Sunday | Jan 11, 2015  |  Baptism of Our Lord

Water, River, Spirit, Grace

"What ruler wades
through murky streams
and bows, beneath the wave,
ignoring how the world esteems
the powerful and brave?

Christ gleams with water
born with clay
from land the prophets trod.

Above while heaven's
clouds give way
descends the dove of God.

Come bow beneath
the flowing wave.
Christ stands here at your side
and raises you as from the grave
God raised the crucified.

Water, River, Spirit, Grace,
sweep over me, sweep over me!

Re-carve the depths
your finger trace
in sculpting me."

(Thomas H. Troeger, 1993)

We talk a lot about baptism in the church. If we don't, we should. God's gift of baptism occurs once, but is practiced daily. The risen Christ "stands at our side" in the murky waters of our daily experiences. My heart can be like hard-pressed clay. But if you've seen even one smooth stone, you know the power of water and waves to transform rough edges. Troeger's hymn has been poetry for me personally; as I imagine the many ways each one of us is being shaped and formed in faith each day, beginning with baptism.

(Name), child of God, you have been sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever.

With Christmas barely behind us, this weekend we shifts gears to the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. Here on the banks of the Jordan, "beneath the flowing wave," Jesus invites us into God's saving story. With God's unconditional promise of new life, we are named and claimed, and given a new identity as God's children; members of the body of Christ, the church.

In the one Spirit we are all baptized into one body (1 Corinthians 12).

Not baptized? Contact one of the Pastors to learn more about the sacrament and the gifts it brings. We look forward to seeing you on Sunday!
In God's amazing grace,
Kelly Rowley