I had another fabulous day today with my friends. Playing in the woods and along the river. MOM has been working on Sunday’s sermon in between walks. She tells me that this Sunday is “Baptism of our Lord Sunday”. It reminded me of a story that I want to share with you. I will slip in some of the photos of the great day I had today in between my thoughts.
John the Baptist’s baptism of repentance reached deep into each individual’s heart, stirring the soul, making fertile, watered soil for the baptismal seeds of the Spirit. Water brought disciples into God’s presence. But it took the Holy Spirit to send the disciples back out into the world. That’s why we are “born of water and of the Spirit.” The Spirit is given to animate faith into action in the world.
It is the Spirit that creates disciples of doing, disciples of daring. It is the Spirit that gives faith its feet. Baptism in water, as an act of repentance and re-birth, is a “once-and-for-all time” gift from God, a dying to self and a living to Christ. Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a “new-every-day” infusion from Christ to all his disciples for their mission in the world.
There was a little boy visiting his grandparents, he was given his first slingshot. He practiced in the woods, but he could never hit his target. He went back to Grandma’s back yard, where he spied her pet duck. On an impulse he took aim and let fly. The stone hit. The duck fell dead. The boy panicked. Desperately he hid the dead duck in the woodpile, only to look up and see his sister watching. Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.
|MOM took this shot this past spring not on our outing today.|
|Another photo from the summer|
What “duck” do you keep remembering? What duck do you keep letting it remind you everyday of your shortfalls and short-comings? It’s so much easier to remember our sins than to recall our salvation. It's easier to see the cracks and broken places in our lives than to feel the strength of God’s Spirit that has glued us back together.
We all have “remember-the-duck!” people in our lives, people who like Sally find it convenient for one reason or another to keep us in our place, people who are constantly whispering in our ear: “Remember the duck.” Don’t listen!
In fact, whenever you hear the “remember the duck!” voice, you need to beat it back with these words: “Remember your baptism. Remember God’s grace. Remember the ongoing gift of the Holy Spirit that beckons you into the world to do the impossible.
So those are some of my thoughts on this fine day. I remember baptism every time my buddy Bert runs and jumps uninhibited in to the life giving water that he loves so much. Thanks for teaching me more than just how to swimming Bert.