Sunday 21st October 2018 saw St. Andrew’s Church full once again for a very special day in the life of the Chaplaincy.
Bishop Michael celebrated the Eucharist and also the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation.
During his sermon, drawing from the Gospel reading of the day, Mark 10: 35-45, the Bishop told us that the story of James and John (and, in the version of the story in Matthew’s Gospel, their mother, Mrs. Zebedee) asking who would sit at Jesus’ right and left in Jesus’ glory, was showing us that being best is not the point. Being good disciples is. We are not just spectators; we are not just churchgoers. Rather we are disciples, learners, followers of Jesus in his way. Even though we fail, the point of being church goers is to be disciples and followers.
When Jesus went on and asked James and John, “Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” he was not talking not about water baptism such as we would see this morning. Rather he was asking can you take rough with the smooth if you’re my disciple. As Christians you will suffer as well as have a good time. Power isn’t the point: service is. Servants are often laughed at, but those who want to be great must serve. Even Jesus himself.
Bishop Michael then addressed the Old Testament reading from Isaiah 53. There we read about servanthood: the Suffering Servant. He will be King and great but not as we know it. A man of sorrows, despised and rejected. But he will serve the world in giving up his life for it.
If we own up to be followers of Christ then we should calibrate our life according to how Jesus lived. We must first of all learn from the scriptures. It begins with calling, such as the calling for the candidates for baptism and confirmation this morning. We shan’t “get it” all at once, but we have to stay on the way, which is best done in church, not alone. Scripture says where two or three gather together Jesus will be among them. We will “get it” by following Jesus on the road until we finally “get it” fully when we meet him face to face.
So what did Jesus do? He associated with people who were ignored by others. He included people in when others said leave them out. This is the mystery of Jesus’ way which keeps us exploring. We must stay with Christ as we re-read and rehear his Word.
Bishop Michael then baptised Kimberley Sharawakanda followed by the Confirmation of Kimberley, Sharon Gechure and Lynda Hillard. All the candidates were warmly welcomed by the packed church and not a few tears were shed for our friends on this very special day for them.
The newly confirmed led the congregation in receiving Communion.
Following the service a magnificent “finger food” buffet was held in the Hall which, as usual, would have fed the five thousand! Sincere thanks were expressed for all who had helped to make today so special. As one visitor remarked after the service, “Well we certainly didn’t expect that today, but it was a wonderful service and thank you for the warm welcome we received!”