Main Readings: Exodus 34.1-8; Song of 3YM 29-34 (APBA p.399); 2 Corinthians 13.11-13; Matthew 28.16 -20
Supplementary Readings: Psalm 8; Matthew 6.7-15; Genesis 1.1-2.4a; Psalm 20; Ephesians 4.1-6, 17-32
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28.19)
One of the most painful experiences of COVID-19’s temporary gathering restrictions has been calling young families and cancelling pre-booked baptism arrangements. This has left me with a feeling of not fulfilling the role of a priest and missing the opportunity of witnessing in a society that questions the relevance of the Gospel. The unique way that a baptism connects families and the Church has also been temporarily hindered, compounding my sense of loss.
In this short passage we gain profound insight into the divine through the name in whom we baptise. Baptism is the public, physical and visible way in which we enter a holy life with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as we are baptised in the name of our Trinitarian God. Baptism is such a central part of the identity of being a Christian, and the sense of deep loss I currently feel has reawakened me to the beauty and significance of this sacrament.
Baptism is not an optional extra for the followers of Jesus. In baptism, we follow the example of so many who have gone before us by plunging into water, repenting of our sins, and receiving new life. In baptism we are embraced into the divine life and purpose, entering holy ground.
May the day soon return when we can share the joy of baptism in our sacred spaces once again.
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