News from St Mary the Virgin, Kenton on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th January 2021: The Baptism of The Lord
This Sunday celebrates The Baptism of The Lord which marks the end of the Christmas Season. However, in some ways, there is mis-match of timings here. In our modern world, we think nothing of the sequence of events in the Gospels with the birth of Jesus, the visit of the Magi and the Baptism – all seemingly within a few weeks! In reality, The Baptism of The Lord marks the start of His adult Ministry, some thirty years after the Nativity, and could be likened to the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation all being rolled into one single event. As the Good News from Mark recounts:
“It was at this time that Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised in the Jordan by John. No sooner had he come up out of the water than he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit, like a dove, descending on him. And a voice came from heaven, 'You are my son, the Beloved; my favour rests on you'.”
So Christmas has been and will soon be gone. It was a Christmas like no other that most of us had ever experienced with very little (or no) social interaction with family and friends. Many will not have been able to attend worship (and it's not quite the same online) and now we are in Lockdown again pretty much until Ash Wednesday on 17th February! But perhaps that will give us time to reflect. Perhaps we have lost the significance of Christmas amongst all the periphery. Perhaps over the next six weeks we can take time to say “Thank You” for the gift of Jesus. To reflect on His Baptism and call to mind our own Baptism – which marked the start of OUR Ministry in God's Kingdom. What are WE doing to grow God's Kingdom here on earth, in Kenton, in the Year of Our Lord (Anno Domini) 2021?
The ACAT (Harrow) Prayer Case of the Month for January is a most appropriate subject in this current Lockdown; Zhang Zhan, who has tried to explain the start of the coronavirus outbreak and been admonished as a result. We pray for her and her colleagues, and for a successful roll-out of the Covid vaccinations; in the hope that this Lockdown will be the last and we can all look forward to a brighter future in this year ahead.
Despite being in Lockdown, public worship is still permitted – but PLEASE do not take risks! Follow the rules. Wear a mask. Sanitise hands. Keep social distance. And stay well. The first Mass of Sunday is on Saturday 9th January at 6.00pm. Parish Mass on Sunday 10th January at 10.30am. All services are broadcast on YouTube and Facebook, so if you want to keep as safe as possible, please tune-in.