The Baptism of Our Lord (A)- 12th January 2014.

Most parents have several photo albums, which are full of pictures taken of their children as they were growing up. We have always been very proud of our children and everything they did.  We took pictures of them in school, in brownies and scouts, dancing, and playing sport, in fancy dress costumes and clowning around… pictures of them simply playing together or enjoying holidays, at Christmas time, on their birthdays, important and memorable occasions.  We were proud of them as they grew up and we are proud of them today.

The snap shots we take are the means by which we capture memories of a special moment in time. They are not just held in our memories and our hearts but captured in order for us to share the moment and the memory, more accurately with others.

Today’s gospel is a word “snap-shot” capturing a moment in time in the life of Jesus. It is a moment in which his eternal father makes it abundantly clear that he is proud of his son. Jesus saw and heard the presence of God “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”

The moment is shared with us. The Father is proud, not just for what has been … but for what is to come. This is a snapshot of the beginning of the earthly ministry of the promised messiah and saviour of Jew and gentile alike …“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. 2 He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; 3 a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. 4 He will not grow faint or be crushed until he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his teaching.” 

As children of the same Father, and brothers and sisters of the living Lord we need to remember and reflect upon those moments when the presence of God has been made manifest in our own lives – those moments when God has broken into our hum drum existence to claim us as His own!

May you be richly blessed with clear and undeniable evidence of your kinship with our heavenly Father.

Reverend Shan

Epiphany – 5th January 2014

We are just 5 days into 2014. I guess it’s a little too early to know how 2014 will pan out? Still as I have contemplated the last 12 months and considered the possibilities of the year ahead, I kept being drawn to Martin Luther Kings words in his well know speech … “I Have a Dream” delivered on 28th August 1963, in which he called for an end to racism.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!

There were many obstacles to face. He did not see his dream come true but was moved to say … “Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends. And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.”

On 3 April 1998, the night before he died, he was under threat but he was able to say …  Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land! And so I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man! Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!!

I have a dream, that one day the world will turn from violence and greed, to love of God and all humankind. I have many dreams for the church and this parish! Sadly I confess that sometimes I am unable to see a way forward to the fulfillment of my dreams or our dreams. 2013 seems to have been a year of obstacles… for myself, for many of you and for us as a parish family.

Isaiah knew the concern of his people in exhile but he held to the word of God…

Arise, shine; for your light has come, 

 and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. 

2 For darkness shall cover the earth,

  and thick darkness the peoples;

but the Lord will arise upon you,

  and his glory will appear over you. 

I still have a DREAM and I trust the Lord to see it through!

Love and Blessings

Reverend Shan