Commitment, Consistency and Consequences.

Holy Trinity Church, Huddersfield
Sunday 8th November 2020

There was an act of remembrance during this service. If you cannot make it to an act of remembrance, British Legion are recommending against doing this, you can start this YouTube service, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zHmIy98ltU, on Wednesday 11th November at 10 am and the act of remembrance will occur at 11am.

Or you can go in to the service later and fast forward to 58 minutes in for the act of remembrance alone.

Holy Trinity Church Huddersfield war memorial window, bottom panel.
The lower panel of the war memorial window in Holy Trinity, Huddersfield.

The service began with Vicar Mike reading from the Book of Revelation, 5:6-14, a longer passage than is usually read at the beginning of the service. Hearing about worship in heaven I had one of those heart strangely warmed moments, seeing Jesus the lamb of God who is worthy of praise.

There is a vacancy still for a Children and Families minister. If you feel God is calling you to this role please contact us, details on the church website.

I normally ease into this blog post on church by filling in on things that have happened in the previous week, but the opening of the service touched me, so I promoted it to the top.

The lockdown hasn’t affected us much yet. I am still retired and Linda, my wife, is still working from home. I am also still, as part of a support bubble, picking up out granddaughter from school on some days. Unfortunately others don’t seem to have been affected by lockdown either, judging by firework noise on the last three nights.

That’s the personal paragraph published. Back to Sunday and church.

After the adverts of what is on, see the vacancy for a Children’s and Families minister above, we went on to the charities we support. Open Doors hav a video we watched. They support Christians around the world who are persecuted for knowing Jesus as Lord. They bring hope and protect secret Christians.

There was also a letter from the Archbishops, a call to make the month of lockdown a month of prayer.

The sermon, Howard, a retired vicar preached on Mark 2:13-22, another episode in our walk through Mark’s Gospel. The sermon was carefully edited to bring the act of remembeance to exactly 11am if like us you were watching live but because Howard moves a little when preaching, which is good, you can see where the edit was made. Here’s the reading: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+2%3A13-22&version=NIVUK. Please read it before going on.

The sermon turned out to be one of those traditional ones, three points starting with the same letter of the alphabet, though it wasn’t introduced as such. Howard started reading some reviews from Trip Advisor. “The beach was to sandy,” “I could find nothing to eat they serve nothing bit curry (Mumbai).” He said that some people start off with by attitude of mumbling and grumbling. That is what is happening here with Jesus. It comes in 3 parts:

  1. Commitment, verses 13 & 14
  2. Consistency, 15 to 17
  3. Consequences, 18 to 22

Commitment

“Follow me,” says Jesus to Levi. The call to commitment is nothing to do with Levi’s character. Levi being a tax collector in those days probably may have been greedy and grasping or a Roman collaborator but was transformed. God does not chose the qualified, he qualifies the chosen.

Howard gave some examples of people transformed, if you want to hear them watch the video. Instead of that, here’s another I know about. I was fortunate to be present when a man, a biker became a Christian. His prayer of commitment included a confession on the lines of, “I have made a mess of my life,” but not in those words, but in the language, the very strong language, that bikers use. To puritanical Christians to use that sort of language would give them fits, but to me, I treasure it as the most heartfelt prayer I have ever heard. Back to Howard.

Consistancy

The next scene is at Levi’s house. Levi has brought his mates to be with Jesus, and the Pharisees started by mumbling and grumbling. Now the Pharissees were right to say that they were sinners, but wrong to say Jesus should not be there. Jesus came to save people, not to be reapectable, as one missionary said:

Some want to live within the sound of a chapel bell,
I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell.

Consequences

The revolution starts with us if we want change.

If the world is to change my country must change.
If the country must change my town must change.
If my town must change my family must change.
If my family must change I must change.

If the wold is to change it starts with us. we must individually change. How open are we to change? Is our class or security preventing change? Levi changed from the cheating tax collector to be in Jesus’ inner group and went on to write the Gospel of Matthew.

The consequesces of the Holy Spirit coming in are first in us as a individual. Then it goes on to the group we are in. but also in the group we are in.

I have not commented on the act of remembrance, but I have a blog post on remembrance written and scheduled to post at 9am GMT.

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