Posted: 25 Aug 2014 01:07 AM PDT
Can you change the world by pouring water over someone?
Well, we had a go yesterday in St Mary’s with two lovely baptisms in a great service yesterday morning.
In the course of the service, we were reminded of Moses being scooped from the water of the River Nile and going on to set a whole people free from slavery. Then we heard a bit of St Paul which reminded us that transformation of the heart was connected with accepting that we all have gifts that differ. (What a fabulous reading for a baptism). Then we had a reading from the gospels which told us that in trying to work out who Jesus was, Peter the apostle actually found himself named and commissioned for service.
What will these children do in their lives?
There is so much trouble in the world at the moment that it is important to be reminded of the hope and the joy that isn’t just part of what happens when new life comes into a family with the birth of a child but also the new life and hope which is intrinsic to our faith.
Yesterday morning was a little Easter for us at St Mary’s. And a packed church was buzzing with the ideas that new life, hope and love are real and for sharing.
I don’t know who is going to sort the world out and allow the kingdom of love to be seen for real. But I nominate these guys, freshly baptized, and all like them who are entering the world anew. May they be a generation that brings faith, hope and love to bear on a world that needs to be baptised with every drop of goodness it can get.
A cheering blog-entry from Provost Kelvin Holdsworth, of St.Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Glasgow, shows us just where the future of the Church is coming from. Anglicans around the world are still admitting little children to the Body of Christ in Holy Baptism, and where this is being done – together with the discipling of their young parents – there is no need to worry about the future of the Church. Where little children are gladly and sensitively welcomed, the Body of Christ flourishes.
What needs not to be done with our young people,as they grow into adolescence, is to lure them into the Church with the promise of entertainment. The Church has survived though many centuries without the strident sound of synthesizers, drums and mind-numbing rock-beat, that seems to be employed today in many evangelical centres of spirituality. There is much to be said for prayer and praise that reflects the dignity and solemnity of meeting up with the Creator of all. If we trivialise our worship with rap-like mantras, how can we expect the Spirit of God to speak to us, while we wait upon the Divine Majesty to enfold us? “O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” – and sometimes, SILENCE!
Father Kelvin Holdsworth is no fuddy-duddy. He is an openly Gay clergy-person in the Episcopal Church of Scotland, and has a lively eclectic congregation of people who are encouraged to worship God in a setting of catholic sacramentalism – in the expectation that God is a Spirit, and those who worship Him can trust in His mercy, love and forgiveness – a paramount need in the hearts of ALL people – regardless of ethnicity, age, gender or sexual-orientation.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand