The Parish of Burchetts Green

This month Rev Keith writes about

EPIPHANY

Simeon praises God for revealing salvation. Anna sees redemption in the young child. But most people didn't see these things.


Apart from the birth narratives we know very little about Jesus until he reaches adulthood and begins his teach ing and healing ministry, proclaiming God's kingdom. What a pity if we, having celebrated Jesus birth, then leave him in the crib, and have little to with him until next Christmas. This gives only a partial view of who Jesus was, and one that is unlikely to inform our lives.


A complete picture

The Bible includes but one story of Jesus' childhood. Aged just 12, his family and friends travel to Jerusalem for a festival. The boy Jesus makes his way to the Temple, listening to the teachers of the Old Testament and asking them questions. People were amazed at his understanding and his answers. His parents start for home, leaving him behind, not realising he's not amongst their party. It takes them three days to find him! The story makes it clear that from a very young age Jesus knew the Bible very well. If he needed to become familiar with the Bible, so will we. Only then will be have a complete picture.


Opportunity in Lent

Maybe you've tried reading the Bible, but not found it easy! In some ways it isn't! In Lent, I plan to run a course giving an introductory overview of the Bible story. Find full details on our website. Notice Sheets and the next Parish News. This is one way of starting to get the complete picture of Jesus that the apostle John had when he wrote: 'We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth'- a true Epiphany experience indeed.

We are in the season known as Epiphany. As I write this article, it is snowing outside. Winter proper has arrived! Many more cold days are promised before Spring finally comes.


My more sensible friends are away or planning to be away on holiday in warmer climes, and I am left wondering why we choose to go abroad in September rather than January or February! Christmas seems a long, long time ago!


Jesus is for all

I had a wonderful Christmas and I hope that you did too. I enjoyed so much the carols, midnight communion, the crib service and all else that happened in our churches over the Christmas period.


Thank you to everyone who contributed to enable all this happen. But we're now in Epiphany and it's cold! Traditionally, Epiphany is associated with the coming of the magi (kings or wise men) to visit the infant Jesus. At Christmas came the shepherds, in those days considered just about bottom of the social hierarchy, then at Epiphany, the magi, dearly wealthy, and yet, as foreigners, outsiders in a different way.


The message we are being given is that Jesus is for all, whatever our nationality or status. As St Paul puts it: 'So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.. There is neither Jew nor gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.'


The manifestation of God

Epiphany - the word means ‘appearance' and ‘manifestation’. The opening of the New Testament letter Hebrews says that Jesus is 'the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being.' If we want to know what God is like, Jesus shows us. Jesus is God with us!


A partial view

As was the custom, the toddler Jesus was presented in the Jerusalem Temple. At that time, God revealed who the infant really was to two people.  

Keith

Archive: The thoughts of the Ministry Team