The Baptism of Christ: Second Sunday of Epiphany
I have just been reading a book called The Character of Virtue that I received for Christmas. It is a book of letters that the American theologian Stanley Hauerwas wrote to his Godson Laurence Bailey Wells. When Lawrence was born Sam Wells asked Stanley to be Lawrence’s Godfather. At that time they were living on other sides of the world.
I’d gone to one of the best social enterprises in the city. It was widely known. I’d used it as a customer: they did a nice line in house removals and lawn care; and were a good source of picture frames. It was a great place to take students on my ethics and social engagement course: they could accommodate a lot of students at one go, tolerate their questions, and make their community open to scrutiny and enquiry.
The poet Mary Oliver’s ‘Instructions for living a life’ from her poem Sometimes, will, I think, help to shape our reflections about this feast of the Epiphany which we celebrate today. In a line from that poem, she says: “Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.
First Sunday of Christmas
Christmas is a time when you often notice how much people have grown. Like my nephew who seems to have grown a foot since I last saw him only a few months ago, or like my niece who I can remember so clearly holding as a baby and now is almost 18.
From an early age almost all of us have a craving for attention. A young child will sit at the top of the slide and say ‘Look at me!’ insistently before settling for the secondary pleasure of actually descending to the bottom.
The Third Sunday of Advent
Yesterday in this church we held the service for those bereaved by homicide. To prepare for this service I read a BBC report entitled London Homicides, the Victims of 2018. The report lists those killed through murder or manslaughter in the last year in London alone, and in many gives photos of those killed