Monday, January 9, 2012

Into the Pool!

Yesterday at my local Lutheran church, we not only celebrated the baptism of Jesus, but our own baptisms.  We did the Reaffirmation of Baptism, with our pastor explaining the different parts.

When we got to prayer that concludes the Reaffirmation, our pastor had the children come forward.  Every time the word water was mentioned, the children jumped up with hands in the air and yelled "Water!"  I loved the interactive nature of it.  Then the children and the pastor went through the church sprinkling us all with water with a palm branch.  It was fabulous.

Our pastor preached a wonderful sermon about baptism.  He had an extended metaphor, based on the swimming pool his family had when he was growing up.  It was New York, so the first swim of the season was in very chilly waters.  He remembers that as a child, he didn't care:  he'd cannonball himself into the water.

As a teenager, he'd carefully arrange the floats so that he could be in the water and not touching the water.  And the adults were content to sit around the pool and barely dip a toe in the water.

He reminded us that new converts are like those kids, enthusiastic and energetic.  As our faith matures, we're in danger of losing this enthusiasm.

He encouraged us to listen to what God would have us to do.  God doesn't want us to just do whatever we want to do.  No.  If that was enough, there would be no sin, no lives gone astray.

How can we grow into the promise of our baptisms.  Our pastor gave us a question to ask ourselves.

He asked, "Having chosen us, what does God want us to choose to do?"  He encouraged us to listen with discernment.

It's a question that spoke to me, as I may be approaching a place in the not too distant future when it's time to think about career choices for the second half of my life.

Our pastor closed by reminding us that Jesus has gone before us into the baptismal water.  He said, "C'mon in--Jesus is waiting for you in these baptismal waters."

Yes, the water's fine--let's jump in!

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