God’s call on our life.
Holy Trinity Church, Huddersfield, Sunday 23 June 2019
There was a slightly smaller congregation today. After all the excitement of the mission week that ended a week ago, you can’t blame people for taking a week off. Especially those who were involved in the planning of the events.
Those of the organising team who were present were rewarded with a wrapped bottle-shaped gift.
We had a guest preacher today. The DDOV was here. Derek Walmsley is the Diocesan Director of Ordinands and Vocations. I think the title is unique to the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales. Used elsewhere or not it is a bit of a mouthful. His job is to help people discern and live out their vocation.
Everyone is called to come to Jesus, to belong to the church and to love the community they are in and the world. In churchspeak that is worship, community and mission.
The preacher said tat goal of the church isn’t to just convert people, the goal is maturity, for people to become mature disciples of Jesus. We must grow up into Christ. He then spoke about the privilege as a preacher to marry people and his advice at wedding rehearsals, of getting the choreography right, the bridegroom and best man standing at the front of the church and the bride and her father processing in at a pace slower than they think they should go. He says he advised the groom that he should turn around to look at his wife-to-be coming down the aisle, as this is the most beautiful she will ever be, having spent hours getting herself ready. The Bible calls the church the bride of Christ and we are part of the beautiful wonderful bride.
He went on to say his wife has the gift of prophecy. Che asks questions such as What is the church for? and What is Sunday school for? The church is for more than just making people Christians. It is bringing people into maturity in the love of Christ. The real passion is Jesus.
We don’t read the Bible the way we should. We just our bit, a little bit at a time. When someone wrote you a letter, that’s what we had before email and blogs, you didn’t just read a bit of it, a few lines, then put it away till the next day, you read the whole letter. We were then encouraged to read the whole of the letter to the Ephesians, it is only six chapters.
Read Ephesians all of it.
Imagine Paul dictating it from prison, getting excited about things and going off into tangents from the point saying ‘isn’t God amazing?’ God has this plan for all eternity and you are part of it.
There are little phrases in there which are repeated a lot. Phrases like ‘you are in Christ.’ You are baptised into his death and resurrection. “You are seated in Christ in heaven.” It is so true it is as if it has already happened. What is our calling in response to that? The response is to walk, go this way, walk a life worthy if what Christ has done for you.
Does your life balance with that. Do you as a church live like this? We are called together to do this. We are one because we are all in Christ. He called leaders not to do everything but to help others do everything.
We were asked to consider our role.
There will be more about mission next week. Lindy, a member of the congregation who went to work on Mercy Ships in Africa is back in the UK and will be telling us about her work. I’m looking forward to that.