Jibstay

Friday, January 07, 2011

Owning Our Baptisms


The trees (home and church) are un-decorated, taken down and dragged to the recycling pile. Martha has carefully put away the Christmas decorations and crèche. All the Christmas foods and candies are long-since gone. Most of the thank-you notes have been written (Martha is great at that) and sent. Wonderful guests are gone and bedding has been washed and changed. Life is returning to “normal.”

In the church year we mark that as Epiphany, January 6 when churches around the world celebrate the wise men bringing their gifts at the guidance of the star. Epiphany (meaning to shine-out) also speaks about the shining out of the life and ministry of Jesus. Epiphany is about the “normal” life of Jesus, what it looks like day-in and day-out.

Starting Sunday, worship and sermons will focus on what it means to live out our baptismal vows like Jesus did? What should we expect in our discipleship? What should Jesus expect from us? What does a modern-day disciple, following Jesus, look like.

The texts I have chosen from the Gospel of Matthew are pretty powerful. They address baptism, temptation, being called, how to be salt & light and more. I encourage you (if you are attending MCC) to read the text before coming to worship and bring your own Bible with you.

The text for this Sunday is Matthew 3: 13-17, the story of Jesus’ baptism. What do you recall about your baptism? What does it mean to you now? What has baptism done to you and for you? What are the questions you still have about baptism? What is the lingering effect of your baptism on you? As the criminal said to George Cluny in “O Brother Where Art Thou”: Come on in boys, the water’s fine!”

Grace & Peace,

Don

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