Dear people of faith,
Can I remind you of the invitation to drop in this Saturday at Holy Spirit church Kenmore (between 12 noon and 2pm) to be filmed for a few seconds with your response to “what I am looking forward to in reconnecting with my faith community“. This will become part of our FINAL video recording, as we prepare to gather in public worship again, 12 July. Hope you can come this Saturday, 27 June. With blessings for your day, the day we remember the significant life of John the Baptist. Rev’d. Jan
Collect for the Week
Almighty and everlasting God,
you are always more ready to hear than we to pray,
and give more than either we desire or deserve:
pour down upon us the abundance of your mercy,
forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid,
and giving us those good things
which we are not worthy to ask,
save through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ,
your Son our Lord. Amen APBA p.554
GOSPEL for the Day: THE BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST : Luke 1: 57-66, 80
57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 58 Her neighbours and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.
59 On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father. 60 But his mother said, “No; he is to be called John.” 61 They said to her, “None of your relatives has this name.” 62 Then they began motioning to his father to find out what name he wanted to give him. 63 He asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And all of them were amazed. 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising God. 65 Fear came over all their neighbours, and all these things were talked about throughout the entire hill country of Judea. 66 All who heard them pondered them and said, “What then will this child become?” For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him.
80 The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day he appeared publicly to Israel.
REFLECTION on the Gospel: contributed by Rev’d. Jan
For those of us who know this story of the birth of John the Baptist we know it begins, like all births, in the conception in his mother Elizabeth. It is a ‘miracle’ conception, Elizabeth is old, and judged barren. When the angel of the Lord informed his father, Zechariah, a priest of the temple, of the impending birth, Zechariah did not believe and was struck mute. He regained his speech when John was born and Zechariah declared his son’s name.
So through the pregnancy, like Mary’s, there was the wondering and questioning… “what then will this child become?”. Elizabeth and Mary are cousins; and when Mary visits Elizabeth in the early stages of her miracle pregnancy John leaps in his mother’s womb, already fulfilling his role of prophet and the announcer of the Redeemer of Time, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Mary then breaks forth into the most radical and wonderful of songs, known as The Magnificat.
Throughout my secondary schooling at St Aidan’s, John the Baptist day was celebrated as very special, as the patron day of the Sisters of the Sacred Advent. John the Baptist is often associated with religious orders – his role as recognising and announcing Christ, and creating the pathway for Christ to come to people, is also the role of the Sisters in their history of creating schools and also work for the poor, the ill and the marginalised. The Sisters of the Sacred Advent have always lived out incarnational faith, and call the church and its people to do likewise – just as John the Baptist did.
Final Prayer : Collect for John the Baptist
by whose providence your servant John the Baptist
was wonderfully born,
and sent to prepare the way of your Son our Saviour
by the preaching of repentance:
lead us to repent according to his preaching
and, after his example,
constantly to speak the truth, boldly to rebuke vice,
and patiently to suffer for the truth’s sake;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.