My beloved Mt. Tam Church,
“By virtue of our baptism…..” Right before I left on sabbatical, I received a most unusual request: “Pastor, when you return, can I be baptized?” Unusual because the requester was Willie Lang. Most baptisms are of children. We’ve baptized just a few adults in my time here and now, as well as our beloved Willie. Upon my return, he inquired again, writing, “Please put me on the baptism waiting list.” In all my years of ministry, I’ve never thought about a “baptism waiting list.” Thank you Willie, for helping me think about that.
What does it mean to be baptized? Traditionally, it is to redeem and save us from the ravages of original sin so that we are fit for heaven. My own belief is that baptism is a sign of God’s love for us and that a church community celebrates that sign and commits itself to join in the spiritual care of the one being baptized. Thomas Keating writes: “If you accept the belief that baptism incorporates us in the mystical body of Christ, into the divine DNA, then you might say that the Holy Spirit is present in each of us, and thus we have the capacity for the fullness of redemption, of transformation.”
I love that! Baptism as the recognition and celebration of our divine DNA, the Holy Spirit present in each of us. Please pray for our congregation as together we celebrate the baptism of our dear Willie and remind each other that we share a divine DNA as God’s cherished children. I hope to see you this Sunday for a truly amazing joy!
PS—and the icing on the cake will be the Blessing of the Animals immediately after worship!