Dear Church Family,
I’d like to begin by thanking all of you who wished me a Happy Birthday last week – it was lovely to receive your kind messages, cards, and gifts. I wish I had been able to celebrate in a more playful way – these “big” birthdays provide us opportunity to give thanks for the life we enjoy with the people we love. I did, however, have a lovely day with Alice and the children, as well as a few Zoom conversations with family and friends. Maybe I’ll celebrate again later this year when some of the restrictions are lifted – let’s keep praying for that to happen!
This second week of Epiphany gives us what might seem an “underwhelming” Gospel passage from the end of John Chapter 1. It is the brief story of the calling of Philip and Nathaniel where Jesus is recognised as being the Messiah and therefore the one who will redeem Israel. It’s certainly a shift from the familiar and dramatic tableaus of Christmas and Epiphany. Gone are the Shepherds, Angels, and Magi as we begin to focus on the ministry of Jesus. However, we shouldn’t miss the beautiful and powerful picture presented here. Christ calls ordinary people, and those ordinary people pass on the Good News. Philip tells Nathaniel about Jesus and he has a transformative encounter with the Lord. That same faith, and encounter, has been passed on to us in much the same way. An ordinary person told another ordinary person who did the same, and so on until the same Good News reached us. Christianity grows when it is shared.
Christ is made known to others through the lives of the faithful, and those who witness that life and love can be transformed too. As we meditate on this passage (John 1: 43-51) we must be reminded that we are called to “pass it on” to others. We can pass it on in the power and beauty of our ordinary lives. Lives dedicated to an extraordinary and powerful God, made known to us in the person of Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Our New Testament reading from Revelation 5 reminds just how powerful Christ is as we see the Lamb of God (Jesus) being worshipped for eternity because of his sacrifice for the world:
‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slaughtered and by your blood you ransomed for God saints from every tribe and language and people and nation; you have made them to be a kingdom and priests serving our God, and they will reign on earth.’
Revelation 5: 9-10
Our transformation is spectacular when we place it in the context of passages like Revelation 5. Through his blood, we are ransomed and turned into a kingdom and priests to serve the Lord. All of this happens in our ordinariness – so how will you “pass it on”?
This Sunday's Pew Sheet can be downloaded here:
Please be in touch if you would like any prayer on your doorstep. I have enjoyed blessing around 10 homes since the New Year and am happy to continue doing so!
My contact details are: email@example.com / 01277 514896
If you would like a food delivery: firstname.lastname@example.org / 01277 262864
If you would like to volunteer in the food hub: email@example.com / 07795 966453
I am also thrilled that, despite the economic difficulties of 2020, the parish has managed to pay 100% of its Parish Share to the Diocese. Thank you for your continued generosity and faithfulness – I am humbled by what I see in our congregations and pray we will continue to meet our financial, spiritual and missional commitments in 2021. God bless you!
Please do try and join us on Facebook for our Sunday Eucharist at 9.30am and for Morning Prayer at 9am, Tuesdays to Fridays. We also offer Evening Prayer at 6pm on Thursday Evenings. Go to www.facebook.com/huttonparish to join in.
With every blessing,