Sunday, 9 December 2018


Every story has a beginning, our life story, our faith story, our institution's story, etc. The story of the Christian faith journey also has a beginning, no not the start of creation, nor the start of the Covenant but rather the start of our baptism. The idea of an initiation rite and the acceptance of a person into a "club", "faith", life journey is as old as humankind. It begins with a call, a call that is responded to in the deepest parts of our hearts that requires a response. Often the first step of that response is taken for us by the initiator of that call and those who are older (perhaps wiser) than ourselves. In responding to that call we are responding to a blessing from whom the call originated, a blessing that for us as Christians calls us into a world that praises those who fill themselves with their own self worth so that we may convey love and humility.

The start of anything is always filled with wonder as we begin a new beginning. There is no difference in the joy and wonder and love that comes as a young person takes these first steps at the behest of their parents and godparents. In love they are called to be at the start of a faith life, this is a beginning that can lead anywhere. Just as there can be disbelief which ends with apparent disaster only to be sung out in worship and praise as what is forecast comes into being (Lk 1.68-79). We cannot see into every child's future as they are brought to the font of life through baptism. However, we can rejoice and praise God for the blessings that are showered on those who have heard God's call on their child's life. In celebration we testify to God's love in the presence of family and friends we do not allow our secular nature to overcome us so that we can brag at our collective experience.

To begin we have to start. All life begins at some point.

We move into our Christian faith journey by showing God's love to the world around us as God has shown love towards us. It is not our lives that matter it is the life of Christ that is on display and the glorification of Christ in our lives that is a celebratory event for all. We are given permission to display God's love to the world. It is not as if we are being guided and directed every step of the way, it is rather that we are given permission to be compassionate, to show love and to become a blessing to others by doing so. Only when we allow ourselves to become as Christ to the world does the world become filled with the joy and love of God's presence. It is our decision, just as it was Adam's, Eve's and all of those who have been before us. What happens when we treat God's presence as conventional orders, you must do this, you cannot do that is that we twist those things to become beneficial to our own way of thinking not towards God's presence. It creates power for us rather than the freedom that Love brings.

If we look at God's covenant it is a covenant of love not of legality. We are asked to look at what God has said and use our minds not to blindly follow but to open our eyes in love and show others the way. The shepherd leads from the rear by prompting the sheep and keeping an oversight on the whole to ensure the wayward follow the true leader who knows where sustenance is found. We must decide to follow the example of Christ or be curtailed by the legalities of our own power. It is love that brings us closer to each other and begins the stories of our lives. It is love that calls us to lead the communities in which we live and work not whether we have power, authority or legality to berate others with. In approaching the incarnation we approach the embodiment of love within ourselves as we reach into the hearts of those around us to sustain the community that we build together. So let us wonder together in praise of God as we begin again our lives showing God to the world by our wishes not by someones command.

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