Given By Rev. Madison Shockley January 13, 2019

The reading today talks of baptism.  There are many ways to get baptized;  a few drops of water or a damp hand to full immersion.  Many people today were baptized as children. Jesus was baptized as an adult by John the Baptist. He was immersed in the Jordan River. Those baptized by John the Baptist had to go through a much more difficult process. It was a radical and dangerous act since you renounced the world. It was your initiation into the resistance against the Roman Empire and the corrupt hierarchy of priests. It was also your invitation. You began a new way of life that Jesus called the Reign of God. It is not the water. It is the power that changes you. It is the power that enables you to do God’s work. Do you feel the power? Back then, it carries the risk of imprisonment and death. The ritual had another meaning. You walked into the baptismal pit and then walked out. It was like walking into your grave and then being resurrected. Once you have “died”, you have nothing to lose. There is nothing more powerful than a Christian with nothing to lose. Baptism makes us all children of God.We take off our old selves and become one with God and each other. It is the act of belonging to God. You are loved by God just as you are and God is pleased. This is what it means to be a Christian.