Reflecting on the glimpses of the Kingdom I've seen this week.
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Sermons can be found at https://lmpiotrowicz.blogspot.ca
2 Jan 2017
Praying Our Baptismal Vows (part 3)
Originally posted onMarch 8, 2015
The sacrament of baptism is more than a one-day celebration; it is a life-long commitment. Each Sunday of Lent I will offer a reflection on one of our baptismal vows.
Will you proclaim by word and example the good news of God in Christ?
This baptismal vow encourages us to intentionally consider how we publicly live out our faith. Our thoughts, words, and actions not only matter to ourselves, but in how we will be perceived in the broader community. This is similar to the adage ‘if you were charged with being a Christian, would you be convicted?’
Whereas formal proclamations are few these days, the ‘proclaim’ we vow to undertake in our baptism is a declaration that we are making of something that is important to us. How we live our lives shows the world where our significance lies; our daily ‘proclamation’ emphasises how our lives are changed (or not) by the presence of the living God. Everything we do, every interaction we have, every impression we make can reflect what it is we proclaim in our lives.
Word and Example
The call to give praise to God “not only with our lips, but in our lives” (BCP Evening prayer) is the daily reminder that we are always role models; in the language we choose, in the way we present ourselves, in all that we do. I find this very important in a culture where the cross is often worn as a fashion statement or trendy design rather than a symbol of faith. Even in fashion, words and example matter. We are called to invite people to join us on our Christian journey; yet we are also challenged by the fine line of over-sharing. I reflect on eye exams, where in dark rooms dilated pupils have bright light shone in them – this can be blinding, offensive, and causes me to pull back; if we are sharing the light of Christ in the same over-powering way, we may be inadvertently pushing people away.
My reflections turn to the prologue to the Gospel according to John. When we read that passage (John 1.1-14) it does us well to recognise that the word “Word” has much more meaning to it than a mere collection of letters. Written as ‘logos’ (not ‘lexis’), it is not merely an entry in a lexicon, but holding a deeper meaning implying reason and thought, expectation and intent, value and appreciation. And so, the ‘logos’ which we understand to be the Christ, is the Word/thought/belief/intent who calls us into action to live and share this good news.
Have mercy upon us, your children.
Forgive us our thoughts, which stray away from you.
Forgive us our words, which can cause hurt to ourselves, to others, and to you.
Forgive us our actions, which are so often restricted in and by earthly trappings.
Have mercy on us, your children.
Help us to have the courage to be counter-cultural in our Christ-centredness.
Help us to find the balance to invite people toward you without pushing too hard.
Help us to share your Good News in all that we do.
Have mercy on us, your children.
Guide us to live into the hope and promise of redemption that only you can offer us.