Theme – Herod and his anger. Opening hymn was ‘Light up the world’ led by the praise band. The prayers that followed were led by Denis, Brian and Annie and were from the Methodist Church Handbook, mainly based on prayers written by children.
Addressing the theme 3 questions were posed; What makes you angry? Why? How do you show your anger? A picture of a scowling child was on the screens.
Then a story; ‘A lady had a box under her bed for 60 years. Her husband asked that after all this time perhaps she would show him what was inside. There were 2 knitted dolls and £25,000 in cash. The wife explained that when she married she decided to knit a doll every time she was angry with her husband. Only 2 dolls the husband commented – yes but the wife replied I sold all the other dolls I knitted and raised the money.
Remembering the hymns sung years ago in Sunday schools ‘Jesus wants me for a sunbeam’ – why did he want sunbeams? We were invited to join in the Sunday school song ‘My light house – You are the light of the world, the peace in troubled waters.
The reading was from the Dramatised Bible, based on Matthew 2: 1-18
A video showing ‘The Hulk’ – turning green when angry and the splitting shirt as driven by rage he changed him from a normal man to ‘The Hulk’.
Angers suggested by the congregation were written on balloon – don’t pop it with a pin letting the angers explode, but just let it go, and the balloon slowly flew down the church.
The Magi visited King Herod in the bible story and he was furious to hear that a new king had been born and ordered all babies under 2 years to be killed. Herod was not liked or trusted by the Jews. He had built markets and temples and rebuilt part of Jerusalem during his 37year reign, but had one wife and 3 sons killed. The people were frightened of him, a very angry man. Fortunately, the Magi thwarted his cunning plan to find Jesus by returning home by another route. Anger can be good if used to correct bad. Jesus was angry when he turned over the tables belonging to the money changers.
The following hymn was ‘Make me a channel of your peace.’
A painting by Cogniet, of women fleeing with children in their arms pursued by soldiers. A woman hiding behind a wall, cowering and trying to keep a child, her most precious possession, quiet was said to be looking at us, asking what we would do?
The birth of Jesus started a revolution, calling us to protect the vulnerable, to love and seek mercy. Like the balloon when people are unfair help us not to explode. Stop, look and listen there is a voice to be heard.
The lesson from James 1: 19-20 was headed ‘Listening and doing.’
Jesus Christ is love – Herod massacred. Jesus came to give a better life. We should be quick to listen and slow to speak.
PAWS – P from Pray A and W – Walk Away S from Say sorry.
Do not let the sun go down on your anger!
A video – ‘Human’ by the Rag and bone man’ was shown.
The closing hymn was ’Longing for light.’
Kindly written by Dennis Hobson.