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Each week we will post a video of our Service of the Word -
along with the readings, a written sermon and craft ideas.
You can find further resources to help you at home on our prayer resources page

Previous sermon reflection videos can be found on the sermons page, as well as
St John's YouTube channel and Andrew's YouTube channel
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This week's readings:

READING 1 (OLD TESTAMENT): Isaiah 64: 1 - 9

O that you would tear open the heavens and come down,
so that the mountains would quake at your presence—

as when fire kindles brushwood
and the fire causes water to boil—

to make your name known to your adversaries,
so that the nations might tremble at your presence!
When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect,

you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.
From ages past no one has heard,

no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you,

who works for those who wait for him.
You meet those who gladly do right,

those who remember you in your ways.
But you were angry, and we sinned;

because you hid yourself we transgressed.
We have all become like one who is unclean,

and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth.
We all fade like a leaf,

and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
There is no one who calls on your name,

or attempts to take hold of you;
for you have hidden your face from us,

and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity.
Yet, O Lord, you are our Father;

we are the clay, and you are our potter;

we are all the work of your hand.
Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord,

and do not remember iniquity forever.
Now consider, we are all your people.



The Destruction of the Temple Foretold

As he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!” Then Jesus asked him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.”

When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?” Then Jesus began to say to them, “Beware that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. When you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. This is but the beginning of the birth pangs.

Persecution Foretold 

“As for yourselves, beware; for they will hand you over to councils; and you will be beaten in synagogues; and you will stand before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them. And the good news must first be proclaimed to all nations. When they bring you to trial and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say; but say whatever is given you at that time, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

The Desolating Sacrilege

“But when you see the desolating sacrilege set up where it ought not to be (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains; the one on the housetop must not go down or enter the house to take anything away; the one in the field must not turn back to get a coat. Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that it may not be in winter. For in those days there will be suffering, such as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, no, and never will be. And if the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would be saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he has cut short those days. And if anyone says to you at that time, ‘Look! Here is the Messiah!’ or ‘Look! There he is!’—do not believe it. False messiahs and false prophets will appear and produce signs and omens, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But be alert; I have already told you everything.

The Coming of the Son of Man

“But in those days, after that suffering,
the sun will be darkened,

and the moon will not give its light,
and the stars will be falling from heaven,

and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

The Necessity for Watchfulness

“But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”

Craft - Advent Candle

You will need:

- empty loo or kitchen roll tube

- white, red and yellow card
(or just white if you don't have red and yellow)

- thicker cardboard

- foil 

- paint

- scissors

- glue

- sellotape 

- pen and pencil

What to do:

1.  Print out the star template below, stick it on the thicker cardboard and cut around it to create the base of your candle.  If you can't use the template, just draw your own star shape. 

2.  Cover the cardboard star with foil or decorate it however you like. 

3.  Paint or decorate the tube in whatever way takes your fancy. 

4.  Create the candle's flame and light by cutting out circles of white, yellow and red card, and a yellow flame shape. If you only have white card, just colour it in yellow or red. The white circle should be the biggest and needs to be 1-2cm wider than the tube.  The yellow circle should be a bit smaller and then the red circle smaller still.  Have a look round the house for circular objects you can draw round for these. 

5.  Glue the circles and the flame together as shown in the photo and mark on the candle's wick with a black pen.

6.  Cut slits about 1cm long down both sides of the top of the tube and insert the candle light into them to hold it in place. 

7.  Finally sellotape or glue the candle onto its base. 


We'd love to see the candles you've made, so please email with a photo for the website! 

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St John the Divine, Menston Parish Church,
Burley Lane, Ilkley LS29 6EU
Registered Charity Number 11236532

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