Welcome to our virtual service!
We’re really glad you can join us for this service. Everything you need for the service is on this webpage. Simply press the red play button on each of the videos as you come to them. You might like to print out the service sheet below and if you have children under the age of 14 with you – there are activities for them which you can also download below.
The thinking behind the song choices is explained in italics
Watch the video of Rich’s welcome.
Our first song gives glory to King Jesus, born to save the world.
How will you read the bible in 2021?
Earlier in the year we looked at this part of Revelation, showing that Jesus is worthy to bring about God’s plans (“open the scroll”) because he died for us.
Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” 3 And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, 4 and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. 5 And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
6 And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. 8 And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying,
“Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth.”
We have hope because Jesus has died for us, and will come again to complete all God’s plans
Father we thank you Jesus has triumphed, and is worthy to open the scrolls and bring about your plans. Thank you that because of him we have a solid hope for the future. Thank you that we can look forward to the day when he will return and put everything right.
We are sorry Father for the times we forget that you are working to bring everything together under Jesus. We are sorry for the times we more excited by our immediate hopes and plans than the eternal hope we have in you. We are sorry for the times we are distracted and discouraged by our plans going wrong. Please forgive us and help us to trust your plans and remember the great hope we have.
Please will 2021 be a year in which we are able to share our hope with others. Help us to be always ready to give the reason for our hope, please give us opportunities to speak to others, and please give us boldness to make the most of those opportunities. Please will many more people be included in your plans through our witness this coming year.
And please help our mission partner Lydia Panter as she shares her hope in Christ with international students. Thank you for the relationships she has been able to build. Please will you use her to draw these students to you. And please give her wisdom as she makes plans for the future.
We ask all these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.
As we come to look at the bible together, this song is a prayer that God will speak to us and help us grasp the heights of his plans for us.
Speak, O Lord, as we come to you to receive the food of your holy Word.
Take your truth, plant it deep in us; shape and fashion us in your likeness,
that the light of Christ might be seen today in our acts of love and our deeds of faith.
Speak, O Lord, and fulfil in us all your purposes for your glory.
Teach us, Lord, full obedience, holy reverence, true humility;
test our thoughts and our attitudes in the radiance of your purity.
Cause our faith to rise; cause our eyes to see your majestic love and authority.
Words of pow’r that can never fail – let their truth prevail over unbelief.
Speak, O Lord, and renew our minds; help us grasp the heights of your plans for us.
Truths unchanged from the dawn of time that will echo down through eternity.
And by grace we’ll stand on your promises, and by faith we’ll walk as you walk with us.
Speak, O Lord, till your church is built and the earth is filled with your glory.
BIBLE READING and TALK from Rich Adam.
BIBLE READING – Jeremiah 29:1-14
These are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders of the exiles, and to the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. 2 This was after King Jeconiah and the queen mother, the eunuchs, the officials of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen, and the metal workers had departed from Jerusalem. 3 The letter was sent by the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. It said: 4 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. 6 Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. 7 But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. 8 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream, 9 for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, declares the Lord.
10 “For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfil to you my promise and bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
God’s plans are not our plans.
God’s plans are wonderful.
In our closing song we commit to trust God as he works out his purposes and plans.
This is followed by a song that we are not familiar with at Emmanuel, which praises Jesus that he is able to bring about God’s plans. Join in if you can, or just watch and praise Jesus.
CLOSING PRAYER from Revelation 5
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honour and glory and power, for ever and ever!”
Some material in this service is © Used by permission CCL Licence # 1102690. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.