News and Pew Sheet for Sunday 12 January 2020: The Baptism of the Lord.

St. Mary-the-Virgin, News for Sunday 12 January 2020: The Baptism of The Lord.

It is with great sadness that we report the death of our dear friend and faithful worshipper, Norman Beszant. Many of you will know that Norman celebrated his 100th Birthday in August last year and that was a great cause of celebration. We will certainly miss his presence amongst us. His Requiem Mass will be held at 11.00am on Wednesday 29th January. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

Tomorrow (Saturday 11th January) there are NO services at St Mary’s, as our attention is directed to the Fulham Epiphany Festival which starts with Mass in Southwark Cathedral at 11.00am (Children’s Ministry from 10.45am). Please bring your own lunch. There are workshops in the afternoon and the day concludes with Benediction at St Magnus the Martyr, London Bridge at 3.30pm. One of the workshops that you can attend is appropriately about preparation for Baptism – and that leads us very nicely into Sunday, which is the Feast of The Baptism of The Lord.

Of course, it is perhaps surprising that the Son of God should choose to be baptised by John (the Baptist). If Baptism is an outward sign of being consecrated to God, then surely Jesus didn’t need to undergo that sacramental act? He was already God – but he was also man; vulnerable, as a baby in a manager in Bethlehem; and vulnerable, as he died for us on the Cross of Calvary. As we say in the creed: “God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God … he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.” Those of us who were baptised as infants may not recall very much of our own baptism. Jesus’ baptism takes place at the start of His Ministry and is marked quite significantly, as Matthew’s Gospel recounts:
“As soon as Jesus was baptised he came up from the water, and suddenly the heavens opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down on him. And a voice spoke from heaven, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on him.’ “

Let us hope that, like our dear friend Norman, we are able to dedicate our lives to the service of God, as he most certainly did through his baptism into God’s Kingdom.

David Griffiths