An Alive in Christ Community….
“Our Lord Jesus Christ instituted baptism as the visible means of entry into the new covenant…” (MBW, page 165). These words are from our Baptismal liturgy. If we don’t know this liturgy well you may soon as we’ll be praying it together on Sundays, December 30th, January 13th and 20th as we welcome three different infants into our congregation. For these families and our congregation these are meaningful moments. In this sacrament we hold forth God’s welcome, proclaim God’s covenant of grace and commit ourselves to be church for each newly baptized member. This commitment you the church share is very explicitly stated in the liturgy: “Do you receive and affirm this child of God as a member of this congregation and accept your obligation to love and nurture them in Christ?” (MBW, page 166). Each baptism is an opportunity to consider our calling to be church to each newly baptized member and to all who have been baptized into the new covenant of Christ’s life.
Very little about being church is passive. By church I mean an alive in Christ community. We worship, we pray, we learn, we encourage, we serve, we proclaim and share Good News. We respond to what God has done creating, redeeming and blessing with faithfulness, active love and sharing hope. Baptism is one of those sacraments that reminds us of who God is and our response as church. Being church for each other takes shape as we make room for children in worship and not expecting infants or children to sit still and be totally quiet for wiggling about and making noise is what children do. They have a place here and are learning and growing who God is and how to worship as well. Being church for each other takes shape in the committed and gifted Christian Education Committee we have that invests so much time in the children, youth and adults of this congregation. Being church for each other is the prayers that are so faithful and lifted up for each other. We see church in the welcome and encouragement you all continue to extend, not just on baptism day, but each opportunity you have to offer Christian care and support to another.
I encourage you to keep on the journey of being an alive in Christ community as we celebrate Baptism and God’s new covenant of grace.