Love one another
Holy Trinity Church, Huddersfield, Sunday 8th August 2020
It’s almost back to being reclusive in our household. Last Sunday evening we had our granddaughter, an energetic four year old, over to stay the night. Our daughter and son-in-law were both working on Monday so we have formed a support bubble. In response we have restricted ourselves more than the restrictions imposed by the government on Kirklees, and are rigidly following social distancing, wearing masks and will not be visiting pubs or restaurants, no matter what bargains the government are underwriting. That’s the problem with support bubbles, if one of us gets Covid-19 the whole bubble has to isolate. We do not wish to take our daughter and son in law, a nurse and teacher, necessary occupations, away from work.
This week it was back to our YouTube services after the sojourn to New Wine last week. Our service was led by our licensed lay minister Bev, who would have been on the staff at New Wine did not hesitate on saying that New wine is still online and will remain so as long as people are watching. Not only that but at Wednesdays in August we will be having evening Zoom discussions on a theme from New Wine.
We were starting a new theme this week: One another: the sibject this week: Love one another. Chris a theology student at Mirfield was preaching, bit as this is recorded beforehand will likely have joined us in worship from a beach in Cornwall when this went out. What he preaches, to the best of my memory and note goes like this.
The Apostle Paul in Romans is writing not to individuals but to a community. Our faith is totally connected with our lives, it is about obedience so we can be free. We are the redeemed people of God living in a fallen world and committing ourselves to Christ. God calls us not to outward displays and politeness but to real love and concern.
What Paul is telling us is what love should look like in a community like ours at Holy Trinity Huddersfield. Real love takes effort to look after people. We must actively look out for those with needs, putting someone else’s needs before our own. That is how we love each other—Jesus even extends that to out enemies. That love is not based on feelings, it is practical love not superficial sentimental love.
The reading he referred to was this:
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practise hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[c] Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’[d] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’[e]
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.Romans 12:9-21 NIVUK
The second part of the sermon was shorter and contained three points about how we should act taken from the reading:
- Honouring each other. Every human person is our brother or sister
- Practice Hospitality. Hospitality is more than social entertaining with people we get on with.
- Live in harmony, We have a free gift that we freely bestow on others.
Jesus help us to love the people you have connected with in this society.