Wednesday, January 4, 2012

“Whether I Needed One Or Not…”

If I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say, “When I was a boy, I had a bath every Saturday night, whether I needed one or not,” I would have two bucks or more.

Today we recall, in our scripture lessons, the Baptism of Jesus by John in the River Jordan.  Baptism however is not a bath. If it was, we would need one again and again.  It is an event in our lives that starts a process of new life; a life-long journey in the Spirit as we deepen our relationship with God.

There is usually a great deal of noise and joy on days when we celebrate a baptism. The hubbub is an indicator of a lot of enthusiasm. Enthusiasm literally means, “with spirit.” By the way, that is, with the Holy Spirit.

For many people today Baptism was not a priority for their parents and so they weren’t baptized. That’s one reason why adult Baptism is becoming more common.  It saddens me to think, though, that sometimes people think that they are not good enough to be baptized. The Good News is that none of us were good enough, nor will we ever be.  Baptism is not about being good or worthy; it is about God's grace. Baptism marks God’s gift of love, a gift that draws us deeper and deeper into new life.

Somehow, God thinks we are worthy of attention, love and forgiveness, mercy and grace. With enthusiasm, we thank God every day for our creation and our re-creation.

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