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Grace Poured Out. . .

9October2012

This past Sunday I got to do something that I have never done before in my ten short years of ministry. I got to participate as God baptized two members of my family. The baptisms of my own two children were completely spirit-moving, grace filled, love soaked. There was even a bag pipe playing at my daughter’s baptism as it was St. Patrick’s Day. Before that my son was serenaded by our dear pastor at his baptism, which of course brought me to blubbering tears!  All of the baptisms that I witness or participate in are so moving! God working through pure grace to claim another child as His own beloved and freed daughter or son.

This time as God washed and claimed people in the water-soaked-word, it was my baby niece and her daddy, my brother in law, as well as another precious little beauty from the congregation, who were splashed, prayed for, anointed, marked, and claimed for Christ. What an amazing moment for me as a pastor. As I scooped the water, with the seashell that would soon belong to the baptized, over my niece’s perfect little head she looked at me as wide eyed as she possibly could, totally entranced by the whole event. As her aunt and her godmother once the water had ceased flowing I bent down and kissed her. What  joy! What an honor! What a grace-filled moment. (No, I didn’t kiss my brother in law! I know you are wondering!!)

The newly baptized.

These baptisms are no greater or more amazing than any other baptism. Every baptism is a moving event. A reminder of the precious life God gives us in Jesus Christ. The mother of the other beautiful child who was baptized on Sunday looked at me with tears in her eyes, and I was reminded once more of just how important this sacrament really is. It is a moment like no other. It gathers families together around font, meal, and cake to make promises to God that we will live as followers of the Good Shepherd. It is nothing less than  pure grace. A moment when we so clearly and tangibly see/touch/feel/experience Christ’s abundant, over-flowing love and mercy. We recognize the preciousness and fragility of life. We comprehend a little deeper the gift of Christian community. We renew our own faith as we renounce the forces that defy God and keep us away from true obedience. We recommit ourselves to the life of discipleship, of going and doing and being the church. This happens each and every time a child or adult is brought forth to the font. When it is our own loved one it is even more powerful because we rest secure in Christ’s righteousness; we are comforted by God’s prodigal love; we soak in a new reality of being claimed, forgiven and sent.

Sisters in Christ!

Sometimes I wish we could bottle up these moments and take a swig of them when we are thirsty and in need of strength, courage, hope and light. But that’s not the way it works, is it? But never despair, there will be another baptism, another chance to affirm our faith, another time to make a public profession of our love for Jesus and bask in the reality of his love for us.

Let your light so shine so that others may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Amen.

ACL@CCD

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