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God’s Drenching for Ministry

January 12, 2012

Fruit doesn’t generate itself; it is generated by the vine. The same is true of us. Jesus was Baptized for us, Jesus laid down his life for us, that we might have his life within us forever. So, as Paul says in Gal 2:20, “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.”

Through what our Lord has done for us, God draws up into the life of the Trinity (we are Baptized into the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). The Holy Spirit lives within us to transform and make new, producing the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (see Galatians 5:22-23) – in our lives.

It is a slow process. It’s painful at times. But it is happening.

And then, as God’s beloved, with the life of Jesus within us, drenched in the Holy Spirit, we are called to make a difference in the world.

With his Baptism, Jesus began his public ministry, leaving behind his former life to embrace the mission he had been given.

We are called to do the same.

As Christians, what kind of first impression do we give – individually and as a Parish? Is it that we are committed to be with people, with all creation, whatever the cost? Or is it that we are aloof, insulated, and inward-looking? As those who share Jesus’ Baptism, we are called to show forth, and make manifest Jesus’ glory … We are called to make a difference in the world – spreading the light of Jesus’ love, as it shines through us.

Brett Blair writes:
In the civil rights’ marches in the 1960’s. Martin Luther King – often at the front – received his share of stinging high-pressured water hoses. Dr. King once remarked that he and the other marchers had a common strength. He put it this way: As “we went before the fire hoses; we had known water. If we were a Baptist or some other denomination, we had been immersed. If we were Methodist, and some others, we had been sprinkled, but we knew water.”

You and I know the water. All of God’s children know the water. We share by our faith this common symbol, this initiation, this rite, this power of God over the deep and often raging chaos of life. We know water! All over the world Baptism unites us.

Keith Wagner adds:
Jesus called fishers as his first disciples. These were common, everyday folk who knew what it meant to get wet. God is not looking for the cream of the crop nor is God looking for those who get all the breaks. God starts with average people who are willing to get wet, willing to go deep, willing to make a commitment.

People like you and me.

Let us pray …

Lord Jesus, thank you for your Baptism: the Baptism you underwent, and the Baptism you bestow. Amen.

(adapted from the conclusion of the sermon at our January 8 Services)


Embedded below is a a video of a song entitled “Faces In The Water,” sung by Kate Campbell, from the album “For The Living Of These Days.” The person who posted the video adds the following: “The song was written by Alabama native, Dr. Greg McPherson, and refers to the Civil Rights memorial in Montgomery, Alabama, which honors those who gave their lives, both literally and figuratively, for racial equality and peace.” As we watch and listen, I pray that we are strengthened in our resolve to “get wet,” and then, as those drenched for ministry, spread the love of Jesus in the world.

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  1. We Remember Daphne ffolliott – A Person “Drenched for Ministry” « Pastor's Postings

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