Sermons 2021

Bishop Jonathan -R Jordan 2020 Sunday January 10th 2021 1st Sunday after Epiphany Zoom Service

 

Readings: Genesis 1: 1-20

                  Mark 1: 1-13

 

May I speak in the name of God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

In the beginning… a New Year and a new start

Last year is behind us, but like everything that is behind us, it still lingers on. My goodness doesn’t it feel like that at the moment. Let’s just cheer ourselves up today though, we are only 1 week into January, we have a roll out of vaccines which should make such a difference.

So for once, taking note of all the dreadful statistics, let’s look forward and see what joy we can find. And do you know, there is an abundance of joy, all around us. We have a new beginning; in Genesis we hear how God formed the world…

‘In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth’.

We hear how God created the earth from the void and  filled it with, light and darkness, earth and seas, day and night, living creatures, plants and trees, and finally humans made in his own image. On the sixth day God saw all that he had made, and it was good.

He has given us so many good things.

Epiphany is one of my favourite seasons, it follows from Christmas and is a haven of longing and fulfilment, good news, manifestation of God in man, wise men bearing gifts and allows us a few weeks to dwell in that sense of awe and wonder.

Indeed we have the greatest gift, Jesus in humankind, the Son of God, with us to the end of time. Such good news!

We have just had a time of many gifts and the best is yet to come!

I named 2020 as The Year of the Parcel. I don’t think it was only me that was a regular user of a famous online shopping service. There was so much constant bad news  and being unable to get out as much as usual, I turned to the online store beginning with A and  the brown paper bags and boxes just kept appearing!

But you know, although I ordered the items, they were still a surprise as I opened the box. I was full of joy  in receiving the smallest or most useful of things. I wonder what for you would be the smallest or most useful thing you ordered online. My highlights would be a jar of Vegemite or maybe the shoehorn, incredible so useful but still a delight.

We could see on Chat if you felt like adding your smallest or most useful online purchase?

2020 The Year of the Parcel

2021 Who Knows!!

But what we do know is that Jesus came down from heaven to dwell amongst us

Dwell… a definition can be

to linger over, emphasize, or ponder in thought, speech, or writing to live or take residence.

We move on in our readings to the time when the cousin of Jesus, John the Baptist, was living in the dessert and we hear that people across Judea were going out to him as he was spreading the message of  the coming of the Messiah. Jesus, he knew was close by and it was his mission to spread the word of Jesus to all people, not just the Jews but all people.

And at the time Jesus travelled from Nazareth about to start his ministry, and he came to John at the River Jordan. He asked John to baptise him and as he came up from the waters of the Jordan, the heavens tore apart and the Spirit descended on him like a dove.

This is the new beginning, Jesus baptised and ready to start, a new salvation. The salvation for all people. And even . well last year, now at the River Jordan, people from all over the world descend on its banks and are baptised again with the water from the river. Crowds of people all wanting to receive the Holy Water and to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.

So that is not just good news, that is the BEST news ever. We are all blessed and, in the love, and knowledge of God giving us his son, Jesus Christ.

And as  for now, 2021, what shall we do? Do you know I really think this is time for change, change for the better, let’s move forward to a different way of worshipping and looking after God’s world. It certainly is time we should .

Our planet is in trouble, that’s God creation we heard about in Genesis.

Our church is in trouble, that’s God’s church, not enough money, not reaching enough people.

Our neighbours are in trouble, that’s God’s People, both locally and across the world , they need our support.

So let’s make a change in our lives. As we sit back in our homes whilst we can’t go out. Take the time to  think about what changes we would like to see and if we keep trying, they will be possible.

So goodbye 2020 The Year of the Parcel and Welcome 2021 The Year of New Beginnings.

Amen