Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy birthday to John

 Readings for Sunday 24th June...the Birthday of St John the Baptist are Isaiah 49:1-6, Psalm 139:1-11; Acts 13:16-26; Luke 1-57-66,80
Last week (June 17) I put in our parish daily prayer roster that we were celebrating the Nativity of the Rector.
That's me! A few people picked it up
This Sunday you may wonder why we celebrate the birthday of John the Baptist
Only a few people get their birthdays celebrated in the life of the Church
There is of course the Eternal Word who the world goes crazy about on December 25 (but doesn't seem to bother about otherwise)
And of course his mother, The God Bearer  iconically pictured here. There are good stories about Isaac, Jacob and Esau, Moses, Samuel...both Isaiah & Jeremiah and the Psalms talk about how God knows us in the womb (and before...a mind-blowing concept in and of itself)
And we all know stories of births in our families,
I delight in the births of Harry, Ruby and Maddy who have all added to our extended family in the last few months (I remember being deeply shocked (perhaps not the right word) at our family Christmas party last year when I realised that our already great number would be increased by 3 newbies in the next year
And the birth of each of my three children is as clear to me today as it was on the day of their birth
What John the Baptist speaks to us about is that God's plan
goes beyond our imaginings
that our vision is often limited
and that, often in retrospect,
we can see the hand of God
working out its purpose
and inviting us to share
in the mystery of life and faith.

This of course is a very orthodox way
of thinking  about
God and Life.

There is, I suspect, more to be encountered here
We seem to get more energised
and understand more clearly
when we think about children, newborns

We recognise potential, hope, struggle, growth
maturity, boldness, career, vision
These are big words.

And in John the Baptist we get it very clearly.
This is a child of very deep longing
He is not "the one" but nevertheless
his role is critical
God know and sustains him from before the time of his birth

How might this be speaking to us?
What is our deep longing?  (This is an, perhaps the,  important question)
Because it is what we really long for that drives us.
God understands that our role is critical. Do we?
What ever we may think about the smallness of our life
are we able to see as God sees
and to value what God values?
Can we believe that God knows
us deeply, and has always known us this way
and will always know us this way?
What is it to be known by God?

Try and get in touch with what's going on inside...give yourself ten quiet minutes each day
What is my role?  Have I allowed myself to think I am unimportant or irrelevant? How do we imagine God sees us?
Reflect on your life? How has God's hand been evident since before my birth and beyond 

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