Written by clergy and lay people across our Diocesan community, ‘Sunday Devotions’ is a column of short reflections based on a Lectionary reading of the day, suitable for small group discussion or personal use.
Main Readings: Genesis 1.1-5; Psalm 29; Acts 19.1-7; Mark 1.4-11
Supplementary Readings: Psalm 111; Romans 6.1-11; Ezekiel 47.1-12; Psalm 2; John 1.19-34
“And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’” (Mark 1.11)
For as long as I can remember the sacrament of Baptism has always evoked in me a connection more spiritual than anything else. I guess for me, this started as a child while watching siblings and babies of local families I grew up with being baptised during the weekly St Jude’s, Everton Park service. The newly baptised infant was raised up for all the congregation to welcome into the family, and that enlivened in me a true sense of a loving, caring family.
Today’s Gospel reading reminds us that everyone has the call to baptism, even Jesus. It also reminds us that through baptism we are able to repent and claim forgiveness for sins. It reminds us that for those who have been baptised when young or who choose baptism when old enough to do so, the great joy that the heavens will proclaim is that we are children of God and loved by God.
I believe we all want to belong and know we are loved. This belief has seen me work in a wide variety of places and with a diverse range of people in the past 40 years. None have been more personally confronting than those with serious mental health and addiction challenges. To be able to smile in genuine love for a patient, who is skeletal, yellowing from drug addiction and toothless, and reassure them that they are indeed a child of God and so loved and precious is no less than a miracle.
Can you remind yourself today that you are a child of God? Can you also extend that grace to another you meet?