Stand firm in the faith: Trusting in God
Holy Trinity Church, Huddersfield, Sunday 17th May 2020
A morning of contrasts service wise. BBC Radio Leeds broadcast one between 8 and 8:30 am which I enjoyed but there was no way to join in with the worship songs that I was unfamiliar with as radio is not a good medium for displaying lyrics. Last week I mentioned attending online services in my pyjamas. I attended this one from the warmth and comfort of my bed. After this service I got up, made two mugs of coffee and got back into bed. Ws had both had a poor night’s sleep.
Two hours later and breakfast, we are both fully dressed for the first time since virtual services began. I turned the TV on my laptop can cast YouTube so I was ready to cast the service. What was being broadcast on BBC One was yet another service. I entered in the middle of the Bible reading. The reader was using a flat tone with no sign of emotion. He sounded bored. I wondered who would be bored by God’s word, but I remembered that there are people who say the reading of scripture should be unemotional, To that I say, boredom is an emotion, don’t do it. The Dean of St David’s Cathedral, who preached showed the same boredom, punctuated by turning up the corners of her mouth in the pauses in what to me looked like a fake smile. A calm service, dut devoid of any sign that you can have a relationship with Jesus. If I were Satan and wanted to put people off Christianity this is how I’d do it.
Then came the contrast. Linda, my wife, entered the room and sat down. I pressed the cast button on the laptop and the TV went on to the church playlist. What a contrast to what the BBC were showing. I like that enthusiasm and love for the Lord actually shows in the people who lead in Holy Trinity. I love my church.
The church building was being used, government guidelines have been loosened and Vicar Mike was leading the service from the sanctuary. My first thought was selfish, “Good, I can be reunited with the musical instruments which I was separated from by lockdown.” Churches were closed before I could get things home.
John, giving the sermon, was filmed from home with curtains in autumnal shades to his right the picture of mountains above the fireplace at his left had the triangular cutch logo superimposed over it. This was probably by chance in the production part of the service, but I thought it apt. There goes my autistic mind paying more attention to backgrounds than the things I am “supposed” to be concentrating on.
The sermon was the second on the word “Stand” about standing strong in the faith. This week it was about Trusting in God. It was a classic three-point sermon, nut didn’t reveal the three points until it was over halfway through and went something like this:
We all trust people. If we don’t trust people we can become wary of anything. John said that his wife trusted him in lots of ways but when he offered her a lockdown haircut with a set of hair clippers she declined. This was not something she would trust to anyone who did not have a qualification in that field.
In this pandemic, we are asked to follow the science. But what is the science saying? Science works in probabilities, we cannot predict the coronavirus we can only advise on what is likely to happen to the best of our current knowledge.
Who can we put out trust in when things are good and when things are not so good? We can put our trust in GodTrusting God is a theme in the Psalms and the Prophets:
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.
Trust in the Lord for ever,
for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.
Isaiah 26:4 — All NIV UK
We were asked to read Psalm 23 together:
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Jesus is the good shepherd. We have a God who is utterly trustworthy, is tender towards us and utterly loves us and whom we can trust with our entire lives.
When will all this end and who can we trust to see us through? Jesus is truly dependable and is our personal good shepherd it is in him that we can trust.
Psalm 23 comes in three parts:
Part 1, verses 1 to 3
We trust in God because he provides for all our needs but not necessarily all our wants. He is my shepherd, a personal relationship, he knows us and we can know him.
Part 2, verse 4
Life without others can be lonely but Jesus will never leave us alone, the relationship we have is constant. Proverbs 3:5–6 says, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Trusting is easy when things go well but in bad times it is not so easy. Fear and worry are part of everyday life. God is there to protect us.
Part 3, verses 5 and 6
Follow, as used in the Bible, means to chase after, God’s goodness and mercy chase after us. Trust is eternal, for all time, we will dwell in God’s house for ever, trusting that he is always with us. God is totally trustworthy and dependable. Let us stand firm in trusting him.
I like that enthusiasm and love for the Lord actually shows in the people who lead in Holy Trinity. I love my church.