But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine…” – Isaiah 43:1
NOTE: Life, Gratitude, Faith, & Passion is taking a short hiatus. After today, my next post will likely appear around the middle of August. Please feel free to peruse the archives; or – better yet – go to my Amazon author page and spend the next couple of weeks reading one of my books!
THIS: Sunday morning, July 27, at Wake Forest Presbyterian Church, Rebekah had the joy of baptizing three children from the same family (you can see each baptism, in succession, in the image gallery below).
The timing could not have been better, as we wrapped up the sermon series on the Book of Judges. Judges is the chronicle of how, repeatedly, the Children of Israel failed to keep covenant with God. Whereas baptism tells the story, repeatedly, of how God’s faithfulness continues today, to extend God’s covenant promises from generation to generation.
At WFPC, a young family stood with Rebekah, and the parents publicly proclaimed their trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior, promising to raise their children in a Christian home.
The congregation then pledged to support and nurture both the parents and the children. Everyone voiced their commitment to be in it for the long haul, together, looking forward to the day when the young people will confirm their faith, and claim God’s covenant promises for themselves.
EVERYTHING! What happened in worship Sunday morning was, essentially, the whole point of everything.
As I stood there, watching a young family turn deliberately towards the light, the core value of our faith community came into clear focus.
Here’s what I mean. As I stood there, watching a young family turn deliberately towards the light, the core value of our faith community came into clear focus. I saw with a sharp clarity that nothing else comes close to mattering this much; I saw that if we’re not in the business of facilitating restored. reconciled, and regenerative relationships with God, then we’re really not in business at all.
It is a beautiful thing to look across a crowd of disciples, and to see a family promising to live as faithful followers of Jesus, pledging to practice their faithfulness in the context of a vibrant community of believers.
That’s church, right there. This is the bottom line: God, reaching in to invite us into a different kind of life. “For I have ransomed you,” God says, “I have called you by name; you are mine.”
And that, my friends, is absolutely brilliant! – DEREK