Holy Trinity Church, Huddersfield, Sunday 20th September, 2020
Developments this week:
The government has introduced the further restrictions to prevent the second wave of Covid-19 from getting out of hand, which is good. The restriction is simple which is good. The restriction come with all sorts of exceptions which will make it difficult to enforce, which is not good. Also by making a big deal of making the restrictions sound complicated by spending a lot of time comparing the different regulations in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Please BBC and ITN, could you stop complicating things, most people are unlikely to cross borders, complicating things could cost lives. Other news for Huddersfield is that from this coming Tuesday we are back in special measures after less than three weeks of them being lifted.
In the Pape family, our granddaughter has had her first full week in school and is enjoying it.
In church the ‘Reboot & Rebuild’ sermon series continues to look at the story of Nehemiah the great wall rebuilder. Paul Evans, a life group leader was preaching on what it means to ‘Repent & Resolve’.
Vicar Mike led the service starting with reading of Colossians 1:15-18,Jesus is lord of everything. Then we had the worship song Rejoice I was blessed by this lyric, “In the midst of suffering he will help you sing, rejoice.” Then another reading, Colossians 1:21-22, We are reconciled to God. Then prayer,including, ” Thank you Lord that you wash us clean from sin.” and, “Thank you for your love & for your grace.”
The picture behind the Lord’s prayer was a problem, it was a picture of flowers which was too busy and bold for the text to be easily read, I have passed my view on. It was only a small niggle and did not detract from a good service.
On to the sermon and the book of Nehemiah. A new character enters the story Ezra the scribe, a man who knew the Jewish law and was a teacher. Ezra had returned before Nehemiah and prepared things by teaching the people, now he returns to the narrative.
The walls of Jerusalem are now finished, so they had a bog party, this celebration lasted for a whole week for a week at the Jewish new year Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year also believed to be the time of year that Adam and Eve were created. Rosh Hashanah is when the shofar, a bugle like instrument made from an animal horn. is blown. It is celebrated by the Jews today, 20 September.
I usually link to the reading the reading the sermon was based on, but this one was based on sections from Nehemiah 8, 9 and 10.
Up until chapter 7 the story has been about physical things like building the walls and hanging the gates. Now we get on to the motivation behind the events as Ezra gets on a high platform and teaches the people. “I will but my law in their hearts,” says God. Ezra was putting the word of God at the centre of their reforms. The people were hungty for God, The book was for everybody, men, women and all old enough to understand. Most people could not read in those days, so the word was read and interpreted for the people.
We all have an insight that can help someone else.
The sermon concluded with a rapid fire list of what the word of God is that went too fast to make notes. It started with Hebrews 4:12, God’s word is alive and active, then went on to 1 Timothy 3:16, Scripture is God breathed. Plus a lot more.
We have to allow the word of God to change and transform us in our hearts.
Writing this hours after the service three things remain with me.
- In the midst of suffering he will help you sing, rejoice.
- We all have an insight that can help someone else.
- We have to allow the word of God to change and transform us in our hearts.
Songwriters: Donald Ray Atkins / Marcus Ecby / Simon P. Jr. Cullins / Yolanda Yvette Adams Rejoice lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group.