If you’ve ever listened to Saturday Live on Radio 4, you’ll know that every week someone gets to choose their inheritance tracks.

These two tracks comprise one song or piece of music they cherish, usually because it reminds them of a particular time, place or story together with a track they would like to pass on to the next generation.   For both we hear why they have chosen them.

Listening to it recently, with Elliot Peter Christie’s baptism in mind, made me ask what would be the inheritance track of my faith. What words rather than a song would I want to pass onto him that might accompany him through his life?

I decided that for me, the one thing, the one phrase, in a slightly obtuse way, about the faith so central to my life, would simply be this, that there’s more to life than meets the eye.

There’s more to life than meets the eye.

You might be sat there thinking that’s a bit inadequate for a priest, that surely I should have included some reference to Jesus. You may be right but for me I wanted a phrase that, whatever his situation, would invite Elliot to see more because when we see more, we are open to all kinds of possibilities.

Just think for a moment about what we are about this morning. We are doing two things which at first sight are simply about water, bread and wine.

Except that’s not true, we see them differently. With the eyes of faith we see the water, as more than water poured from a tap in Whitkirk. We see this water as being somehow being connected with the water in which Christ was baptised.

Likewise we see bread and wine, the stuff of life, flour and grapes. Yet we see them as more than ingredients, we see them transformed into Christ’s body and blood.

There’s more to life than meets the eye.

Last week, I heard of how one of the Scholey Grandchildren, Erin, asked them “How can I get to know Jesus if I cannot see him?”

It’s a good question, a perfectly sensible question to ask when you’re four.

The answer will come as she, together with Elliot, journeys through life and through hints and whispers recognises the Christ who is their constant companion, who sustains them and reminds them time and again that there is more to life than meets the eye.

There’s a new Star Wars film coming out in the autumn, that news will be greeted by some with a yawn and by others with a yippee, however to go back to its beginning, in the first Star Wars Film, Luke Skywalker begins to explore that there is more to life than living on a dusty planet. He meets the wise old Jedi Obi Wan Kenobi, who lives as a hermit in the desert and begins to explore the force, the mysterious power behind everything in the galaxy.

As he begins his mentor says that he has taken his ‘first step into a larger world’.

In some way that is what is happening to Elliot this morning taking his first step into a larger world. A world in which we learn that things aren’t always what they seem, that there is always hope, that mercy, forgiveness and love will prevail in this upside down kingdom of God that is breaking in.

There’s more to life than meets the eye.

Seen on the surface what we are about this morning may seem to be nonsense or fanciful, all hocus pocus and weird. Seen with the eyes of faith though, with open minds, these words, these rituals meet the deepest longings of our heart, to begin again, to be refreshed and renewed, to be sent out to dare to speak of love.

We come here week by week to have our vision renewed. To remember that which we profess.   That God is ‘the maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.’(1) So that as we leave we might see the world, so often broken by hardness of heart through a different lens.

Daring to see God’s life giving transformative love at work everywhere, in times of joy and thanksgiving (like last night – Happy Birthday Suzanne!) and also in times of sorrow and loss.

We even come to see each other differently. As St. Paul reminded us in our epistle this morning in Christ we are ‘no longer strangers and aliens’ but sisters and brothers in him.

And yet this stuff isn’t easy, people are wary. A couple of weeks ago in Skipton, I watched a gentleman trying to hand out leaflets about Jesus in a busy shopping street. A man near me refused the leaflet and walking away shouted angrily “Have you ever seen a picture of him, no! If you cannot see him, why believe in him?”

It seemed so sad that for him truth was limited by what he could see because if we fashion our life based solely on what we see, it would be a tragedy.

Faith in Christ invites us into a larger world, where we see things filled with hope and possibility hence my invitation for Elliot this morning to remember that there’s more to life than meets the eye.


1Nicene Creed p.173 CW