From the Desktop of the Pastor – week of the Baptism of Our Lord Sunday

Hi everyone,

So… more snow.  More snow.  More and more and mo’ snow (the “re” there was covered by snow).  I’m seriously at my wit’s end here with all this snow.  You’d think this were Canada or something.

Oh wait.

Often we in the Lower Mainland get a bit spoiled when it comes to weather.  We like to complain about everything, and forget just how good we have it weather-wise when compared to the rest of our country-mates (is that even a word?  Country-mates?  Well, it is now).

While the rest of the country laughs at us for our inability to cope with a bit of snow and we keep reminding them that we have more moisture and hills so our roads are slipperier, I think it’s safe to say that we now have this one thing in common with what much of the rest of Canada is very used to: we’re pretty much frozen.

Yay for living here and not the actual arctic!

Next week’s readings are:

Isaiah 42:1-9

Psalm 29

Acts 10:34-43

Matthew 3:13-17

So it’s hard not to read about the baptism of Jesus without questioning what baptism is.  The fact of the matter is, it’s not taught too well in our churches, our bible studies, or even our seminaries (but don’t tell my professors that).  We are often confused with what baptism does for us, and what it means, and why it needs to be done (or not done).  On the surface, it is just a simple sprinking of (or dunking into) water, but is it simply just a ritual?  Something representing something that is bigger?  Or does it go even deeper than that?

The truth is, there are almost as many opinions about baptism as there are people in the room (people who share their opinion about baptism, that is).  But I think most of us can agree on one thing: baptism unites us.  Baptism brings us together.  Baptism by its very nature marks us in a way that tells us that we are part of something bigger, a community that is more broad, a family that extends over time and geographic location.

The baptized may not have a lot in common, but we all share at least that one thing that binds us all together, and that is we have all been in contact with the water and been declared as children of God.  Often the analogy I use for baptism is that it is God’s way of entering our lives and giving us a physical hug through the water.  God touches us with this essential element, breathing life into us and providing for our needs.

This is why I believe baptism is such an amazing gift to us all, allowing us to feel the actual presence of God, allowing us to actually hear God moving through us, and actually allowing us to see the welcome of God as it encompasses us (even if it just sort of runs off our head and back into the font).  What a joy it is to share in this baptism with each other and Jesus our Lord, who was actually baptised as well.

Have a great week, everyone!  And stay warm out there!

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