Sunday, January 13, 2008

I Call You Beloved

13 January 2008
Matthew 3.13-17

Grace and greetings.

We are baptized into Christ. We have become members of the Church Universal. We are baptized into Christ’s death and resurrection. We are forgiven of our sins and called to new life. Do we really live our new life to the fullest? Do we live out the true meaning of forgiveness that allows us the freedom to fail, and to try again?

When Jesus was baptized as recorded in Matthew, “…Jesus came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.’” I am not sure how many of us had the heavens open up following our baptism, or if voices from above were heard, but I am sure that we are baptized by the same spirit as Christ, and also called “Beloved.”

Regardless of our own baptism, whether it was by sprinkled as an infant, or immersed as an adult, we are baptized into Christ’s body and therefore his ministry as well. We were all baptized by the Spirit of God. Do you ever feel the Spirit moving in you? The Spirit moves each and every one of us differently. But we are all forgiven, and allowed to start over again.

Each morning we get up, we can remember our baptism as we stand in the shower with the water flowing over our bodies. Receive the blessing of God with the cleansing power of the water and the word. “You are my beloved.” You are cleansed and freed to live the life that God has called us to live.

Just what is that “life God has called us to live?” God has called us into community and to forgive one another, just as we are forgiven. We are called to worship God with our whole heart, mind, soul and strength. Each of us may find different ways to acknowledge and worship God, but we are all given gifts to use at our baptism, the greatest of these gifts is love through forgiveness.

How do we live out our baptism? Do we think about it daily, weekly, monthly or every once in a great while? With the gift of forgiveness we are able to gain confidence in what we do, day after day. We can remember that God is with us, always.

Remember your baptism and that you too are called, “Beloved”.

Peace and blessings to all.

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