Scripture for the second Sunday before Lent:
Proverbs 8.1, 22–31; Psalm 104.26–37; Colossians 1.15–20; John 1.1–14
“In the beginning was the Word.” The famous prologue to John’s gospel connects Christ to the very process of creation in God. It intertwines the divinity of God and the humanity of Jesus. It connects stories of human struggle and development to our relationship with God.
The Bible collects stories of human interaction with God, to illuminate and guide our lives. An important aspect of a community of faith is that we come together to share who we are – and a lot of that is defined by the stories we accumulate during our lives.
Just as we create and sustain a community of faith in a local congregation, so it is healthy for the congregational life to be nurtured and sustained in a larger context, which is why there are regular gatherings within the larger church, such as the Synod in our Archdeaconry (Gibraltar) that took place during the past week.
At Synod, we are educated, in terms of how to care for ourselves, our chaplaincies and our communities. We gather with the leaders of our faith, and during this week we met our new bishop, Robert Innes, who reminded us of the need to persistence and patience, and to be measured by God’s scale of success, rather than human’s desire for instant gratification. He also told us of steps being taken to look at the long-term health of the diocese and our chaplaincies, understanding the common challenges that many of us face.
We learned of progress in our companion diocese in Peru. We were reminded of the special work of Christian Aid, founded through and by churches working together after WW2, work that our chaplaincy has supported financially.
The Ven. Jonathan Boardman, once of Wigan, now Archdeacon of Italy and Malta, spoke to us about the way that our identity is shaped by our churches, and vice versa. He invited us to answer questions about who we are and how that directs how we live and what we do.
The scriptures for today help to define that identity. We are created in the image of God, which means that the imprint of God on humanity, perfected in Christ, is present within us, too. When we share our stories, we uncover layers of divinity in human life.
In the beginning was the Word – and the Word came among us in flesh. In us, for us, and if we allow it, through us, the Word is still being made flesh.