MAXIMILIAN’S BAPTISM

THE FULL HOUSE for the joy-filled Baptism of Maximilian this morning gives me (another) opportunity to head up this post with my very favourite account, by a simply wonderful narrator, of Jesus’ Baptism! But more than that, it’s always such a joy when our House for the Church is full of people come to celebrate the goodness of God and the richness of the gifts we revel in. And there’s no greater gift to a family than that of an infant. Nor, perhaps, any greater responsibility laid upon older shoulders. Bringing infants to Baptism in and into the House of the Lord provides glorious opportunity for all of us to reflect upon the giftedness and gratuitousness of our lives, upon our hopes and our aspirations, what – in co-creating with, and in, and surrounded by God – we want to make of our world, our humanity, our society, our church – for Maximilian, for ourselves, and for God.

“I baptise with water”, said John the Baptist. One who will come after me will baptise with Holy Spirit. And so it came to pass. Today and every day humankind is baptised “new every morning” by the Spirit of Divine Grace and Love. Perhaps that’s why Maximilian and his wonderful parents were smiling so much in our sacramental celebration of the fact this morning. Perhaps that’s why people had travelled from far and wide to celebrate the gift and the treasure. Yes! – wherever and whenever humankind is “baptised” in the Spirit of God we can rest assured that the Source of our Life continues to turn the world upside down. “Whoever has seen (this human) me has seen the Father” said the anointed Jesus to Philip. And this morning he might have said “whoever has seen Maximilian has seen the Father”. What a joy, what a commission, what a responsibility – this living of the Life and Love of God in and through each one of us, dear created people.

DIVINE PARENT,
Mother and Father, Sister and Brother of us all,
in company with Jesus,
in the power of your Spirit,
with prophets, priests and royal leaders,
and with every woman, man and child
upon the face of the earth,
we bless you for the gift of life and of abundance.
And as we bless you we also ask
your blessing for ourselves that we may be
inspired, strengthened and encouraged daily
to share that life and that abundance
throughout the world.

SILENT PRESENCE

ANOTHER OF OUR MONTHLY MEDITATION gatherings this evening. There’s a deep silence in the heart of a large gathering when the only sound to be heard is the very occasional creaking of the church roof timbers. And in that silence there’s a oneness to be found with all who gather with us in spirit if not in physical presence. Many here are entering into the deep peace that is to be found in the “silent voice” of God. Shared silence breathes healing into our communion. Gathered before God in silence we may discover again that with only a slight – perhaps whispered – change of inflection our “alone” can be “all-one” …

Father and MotherĀ open my spirit to the Silent Presence of your Spirit. There let me abide, and there may I know your Love. You are Silence and you are Mystery, and silence and mystery in prayer shall lead me to you, in and after the example of Jesus, and all who pray in your Spirit. Father and Mother of our lives. Come.

NOLI ME TANGERE

NOLI ME TANGERE - Alonso Cano, circa 1610, Granada, Spain

NOLI ME TANGERE. Jesus said to her, “Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to my Father, to my God and your God.” Mary Magdalene went and said to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

Noli me tangere. Do not cling. Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to my Father …

Of all the converse of the world this must surely be dearest, tenderest and best. Note how the Beloved leaves the door open for his Beloved in the future. Do not cling now, because … but I will ascend. And I will ascend to the Father who is both yours and mine, “my God, and your God” – so you will ascend, too. And there we will embrace, and there we may cling, and there, in gloriously glad company, we may sing the Song of Songs: (2.12)

the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.