from Luke 3:15-18, 21-22
You often look at the start of a new year as an opportunity to examine your life and make changes toward becoming the person you really want to be…
Whether that is to be a healthier person, a kinder person, a more patient person, a more prompt person, a stronger person…whatever the case, a new year tends to mean a fresh start…a chance to make a change.
The question becomes, why is making a change so important? Why do we spend so much time and energy and money toward making these change? Because for so many people, identity is found in how one performs, how one perceives self…how one is perceived by others. The problem is, this can be an exhausting roller coaster of self love and self loathing, of being sure of who one is and in the next moment have more questions than answers when it comes to self.
The reality is, we are all a mess…and yet there is a truth we find and embrace in baptism that calls us to the end of our search for identity…because in baptism, you are invited to embrace the truth that before you acted-good or bad, you are the beloved of God.
*NOTE-in this week’s recording we have chosen not to edit out the invitation to baptism and remembrance of baptism. Normally, the audio would not include the invitation to respond (be it to prayer, communion, or in this case-baptism), as it is to receive something tangible for those who are gathered on Sunday morning. However, it seems appropriate given the message to include the invitation…it is an invitation to all, to remember that you are the beloved of God, or to embrace for the first time the truth that you are the beloved of God…may you find your identity in that hope!
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w/ Vern Collins