“You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” The words of Peter in today’s Gospel reading (Matthew 16: 13 – 20) seem particularly apt as we celebrate baptisms and confirmations. The setting for Jesus’ question to his disciples is Caesarea Philippi – an ancient city with long association with the pagan gods Baal and Pan (depending on whether you were Canaanite or Greek).

At baptism (and confirmation) we affirm our turning to Christ (and thus away from Baal, Pan or any other god) and step out boldly on a life-long journey of discipleship. The long aisle down the central nave of the Cathedral is a constant reminder to us of the journey we are on. We do not travel alone, but in the company of other Christians. Week by week Christians come together to be refreshed on the journey as we are fed at the table of the Lord.

Welcome to all who worship God today, especially visitors and family of those being baptised, confirmed, received into the Anglican Church, and welcomed to Holy Communion.

The Very Rev’d Frank Nelson