Worship Companion – October 3 2021

Welcome to October!
This is a month of preparations for Upper Thames Missionary Church. We are preparing for the next big step as we walk with Christ, namely the arrival of Brian and Paula Smith, our new Associate Pastoral Family and their three children Ezra, Emery, and Evangeline.

“Pathway to Autumn” by Paul Oakley ca. 2015

Anchor Texts:

God of timeless grace,

you fill us with joyful expectation.

Make us ready for the message that prepares the way,

that with uprightness of heart and holy joy

we may eagerly await the kingdom of your Son, Jesus Christ,

who reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.

Have you ever had a Spiritual encounter in which God spoke to you or interacted with you in a way that went beyond normal physical experience, a little like Zechariah experienced? Even if it wasn’t like that at all, in what ways was God preparing you for the event/chapter/change that was coming?
Why do you think John was given the prophetic vocation of both turning the hearts of Israel to God and also turning the hearts of “fathers toward their children?” How do these two things overlap and why is God concerned about calling John to both, especially to the second?
What is the “spirit and power” of Elijah? How does this relate to Elisha, and how do we understand this in relation to the Holy Spirit who empowers us? Look at 2 Kings 2:9 for some context.
The Theme in Song:
I love finding different styles of music to help us connect to the messages we talk about on Sunday. This week I have reflected on the fact that we are to be “a people prepared” for Christ in the passage from Luke 1:17, yet at the same time, in Matthew 3:1-13, we also see that John the Baptizer is called to “prepare the way.” I thought about how we are the way that is being prepared, and immediately the song below came to mind.
“Make Me a Channel of Your Peace” is a song that highlights our role as “the path” which is being prepared. A path, or a channel, for certain things – the glory of God in Christ revealed through humility, service, love and devotion.

The random horses at the end are a little treat if you watch the whole video…
The Theme in Art:

Israel Desert – Photo Credit – Mark Neyman

This photograph above details a tiny segment of the massive desert and wilderness lands in the traditional region of Israel. While we can’t have a definitive picture of the kind of land John would grow up and sojourn in, we can be sure he saw scenes just like this. We may feel God has called us out into the wilderness sometimes, too, but just like John, we can know that God has gone out there before us, He is with us, and He will prepare a way even through the wilderness.
The Theme for Kids:
We’ve got some help from a few kids to tell us about the birth of John the Baptist and his calling to prepare the way for Christ! 


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