He will remake…

…He always has and he always will.

Wade Street Church, Lichfield, Sunday 31st May 2020

Blues and Jazz service


He will remake … He always has and he always will.
It’s true — Blessed be his name — Thank you, God.
John Coltrane

Not the usual service, but I attended more than one this weekend, so I have a choice about which to write this blog past on. By attended I mean sat on my sofa and watched YouTube, which is as good as it gets in the current coronavirus crisis. Despite never having been in a blues band it was the blues that brought me to being a musician, first on harmonica and then guitar, so when I heard from my cousin John that there was a Blues and Jazz service on Sunday I was in.

Meanwhile, back in Huddersfield, we were having coffee on Zoom for the first time (bring your own coffee). More like this please, Lichfield, I learnt early in their service, were already doing that.

The Lichfield Blues and Jazz festival is cancelled this year, but the church service still went on using the church The service was based on words by John Coltrane. One saying feels so apt for these times I have quoted it in large at the top. God will remake, he always has and he always will.

The blues part of the service I liked. Bluesy guitar in Amazing Grace set to House of the Rising Sun, but the jazz was bound to suffer. What makes jazz jazz in a band context to me is when someone solos and the rest of the band follow the improvisation. When the music is recorded under lockdown I cannot see how this level of improvisation can be done under the circumstances, so well done to the musicians.

The odd thing was that that there was a banner saying “I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,” next to the service leader/preacher, which is appropriate for Pentecost, but the Holy Spirit hardly got a mention in the service.  (My belief is that was because this was a special service with an appeal. However, the service broadcast at 8 am on BBC local radio stations mentioned the benefits of the Holy Spirit, and had an appeal for those who wished to have this to come to Jesus. My church’s service was an appeal to Christians to allow the Spirit to work through them. Links at the end.) The sermon at Wade Street, based on Acts chapter 17, where Paul preached in Athens, went something like this:

Surveys show that people are praying more often than they did before the coronavirus became a pandemic.

Paul talked about the God who created the universe, the God who is behind us. All creation is panting for God, telling his story, so why not look around you? This is no remote deity beyond the sky, like the Greek gods, who stays remote except to come and cause trouble, God is near, we cannot get away from him, be lived in this world as a human and put up with all the problems that we have today and went way beyond that: He took on the punishment for all that we do and came back to life as a demonstration that God cares and is with us.

God longs to reach out to you.

When Paul gave his message people had different reactions.

Some laughed and walked away from him. Some wanted to hear more. Some made a commitment straight away,

You have a choice to make. You can walk away and that’s fine, You can make a commitment or you can find out more. (Links to Lichfield church and to the YouTube service are below.)

He will remake … He always has and he always will.
It’s true — Blessed be his name — Thank you, God.
John Coltrane


YouTube: youtube.com/watch?v=0uoQGKvJze8&feature=share&fbclid=IwAR3iums_4e5RRZOkdEfUkfz26GdB6AXvOr8WwDt2zH4VIUhBREAE7RVxYMo

Wade Street Church: http://www.wadestreetchurch.com/urc/aboutus.pl

Holy Trinity Huddersfield YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPo2r-Y0teg6_HHSvycr–w/playlists

The BBC service can be found via the Sounds app: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p08dnsy1 starting at around the 2 hours into the program.

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