Thursday, January 7, 2016

Thank God for my Baptism

LUKE 3:15-17, 21-22

As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, "I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."
Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased."

The preacher said it
with the sign of the cross on my forehead,
a blessing,
a benediction,
a re-naming,
a calling to service,
an announcement to the world:
"You are a child of God,
sealed by the Holy Spirit, 
marked as Christ’s own forever."

from that day forward
each day I seek to be 
one of your beloved children.
I seek to understand what it means to be 
sealed by your Holy Spirit --

sealed like the sealing wax on a letter,
sealed with your stamp of approval,
marked with your signet ring of royalty,
marked with your love -- Jesus Christ,
a lifetime guarantee.

Some days are full of questions:
Am I really yours?
Do I want to be a child of God?
Do you really love me that much?
Are you proud of me?
Do you like who I have become/am becoming?

Some days are a confident shout:
"Yes, YES I BELONG to God alone."
claimed aloud in the face of evil and temptation.

Some days are a comforting embrace:
"I am Christ's own forever."
lean back into your strong arms of love and protection.

Some days are a scary realization:
"I am sealed by the Holy Spirit."
a wind and blowing spirit that pushes me to take flight,
to leap from the nest and soar on the strong winds.

Some days I notice the baptismal waters
still washing over me.
My baptism was 38 years ago,
but I find I'm still soaking wet,
washed clean through and through,
wading through the troubled waters,
knee deep,
riding the crashing waves,
casting a net to catch
those who need to hear the good news,
a spring of life welling up and over flowing to others from within,
a cup overflowing with blessings,
a river that makes glad.

Thank you, God, for my baptism.
I remember.
I re-member.
I am a child of God,
sealed by the Holy Spirit, 
marked as Christ’s own forever.

Thanks be to God!

No comments:

Post a Comment