Greetings in the name of Jesus, who baptises us with the Holy Spirit and fire!
John, Zachariah’s son, out in the desert at the time, received a message from God. He went all through the country around the Jordan River preaching a baptism of life-change leading to forgiveness of sins…
(I share this recap from Sunday’s sermon, January 10, 2021)
The new year is an ideal time to do a bit of self-reflection and formally state our intentions – not just to lose weight or pick up a new hobby but to revisit and reaffirm our baptismal vows and recommit our lives to this purpose. To declare that despite the fear of the virus, despite the hatred and divisions that divide humanity, despite the despair and uncertainty of our world – we resolve to live lives that reflect Christ.
Last Sunday on Zoom, we recommitted to our baptismal vows and sprinkled ourselves with the water of new life. In doing so, we recognized that the promises that we make in baptism are not promises we make only once but promises we strive to live out every day for the whole of our life. It is important to return to these vows that we have made and continually renew our commitment to our God who remains faithful to us. And so we thought it was important for you to have a printed copy of our baptismal vows:
We confess our personal commitment to Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, trusting in his death and resurrection for the forgiveness of our sins.
In the power of God’s Spirit, we will turn from our own sinful desires and all that holds us back from God.
We will continue to be lifelong, daily disciples of Jesus Christ, seeking to deepen our relationship with God through prayer, scripture reading and friendship with God’s people.
We are willing to give and receive counsel from the members of this congregation and live in fellowship together.
With God’s help, we are ready to live as members of the new humanity created in Jesus Christ, offering our gifts and abilities to partner with God’s mission in the world.
Like new year’s resolutions, baptismal vows are easy to say but much harder to keep. How can we be more successful in staying true to our vows? Like New Year’s resolutions, it’s best to create a plan.
- Mentally prepare for change by doing a personal inventory. What habits do you need to turn away from?
- Set a goal that motivates you. What aspect of living out your faith do you really care about?
- Break big goals into smaller goals.
- Be specific.
- Write down your goals.
- Share you goals with others. Send your pastors an emailJ
- Automate your goals. Put it in your calendar. Use notifications.
- Review your goals regularly.
- If you fall off track, get back on quick.
Remember, it’s not about getting it right. It is about being in right relationship – a loving relationship with God, who sees us trying and says: “this is my beloved son, this is my beloved daughter, in whom I am well pleased.”