As we begin this new year, we have an opportunity to renew our relationship with God as well. This upcoming Sunday we’ll be remembering the story of Jesus’ baptism and rekindling our commitment to Christ and the ministry of the church.
It feels a little bit strange to be thinking about the waters of baptism when we are in the midst of piles of snow, icicles, and icy streets and sidewalks. Yet, this is the liturgical season to dive into the waters of God’s grace.
In the liturgical year, we speed through the early years of Jesus life—celebrating his birth on December 25 and then all of a sudden in mid-January, we read stories of how he is all grown up, wading in the waters of the Jordan River and discovering his call.
Baptism is a sacred sacrament in the United Methodist tradition. We believe that baptism is something that God does and we receive. It’s as if God marks us with a seal in baptism that says we are God’s beloved children. At the same time, we believe that baptism is a public proclamation of an inward spiritual change—it is about us proclaiming to the people around us that we believe and we seek to live in the way that leads to life. We baptize babies because scripture tells us stories about adults who believe in Christ and subsequently, their entire household is baptized—which surely included children! When we baptize a baby, the parents make the public proclamation on behalf of the child and they vow to bring the child to church, immerse them in a community of faith, and help them to grow to profess God’s love on their own.
This Sunday, I’ll be preaching about baptism and each person who is baptized will have the opportunity to “remember” their baptism by touching water and recommitting to walk in the way that leads to life. If you aren’t yet baptized, but you are curious about it or already know that you want to take this step of faith, please contact me!