What if we remember our baptisms, every day of our lives?
By: Susan Naslund
There has been a lot of baptisms in our congregation recently. Adults, babies, and children of all ages have come forward to publicly receive the sacrament. Confirmands and youth attending summer camps have reaffirmed the vows made on their behalf at the time of their infant baptisms. Water from the Holy Land, a mountain stream, and even the kitchen sink, has moistened the fingertips of pastors, and then the foreheads of the faithful, as the familiar words of baptism have been recited. Have you been there to witness the glorious gift of baptism?
Even when we are not the ones standing before the baptismal font, we are active participants in the sacrament of baptism. Along with those receiving the blessed water, we are asked to remember the vows we made when we were baptized. There is a certain pride with which I also claim that Jesus Christ is my savior, that I put my whole trust in his grace, and promise to serve him as my Lord, in union with the Church which Christ has opened to people of all ages, nations and races. Of course! Amen!
With somberness I also renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of this world and repent of my own sin. Indeed! So be it!
But, I squirm a little in my pew when, along with those being baptized, I accept the freedom and power God gives me to resist evil, injustice and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.
Even though I acknowledge the God-given power to resist "evil, injustice and oppression," too many times I have fallen short in fulfilling this obligation. Have I been diligent in my struggle against the evils of greed and selfishness? Have I voted in ways that would provide equity for all citizens of this nation and the world? Have there been ways I have not extended mercy to those who are different from me in age, race, or gender preference?
Thankfully, along with those being baptized I am also reminded to accept God's grace for myself; I can trust in the forgiveness that only God can give; and I can rectify my actions so that by my teaching and example, those being baptized may be guided to accept God's grace for themselves.
Please join me in remembering our baptisms every day and be thankful. Amen.