, along with what appears to be an unquenchable thirst for travel. 

‘I made that’ or should it be God presented me with the tools, the materials and the brain power to work out how to ‘make that’. But somehow, we, mankind have become power crazy and of late gone overboard with using more and more of the world resources without considering the consequences. Global warming, contamination of water and air, unprecedented amounts of waste, over population and world domination.  Sounds a bit dramatic but it’s not a bad snapshot of how things look from where I stand. 

The prophet Habakkuk knew what it felt like to have his physical world destroyed by those who were against him.  In his short book in the Old Testament firstly he complains to God - twice, God answers – twice,  then Habakkuk prays and part of that prayer reads –

I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled.
Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us.
Though the fig-tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the sheepfold and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour. Habakkuk 3 : 16 - 18

Let’s finish on a lighter note – but there is still a clear message.

My brother and I were very different – he was the academic and I was the practical one, so there was never much competition between us. But one day many years ago whilst we were still at school, David turned up from school with a present for our Mum. It was his woodwork project for the year. It was a small box, just a simple oblong box with a lid. Remembering he was not the practical type, it was awful – the joints only just held together, the lid didn’t fit and the finish was appalling.  But lots of years later when I cleared out mum's things, there was this atrocious box.  It was a gift made with love and given with pride – so it had been treasured and kept safe. 

God’s creation was made for you and I and for each succeeding generation. It was made to perfection, with love and care and presented to us at the beginning of time along with all the resources we will ever need to live life to full in his world. 

Why then, do we just take it all for granted, instead of treating God’s creation in the manner in which it was given, treasuring it and keeping it safe for now and the future. 

‘I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of Heaven and Earth      

Hymn – O Worship The King 

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The Grace 
May the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ 
The love of God 
And the fellowship of the Holy Spirit 
Be with us all