Holy Trinity Church, Huddersfield, Sunday 16 December 2018
We attended two services today. The first at 10:30 am was our usual contemporary worship service and in the evening a service of carols by candlelight, which would be followed by mulled wine and mince pies.
The church was cold, the heating had stopped at the weekend, and had taken a while to get booted up. So it was keep-your-overcoats-on weather. It was working last Thursday. We were promised it would be toasty and warm for the evening service, and that there would be mulled wine and mince pies.
The morning service was on the theme of the Advent Conspiracy on the theme Worshipping Fully. The theme was just five words which were repeated throughout the sermon:
My soul magnifies the Lord.
May’s words from the Magnificat in Luke’s Gospel are important. It shows that the importance is the Lord, not my soul. We sometimes turn it around and make it “The Lord magnifies my soul, making us the reason. Although the Bible does speak of God singing over us, worship is never about us.
If you have ever left a church feeling that you did not feel anything or did not hear God speak then there is likely nothing wrong. God does not have to speak to you, if he does it’s great, but it is about God. God does what he wills, our job is to be receptive.
When we talk about magnifying God we cannot make God any bigger, but God is made bigger in our souls. We have to become childlike in receiving gifts, children are the experts in receiving: God sends no one away empty except those who are full of themselves.
Service of carols by candlelight
The later service was a contrast. A semi-lit church mostly traditional songs and a service which flowed without announcements after the initial welcome. As for the promised heat, it was a little warmer, but not much, heater problems still being cited as the reason.
A whole group of singers were missing this year as a local male voice choir, with a member of our church a member, had their carol concert on the same night, so a number of key singers were committed to that event.
Organ accompaniment, augmented by a sextet of brass and woodwind was the accompaniment to most of the hymns, the rest, and another sextet to play the contemporary style songs.
We get presents at Christmas, we were told, but none of them last forever. Even the sun at the centre of our solar system will no longer exist in 5 billion years. But Jesus is the gift that does last forever. Accept Jesus as your gift this Christmas.