“Baptized We Live”
January 11, 2015
North Oak Christian Church
“In Holy Baptism our gracious heavenly Father liberates us from sin and death by joining us to the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are born children of a fallen humanity; in the waters of Baptism we are reborn children of God and inheritors of eternal life. By water and the Holy Spirit we are made members of the Church which is the body of Christ. As we live with him and with his people, we grow in faith, love, and obedience to the will of God.” LBW p. 308
Grace to you and peace from God our Creator, Sustainer and greetings from Our Lord Jesus Christ. AMEN.
Gift to preach today. Do I thank Rob’s Father for choosing this time to complete his earthly journey or the unknown preacher that Rob had contacted who had to decline early in the week? Whomever: –> Thank You. Mark 1:4-11; Acts 19:1-7
1. Baptism is our great unifier and our great divider. Several decades ago a small group of liturgical leaders in KC proposed a radical idea. Let’s build one central baptismal space where all churches could baptize. It could be used for immersion, sprinkling, pouring, or any other method. Groups could come at the same time or at different times to celebrate this central act of the Christian community. We thought we were brilliant. Of course, the idea went nowhere.
2. Baptism is central to our faith.
1) The celebration of the unconditional love and grace of God for all the people of the earth
2) Initiation Rite creating members of the earthly body of Christ, the Church.Good to recognize these two happenings in one event.
Principles of Identity as articulated by the 21st Century Vision – Christian Church “We practice the baptism of believers, which emphasizes that God’s grace demands a response of faith and discipleship, while also recognizing the baptism of other churches.”
3. Baptism links us this world and beyond. It is not an escape from the world but an identity in the world. Two movies really reminded me of that:
“Brother, Where Art Thou” – great crowd dressed in white robes walking to the river.
“Godfather” – As a crime family is witnessing the baptism of an infant, hit men are preparing for and carrying out executions of the leaders of the other crime families. "The News of this world is always bad. The news of eternity is always good." Houston Smith at Country Club Christian
1) 8 days old David
2) Jerry as an adult at Smithville Lake…little boy “Hey, I caught a fish” ...Perhaps another voice from heaven.
4. Baptism gives us our identity. Baptism doesn’t make us better than others, but it does remind us of our identity. Both need to be reminded. Baptized we live. We succeed, we fail, we are rock stars, we make stupid mistakes, we write great prose and poetry, we draw stupid pictures…we are baptize and baptized we live.
Some churches have little baptismal fonts by the door. Some have people join by Affirmation of Baptism. Some make the sign of the cross. It doesn’t help make free throws, I have tried that. What you do to remember is not as important as the fact that you REMEMBER – “Baptized We Live”