Love your enemies
Holy Trinity Church, Huddersfield, 22 July 2018
A return, for the six weeks of the school holidays, to having one service a week, with a service at 10am replacing the 9am and 10:45 ones. As I was playing percussion during the service I had already worked up a nice sweat in pre-service rehearsals.
The sermon was about loving our enemies, which is impossible without God’s help, based on a passage from Matthew’s Gospel. (Chapter 5 verses 38 to 48.)
To me though, the highlight was seeing Ruth back with us. Ruth, the daughter of a couple in our church, is our mission partner in Pemba, Mozambique, working for Iris Ministries. She told us of the challenges of her work, how she has moved out to a new house during the last year and has some of the boys, now young men, that she looked after in the compound living in the house next door. They look up to her as a mother figure.
She also said how she is greatly encouraged every time she visits us at Holy Trinity. We are also encouraged by Ruth’s presence. It is good when encouragement and support are mutual.
The Asperger’s bit:
The service was a communion service, part of the rite is something called the kiss of peace. We share the peace of God with each other by shaking hands. During this part of the service, I was tapped on the shoulder from behind, by someone wishing to pass the peace of God on to me. This is not the first time or the first person to have done this.
I appreciate the spirit in which this was offered and I am glad of your support, but I am a little sensitive to touch. Some people with Asperger’s are very sensitive to touch, much more than me. To them, a touch like that would be physically painful. I am not advocating not touching people on the Autism Spectrum, just saying that you should only touch them with permission or not at all. This is just common courtesy which can be given to all people, not just those with Autism. It is another of the little ways that church can be difficult for those on the Autistic spectrum.