New Beginnings...

On Trinity Sunday we welcomed five young people into Holy Communion. It was wonderful to welcome their families on the day we celebrate God as Trinity: the family of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

It was a very lively service with all of those who attended the preparation classes and some their friends and siblings taking part. This is entirely fitting as they are a very lively bunch and the classes we have shared together have been enormous fun. The final class on Friday will involve watching a movie of Jesus’ life whilst eating pizza and chocolate cake.

We are very proud of our younger members and delighted to have them share at the Lord’s table with us. As part of the service we all committed ourselves to support and encourage them in their journey of faith and to pray for them and I would ask you to hold them continually in your prayers giving thanks for all they bring to the family of God. We continue to celebrate the new beginning their first communion marks not just for them but for all of us together:

Today marks a new beginning.

Three young people will be baptised. And, in the waters of the font, as if in some magic cauldron they will be re-made: they will begin again as children of God.

Five young people will then together receive holy communion - they will be welcomed around the table for the very first time.

They are expecting today to be different, they are expecting a new beginning.

But today it is 41 years since my baptism, its 47 since Dan’s, over 90 since pinkie’s - we who began again in the water of the font a long time ago are not expecting today to be different, we are not expecting a new beginning but that is exactly what we are going to get.

Our first reading today was from the beginning of the book that begins the Bible – a place where we expect to find a story about beginnings! But we also a reading from the very end of the gospel of Matthew – a place where we were not expecting to find an ending but what we get is a beginning.

So why all these beginnings happening where we are not expecting them?

Well, to start at the beginning, all of us only ever begin in the first place because of other people – because of community. Not in the warm fuzzy feeling sense that we feel happiest when we feel connected with others sense but in the real life and death – I would come to an end – I would cease to exist, without others sense.

We are conceived, born, nurtured, raised, survive and thrive over many, many years involving a truly extraordinary number of people: parents, families, midwives, health visitors, nurses, doctors neighbours, baby sitters, teachers, instructors … not to mention farmers, engineers, water treatment workers, rubbish collectors, research scientists, builders, authors….

A beginning is never about one person.
Even in the VERY beginning.

Now, we like to think that we know this story in the beginning God made the heavens and the earth and the trees and animals and then he made a human being – and placed him in the world God had made.

God, all on his own, making a human being, all on his own.

BUT when we actually read the story it is full of plurals: God says: let US make humankind in OUR image. SO God created humankind, male and female he created them, in the image of God he created them.

So that’s God, not all alone but always an US makes not one human being all alone, but humankind – which I think refers to a bunch of us – and God makes us male and female – different people created together and it is together that we are made in God’s image.

We, a community of different people, were made in the image of a God who is community – father, son and holy spirit ….

God sent out His Spirit and created by joining things together: the heavens and the earth, plants and animals, male and female, human and divine.

Which is exactly what Jesus is doing in our ending which is in fact a beginning. He pours his spirit onto the disciples and sends them out to all nations and peoples to join them together.

Jesus was making a brand new creation.

God created each day, day after day after day

Which is exactly what Jesus does day after day, yesterday, today, he is still at it - making a brand new creation – by giving us to one another.

This morning Vivian, Kate, Ella, Daniel and AG begin again because they are being given to us. And we too begin again because we are being given to them. And though we are the ones who will make a promise that we will nurture and support them; they too will nurture and teach and encourage and support us.

And together we will become a new creation.

This day and day after day after day.