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.
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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
20th January 2015
Jesus was baptised in the Jordan as an act of repentance and forgiveness. John felt that he shouldn’t be baptising Jesus. Unworthiness can prohibit our approach and working with God’s grace.
Yet Jesus was concerned with doing what was right. Others were watching and holiness, this wild, turning repentance gripped the people of Judah.
John recognised Jesus, his own diminishing star and Jesus rising divinity.
Could we let go of our self, our achievements and our ego in the same way.
Although a long time since our own baptism the echo to ‘do what is right’!
The Rev’d Canon Simon Moor – Vicar of Huddersfield Parish Church