There were three baptisms last Sunday; a baby, her older brother, and an Egyptian man – the same one mentioned by Simon in this post on the Wednesday Focus blog, in fact, back in January. Simon wrote at the time of how he felt this encounter was a kairos moment for him; and I imagine that Sunday was also a kairos moment – but for our new baptisand, as he joined the congregation fully.
Baptism is a spiritual rebirth; in John 3:3, Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” We die and are spiritually reborn in Christ.
The sermon on Sunday was about Lazarus and his raising from the dead (John 11:1-45) – an appropriate sermon for the event of baptism; in the waters of Baptism, those who were spiritually “dead” are raised to life (Rom 6:1-5).
We explored the story of Lazarus further in our Wednesday group; it has to be said it was a rather emotionally intense discussion. It is not easy to discuss Jesus’ human response to the death of Lazarus when the passing of someone close to you is still raw and painful; my ex-husband died following a motorbike accident only 17 months ago, and I still find myself fighting back the tears when I try to speak of him. I was not the only one with a painful loss to recall on Wednesday however, and I don’t think any of us found it easy – but I think we all found strength and comfort in sharing our burdens of grief with the group.
This week has not been the easiest however, as today I have had to deal with yet another loss – that of my cat, Kyneston. Our neighbour, Julie, next door but one from our house, found him in her back garden this morning and came to let us know. He didn’t come home for supper a couple of days ago, and when he hadn’t shown up for breakfast the following morning I feared the worst as he has never been in the habit of straying in the past. It seems he was hit by a car, and only made it as far as her garden.
Kyn is the third cat we’ve lost in the past 6 months; Tom, my 11-year-old “grumpy old man”, disappeared the first Sunday I ever attended a service at St.Mary’s – the 30th September last year – and has never been seen since. About a month ago, Neo (a 3-year-old grey neutered boy belonging to my housemates) also failed to show up for breakfast; and now Kyn. We are left with only Neo’s little black-and-white sister Madam. I am only thankful that at least we know what happened to Kyn so we have closure. We may never find out what became of Tom and Neo, sadly.
This has not been an easy week, as I have also been in some pain and discomfort from an ear infection (thankfully I am now on antibiotics which hopefully will clear it up and enable me to get some peaceful sleep), and I am looking forward to church on Sunday in the hopes that I will find some comfort in the Palm Sunday service. And perhaps there might be further news about my baptism….