|Jan. 11, 2018
Dear Hyde Park Family,
Last year, a worshipper asked this profoundly intriguing question: “Pastor, what does it mean when you say to us, ‘Remember your baptism, and be thankful?’ What if I don’t remember my baptism?
Great question. I don’t remember my baptism, either, as I was only seven months old at the time. What worth is it to remember our own baptism if we were too young to remember it?
For me, part of the answer is found in my baptism certificate, which I saw for the first time about six years ago during a visit to my parent’s house.
So, what does it mean to remember my baptism? It doesn’t mean recalling the specifics of the event itself, but the ongoing impact that it has made ever since.
It means remembering that since the day I was born, God is at work in me. Even before I could realize it, God was putting together the people, conditions, and influences that would draw me toward a commitment to Jesus Christ and a lifelong journey of faith. It reminds me that I am not a self-made person, but am the sum result of many people who have poured their love, support, nurture, and prayer into my physical and spiritual wellbeing.
Mostly, it reminds me of who I truly am in God’s eyes. I like the way Josh Childs, host of the Methodist web series “Chuck Knows Church,” describes baptism in this quick, informative video.
We receive our identity from others: from the expectations and influences of friends and families and from the labels that society puts on us. But to become a Christian is to receive a new identity. We no longer allow others to tell us who we are. Christ now claims us.
This Sunday, you will have an opportunity to remember your baptism. Or, perhaps more accurately, remember that you are baptized. Remember that you have been created and claimed by God, nurtured by people who have loved you along the way, and drawn by the Holy Spirit into a deeper commitment to Jesus Christ. You may not be perfect, for none of us are. But God’s grace is at work in and through you, just as it has from the beginning.
And for that remembrance, you can be grateful.
Grace and Peace,
FINAL PUSH FOR STEWARDSHIP PLEDGES