A Congregational Letter to Morgan’s Point and Forks Road East United Churches
January 10th, 2021: Baptism of Jesus Sunday
It was an absolute joy to be able to sit back in my rocking chair, on Monday, and begin contacting folks, once again. It was wonderful to be able to catch up on how your Christmas and New Year’s holidays were celebrated. For those of you, who I was not able to speak with, I hope we will be able to chat over this next week. I would like to hear how your Christmas and New Year’s were celebrated as well.
My sermon this week is based on Mark 1:4-11, and is entitled “The Waters of Baptism”. On Sunday, we celebrate the ‘Baptism of Jesus Sunday’, so it is a good time for us to reflect on, not only our own baptism, but to consider what a privilege it is to Baptise the babies and adults that come into our care, here at Morgan’s Point and Fork Road East United Churches.
When we welcome new members into our faith community, through Baptism, we experience the joy and wonder of watching them grow spiritually. They are God’s gift of love, hope, and joy to us as they often lead us into reflecting more deeply on the mystery of God’s love and care through their enthusiasm and inquiring faith.
Infant and adult Baptism celebrates the fact that God is reaching out to each one of us, whatever our age. God never gives up on us. Each one of us is absolutely precious to God (Isaiah 43:4). Baptism, also reminds us that God calls each and everyone of us by name. In Jesus, God said, “You are my Son, the beloved; my favour rests on you.” (Mark 1:9-11). To each new child, and adult, we bring into our faith family, God says, “You are my beloved, my favour rests on you.” Through Baptism, every person is born into a new and broader family - the family of Christ. So, in addition to having a birth name, we gain the name of “Christian” as we become part of a faith community who will love and cherish us. Thus, through our Baptism, we celebrate Jesus, the Christ, in our life; we celebrate our new identity; and we celebrate our own new name – “Christian”.
This week, as the pandemic continues to spread in our country, and we await our vaccine, let us remember to stay distant, keep our masks on, and wash our hands frequently. We will come through this time of uncertainty through our prayers, joy in our family and faith, and by retaining our hope for a New Year with the promise of joy and love surrounding each of us. Let us, also, remember our dear friends and neighbours in the USA as they come through a week of turmoil with not only increasing COVI-19 infections, but also sorrow on Capitol Hill. May we pray for God’s peace, healing, guiding power, and wisdom.
Let us continue to pray for one another every morning at 10:30, remembering that God grants us wisdom, love, and peace as we hold each other in God’s tender keeping. Much love and care to you all. Keep well and safe.
God’s Blessings, Pastor Laura