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14th january 2019


By Ian Cardinal - Posted on 10 January 2019

The Parish Churches of

St Michael & St Wulfad, Stone, with

St Saviour Aston by Stone

 

 

So this Sunday has the readings for the Baptism of Christ – and I wonder how many of you think very much about baptism? In fact we do a lot of baptisms each year in this benefice – usually about 60 each year. For most of the time in our congregations they remain hidden:- we do them around lunchtime after the main Sunday services – and yet I would like to suggest to you that they are some of the most important moments of our life! Do you remember your own baptism? For most of us I guess not.

When Jesus was baptised, it was a hugely significant moment. According to the gospels, it was at this moment that the Holy Spirit descended upon him – and it was at this moment that John the Baptist recognised him to be the “lamb of God.” But, just as it is today, I also think that most of the people around on the occasion didn’t recognise what was happening! In the same way that people were blind to him at the resurrection, for most of the bystanders, this was just another person being dipped into the Jordan. They missed the moment!

And what a moment to miss – because this was God’s moment! When we read about baptism in St Paul’s letter to the Romans, it is very clear that this is the moment that God does something wonderful in our lives. This is the moment when we start our new life in Christ – this is when we are sealed for being people of God and not just belonging to ourselves. God touches our lives.

I tell the story of how, as a small boy, a Sunday School teacher encouraged me to ask God what he wanted of me. I thought I heard the answer “Go and be a Missionary” – which at aged 7 I thought meant snakes and cannibals! I often reflect that I slightly misheard that voice – and my real vocation was to be a Priest. Thank God that he marked me out at my baptism, when I was just 3 months old!

 

Ian Cardinal

 

Hymns for today

                        Aston                          Stone              

            113                              113

            464                              69

193                              209

491/367                       287/367

394                              71

 

Please pray for the sick in the benefice:

Mary Townsend, Noelle Emery,  Dianne Harvey, Elsie Richardson, Roy & Barbara Ball, Vera Tomkinson, Neil & Pat Wynne, Gary Kelsall, Emily Franks, John Richardson, Annette McMullen, Peter Bowler, Howard Boswell, Catherine Ritchie, Sarah Taylor, Graham Baker, Jackie Finnemore, Wendy Gee, James Astle, Miles Brain, Joan Lazonby,  John & Ann Shuttleworth, Richard Kempa, Frank & Joyce Crowther, Evelyn Cotterill, Margaret Wright

 

And for the departed:

Peter Harvey, Mirella Mason, Valerie Roycroft

Remembering their families and friends at this time

This week:

Monday 14th 7.30pm Aston PCC meeting – Church

Tuesday 15th 11.45am – 1pm Drop Inn café resumes – St Michael’s Hall

Thursday 17th 10.30am Holy Communion – St M&W

 

LADIES GROUPPut Thursday 14th March 2019 into your diaries – further details to come!

 

HOT POT SUPPER– Aston Village Hall 23rd February. More details to come. Tickets will be available from any member of Aston Social Committee. Please note the change of date




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