Dearly Beloved, Grace and Peace to you. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." — Matthew 28. 19-20
Baptizing in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit does not mean converting people to Christianity. It means immersing them in the love of a community that bears God's Covenant to them and to the world.
To baptize you in the name of the Father is to honor you as God's own, to see the Holy One in you, to acknowledge you as a sacred Being of God's Creation and an embodiment of God's presence. It is to say to you in words and in deeds, “You have your Father's eyes.”
To baptize you in the name of the Son is to promise to love you as we have been loved, to honor you as one for whom Christ died, to demonstrate your forgiveness, to honor you as an equal in the Body of Christ, to entrust you to Christ's healing, to listen with you for the Living Word in your life, to hold your living and your dying in the light of Christ's resurrection, to teach you how to live in radical trust, compassion and gratitude as Jesus did, and you assist you in dying and rising with Christ. It is to say to you in words and deeds, “The peace of Christ be with you.”
To baptize you in the name of the Holy Spirit is to evoke the deepest power of God's loving presence in you, to honor your holiness, to encourage you in discovering and giving your gifts, to show you how to breathe deeply, to engage you in loving as you have been loved, to bear witness to our oneness with you in the Spirit as members of the same body, fingers of one hand. It is to say to you in words and deeds, “You are the song and God is the breath.”
To baptize someone in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is to engage them in a Covenant with the One who goes into the world, who continually dies and rises to new life, and who is always with us. We do not convert them, but are ourselves converted. With Christ, we go on like a flowing river to new places, new realities, chapters. And always, the Loving One, the Healing One, the Empowering One is with us.
Deep Blessings, Pastor Steve
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