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Homilies

 

 

10 January 2016
posted by Canon Dakin on 16-01-2016

For a thousand years the Church, East and West, Greek and Roman, was one united Church. They were not isolated. The Emperor at Constantinople maintained a diplomatic presence in Rome. North Africa was Rome’s bread basket and religious ideas flowed between Rome and places like Alexandria. So, to start with, in the West there was Christmas Day and no Epiphany whilst in the East there was the Epiphany and no Christmas Day. After a time each accepted the other’s feast into its calendar.  Whilst we in the West celebrated Jesus as the light of the world, being aware of the days gradually beginning to lengthen, in the East they were concerned about water, as they waited anxiously for the rain which would flood the Nile delta bringing down fresh soil on which to grow their crops. So together with the birth of Jesus, they celebrated who he was in his manifestation as the beloved Son of God at his baptism in the river Jordan. In baptism as you surrender to the water you surrender your heart to God and to the power of the Holy Spirit. This was Jesus‘ dedication to the work for which he had been born. Our baptism, too, even though we were infants, was our dedication to the work that Jesus had designed for us as members of his body, the Church. We renew that dedication solemnly at Easter but the whole point of dipping our finger into holy water and blessing ourselves as we enter church is to be reminded of our baptism - to make ourselves aware that it is as baptised people that we are coming to be re-energised in our engagement to cooperate in Christ’s saving work.        

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