Thought for January 2014 from Alistair Wynne

I was struck several weeks ago by the words of the Archbishop of Canterbury when he conducted the baptism of Prince George of Cambridge at the Chapel Royal at St James's Palace in London.  They have so much to say to us here at Greenside as we enter this New Year.

In the course of the service, the Archbishop addressed the parents and godparents of Prince George.  He reminded them that the baptism service is not just centred on 'a maker of rules and regulations' but on 'Jesus, who calls each of us to take a journey.'

Those who make this journey must look in two directions, the Archbishop said.

'First, they look at the world.  Jesus tells his disciples to let people come to him.  To do that they have to be outward looking, in touch with the world, welcoming, generous-spirited, alive with the life of Christ to whom they will introduce all who come.'

He added that, as Christian, Prince George 'is to share the life of Christ which is in him, regardless of whom he meets, their faith or nature or habits, so that others find life.  That sharing may be in words, or generous actions - most likely both - but it will be both very costly and infinitely rewarding.'

The second direction in which Christians must look is towards Christ, the Archbishop said.  

'In both readings, Jesus centres the commands on himself: come to me, abide with me.  He is the only place to go for the resources George will need so that he is everything he can be, so that he beomes most fully the person God has created him to be.  Without me, says Jesus, you can do nothing'

The Archbishop said that the parents and godparents of Prince George have a 'simple task' to

' make sure he knows who this Jesus is.  Speak of Him, read stories about Him.  Introduce Him in prayer.  Help (Prince George) to grow and flourish into the person God has created and has called him to be.'

The Archbishop concluded: 'For life to be complete, the living and trusted love of Jesus Christ is the foundation.  That is something we grow into, live out, hold onto, and which finally carries us home.

'With Christ and his love as our centre, all the needs we meet are faced, all the hopes we have are shaped, and all the possibilities of our life journey are fulfilled.'