In the last months and weeks leading up to the birth of our first child I realised that I’d better get serious about being a father. I wanted to be a great father – the best ever – and I wanted to get it right, right? So I did what most men do … no, actually, I did what most men won’t do: I got a manual. I got a book, actually. I can’t remember where, or why I chose this book, but its title was promising: it was called … [To read more, click on title]
Although scant on the details, the passage is dealing with when Jesus reached the right time to begin his public ministry, for him to step past his previous achievements. After thirty years the preparations were complete. His direction was changing. The life of Jesus was about to intersect with the lives of all around him. [To read more, click on the title]
During this brief liturgical season between Christmas and Lent, we’re invited to leave miraculous births and angel choirs behind, and seek the love, majesty, and power of God in seemingly mundane things. Rivers. Voices. Doves. Clouds.
In the Gospel stories we read during this season, God parts the curtain for brief, shimmering moments, allowing us to look beneath and beyond the ordinary surfaces of our lives, and catch glimpses of the extraordinary. Which is perhaps another way of describing the sacrament of baptism – one of the thin places where the ‘extraordinary’ of God’s grace blesses the ‘ordinary’ water we are baptized with. [For more … click on Title]
The three readings today emphasize that we are all welcome in Christ’s church, irrespective of our natal culture. Isaiah prophesied, “Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn”. The Matthew reading is the story of the visit of wise men from the East, possibly Zoroastrians, to honour the birth of Christ,