Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.
Each baptism brings special joy. One Sunday our congregation baptized three generations of the same family—a grandfather, a father, and a son. On another Sunday we baptized Andy, who, after attending church for six years, after wondering and exploring, eventually said, “I believe, and I want to be baptized.” On yet another Sunday we baptized Jeanette, who, at 86 years old, was the oldest person I had ever baptized. And there was Carla, an elegant woman of fine taste who was baptized in a giant feeding trough in our sanctuary. As usual, we baptized her in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
When I led a church in Minnesota, we baptized one of our deacons. Typically people are baptized well before they become church leaders. But he had assumed that, like his older siblings, he was baptized as a child. One day over an extended family dinner he learned that his parents were “between churches” when he was young, and they actually never got around to having him baptized.
Thousands of churches around the world consider the story of Jesus’ baptism every year. That helps people reflect on their own baptism. Maybe you were baptized because of your own decision. Or maybe your parents presented you for baptism. What might change if we thought of baptism as the defining reality of our life?
Father, thank you for your deep love and for including us in Jesus’ baptism. Whether our baptism is in the past or the future, we ask that it be to us a sign of your grace. Amen.
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