Finding meaning in the waiting

Holy Trinity Church, Huddersfield
Sunday 19th November, 2020

Holy Trinity Huddersfield tower was illuminated at night leading up to celebrations of its bicentenary in October 2019.

I usually have few problems with email. However the one which normally gave links to the services which arrives on a Sunday morning. Scrolling the window and refreshing did not help, it appears nothing had arrived since 9 PM last night. This did not stop me getting in as I simply navigated by YouTube to get the service with a chat window on the chromebook and the YouTube channel on TV, this week a massive 40 second lag on the chromebook. At 10.00 when the service started there was still no email, it eventually turned up in the inbox at 10.43, the clock on the email showing it was sent at 8.31. I wonder if someone at Virgin Media was having a sleep in this morning.

It was a very tired week for me, I have got back to picking up our granddaughter from school this week after a couple of weeks off while they quarantined and a walk in the park with our daughter on her birthday. This activity, together with the cold was not good for my arthritis, sleep, when it has come, has been at the wrong time of day and anything I have done has been achieved with the help of very strong coffee. I mean very strong.

In last week’s blog post on the Holy Trinity service I mentioned that the music spoke to me more than any other part of the service. During the week the minister of a a church said on TV that not singing together in church was the biggest sacrifice. He said that the Bible tells us to sing to the Lord more than it tells us to either pray or read the Bible. It could have been the local news program Look North or a magazine show like The One Show, I can’t remember, as I said I was tired this week.

In view of that I am putting up words from this week’s songs first, before I look at what inspired me from the rest of the service. You can sing them if you know them.

O come o come Emmanuel

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight

Living hope

Hallelujah, praise the one who set me free
Hallelujah, death has lost its grip on me
You have broken every chain
There’s salvation in your name
Jesus Christ, my living hope

Vicar Mike was leading this week. We are pausing the series on Mark’s Gospel in order to do a short series on Hope during Advent. This is Advent Sunday, so the he first candle on the Advent wreath was lit, the candle of hope. Psalm 33:20 says “We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.”

Then the notices, which included the Christingle service on 13th December. The deadline for packs, the Christingles will be assembled during the service, is today, Monday 30th November. Details via the church website.

Mike continued: Advent is a time of anticipation that Jesus will return as judge and his kingdom will have no end, which led into confession and the prayers. Tina was on next promoting Fairtrade, all her goods are authenticated through BAFTS Fair Trade Network UK and the World Fair Trade Organisation, she mentioned a man she had met who had leprosy and learnt to carve wood and now employs disabled people. This week’s crafts were trinket boxes and Christmas tree decorations.

Before the reading and sermon was a video from the Bible Project. Because of the fast pace of the video I could not get down the two Hebrew words for hope, so when they were used again in the sermon I had no idea which aspect of hope the sermon was referring to. When foreign terms are used I need a change of pace, a slowing down for me to take it in. If I can’t take it in at that pace I assume there are others too.

Anyhow, these are my notes from the video: We have a state of anticipation, hope is about waiting, hope for God himself. Our hope is not optimism, that would be based on circumstances. God’s past faithfulness cultivates hope for the future. Hope is in a person. Biblical hope is a choice looking back to the resurrection of Jesus in order to hope for the future.

The reading was 1 Peter 1:3-12. As usual I suggest you read read and ponder the reading before reading the rest of this blog post.

Licensed Lay Minister Bev preached. These are my notes:

Because Jesus rose on Easter Sunday we can have hope every day of the year. Jesus is our hope. Advent is a season to reflect that Jesus is returning. Jesus came as a baby, he absolutely knows what it is like to be one of us. Waiting is precious, something is missed by rushing in to things, there is meaning if we take time to be still.

Live in hope. We a citizens of heaven and are called to live differently, to colonise earth with the purposes of heaven.

When we go into the world with passion and love we go into the very same places that Jesus goes, that is why we can bring hope. The certainty is of Jesus returning and we spend time in his presence so that we might live in hope.

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