Holy Trinity Church, Huddersfield
Sunday 22nd November 2020
I had a quieter week this week, the sermon on Sabbath last week must have done the trick. After last week I was all zoomed out, meeting on Zoom tires me more than meeting face to face, so apart from the life group on Monday I have avoided going on Zoom at all, including the men’s chat in the evening following this service. There is another life group on Zoom on Monday evening and the prayer meeting on Wednesday. Zooming three times in four days is a little too much, Zoom makes me tired.
The rest of the week has been preparing and starting to write these blogs for Advent. It turns out I need three extra days to get them all in, so they started last Friday with two more next week before Advent starts for real.
This week Licensed Lay Minister Sofia led the service. This week three photographs of new babies to three families in the congregation. Congratulations to all families.
The passage to urge us into worship was unusually from the Song of Solomon or Song of Songs. The rest of this paragraph is my take. The verses were Song of Songs 3:1-4, though it stopped halfway through verse 4. I don’t know why, but the and of the verse, the woman is clearly wanting to take her lover into an intimate place, it is clearly about sex. A relationship with God is supposed to be this intimate, the book has long been interpreted by Jews as an analogy of Israel’s relationship with God and by Christians as between the Church and Christ. It is a beautiful thing.
That’s enough of me, back to the service, which continued with a song, King of my heart, which had the repeated phrase, “You’re never gonna let me down.” We need our hearts refreshing and this song did just that. Part of refreshing is confession, to know that we are forgiven is a relief,
It was the songs that spoke most to me in this service, the final song, “When oceans rise said. “I will call upon your name, I am yours and you are mine.” It was great to song/pray those words.
After the prayers was an advert for fair trade goods, all passed by BAFTS, a network of independent shops and suppliers dedicated to promoting Fair Trade retail in the UK. There were bags designed in Edinburgh and made in Vietnam which employs some disabled women, one of the bags was a small pattern which caused flashing, I was watching on HD TV; it was only on screen a few seconds so was no problem. Black Yak from Nepal was the other one, hand knitted hats for women or men.
The children’s bit was Guess the superhero. Batman and the Hulk were the children’s choices. Jesus was the answer the grown ups said. It’s always Jesus.
The sermon was on Mark 2;7-19. I suggest reading this before going on.
Churchwarden John preached, but wore a bad choice of shirt for video. The flashing not good for my autism, I had to look away. If it affected me it would affect others too. Small checks ans narrow stripes are the worst, just a note for people who are going to be on screen, bold designs or plain clothes please.
John started by saying that Mark’s Gospel shows Jesus as a men of action, but it is not just about actions, words mattered too. Jesus was followed by crowds amazed by miracles that Jesus did, yet Jesus came to proclaim the kingdom of God and demands a response from people.
Evil spirits recognised who Jesus was. If they did then we need to know who Jesus was and is. Jesus’ greatest miracle was to allow himself to be captured and crucified. Even that was not the end. Jesus needs to be recognised as the Son of God, not because he was good or did miracles but because by dying and rising he has opened the way to God. the call of Jesus comes three ways:
Christ calls us to be with him
Discipleship is to be with Jesus and learn from him. He said come with me. Whether we have answered the call before or if it is first tome we have heard God’s call we are called to be in Christ’s presence/
Christ call is for you to be part of his purposes
Jesus called his disciples so that he might send them out with authority. That call is to all of us who follow him. We are called to serve others with our gifts, Jesus empowers and equips us to serve others.
Christ’s call is for everyone regardless of faults or failings.
Christ doesn’t just chose the proven leaders but also the unimpressive. Our reaction is important, do we remain just fans of Jesus or do we recognise who he is, the Son of God? Those who have heard the call before, have we slipped back into being a Jesus fan rather than a Jesus follower – is Jesus calling you back to be with him,? Jesus died for each one of us. What a transformation it can make in our lives.
Lord. your call is for all of us, we respond to your call.