The service began with joyful praises from the parishioners reciting ‘O praise ye the Lord’ and ‘O come all ye Faithful’. Subsequently, the word of the Lord was shared, the liturgy of the word all reflected a similar theme of sharing your “light”. The first reading came from Isaiah 61: 10- 62:3 which highlighted the work of the Lord and the importance to rejoice and praise his Holy Name. The second reading was derived from Galatians 3: 23-25; 4:4-7 which discussed the transition of man before we had our faith, how we were like slaves and prisoners until Christ came and freed us from the bondage of sin. We are now children of God as God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts. The last reading of the word, the Holy Gospel came from John 1, 1-18 stating, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. The scripture focused on God being the beginning and the end, he is the true light of life that can shine through any darkness. God gives us power through believing in him to become children of God. Through his son Jesus Christ who was born of the flesh and walked amongst us, we know God’s name and have been saved.
Following the delivery of the Word, Deacon Gerald Hendrickson conveyed the sermon. Deacon reminded the congregation about Advent and that is a time dedicated to the coming of Jesus Christ, a time of expectation and preparation for the coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ. As the first Sunday after Christmas is also Old Year’s day, Deacon also focused on what our mindset should be as Christians in approaching the New Year. He stated, as Christians, we should go the extra mile and re-examine ourselves, our relationship with our Lord and our neighbours. He discussed the importance of us re-filling ourselves with the Holy Spirit, in order to be the light to the world we need to be in 2018. We need to share the light with our brothers and sisters, which will enable them to get through dark and difficult situations in their lives. Our role as Christians is to show them and let them understand that God is ever-present.
Deacon also focused on our need to be prepared, as we do not know what 2018 holds for us, constant preparation to meet our Savior is essential as Christians. He highlighted some new year’s resolutions for 2018;
- Be our brothers’ keeper in a meaningful way.
- Be more tolerant of others. We are different but equal and we need to exist harmoniously.
- We need to keep in mind that every human life is precious.
- Ensure that our children understand the importance of attending church and developing their own relationship with God.
- We need to pay more attention to the young people of Trinidad and Tobago in order to heal our nation.
The trend throughout the readings focused on the light of Christians, and that we should be the light the world needs. As we interact with the world, we should not be of the world, it is important as Christians that we do not stray off our path, but use our light to draw others out of the darkness into the light of the Lord.