God's Word: Live It!

Baptism of our Lord, Acts 10:34-43

Yesterday we visited the moment when Jesus was baptized in the river Jordan. We learned that he was baptized, not because of his need for repentance, but to engage with us in our common humanity. Like you and me, he acknowledged the need to belong to God. O ur baptismal practice is strongly linked to repentance, but the baptizing of infants is our way of saying this child belongs to God and is marked by the cross of Christ. It is also our way of engaging family and the Christian community in the teaching and spiritual nourishment of our child. Here are some suggestions for making this come alive in your life:

  • Read to yourself or your child(ren) Matthew 3:13-17. Use the story of Jesus' baptism as a way of remembering and talking about your own.
  • See if you can find your baptismal records and share them as a way of remembering who was there, when and where.
  • Use the sacrament in your prayers, thanking God that through Christ and our baptism into Christ we can be assured we are joined together with Christ in life and death through our baptisms.
  • If we discover we or someone in our family is not baptized, use it as a stepping stone to make a baptismal decision.
  • Remember we are baptized into the Christian faith, not into a denomination.
  • If questions arise, please share them with me. I would be honored to answer them.

All Earth is hopeful Matthew 11:2-11

Yesterday we listened to Mary's song (The Magnificat) in which she thanks God for being chosen to give birth to the Messiah. We talked about her pregnancy in terms of it being a "before" and time of "expecting." The question we asked ourselves is how are we going to handle our spiritual lives before the Nativity, before the Christ child arrives. We are surrounded by reasons to, once again, overlook the actual moment of God breaking into our lives on Christmas Eve. What can we do in the midst of our preparations for Christmas, in the time before Christmas Eve/Day so we're not so distracted, so anxious or too exhausted to make room for the arrival of Jesus. Here are some suggestions:

  • Attend this Wednesday's Advent service from 6:30-7:00. A quiet half hour to step out of our world and into a world of candlelight and quiet.
  • Buy one less gift and replace it with an expression of love like a hug, an "I love you" or a simple invitation for a cup of coffee.
  • While driving to the store for gifts or food, or to a party, use the drive time to pray, to reflect, to give thanks.
  • Boycott the news for a day or two to remind ourselves that "He rules the world, with truth and grace  ..."
  • Give up the goal of perfection and any power you give to that evil illusion.
  • Smile. Smile a lot. Especially when you don't feel like it.

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