Pew Sermon for Sunday 31st July

Dear everyone. Well, another week has passed and what a week it’s been! Crazy heat on Monday and Tuesday, the tabloids of course have gone mad with ‘London’s burning’ etc., and it was a tough time for all of us.

I was in London for finance meetings on Monday so that was quite tough, although the offices were air-conditioned wherever we went. The man that works there saidthat the women go around in woolly jumpers most of the year because of the air conditioning, and the men go around sweating in shirtsleeves, this being quite a common gender distinction in air-conditioned offices, as I can personally attest to.

I once installed air-conditioning, at great cost, into one of my small accountancy offices, only for one PA to complain on the first day that her throat felt dry, and the other one immediately got up, turned it off, and opened a window! This particular lady had never opened an office window in her life! (see above).  So, I guess you just can’t win on temperature and heating or indeed cooling.  

Which brings me onto the subject of my Honda Jazz. The Golf got sold, I am waiting for a new one, but the microchips are in short supply, and the Ukrainians make the frame which they sit on, so that’s really not good in terms of the waiting list, although I suppose it’s a very small and trivial  difficulty compared to most people concerns. And a nice problem to have. So I had to buy a run around car, as I have no idea when the new one will arrive, or indeed if it will arrive. Because at the moment it’s only a concept on the factory planning department computer. 

The Honda Jazz is not a concept, it’s a real car. It’s 20 years old, and it really does make you think as to what makes a car a car!

In its day it would’ve been top of the range, with reversing (please note, reversing) cassette player, 6CD changer, (do you remember those?) Electric roof, and wonder of wonders, air-conditioning. In this heat. Alas, it does not work. In fact, even the ordinary fan does not work. It just blasts tepid air at you, which is roughly of the same temperature as outside. Just a bit more stale. And outside, of course, is quite hot. 

So, you can open windows, but you do tend to get blasted with more warm air.  

And so, I’ve been suffering a bit with the heat, but once again, surely trivial compared to most other peoples’ problems. And after all it is a car. It has four wheels, an engine and a steering wheel, and it absolutely does the job that a car should do. You have to stomp on the brakes a bit, but my wife says poppycock, nothing wrong with them. I secretly think she is a much more competent driver than me. Which is strange for someone who has no interest whatsoever in all things technical and mechanical.

It is, perhaps, the job of course of a church minister to ask the same question about faith: what makes the Gospel, the Gospel? When you strip away all the denominations and the arguments and the power struggles and the history, what makes the message of Jesus Christ essential, and simple, and powerful, and accessible to all?

Like the old Honda, what gets you from A to B, from earth to heaven, from this world to the next?  What are the basics that we essentially must have, whilst discarding all the rest as personal choice and lumber?

Well, that’s a good question. And I’m not going to answer it here, because I like to keep people guessing about the next sermon. Which, of course, I haven’t written yetanyway.

In the meantime, the Honda does the job. Of course, it doesn’t really matter how many miles it does, or how many more scratches it gets, because who cares? Driving a 20-year-old car certainly gives you a sense of freedom when it comes to not worrying about things! Here’s hoping it passes the MOT, and that I will be able to see you next Sunday, hopefully with a non-wind blown face and a smile, and a reassurance, that what it is essential in life, God grants to us, in his love and mercy. 

Let’s ditch the rest. 

May His name be praised. 

Have a good week