Holy Trinity Church, Huddersfield
Sunday 20th December 2020
It was like watching a scene from the transporter room in Star Trek. At the end of the sermon retired vicar John became Vicar Mike, similar jumper and shirt colours added to the effect. It was the fade they used in editing, one merging fairly quickly into the other.
This week was a strange one. On Thursday it snowed on the carpet. I picked up our granddaughter from school three times this week, and on Thursday evening she was colouring with wax crayons on expanded polystyrene. I can still see a few that the vac has missed.
I really feel for people whose Christmas plans have been dashed this week. Only on Tuesday Prime Minister Johnson was saying it would be inhuman of him to change the plans of a 5 day break over Christmas where three different families could meet together. Now here in what was the highest tier, he announced yesterday evening, that is reduced to two families and only on Christmas day itself. London and the South East have even stricter restrictions. You have to stay in your own household there in the brand new tier 4.
Meanwhile, back at church …
There were two services on YouTube. This post is about the morning one. There was a Christmas Special service in the afternoon, The HT Christmas Gift, with many from the church taking part.
With all those in the the afternoon involved, I even got in on the act. Yje morning service has me playing 12 string guitar in the final song, I will offer up my life, which was recorded for a service in the summer.
In the early part of the service we discussed breakfast in the YouTube side window. My comment that “We seem to have a number of those strange people who love Marmite here, Unbelievable,” was met with, “God will forgive them.” Great answer, made my morning.
I made bacon and egg sandwiches for breakfast today, as is usual for a Sunday, I had one of those very dangerous fried eggs in mine which ejects hot yolk at high velocity if you are not careful. I love a good dangerous egg.
My comment that I love a dangerous egg is a link to what Vicar Mike said. Who do you love? You can say that you lave your dog and love your family, In my case I can love dangerous egg and bacon sandwiches and love my wife. It’s the same word, but it id not the same thing. This morning’s service was about God’s love.
But first the song, ‘Come thou long expected Jesus,’ including the words, “Born to reign in us forever, your kingdom bring.” I was blessed.
After the song Mike reminded us that the meaning of love is unclear; you can love your mum and love pizza. Biblical love is action for others expecting nothing in return, said a pre-sermon video. Jesus was constantly loving and helping people including the forgotten ones.
The reading was from 1 John 4:9-16. Please read this link before going on.
The sermon was by John: Love is something spoken about most but with the least meaning. Adverts use the word to sell us stuff. Jesus said the two big commandments were to love God and love your neighbour as you love yourself. God so loves us that he gave his only son so that we can have eternal life. The word love appears 16 times in the reading.
Some say love is God, that where love is God is, but it is wrong. The template is in Jesus coming to Earth to bring God’s love to us. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us,” says Romans 5:8.
God is a forgiving god. God keeps no record of wrongs and Jesus summed that by praying Father forgive them whilst in the agony of dying on the cross. – Hanging on to our memories of wrongs and hurts spoils relationships. God’s love forgives and so must our love.
Love is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Someone has prayed, ” Lord I cant love them, love then through me.” I am sorry but I did not catch the name of the person who said this and Google has not helped. I could listen back but I want the post to be about my first impressions.
We need to love one another.
No one has ever seen God it says twice in the Bible. The first in John 1:18, the other in the passage we have just read, We can see God and know what he is like, if we love one another God’s love is complete in us.
In John 1 often read at the midnight Christmas service, er hear that the Word became flesh in a human person, Jesus. The Word was God, God became a human person. Love became flesh. Love came down at Christmas.
Jesus showed that God’s love is for all, even such unlikely people as …
The woman at well – God loved her.
The blind beggar in Jericho – God loved him.
Zacchaeus and his friends – God loved them.
God’s has profound live for them, and us.
The song, “I will offer up my life,” ended the service. If you want to respond to God’s profound love for you I commend offering up your life to him.