Baptism is a key aspect of our lives of faith as Christians - no matter if you were baptized as an infant or as a teen or an adult. Baptism is a mark of our relationship with God, a sealing of the covenant that God makes with us and with which we seek to live out daily.
We enter this season of Epiphany - a time focused on light, revelation and focus - being reminded of our own baptisms. We read the various accounts of Jesus own baptism by John the baptizer in the Gospels (take the opportunity to compare the variety of accounts in Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; amd John 1:31-45).
Beyond the rituals of baptism, what does it mean for us to be baptized? How are we called to live our our baptisms daily? How is it more than one day on the calendar, but rather a way of life?
In this year's Epiphany season, you are invited to remember your baptism as well as to prayerfully seek to dive deeply into that baptism and your relationship with God.
This Sunday, you will recieve a "water drop" with a word on it.
This is your word for at least the next month (or year, if you so choose). You are invited to pray that word and to seek its meaning in your life and your relationship with God. Here are a few ideas to help you in this time of exploration:
1) Look up the various meanings of your word. Go beyond just the literal meaning, but how else has it been used metaphorically, symbolically, etc.
2) How have you experienced (or not) this word in your life so far?
3) Who has exemplified this word to you?
4) Look up this word in scripture (not all of them are in the Bible specifically, so you may need to choose a synonmym or other meaning to assist you).
BUT most importantly -
a) How is God speaking to you through this word?
b) What does God want you to hear in and through this word?
c) How is God calling you to live out this word daily?
At first, you may not like the word or it might not resonate with you. But give it time. Or it may be a word that you aren't as familiar with (or for the kids, they may not understand it). Give it time.
Pray this word
Draw or write or find a picture that exemplifies this word.
Share your thoughts and reflections about God's word for you with others.
(If you have a written reflection, drawing, etc. that you are willing to share through this blog, on Sunday mornings or in other ways with the congregation - let me know so that we can make that happen.)
If you have any questions or would like more direction in this prayer exercise, feel free to let me know. If you are unable to be there when we receive our words in worship, let me know and I can pick one out for you.
I have been praying over each of these words and asking for God to give you the word that you need to hear right now.
As Christians, we are walking wet, changed by God's words of grace that comfort, guide, support and lead us in our every day lives. One drop of water can change the surface of an ocean; one word from God can change us and God then works through us to change the world.