June 29, 2012

Proper 8

Filed under: Children and Families,Lectionary — by Lisa Meeder Turnbull @ 10:36 am

Almighty God, you have built your Church upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone: Grant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their teaching, that we may be made a holy temple acceptable to you. (BCP p. 230)

Wow. That’s a pretty tall order. Don’t get me wrong—I love my baptism. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. But do you ever find the baptismal life to be a little intimidating? A little overwhelming?

I had this conversation with my daughter a few weeks ago when she asked me about confirmation:

Daddy and I, and Godmother and Godfather made certain promises to our priests, and to God, when you were a baby. In time you will be old enough for the bishop to ask you whether you choose to take responsibility for those promises yourself.

What if I say no?

It’s perfectly OK not to be ready; these are very serious promises, promises that will shape the rest of your life. The bishop won’t ask until you are sure you’re ready.

How ridiculous was that answer? How can anyone possibly be “ready”? That’s right up there with being ready to get married, or ready to start a family—if we waited until we were ready, until we were absolutely sure, we’d never do it. That is precisely why we make our baptismal covenant “with God’s help.”

And perhaps that is also why, as I review the readings for this week, I am drawn to the words of Lamentations:

This I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

There’s the bottom line: God’s love is ever with us. How does it feel to rest in that care? How does resting in God’s care give you strength and courage to love and serve the Lord? How do you know that you’re ready?


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