13th January 2019, The Baptism of the Lord

Dear Friends,

Today we recall that Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist, and it very clearly expressed in the gospel that this baptism was no longer just a ceremonial exercise or rite of initiation in its own way but the coming of the Holy Spirit into the life of the person baptised. Luke’s gospel gives a slightly different account in detail about this. It was while Jesus was at prayer after being baptised by John that the Holy Spirit descended upon him …… and a voice came from heaven, “You are my son, the Beloved: my favour rests on you”. This event would mark the beginning of Jesus public ministry. He was no longer a private citizen, but the embodiment of God’s Word on this earth. This is very clearly expressed in the second reading from Acts, when Cornelius expresses his insight into the wider implications of all of this; “The truth I have now come to realise, is that God does not have favourites, but anybody of any nationality who fears God and does what is right is acceptable to him.”

 

We are used to children being baptised and we accept it is the beginning of a journey that will span a life time. It is a most precious gift if parents bring their children to be baptised, but it is much more than entry into a school, like life itself it is but the beginning. Awareness of even being baptised probably occurs around confirmation time. It may even be more realistic to think in terms of the time line of John the Baptist and Jesus! This event would have happened when they were about 30 years of age. Is that not a time (roughly) when we should look back at our journey so far and access where we are going and what road we are on? There is a story about a visitor passing a country road in the west country, so he stops the chap driving sheep along the way: “Am I on the right road for St Austell ?” he asks the farmer. “You are indeed son” was the reply, “but you are heading the wrong way”.

 

Day of Reflection for all readers in church on 9/2/19 at St Dunstan’s, Woking 11am-4pm.

Pre-booking is essential. See notice in the porch.

 

I greatly recommend Tony Duhig’s note (see over) encouraging the switching to standing orders. By now, you will not need to blush as many pass the basket without putting anything in. Why? They have standing orders and the counters on a Monday morning say: “Praise the Lord”

 

Missing Items: Can the following please be returned as soon as possible. Thank you.

  1. Fully Functional wheelchair missing from the room by the sacristy.
  2. Set of drumsticks (still)
  3. Small blue plastic table from the store room in the hall.

 

My apologies for the wrong mileage between Earth and the Sun last week. It is of course 92 million miles (Not 22). Good for my humility.

 

Pastoral Plan leaflets to be taken home please.

 

Finally:

Fred: “I have just made my last wishes known in my will. Left everything to the family of course”

Jack: “Hardly exciting is it. I did it years ago and my last words were, “I left a million pounds in …….” Now that will give them something to think about”

God Bless

Fr John


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