Scripture Reading: Matthew 3:13-17
Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’ But Jesus answered him, ‘Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfil all righteousness.’ Then he consented. And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.’
Do you remember the exact moment when you answered God’s call when you knew you made your choice when there was no turning back? I am what is called a cradle-Christian, so it would have been very easy for me to go through all the motions of being a follower of Christ without ever intentionally choosing that role. I grew up in a tradition that practices what is called believer’s baptism, so I was not baptized or christened at birth. Accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior, however, was an expectation of my family and community of faith, which I did in grade school. That said, I cannot remember a time when I did not know Jesus as friend—still relish that relationship to this day. At a very young age, I did walk with him and talk with him as I observed my parents doing.
I rededicated my life to Christ as a senior in high school. Had I been male I most likely would have gone into the ministry then, but Christian Education was not my thing. I moved to college in the fall and pursued a career in social work. It was the mid-1960’s. The world was exploding around me. While, lying in my bed a mile or so from the primarily African American area of Enid, OK, I heard small explosions in the night after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Later I learned the blasts were from Molotov cocktails lit and thrown in their own neighborhood by frustrated young black youth. I was involved in registering new voters in that same area only a few days earlier. I was a good volunteer doing the kinds of things good young people did. The echoing of those small explosions set me on a course of seeking justice from which I could never turn back.
Think about your moment of commitment. Re-clothe yourself in how it felt and what it meant to you at the time. What does it mean to you now?
Prayer: Reenergize us, O God, by helping us remember our naive start. Help us examine the scars of our experiences since then, heal any wounds that exist that are holding us back from being fully engaged in your service. Help us identify the lessons we have learned in our maturing faith and help us apply them. Amen.
All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.