Toothpaste stains and careful listening: James pt 2

Use your mirrors

Holy Trinity Church, Huddersfield, Sunday 21 October 2018


A confession in the sermon this morning. Vicar Mike mentioned as an illustration that the Bible is like a mirror to us, that he sometimes dribbles toothpaste onto his shirt. This brought to mind the service two weeks ago on the Costa del Sol where the Minister had toothpaste on his trousers. First world problems do not seem to be limited by geography.

But back to the beginning. I attended both morning services, the 9 am service just to sit back and let things happen, then at 10.45, I was playing percussion in the worship band. Notable things in the congregation were that one member, Les, turned 90 so there was cake with the after service coffee. (We do not need much of an excuse to have cake, but this was a good one.) Also, Vicar Mike’s wife, Sofia, was welcomed as a Reader, welcome being an odd word here, as they have been with us for over 5 years.

The music was mostly bright, and the sermon was followed by a period of quiet for reflection. Quite a long silence by Anglican standards. The reason was that the sermon itself built up to a challenge.

“Be doers of the word and not hearers only” was the theme, taken from the reading, James 1:19—2:13.

Things I got from the sermon, not necessarily in the order they were preached:

We have to be quick to listen and slow to speak, listening is good. But listening alone does not achieve anything, it is deceptive. Hearing and doing nothing about it is not like listening at all.

God’s word is like a mirror to us, it shows us what we are like. As we read God’s word we move into his blessing. We should be ruthless with ourselves and humbly accept God’s word.

We are to care for the widow and orphan. These were the main vulnerable groups at the time James wrote the letter. We are to fight for the vulnerable too. The thing about the rich going into a church and getting preferential treatment should not have happened then, but still goes on now. to show favouritism and neglect the poor is to break God’s law.

Those are the points I caught, There may have been others.

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