To be aware of others was fantastic

Holy Trinity Church, Huddersfield, Friday 17th and Sunday 19th July 2020

On Friday My wife and I attended the wedding of a couple we knew until recently. When I say attended I mean we turned on this computer to watch the ceremony being streamed on Facebook live. I can safely say that in t-shirt and jeans, this is the scruffiest I have ever dressed at a wedding. Jess and Dan both looked stunning and dapper respectively.

They used to attend Holy Trinity when they were students at Huddersfield University and left us last autumn. They had planned their marriage for earlier this year, but the pandemic put their plans back. They decided to get married now so that it would not be put off further should there be a second peak in the infection rates. They plan the party part of the celebration when things are better. I think they made the right decision, they looked very happy.

The way the wedding was broadcast was a large contrast to the Holy Trinity Sunday. There we go for a professional look on YouTube. This week Bev seated on a sofa. Which is good. It looks strange for people to record from home and stand. Who spends time talking on their feet at home? Paul one of our lifegroup leaders preached standing in his living room.

The sermon, on the latter A for Ask in the acronym PRAY, started by saying that if you are desperate, asking God to help, it’s hard wired into us.

The Lord’s prayer starts with Our Father – our prayer life depends on relationship. 1st half of the prayer in not original to Jesus bit is from the Kaddish, . The psalms say, “You are my God,” a personal relationship available to all of us through Jesus. We can ask anything in his name and he will do it.

The list of the names of God reveal the nature of God, several were mentioned but i can’t type fast enough, but they do tell us who God is. Who I am praying to is more important than what we say. Jesus is all of these things healer, holy, trustworthy. Asking is relational, God wants a relationship. Jesus asked Bartimaeus, “what do you want me to do for you,” The answer was obvious, to get his sight back. Jesus wanted to hear Bartimaeus say it for himself.

Prayer changes things. We do not have a not a pre-set deterministic future, said Richard Foster. Prayer is not a formula. We can change things through prayer God is asking for us to ask. Your kingdom come comes before give to us, forgive us or deliver. Keep looking and listening to what God is doing through each day.

Ask and keep on asking, Be persistent even when the answer doesn’t come quickly. Where 2 or 3 are gathered in my name there am I with them, said Jesus. Jesus will never give up on us.

But there seemed to be something missing in the well made service compared to the wedding. The wedding was shot on a single camera, with people walking into shot to re-aim the camera when the action had moved off screen. The sound quality meant that some of the words of the address could not be heard. But to me I wish both services had been like that. There was a bar down the left of the screen on Facebook so that people could comment. We could see their responses which made it feel like we were worshipping together. The way the wedding service was filmed felt more honest. With YouTube you cannot tell if people are there with you or not, it feels to me cold and clinical in comparison.

To others, they’d prefer the slicker style. I am not saying one is better than the other, but after 18 weeks of virtual services not being aware of others to be aware of others was fantastic.

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