Everything has to change

Holy Trinity Church, Huddersfield
Sunday 7th February 2021

Stained glass window, Ruth gleaning in the fields.
A window in the north aisle of Holy Trinity Huddersfield, depicting the story of Ruth

A week of very little done. We started the week still isolating from my illness of the week before, and I still haven’t been out. Checking up on this service, checking on Mark 5 gave these results: Mark 5 Fiesta, Mark 5 Golf GTI, Mark 5 Astra, Mark 5 Cortina. Google seems to have a car fixation.

This morning’s local radio service was a disappointment, though it did mention Jesus, it seemed to me like the reason for doing so was to celebrate the language of the Book of Common Prayer and the King James Version of the Bible rather than worshipping God or Jesus himself. In all forms of worship we need to be careful that we are focussed on God and not on any form of liturgy, or lack of it, or on any particular form of music.

The music at Holy Trinity’s service was a contrast not only in the style of music, The BBC service was choral, but more obviously in words. My Lighthouse is all about God personally guiding and helping us. The last song, spoke of God’d love being reckless. The first song, Water You Turned into Wine, is a song of trust of a people in their God, in these times the line ‘Out of the ashes we rise’ spoke volumes.

Youth Minister Wayne led at first from home in a beard contemplating shaving, and then at church. still bearded. I expected him to have shaved. He implored us in words from Psalm 46 to ‘be still and know that I am God. He implored us to welcome God:

God the Father, we welcome you
God the Son, we welcome you
God the Holy Spirit we welcome you

In the confession we said, ‘I desire to hate and forsake all sin.’ Often my desire is not that strong, I often tolerate my own sin more than that of others. That is my personal confession to God, inspired by these words.

The reading was Mark 5:1-20. Please read this passage before reading my notes.

Paul, a Life group leader, preaches a sermon in three sections:

1. A strategic assault on enemy territory

Jesus goes to the other side of the lake, a new front in the battle for God’s kingdom . The Gerasenes was a Gentile kingdom. Jesus was entering the enemies territory. First Satan sends a storm to stop him arriving but Jesus rebuked the storm

2. A personal mission

In the film Saving Private Ryan, Tom Hanks character is on a personal mission for one personal man. Jesus is on a rescue mission for a man who was so lost that no one thought he could be rescued, uncontrollable and possessed with thousands of demons.. Into this comes Jesus and demonstrates his power over evil. The demons cannot defend a man that Jesus has come to release. No one is beyond rescue. You can be saved.

3. A decision to make

Everybody in the story has a decision to make. Every thing has changed, what now? Jesus said to the previously possessed man, ‘go and tell.’ The good news was spread to the Decapolis, to 10 cities. We have something to do, it could mean going abroad or staying where you are talking about Jesus to those you know. Every job is important in the battle.

The people around who have witnessed the events ask Jesus to leave. Everything would have to change, and they do not wish to change. Even having a possessed man on your doorstep was something they had learned to cope with. Matt 19:29 says “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” Whatever the cost of following, it is a price worth paying.

Take courage, the war is already won. Jesus has defeated death and everything that Satan could throw at him. If you are being asked to change make the change that Jesus wants you to make.

No one is beyond God’s redemptive power. Let us follow Jesus wherever he leads us, he promises us we will not be sorry.

The service finished with a time to respond. If you are feeling a tug from God and have a free hour, or can make a free hour the service is on YouTube.

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