Daily Reflection 24th June

Plans for Junior

Angela Saunders from the Conwy Valley reflects on today’s birthday boy!
John the Baptist
Gyfeillion annwyl, yn awr yr ydym yn blant Duw,
ac nid amlygwyd eto beth a fyddwn.
Yr ydym yn gwybod, pan fydd ef yn ymddangos,
y byddwn yn debyg iddo, oherwydd cawn ei weld ef fel y mae.

1 Ioan

Beloved, we are God’s children now;
what we will be has not yet been revealed.
What we do know is this: when he is revealed,
we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.
John 3:2

Angela Saunders writes:

Today in the Church’s calendar we celebrate the birthday of John the Baptist. I was so delighted when I discovered this window at Penmon Priory on Anglesey showing a young John. In the Bible we are told about the birth of John and then about how he lived in the desert dressed in camel skin and living off locusts and honey – sounds like quite a scary, austere figure – but nothing about his life in between. I just love this reminder that before he was John the Baptist, he was John the little boy and had birthdays. 

We are told that John was marked out as special for God from birth and was not to have his hair cut, but I wonder what his childhood was really like. Did his birthday presents include a new little hair shirt? (The one in the picture is getting a little short.) When he asked Elizabeth for jelly and ice-cream (or Biblical equivalent) was he told, “No dear, but you can have some extra honey on your locusts.” How much did he get to play with his cousin, Jesus? How much did they understand about who they were?
When we are born, our parents look into our faces to try and find their own likeness there. We are made in the image and likeness of God, and I like to think of God looking at us, looking for his likeness in us, and it is there, even when we can’t see it ourselves.
When John is born, his father, Zechariah, breaks forth in prayer, the Benedictus (Luke1: 68-79), a prayer so wonderful that it is included in Morning Prayer every day. It sings the praises of God, confirms the coming of God’s Saviour and describes God’s plan for John.

“And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most-High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of Salvation, by the forgiveness of all their sins.”

It is a plan that works for us too. We are called to make God known to other people, not by living a harsh life in the desert, but through acts of loving-kindness and forgiveness. In this way, we will reveal God at work in our lives, in the very centre of our being, and in doing so we will become more and more like him.

Dad nefol,
trwy rym dy Ysbryd Glân
yr wyt yn rhoddi i’th bobl ffyddlon
fywyd newydd yn nŵr y bedydd:
cyfarwydda a chyfnertha ni trwy’r un Ysbryd,
fel y bo i ni a ailenir dy wasanaethu mewn ffydd a chariad
a thyfu i lawn faintioli dy Fab Iesu Grist,
sy’n byw ac yn teyrnasu gyda thi a’r Ysbryd Glân,
yn un Duw, yn awr a byth.
Yr Eglwys yng Nghymru
Heavenly Father,
by the power of your Holy Spirit
you give to your faithful people
new life in the water of baptism:
guide and strengthen us by the same Spirit,
that we who are born again may serve you in faith and love
and grow into  the full stature of your Son Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
 The Church in Wales

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