Hello everyone! Yesterday afternoon I led the service at Kearby chapel; it is a small chapel in the countryside near Kirby Overblow so I was concerned about getting there and back if the snow came, especially as some of the road was single track only!! Fortunately although the sky was full of snow it did not snow that afternoon. I drove there on Saturday afternoon to check its location and I managed to go past it before turning round and then finding it! I found the correct route on Sunday so arrived in good time for the service. I had fortunately been warned about how cold the chapel so I had made sure I had plenty of warm clothing on and did not take my coat off. There was an electric fire pointing towards the congregation; the organist and I were behind the fire. The door steward told me that he would slip out during the service to check if it was snowing and would give me a signal if it had started snowing so I could shorten the service! The soloist from the morning service was there, so I knew we would have a good sing, even though it was not a huge congregation.
I preached on the baptism of Jesus when Jesus identified with the people he was going to minister to by being baptised by John; John baptised with water those who repented and accepted forgiveness as a sign of their turning back to serve God. John advised the people on how to change the way they lived their lives, not taking too much money, caring for the needy and working to the best of their ability. The people asked John if he was the Messiah, but he said that he was only the forerunner and could only baptise with water and the one who was to come would baptise with the Holy Spirit and bring judgment; in fact John said he was not worthy even to untie his sandals.
Jesus felt ready to start his ministry but he was not sure if it was the correct time, so he was baptised and as he prayed he received the power of the Holy Spirit to empower him for his ministry. He saw the heavens opening and the Holy Spirit anointing him as a dove as a confirmation that it was the time for him to begin his ministry. God’s voice confirmed that he had made the right decision; ‘You are my beloved son; in you I am well pleased.’ We too are precious and loved and accepted as Jesus revealed God’s love to us in his time of ministry. Just as Jesus was empowered by the Holy Spirit so we too can be empowered, as we grow closer to Jesus each day, to love and serve others.