Readings for this week: 1st week of ordinary time, Yr 2
Monday: 1 Samuel 1.1-8; Psalm 116 Mark 1. 14-20
Tuesday: 1 Samuel 1. 9-20; Psalm: 1 Sam 2. 1, 4-8 Mark 1. 21-28
Wednesday: 1 Samuel 3. 1-10, 19-20; Psalm40. 1-4, 7-10 Mark 1. 29-39
Thursday: 1 Samuel 4. 1-11; Psalm 44. 10-15, 24f Mark 1. 40-end
Friday: 1 Samuel 8. 4-7; Psalm 89. 15-18 Mark 2. 1-12
Saturday: 1 Samuel 9. 1-4, 17-19
The opening weeks of January are a bit of an ecclesiastical rush – the Naming of Jesus on 1st, the coming of the Wise Men (or Women, some say) on 6th, followed by the Baptism of Jesus this Sunday and His first miracle at the wedding feast next week. Moving swiftly to the adult Jesus and the beginning of His mission, of course, allows us to set our sights on what comes after February 2nd, the end of our Christmass season, Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem and to the Cross and Resurrection, (this year about as late as it can be on April 17th).
Jesus’ baptism is marked not only by the acknowledgement of John the Baptist ‘He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire’ and the somewhat sobering ‘His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary and the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire’ but more importantly with these words: And a voice came from heaven ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’
I say more importantly because on the Sunday before Lent, Transfiguration Sunday, we will hear very similar words again: ‘This my Son the Chosen/beloved: listen to him’. It is from then that Jesus will turn his face to Jerusalem.
These two utterances mark staging points in Jesus’ life. On Sunday he will begin His ministry of teaching and healing, calling disciples to him. He will perform His first recorded miracle. He will travel around his ‘home’ territory and into the mixed-race and mixed-religion towns as well, demonstrating a mission that is for all. After the Transfiguration and the second heavenly acknowledgment, his teaching, in Luke, expands into a series of well-known parables as he travels towards His arrest and condemnation.
Our Christian life begins with our own baptism: Sunday s for us a day of rejoicing, a day of remembering and a day of resolve. The resolve must be about our own baptismal promises, reaffirmed at our Confirmation and every Easter – to be Christ’s people in this world, to live and speak for Him. We all have room to improve our living and speaking in His service- Sunday it a good time for a Resolution to do this.
Mr Drakeford tells us the Covid peak is yet to come and the various inhibitions continue. Because of this it has been decided to postpone the Annual Vestry Meeting of the new Margam Area until Wednesday 23rd February, by which time the restrictions on meeting will, we hope, be lifted. This does give us time for less hurried discussions about serving on the Ministry Area Council and on the various groups listed on the weekly sheet. Until then our Parish Councillors remain the Trustees of the Charity and I will be inviting them to make some decisions about the future governance of the charity next week. If you haven’t filled in the Electoral Roll form, please do so – it is an enormous help to have an up-to-date list.
Otherwise, as promised, life continues as normal – we are a part of the Margam Ministry Area and you haven’t noticed! Fr Mark returns to work on Sunday after his Covid experience, a reminder of how prevalent and easily this new wave of infection can affect even the (relatively) young and fit. Other, more mature, members of the congregations are likewise stricken, so care must be maintained to guard ourselves and our churches.
The Epiphany Lunch has metamorphosed into a nearly-Shrove Tuesday / St David’s Day lunch on 27th February; tickets available nearer the date.
We offer our deepest sympathy to Jean Schofield and her family following Tony’s death earlier this week. May he rest in peace.