Baptism of the Lord and the renewal of ours – Jan 9, 2011

Title:Baptism of the Lord and the renewal of ours – Jan 9, 2011

Renewing our baptismToday we renewed our baptism covenant on the anniversary of the Baptism of the Lord. Catherine took an evergreen and sprinkled us with water as part of the process. 

We faced difficult issues as a congregation in the midst of the news yesterday of murders in Arizona which killed 6, including a 9 year girl and a federal judge and wounded 14 including a Congress woman. 

Catherine’s sermon contained the following points.

"Where was God yesterday when people lay dying on the sidewalk? God was with them in their suffering and in their deaths.  God was in the people who stopped the gunner and held him down until the police could come.

"God will be in the conversations about this event—the conversations  that look for how we can forgive one another, reconcile with one another, and have compassion for one another, rather than blaming particular groups, and  pointing the finger at one another, deepening our divisions. 

"The Good News is that God calls us to be obedient  to the way of life that Jesus modeled for us. In solidarity with us, Jesus modeled a life of love, healing and compassion.  

"The Good News is that God calls us to trust. First, we agree to gather together as Christians on a regular basis, so that we can continue to learn, continue to enjoy fellowship with one another, to share God’s love through Eucharist, and to pray together.

"Second, we agree to persevere in resisting evil, and whenever we fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord.  Resisting evil has a personal as well as a communal dimension.  God is calling each one of us to resist evil in some particular way in our lives.  That call is unique to each one of us. But God is also calling us, as the body of Christ, to resist the evil of fighting among ourselves, quarreling, gossiping, creating ill will and hostility within our Christian community.  "

The full sermon is here. The bulletin is here.

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