Great Casterton Parish Council

Serving the people of Great Casterton

Clerk: Derek Patience
29 Priory Gardens, Stamford

Tel: 01780 753066

February Newsletter

Hi Everyone,

Christmas is now behind us and we are well into the new year. In our church lectionary schedule for January we quickly move from Jesus as a baby to Jesus as a young man presenting himself to John the Baptist to be baptised in the river Jordan. Thirty years have elapsed all in the space of a few weeks. Doesn't time fly!

I reckon that the committee who put together the church lectionary made this huge jump from birth to baptism deliberately in order to emphasise to us, the reader and the explorer, that Jesus did not stay as a baby in the manger for very long. Even if we would like to keep him there. Like us, he quickly grew up and became a young man progressing though adolescence and then found his calling as many do when he was thirty.

He meets his cousin John who baptises him reluctantly because John recognises Jesus as being more important, as being special. That is a great gift to possess and an equally big gift is to exercise this recognition publicly. We can learn important lessons from the humility of John the Baptist because there will always be folk more highly qualified, more good looking, more healthier than we are. What we may not appreciate is that they will be saying something similar about us. The special and unique gifts that we have been given that resonate with them.

I suppose the biggest attribute John the Baptist presents is he points to Jesus. Even to the extent that some of his followers leave him to follow "the new kid on the block". That takes some doing. Recognising that my job is now done that I will now decrease in status and others will take over and take thing to a higher level.

Most of us are not comfortable with that aspect of life when we are relatively young. Deliberating forsaking our career, our standing in society or in John's case a prophet of some renown and letting another take over.

Why did he do it? Well he knew his place and he knew his commission in life and he knew very clearly who Jesus was. At the baptism he saw the Holy Spirit descend on Jesus and he knew immediately his work was done. He knew he was in the presence of God the Son and he gladly made way. Not only making way but encouraging his disciples to follow the Messiah.

I don't know if you have every played the game Hunt the Thimble. Someone is blindfolded, a thimble is hidden in the room and everyone knows where it is except the blindfolded person. The blindfolded person is then encouraged to find the thimble through instructions from the rest in the room. Hotter, cooler, boiling, luke warm are the only instructions that can be given.

Eventually the thimble will be found because of the knowledge of the folk in the room. In the transition from John the Baptist to Jesus, John is the one with the knowledge, he's the one calling the hotter and hotter instructions and it is the disciples and now us who are the blindfolded.

When our sense of sight is taken away, we need to engage more fully in the listening department. When we have heard clear instructions from those in the know and when we have asked sufficient questions on what we are looking for, its then when we'll find the thimble. When we find it, we too need to encourage others in the search. That what we call evangelism. Pointing people towards Jesus through a strategy of observation, conversation and invitation and with an essential injection of the Holy Spirit they will achieve revelation.

God Bless

Rev'd. Don