What's Happening in Worship
One of the greatest joys I experience as a pastor is to dip my hand into the baptismal font and make the sign of the cross upon someone’s forehead while saying, “you are baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Often times the words I speak cause my eyes to fill with tears and my heart with gladness. It is a moment filled with incredible celebration. And I imagine that for most people it is a really special experience to witness this beautiful moment in the life of the church.
I am convinced that the reason we love baptism is because it is a moment when we glimpse God’s unconditional, persistent, and generous love for us. It is a moment when we tangibly see that God’s love is the same for us now as it was when Jesus revealed it in his life, and even before that. It is a moment when we learn of God’s unyielding commitment to love and care for both us and this world. It is a moment of invitation for those who have not yet been baptized to wonder about God, and God’s work in their life. It is a moment when those who are baptized can remember that all that God promises is for them.
The words I use before I perform the baptism speak about the meaning of baptism and the promises God makes known to us in the sacrament. God’s promises to us in baptism are so rich and wonderful that we want to take time to meditate upon them in worship. So, for each of the next five weeks in worship we will reflect on one of the five promises God makes to us in baptism. I hope this can be a time of rich learning and spiritual growth in our identity as God’s people.
Five promises we will focus on are:
· Welcome into the family of God: Baptism is the place where God says, ‘You are my child and part of my family forever!’ - September 30th
· Forgiveness of sins: God says: “My Son, Jesus Christ has offered himself as the one perfect human life and atoning sacrifice for sin. His blood covers every stain of wrongdoing.” - October 7th
· Union with Christ who leads us from the old self to the new: God says: “I will invite you daily to die to the old self and come alive to who I created and redeemed you to be!” - October 14th
· Gift of the Holy Spirit: God says, “I will pour out my Holy Spirit upon you to cleanse you, renew you, guide you, and bind the church together in unity.” - October 21st
· Promise of Eternal life: God says, “Just as my Son was raised to life, so you will experience a resurrection like his on the last day!” - October 28th
Pastor Garret Szantner