The Mighty 79 Sermon
The sermon that explained a right relationship with God. Upto 1979 when I heard this marvellous sermon God was an awesome distant deity that dictated his edicts to specially selected men that appeared to wear their white shirts back to front. The dog collared elite. in 1978 I suffered a series of personal tradgedies and towards the end of 1978 was at the end of my tether. By May 79 I was very receptive to the Pastor of East Ham baptist church. His message was God wants a real relationship with each and every one of his flock. Humphrey told us it was okay to love God, which we thought we did anyway. Not so! he argued and his logic was sound. Ask 100 people what the opposite of Love is and 95 of them will tell you that its opposite is Hate. Not so said Pastor V. The opposite of Love is indifference. The good samaritan was the one that loved his neighbour whereas the levite and the Priest could not have cared any less about the fate of the man who had been attacked and robbed. HV then went on to say that to hate was okay. "At least you feel something for the person - the worst thing ever is for someone to badly upset you and you feel nothing in response. Nothing worse for God than a never changing indifferent silence . When life has dealt you "a few rough cards". Love & Hate have the same opposite... indifference. Love and Hate Pastor Vellacott proclaimed were but two sides of the same coin. In any genuine relationship there were highs and lows and swings from Love to Hate. My anger and frustrations poured out of me that night as I regalied God with real anger about everything bad that had happened to me. When my venom hate and anger finally ran out of steam and I became feeling much calmer I am absolutely convinced and 100% certain that a voice very close by said to me "at last you break your stony silence, it is wonderful to hear from you after all this time." What a lesson, when I love God I sing, praise, worship and feel real joy, when things happen that are dire and gloomy in life I hate what God has let happen and I pray, plead and wressle with Him until things come right and life is good again. Passion is what God wants from us, the law written in our hearts, our Love and Hate for Him clearly displayed. Don't just stop here though. It is okay to Love and Hate your parent, husband, wife, sister, brother, child - never be indifferent to them. Never. Treat God and family exactly in the same fashion. Your passion will be greatly admired and respected as nothing will be a lie in any of your relationships. Better than that everyone will know that you care!! Indifference is an unholy barren lonely foresaken place to be. Jesus called from just before his death "my god, why have you foresaken [been indifferent] to me?" I leave you to ponder "Who is asking this very same question of you?"
l have failed to report this Sermon with the same conviction, passion & faith as the Reverand Humphey Vellacott did BUT it is a major influence on my lifes thinking and actions for forty odd years and I hope I have captured enough of its message to get you thinking, inspired and reflecting on how your own life is going.
God bless, I do the odd service at the Methodist Church but my message is never greater than this one!!