Readings for 2nd Sunday in Lent
Genesis 12: 1-4a, Romans 4: 1-5; 13-17 and Matthew 3.1-12
Thursday 9th March
John the Baptist seems like a hinge or maybe a bridge. He joins together the Old and the New Testaments, echoing the Old Testament prophet Elijah to prepare the way for Jesus in the New Testament. John is also a bridge between Jesus and those who are distant from him. Repent and be baptised he proclaims in order help people to cross the bridge and encounter Christ. One of the Church’s roles is to be a bridge or a hinge: holding together different elements of society, speaking out for all, and being at the interface between God and all humanity. Let us reach out to God even as we reach out to others so that people may touch upon the life of Christ through us.
Posted in Lent, Observation, Reflection
Tagged bridge, christ, Elijah, God, hinge, hpc, huddersfield parish church, impressions from st pete, Jesus, John the Baptist, Lent, new testament, Prayers, proclaim, st peter's, thoughts
In the final week before Christmas I reflect back to the recent confirmation service where the Bishop of Leeds, Nick Baines, asked the gathered congregation to look afresh at repentance. In fact he told us to see the turning round of repentance was simply look at every situation, and God’s kingdom in a new way.
Christianity has at its foundation a reassessment of the worldly to the extent that we run contrary to the world. Bishop Nick mentioned John the Baptist’s call and Israel’s expectation. Repentance: new eyes revealed not in a conquering king but a helpless baby. Not a winnowing fire, but a breath of a child.
So what will I see with new eyes today?
Father in this season where we await a birth of something familiar but then something completely radical, help me see with radical eyes: not just those in need, but those who can be aided by me; not just the lonely, but my companion; not just the sick but the beloved by you. And all in Jesus name. Amen.
Posted in Advent, Advent thoughts, Observation, Reflection, Uncategorized
Tagged advent, baby, bishop of leeds, child, christmas, God, hpc, huddersfield parish church, Jesus, John the Baptist, new way, nick baines, Peter’s, repentence, right revd nick baines, St
Friday 9 December
John the Baptist speaks from his prison. He hears rumours about Jesus and seeks to find out more.
We are all in prisons of one sort or another. Some in a physical prison like John the Baptism, others locked in a prison of fear, of abuse, of pride, of envy, of gluttony, of selfishness, of autonomy. But from within our prisons we hear about God, we hear about his coming to us especially at Christmas.
Let us, like John, find out more about him. Read a book, study the bible, watch or listen to a religious programme. Let us clamour to find out more about “God with us” and then we will find the prison begins to loses its grip on us.
Help us today and every day to worship you, to hear your word, and to place you in the centre, help us to share your hope with others. We ask it in the name of the one who was born in Bethlehem. Amen.
Thursday 1 December
John the Baptiser was clear about his role and purpose in life: he was to clear the way for God to come among his people. The Kingdom of God is simply where God is to be found – something the people couldn’t quite understand. John is preparing them for a surprise: God among them as one of them. To do this, he forgets tact and diplomacy and calls people to clear away the distracting rubbish and open themselves to the coming of God. Repentance means changing the way they look, see, think about and respond to God’s presence … in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, not in the resolution of their problems.
Question: What might you need to clear out in order for God to be welcomed?
Loving Lord, open our eyes to see Jesus as he is. Open our ears to hear his call to join him and his friends. Open our minds to think about him afresh. Open our hearts to receive him. Amen
Posted in Advent, Advent thoughts, Insights, Observation, Reflection, Uncategorized
Tagged clearance, God, hpc, huddersfield parish church, Jesus, John the Baptist, kingdom, open, repentence, st peter's, welcome
Another John the Baptist reading in a different setting. A new ministry beginning as a prison chaplain.
The reading and liturgy pointed to ministry amongst the imprisioned, but all that was spoken called out to each visitor, prison officer and fellow chaplain.
Each prayer and acclamation point the individual back to God through right relationship and the nurturing of self to God through th the same interaction.
Hear, then, this Advent call.
Tuesday 15th December
Traditionally any picture of John the Baptist, has the saint with one figure raised. No not as a cricket umpire – Dickie Birdesk.
John the Baptist is a pointer, destined to diminish as Jesus’ star rose. So he is shown with finger raised.
“Do not look to me, but to Jesus, to God,”
The looking away from self is an Advent theme for this week.
How have you pointed away from yourself and towards Jesus this Advent?
Monday 14th December
John the baptist berated the crowd who came to him:
“You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?”
Is that what they expect from God’s representatives?
There can be times when we my be surprised and offended.
The crowds came out seeking prayer and repentance but to be told they were far off and misinformed about their own righteousness.
I wonder if you would have taken offence or taken note?