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Pulpit Reflections PDF Print E-mail

Fulfilling whose we are

By Pastor Nora Mendyk
United Methodist Church, Grant

Last week we considered traveling by a different road like the three kings did after finding and worshiping Jesus (Epiphany). Spiritually, that road can lead to a greater commitment to Jesus in 2014. A new commitment can be sealed by asking to be baptized. Or if you have been baptized, a new commitment can be symbolized by reclaiming your baptism.
Jesus was baptized in the river Jordan. “Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Matthew 3: 13-17
God in three forms was present that day at the River Jordan; God the Father who said, “This is my son.” God the Son who said he was being baptized to fulfill all righteousness, and God the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove. What a beautiful mystery! We, too, experience a mystery as we are baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Baptism is a sign of whose you are. This imagery is explained by Paul in Romans 6:3-4. “Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we, too, may live a new life. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
Through baptismal water we die to sin and rise to Christ. Baptism is a sign of whose you are.
If you have not been baptized, consider what it might mean to you.
If you have been baptized, reclaim your baptism. Let the Holy Spirit remind you of God’s saving grace at work within you. When Jesus went down in the water, as he came up, he was fulfilling who he was to be, God’s Son to fulfill all righteousness. When we are baptized or reclaim our baptism, we go down to die to sin and rise up to Christ to fulfill whose we are to be.
Reclaim all it means to you to be a child of God. Reclaim all it means to you to follow Him, to be led by Him, to serve Him to experience His love, His grace. Reclaim whose you are. Reclaim the joy of the day you were baptized.