This week on CBC I heard Tom Powers interview Chloe Benjamin, author of the recently released novel The Immortalists. It is the story of four children who are told by a fortune-teller of the exact day, month and year that each will die, and how this knowledge affects their lives thereafter. At one point in the interview Tom Powers ‘turned’ to ‘us’ and asked ‘If you could find out the exact date your life would end, would you want to know? And if so, would you start doing things differently?’ Good questions!
It is not just thoughts of endings that should challenge us, however.
This Sunday we will hear again the story of the baptism of Jesus, and the voice that declared ‘You are my Beloved’ (Mark 1:11). We celebrate this scene because of all it tells us about Jesus, but also because of all it reminds us about ourselves. This Jesus is God among us, God come for us. In Jesus we have been embraced, we have been adopted, we have become the beloved of God.
As fascinating as it may be to inquire of our endings, might it be more formative to remember our beginnings? As we hear the story of the baptism of Jesus, we are reminded that we are sought out. We are loved with a love that will not let us go, even when we are unloveable. We are beloved, and that love yearns to shape our lives. Contemplating our beginnings, the question is asked of us … will we now start living differently?
If you are in the Kingston area, please join us in the worship of God this Sunday. Our service is classic and reflective, at the centre of this city. Have a look at the Order of Service, and the following invitations to grow in Christian faith, community and service. There is ample free parking in the area – a public surface lot off Queen Street just behind the church, and on street parking (any time-of-day restrictions on the streets north of Queen Street are not enforced on Sundays). During the service there is a nursery for infants available, and a programme for children. It would be a joy to welcome you!