My baptism, April 1961
The next generations: Sara and Cael with Mom, 2015
From The Hermitage at Cedarfield’s 2015 Lenten devotional, April 2, 2015:
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”
– Mark 1:9-15 (NRSV)
I keep several reminders around of my baptism: a certificate, blanket, and dress. But more important is the constant reminder of God’s grace: the grace that comes from a voice that calls me “beloved,” that constantly tells me I am “chosen” and marked by God’s love. That’s the true meaning of our baptism: God’s grace is with us throughout our entire journey of faith, through good and bad, and in return, we are called to be faithful disciples and examples of Christ’s love to the world.
From the moment of his baptism, Jesus came up from the water a changed man. He was a man on a mission, a man bent on bringing the message of an intimate, merciful, liberating God to all people. He took on this mission, knowing that it would cost him his life. We’ve been given the same mission. Are we living witnesses to the power of our baptism?
This day and every day, dear God, help us remember the truth of our baptism: we are claimed; we are chosen as your beloved; we are empowered to step out in faith to make a difference in the world. Equip us, God, for the mission. Amen.