Last sunday I was privileged to baptize Beatrice Rose and this is the sermon I preached.
Christ the king
Gracious God your love upholds all creation.
In your Son’s life among us, you embraced the weakest and most vulnerable.
Fill us with your Spirit that we may welcome and serve all as he did. Amen.
Today is a special day in the church year. next week we move into the Season of advent and preparation for Christmas when I was thinking about the gospel the lines of the carol in the bleak midwinter came to mind “if I were a Shepherd I would bring a lamb yet what can I gave him give him my heart” and that is exactly what the sheep in the gospel this morning have done they have given their hearts. And now they Will enter into the kingdom because of their actions they are to be blessed but what actions did they take, let’s look at the actions in relation to our lives.
I was hungry and thirsty and you gave me food and drink . What is the first thing that you do when you welcome someone into your home 9/10 you offer food and drink tea coffee and cake/ biscuit?
I was homeless and you gave me a room, sometimes we can’t give a home give to a homeless person t when Jesus was due to be born his parents were homeless and they were given the room. we can give Jesus a room ,a place in our lives
I was shivering and you gave me clothes when you think of shivering one tends to think about being cold but the shivering could be fear and the clothing given could be a prayer a smile and Of course it could a coat
I was in prison and you came to me; the prison could be behind bars but those bars may not be the iron bars of prison window. It could be outside forces the prison of being in debt the prison of being lonely the prison of being abused and that can be helped by Christians fighting for justice for those in this situation.
I was sick and you stop to visit.
in the gospel the sheep/people don’t actually know what they had done so they ask the master what he’s talking about and ask the question “ when did you we ever see you hungry and feed you when did we see you Thirsty and give you a drink. And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you to that Master says whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored that was me you did it for me you welcomed me. You welcomed me you let me cross the threshold come into your life into your hearts.And in doing this become members of a community. We become members of that community when we are baptised into the church parents and godparents and the local congregation help how to bring us up within the church community we worship together regularly because we needed encouragement, which the community gives us in our struggle against injustice in the world. Remember we are members of the church community because we all need someone who loves us and listens to us, and a sense of purpose in life
Today this community welcomes a little lamb, welcomes Beatrice into our church community. today is a historic day for the family and for this church because Beatrice’s grandmother and mother were both baptized in the font at St Mary’s Church.
Beatrice starts out on her Christian journey with the promise that God will be her constant companion, he’ll be in front I’m behind her and will carry her when she needs holding. Her godparents will make promises on her behalf and with those promises come the promise from God to be with her, a promise that never can be broken. Beatrice will be signed with the cross of Jesus Christ and cross that cannot be removed she is now part of gods family, a family you cannot leave. She will be given her name and she will be washed in the precious water baptism so they may always receive forgiveness in their lives and never be separated God. And at the end of the service she will receive a lit candle to show that Jesus as light has come into her life and with the light of Christ in her life the light that overcomes darkness. As she grows in faith, the one thing important thing is that she will be welcome into the fellowship of faith, you the congregation will join me and saying we welcome you into the fellowship of faith, we are children of the same heavenly Father “we welcome you”. Then we will say the peace, that we are all one in Jesus Christ, that we belong to him in faith which takes us back to our Gospel to the sheep who welcomed the master into their lives through the acts of kindness and the acts of love and those who welcomed are blessed and sit on the right hand in the kingdom of God. Amen.