God has lavished his grace on us in love

Radio Leeds and
Holy Trinity Church, Huddersfield
Sunday 14th February 2021

The ‘Ruth’ window in the north aisle at Holy Trinity, Huddersfield

This week I received my Covid vaccination. The invitation came on Tuesday, two weeks to the day after I had received the negative result from my Covid test, I had the jab on Thursday after booking online and the written invitation arrived on Saturday. For those who complain that churches are closed, the vaccinations were in Cathedral House. Churches are open doing good work in the community as vaccination centres, food banks and more.

There have been side effects, apart from an aching left arm where I was jabbed I have fell ill during the night, which lasted all Friday, Saturday was better and I just have the arm ache and a little tinnitus left. Vaccines have been given to the public since December, millions of them and although there are side effects no one had died from the vaccine. As soon as it is your turn, get the jab.

These last few weeks the Church of England has got itself into a pickle after a member of the clergy posted on Twitter against Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s calling for a clap to commemorate the death of Captain Sir Tom Moore. There was an uproar on Twitter, much of it racist, and the national press was up in arms. The tweet was taken down with an apology. The Diocese of London issued a statement calling the comments in the tweet “unacceptable, insensitive, and ill-judged.” That was on February 4th. On Monday this last week the members of the Archbishops’ Anti-racism Taskforce issued their own statement saying, “The original response announced a review of Jarel’s actions. We would urge the Diocese to broaden that review to include its own initial statement.” This was shared by the Church of England’s official Twitter feed. The Church of England is at odds with one of its own diocese. Having read through both I am on the side of the Anti-racism Taskforce.

I woke to BBC Radio Leeds as usual. The service at 8am was about love, relevant to Saint Valentine’s Day. I dozed through a lot of it, but one part I was awake for was the talk, based on the passage in Matthew 20 where workers at harvest time are employed at different times of the day but all the workers, those who had only worked for an hour through to those who had toiled all day got the same wage. It’s not fair complained the ones who had worked the longest, and they had a point, God is not fair. If God were fair we would get what we deserve and there would be no hope for any of us. Instead God has lavished his grace on us in love and gives us good things we do not deserve.

At this point I felt good to be a Christian. It was soon deflated. There was an article in the next half hour on how faith groups support giving the Coronavirus vaccine to people in developing countries. Although the people spoken to were Muslim, it turns out that the faith groups in question were Muslim, Sikh and Hindu. I was shocked to hear that those who identified as Christian were only 44% in favour of helping developing countries fight the pandemic, the same as the rest of the population. Even self-interest says we should help other places even if that is only so we can holiday there. Christians working in developing countries need support, my wife and I have supported Tearfund for some time, more about that later. The attitude of vaccinate ourselves and forget the rest smacks of racism, and that includes 56% of those identifying as Christians polled. I am disgusted at this selfishness.

The Holy Trinity service was led by Bev but most of it was from the new Green Steps group and concerned with the environment.

The Bible reading was the first day of creation from Genesis 1, God created light.

Tania spoke about how we rely on power, their house was having power cuts which turned out toaster tripping power out. We are messing Gods world up. The world has become an unfair place where some exploit the resources of others. But all things are reconciled in Christ. Tina mentioned he plague of darkness where Egypt was in darkness for 3 days, yet the people of Israel, who followed God.

There was no children’s section in the service, which made the invitation to do the actions to My Lighthouse a little odd as we only had the words transmitted.

Light and darkness cannot exist together. We were introduced to the Renew our World campaign from Tearfund and other organisations worldwide. Climate change is detrimental to the poorest people in the world. Making small steps can make a big difference.

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