I hope I'll be forgiven for using tonights sermon in the blog....but it says everything I want to say today!
I’ve never actually understood the term being born again. Its something my son said to me when I told him I was going to be ordained....Clearly thunderstruck he muttered something which it was as well I didn’t hear before he said
“Oh Well.....Have you been born again then? “
This made me laugh. Christian claptrap was the term that came to mind, followed by
“Well not really, I’ve always been a Christian!”
I found trying to explain to people just what was happening to me very difficult...it was like being an interpreter for someone else...and I found all the modern Christian language very difficult... I just knew that the call I had had first when I was a teen ager had finally been recognised
When I was a girl I found Billy Graham very worrying. The girls in my class had all been to Manchester to hear him preach and came back full of it .....
I just found the whole thing deeply embarassing and this stayed with me as an adult as well....I am just not evangelical at all Im afraid.
.Some of you here will remember my journey to this point because it all started here in Cornwall...and what many of you will not know is that the actual priesting was done here, in the church.at Gerrans
Soon after women were admitted to the priesthood there had been some trouble with demonstrators at the cathedral so it was decided that each priesting would be done in our own churches..
On the due date the Bishop arrived with the archdeacon and all the other clergy from the Roseland were robed in the rectory and it was a beautiful warm summer evening. The first priesting here since the reformation.
Part of the service is the laying on of hands....all the clergy gather around the candidate and lay their hands on the head.....it is a symbolic gesture meant to pass on the the apostolic succession..
I was astounded to discover that there were at least ten C of E priests here but also two non conformist ministers, and a Roman Catholic one too, all of whom joined in with the laying on of hands.
It was at that point I think that I became born again....a real feeling of being accepted into something enormous and the joy hit me....I emerged grinning like a Cheshire cat and have not really stopped till this day. ...
Its that feeling that I hope to pass on to you tonight....
The Christ child came into the world and brought with him the joy, the peace and the love....Love came down at Christmas...
We know that Jesus lived and died and that the two conditions were part of one whole.
Its not just the birth of Christ that we celebrate today but our own. Every Christmas as the story is reenacted we are to some degree born again with Him...
WE pray that each heart might be a manger, and each home a Bethlehem....thats what we have to aspire to.....to be receptive and to be able to cherish the Christ child....He is born in us every year...at this time...and just as he is reborn every year so can we be too......there I’ve said it.!
Another Christmas miracle!