Thought for the Day from Jan Betts of All Hallows’:
When I was confirmed the bishop insisted that we all didn’t buy fancy dresses or suits but came dressed in our school uniform because we were being confirmed to be Christians in our everyday lives. It wasn’t a showing off party but a sober commitment to be followers of Jesus and to recognise that God promised to be with us in our daily lives. Well, I did get a new white shirt, but I have never forgotten that the deal with God is he is with us in our everyday scruffs, our messy human lives and it’s the faithfulness of God in all that mess which holds the deal in place when I lose my way. Thank you Bishop!
Two occasions where people probably did turn up in their best gear are connected today. The children of Israel were told by God to build a ‘Dwelling’ for worship, a physical reminder that God was with them all the time. To bring order to the worship in the Dwelling, God appointed a tribe of priests and Aaron and his sons were given some very glorious garments to wear to mark them out as special when they were serving God. They were committed to God, as God was committed to them.
In the New Testament, Jesus is brought to the Temple for circumcision, a really special celebration of commitment for parents, a recognition of God’s covenant relationship with his people.
Confirmation, the anointing of the priests, circumcision – all reminders of the way in which God is with us in our everyday lives. The faithfulness of God is what brings Simeon to the temple to bless and give thanks for Jesus. We walk with God in our ordinariness, all the time, held and precious and loved. It’s due to rain this week: if you see a rainbow remember and give thanks for the promise of God’s faithfulness in the chaotic world of our lives these days.