“Somebody has to preach God in this Hell”
Holy Trinity Church, Huddersfield, Sunday 14th June 2020
Unexpected news this week. We are used to hearing about churches closing, but, thanks to my cousin John posting on Facebook I learned that in Mirfield, where I grew up, one is due to reopen. Not one that has been temporarily closed due to coronavirus, but actually re-opening. Hopton United Reformed Church, Mirfield, has a change of function notice attached “to re-instate church function.” However, this has absolutely nothing to do with our service this weekend, just a bit of news about churches I thought was worth sharing.
Val, our music leader led the virtual service in a t-shirt with the slogan “be inspired.” Because of the camera angle the rest of the slogan could not be seen, but it was good being just that.
Wayne, our youth leader interviewed Karen, another of the youth team, about how she had been feeling about the last few weeks since the murder of George Floyd and the civil rights marches which have followed under the banner Black Lives Matter.
Karen said, “I don’t want to walk around angry. I have to hand it over to the Lord. It is about injustice and Christ is about justice. We have to challenge it. Ask yourself where you are at.” I admire her courage at standing up.
Our online Alpha course starts this Tuesday. Steve,who was on the course last year, spoke with Vicar Mike over Zoom about how his nominal faith had been strengthened by attending the coarse, especially by the meeting on the Saturday about the Holy Spirit, after which he started attending our church. Another courageous, person standing up for their beliefs. The course starts on Tuesday 16 June from 7.30pm – 8.45pm and you need to register at https://www.holytrinityhuddersfield.com/what-we-do/alpha/
If two people being courageous enough to stand up the sermon was also about courage. This was part of our sermon series on Stand, which was about courage. The preacher was Paul and the Sermon went like this:
If we are to stand we need courage. There can be no courage without fear and this may be fear of illness or death. The question is, can I overcome my fears? Can I be outrageous?
Joshua chapter 1 says;
6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
7 ‘Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’Joshua 1:6-9 NIVUK
God tells Joshua to be courageous three times.
David’s courage to fight Goliath came from knowing who God is and what he can do. Your convictions shape what you do. Have courage God will provide out of his riches. Remember God is with you wherever you are whatever you are going through, Jesus is there he will never leave you and is on your side. God is for us and wants us to take courage. John 16:33
We are part of a story that ends in victory. German pastor Paul Schneider, who was one of the first Christians to be martyred under the Nazis, whilst imprisoned he was asked why he continued to preach Jesus. He said, “somebody has to preach God in this hell.”
We need courage, we can be encouraged by the stories of others. We ourselves can spur someone else on. What is the purpose? We are the light of the world, our job is to push back darkness. Pray to be filled with the love of Christ because perfect love drives out fear. Even when it costs us.
Remember who God is and take courage.