St Mary’s Church Coddenham

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From the Rectory – In the beginning was the Word

by | Feb 1, 2024 | Coddenham Church

St Marys Coddenham

The opening words of St John’s Gospel; words made familiar more than anywhere else, as the climax of countless carol services.  Christmas is done for another year.

Last Sunday we marked the Presentation of Christ in the Temple (Luke 2:22-40); the final event in our account of Jesus’ nativity.  As our morning Eucharist drew to a close we remembered that we now turn from the crib to the cross. This year the cross looms closer than ever, for in just two weeks time it will be Lent.  In the beginning was the word …. and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

Christmas, as we all know, is a time of great celebration.  Everyone likes a healthy new-born child; in the depths of winter, and surrounded by troubles, it is a feel-good opportunity to put on the lights and enjoy ourselves.  Reluctant to allow Herod to rain on our party, we skip swiftly over his massacre (Matt 2:16-18), focusing on peace and goodwill to all for a season.  Yet, as Simeon reminds us this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel, to be a sign that will be opposed.  (Luke 2:34). The shadow of the cross is already falling on our path, but who wants to focus on a painful, untimely death?

And so, today, once again, we are reminded that The Word has become flesh; God the Creator has become a creature, just like you and me. The stable, warmed by the gentle breathing of cattle and lit by a star, has gone. As we move from the golden coloured delights of Christmas to the purple hues of Lent; ahead of us, the gloomy tableau of calvary will soon begin to emerge from the mists.  We know it’s there, though for a few moments longer it’s just beyond our vision.

Time, then, to remind ourselves that we do not journey alone.  Furthermore, our guide has not simply made the journey countless times; he is the journey.

These opening words of St John are not just for Christmas, they are for all our beginnings.  Wherever you join the road of faith, whether this is truly a first time for you (in the beginning) or a fresh re-start (a new beginning), let these words be a comfort and a strength.  In the beginning was the Word  (v 1) …  the Word became flesh and lived among us (v14) and to all who believe in his name he gives power to become children of God (v12).

Rev’d Philip Payne                                         The Notice Sheet for 4 February can be found here.

Holy Communion at St Mary’s at 11.00am on Sunday 4th February

[All verses from John Ch 1 unless otherwise noted]


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