30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #90 January 9th 2022
From the Minister The Gift of Time
Welcome to 2022! I have just been in a meeting (on Zoom) where someone asked, “Is it Tuesday today?” With so many seasonal bank holidays, and Christmas Day and New Year’s Day falling on a weekend, it can be hard to keep track. If it wasn’t for church coming around every Sunday, no matter what, I think I might get completely lost! I had never been a huge fan of marking the new year, thinking, “it’s just a different number, so what’s the big deal?” Nowadays, though, I’m more positive about it (though I’m unlikely to be out partying until the early hours of the new year). Time, I have realised, is a gift from God. Its seconds, minutes, days, weeks, months and years, gives structure to my human life. I feel more purposeful, that I’m moving forward, that my existence makes some sense, and “in God’s good time” it will have an appropriate ending. We’re not intended to slaves to time, but it’s there, from God, to be used for our benefit.
Trevor (Tuesday 4th January, 1.07 p.m. … and counting)
God who gives me the gift of time, help me to use it wisely and enjoy it thoroughly.
WORSHIP SERVICES AT ST COLUMBA’S
Sunday 9th January at 10.30 a.m. – The Baptism of Jesus A communion service, led by Roberta Ritson and Trevor Jamison
Bible readings for this week (from the Revised Common Lectionary)
Isaiah 43:1-7 God says, ‘I have called you by name, you are mine.’
Psalm 29 The voice of God in a great storm
Acts 8:14-17 Baptism in the name of Jesus and the Holy Spirit
Luke 3:15-22 Jesus is baptised, and the Holy Spirit makes an appearance
‘When all the people had been baptised.’ (3:21) We don’t do much in the way of mass baptisms these days, so it’s easy for us to miss that Jesus’s baptism was just one among many. Our baptisms too are ones among many. Yet they are also specific to each one of us. It’s God saying to you, as God once said to a people, ‘you are mine.’ (Isa. 43:1) At the same time, this Jordan baptism was not just one among many. It was the one where God’s Spirit, accompanied by God’s voice, proclaimed, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’ (3:22) This wasn’t just any baptism, then, it was Jesus’s, baptism. It was God’s declaration about who Jesus is to God, which makes him special for us.
A song responding to the readings
Crashing Waters at Creation links together “cleansing water once at Jordan closed around the one foretold” with water at creation, at the Exodus, and the living water offered by Jesus Christ