Maybe you remember your own baptism vividly. Or perhaps you were baptized as a baby and just remember the baptism of people close to you as special days. Today, we celebrate Baptism of the Lord Sunday.
In this week’s sermon, “Made Clean” Pastor Don preached on Mark 1:4-11 and the baptism of Jesus. He talked about how Jews considered themselves to clean as God’s chosen and privileged people. Imagine the departure when the strangely dressed John the Baptist, the son of a priest, declared the need for even Jews to repent and be baptized to be made clean!
Some people hearing this message were alarmed, insulted, and even fearful about losing their privileged status. This has particular resonance for us this week as people who were also afraid of losing their own white privilege stormed the Capitol right across the Potomac from our church in an attempt to stop a peaceful transition of power. Some leaders incited these actions and have stoked these fears. But these are not the fears of people who trust in God.
When there are changes even major ones, God calls us as believers to choose to have faith over fear. During baptism, Methodists are asked if we:
- Confess Jesus Christ as Savior, put our whole trust in His grace, and promise to serve Him… with the Church which Christ has opened to people of all ages, nations, and races?
- Renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of this world, and repent of our sin? among other things.
These are important questions that have implications everyday. Will we choose faith in Jesus and the cleansing renewal that brings? And are we living in a way that makes our answers to the baptismal covenant clear? We are called to do that day in and day out.
Check out our Facebook page series #rememberyourbaptism over the next few days and hold these baptismal vows close to your heart and in your actions.