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Yes, the Baptismal Covenant Is More Than Words

7 Mark’s Gospel B. the prelude image 3 of 4. Christ baptized. Ryley

In many Episcopal parishes today, members renewed the covenant they made with God at baptism. Our Catholic and Lutheran friends, among others, also use the baptismal covenant. Though the exact wording may vary, the basic structure is the same: a question-and-answer format where we renounce evil and vow to walk with Jesus.

On this Sunday, liturgical churches celebrate the Baptism of Christ, helping to remind us of that promise made. It’s also a time when many will make those promises for the first time, either for themselves or on behalf of a child they’re sponsoring in baptism.

In Christ, we join the ranks of God’s beloved. Because we have the Spirit of God in us, we are part of Christ’s mission of reconciliation and justice.

There is a lot of talk of opening the eyes of the blind, releasing prisoners from dungeons, and bringing those in darkness out of prison in the Isaiah 42:1-9. Even though this brings a lot of vivid images of physical blindness and literal prisons to mind, I think Isaiah was looking at a bigger picture here.

There are many who have become spiritually blind or prisoners through sin, human malice, or even emotional brokeness like depression, PTSD, or substance abuse. It often seems like the world’s brokeness rules the day, but the good news is that God’s redemption through Christ is there to bring us through it.

By choosing to live in companionship with Christ, we can experience healing and reconciliation, as well as help bring both to others. We should let the words of the baptismal covenant remind us of both this promise and our responsibility.


January 8, 2017 Posted by | Holidays/Feasts, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

2 Epiphany: An Open Invitation

Based on John 1:29-42

One thing that you can count on is that someone will always try to draw your attention to someone or something. Every once in a while, it’s a command to be obeyed. “Come here and see the mess you’ve made!” (who hasn’t heard that a time or two as a child?!?). Usually, though, it’s because someone wants you to see something, something amusing or edifying. This is more of an invitation.

Two of Jesus’ first disciples were issued a similar invitation. One was Andrew. While the passage doesn’t discuss whether they personally witnessed Jesus’ baptism, they probably did. This would have motivated them to know more about this new Teacher. They accepted Jesus’ invitation and came to know and serve Him. It’s fitting that this occurred after His baptism. After all, when we’re baptized or renew our baptismal commitment in confirmation, we’re heeding the invitation to “Come and see”

January 16, 2011 Posted by | Devotionals/Meditations | , , , , | Leave a comment