The Baptism of the Lord Parish of St John the Baptist North Sydney, NS The Baptism of the Lord 12 January 2020, 10:30 AM Isaiah 42:1-9; Psalm 29; Acts … Continue reading Keeping faithful
music. art. spirit. life. The arts and prayer are part of everyday life, whether visual, musical or theological. Though they are not as much the source from which life comes as the means that relates all of life to the Eternal Source. This is a process of ever deepening relationship. All of life is an opportunity to co-create with God, the one Source of all that is and all that will be. For me, living as a follower of Jesus in the Anglican tradition is grounding for all of life.
How do we make it through life? I hear this question frequently when I meet with someone or a family in crisis.
People of deep faith will shape this question differently…they ask, how do people without faith get through challenges like you-name-it? I can’t imagine how I would get through this diagnosis, these treatments, my recent job loss, the death of my spouse, the house fire, the accident, the divorce…I can’t imagine getting through life without my faith in God.
Isaiah, the Psalmist, Paul, Mary, Joseph, Matthew…they all point to the fact that the tiresome old ways are over. Yet, I wonder, do we live as if they are truly over? Are you ready to move on from the old ways, as Isaiah, says, to claim what is born to ordinary people like you and me…because…God still enters into humanity. God is still with us. God still offers new paths that bring surprising ways forward. God continues to fulfill his promises.
Making an adjustment is one of the primary themes of the Gospels. God calls us through the wilderness of our lives to align our lives according to the Gospels. Matthew’s Gospel is concerned with righteousness and obedience – this requires a realignment of our lives – to God’s will. Matthew is a bridge builder between the Old and New Testaments. Because of this, it is the Gospel most frequently used by the early church. Matthew is quick to point out the tension between Jewish piety and corrupt religious leaders. Consider, for example, Jesus’ faithfulness that conflicts with the establishment. Jesus comes as the righteous, obedient one. Jesus comes as the adjusted one.
We live in a confusing world where judgment is too often misconstrued as the way of God. This is one of the world’s greatest lies. Notice that the criminal who rejects Jesus isn’t rejecting God’s judgment but God’s love. In a sense, the criminal who rejects Jesus condemns himself.
Folks at St. John’s, particularly those in attendance at the 10:30 anniversary hymn sing…please take a moment to reflect upon this this week. It is my invitation to you on this anniversary Sunday as your interim incumbent. I ask that you enter more fully into a time of discernment for God’s call in your personal life and for the life of this congregation remembering that it all started centuries before, when God’s sent his Son into the world.