December 10, 2017 - Baptism

2017 Dec10_Baptism

Advent 2 - Year B

Baptism Sermon delivered by The Rev Ian M Delinger

 

To God who created light, whose spirit moved over the face of the waters and through whom all things came into being be with us now and always. Amen.

 

Here we are on the Second Sunday of Advent with a double Baptism. This is what The Church does. We welcome God’s Children into the Body of Christ, the Church.

 

Hugo and Elliot: When you hear this, what do you think?

 

“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”


Who is God?

 

  • God is Love. We have all sorts of different images of God, and we can talk about what you think about God at Doc Bernstein’s sometime, if you would like. But the easiest thing to remember is that God is Love.

Do you remember why we are preparing for God? What’s coming up? And what does that mean?

  • Jesus is coming and Jesus is God.
  • Jesus was the human form of God. And is with God again.

You are being Baptized, and I’m going to Baptize you in the name of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Or God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. They are all God. Does that make sense? Think of it this way: Your dad is a father, right? But he’s also a son, right? And he’s also a brother, right? He is all of those things, but he’s still Carl Anderson.

 

So, God is Father, Jesus and
Holy Spirit, and it doesn’t matter
which one is in front of you: God
is Love.

 

When I Baptize you in the name of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you are accepting that love and will become a part of the Church Family, what we call The Body of Christ. You will belong to Jesus – I will actually say that when I put oil on your forehead. And that love that Jesus has for you will never go away.

 

Sometimes it’s really hard to understand who God is and how we know God is with us. That’s what coming to Church and hanging out with us is for. These people here, and all the people you know from the 10am service, we’re all trying to get to know God better, particularly the Jesus God. And just like your friends at school, the more you hang out together, the better you know Him.

 

  • And the better you know Him, the more you understand how much He loves you and why.
  • And the more love you feel, the more you want to wait for Him to come back to be with us.
  • And the more you want to wait for him, the more you want to be ready for Him to come back.
  • And that is what all three of our readings are telling us today:
  • Let’s get to know God better.
  • He’s coming back again as Jesus to show us a kind of love we have never experienced before. It will be the most amazing experience of our lives.
  • So, we need to prepare ourselves for when Jesus comes back.
  • That means “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Now you can stay right here while I tell all of these other people one last thing.

 

Everything the John the Baptist proclaims today offers to Hugo and Elliot, to their parents and Godparents, and to us, the briefest of synopses of the Christian faith:

 

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

 

The Love of God through Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit is both beyond our understanding and beyond the most immense love that we will experience here on earth. But it is not beyond our reach. Today we bring Hugo and Elliot into that immense love the we know through Baptism. Baptism isn’t a magic love pill. (You can get those on the internet!)

    
Baptism is a new life that is
greater than the life focused on
earthly material things, because
this new life is focused on the
Love of God through
Jesus Christ.

 

As a Church Family, we must be active in supporting Hugo and Elliot and guiding them and waiting with them as we all grow stronger in holiness and godliness. And, like it says in our first reading, when the glory of the Lord is revealed, we and all people – this family as the Body of Christ – shall see it together.

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