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The Baptism of our Lord

by Pastor Karen Brau

This was a snow Sunday, and we gathered in the Sanctuary while it snowed outside — in the midst of the beauty of the day,  we spent time remembering Jesus’ Baptism and our own Baptism.

I shared some words about what Baptism can mean to us as we make our way in daily life, and I used some wise words written by the Rev. Dr. Gordon Straw.  The Rev. Dr. Straw, who unexpectedly died recently,  was on the faculty the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago and a member of the Brothertown Indian Nation.

These words are part of a larger blog that is written surrounding the events at Standing Rock, and this blog can be found here.

In Baptism God chose us and calls us beloved, and we get to chose how to use that gift — to bring life or to bring destruction.    We live in times when its tough to tell if our baptism matters at all — and these words inspire us to again to reconnect with the holy power of the sacrament of Baptism.

Gordon Straw writes:

You have the power to choose self-interest, greed, parochialism, xenophobia, hatred and distrust of others (including your enemies), and the attitude that none of the things that are happening in our communities, our nation, or in the world apply to you. In that case you have chosen to bring destruction: of the earth, of relationships, of community. You also have the power to choose the common good, generosity, respect for all others (including your enemies), tolerance, love, and the attitude that everything that happens in my community, my nation, or in the world is directly connected to me. In that case, you chose to bring life.

We affirmed choosing life at the end of the sermon by inviting the children to join me in re-sprinkling the congregation with water from the Baptismal Font.

May this water continue to come to life in and through us all.

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