Saturday, August 21, 2004

Baptism again 6

Baptism again!     6

Right now, as this very particular time, God's mighty action in your baptism is lively and well. Through Jesus, in our baptismal covenant, God calls all of us and God leads all of us, as individual Christians and as a gathered community, to the Cross of Calvary but also to the glorious empty tomb of Easter dawn. The sometimes barely discernible early light of Easter sunrise reveals the Easter Resurrection God has made for us during the depths of night's deepest, darkest moments. The pale but absolutely glorious Easter light reveals the triumph that is all of ours as Jesus walks beside us to our cross and to our new life in him, as we walk beside our friends and neighbor through their pain and suffering, to their cross and to their Easter break of day.

In baptism we become Christians, "little Christs." In baptism, Jesus leads us to the cross; Jesus not only goes to the cross for us; he goes to the cross with us! As Christians, "Little Christs," we are called on a journey to the cross, a journey into suffering, sorrow, anguish, agony, even a walk to the cross of death, in solidarity with others, in solidarity with the world. In the words of the first answer in the Heidelberg Catechism, "My only comfort in life and in death is that I belong, body and soul, not to myself, but to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ." May we, the people of God baptized into the death and resurrection of our faithful Savior Jesus Christ, be the comfort of our world in the world's life and also in its death. May the world belong to the crucified and risen Christ through us, Christians, because of us "Little Christs!"

In baptism God tames us, shapes us into the people of God, to draw us freely and in love into covenantal relationship with our Creator and with each other. We are connected: we establish ties. We've come home to our Creator, to ourselves, and to each other. We've come home to a relationship in which each one of us walks and stands beside the other, beside each other as the Christ. May we always be, may we eternally live as God's baptized servant people of the cross and of the empty tomb!


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