Sunday, January 12, commemorates the feast of the Baptism of our Lord, and we pray, Father in heaven, who at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit: Grant that all who are baptized into his Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
All who are baptized into the name of God are called to become bold followers of Jesus. So will be the three children to be baptized on this occasion at St. Peter’s. The parents and godparents of these children will be invited to be responsible for seeing that the child they present is brought up in the Christian faith and life, and that by prayers and witness they will help the child to grow into the full stature of Christ. Whether the sacrament of Holy Baptism is bestowed on a child, youth, or adult, it involves intentional, daily growth by the individual into the full stature of Christ, that the baptized might be like Christ.
To become a community of bold followers of Jesus is the first aspect of the four-point vision of St. Peter’s, because this need is at the core of our tradition. It is simply Christian. It does not mean that you and I understand it–nor did the followers long ago. For this reason, we have begun exploration of it as well as the other three aspects of the vision at our “Claiming Our Vision” series that started on Sunday, January 5 in the Parish Hall Forum (9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m., second floor of the Parish House). A decent group gathered with the Reverend Joslyn Ogden Schaefer and me to explore the spiritual notion of bold-following through listening, conversation, and reflection. It is our hope for the coming weeks that all adult members and newcomers, who are able, will join us for these noteworthy gatherings.
Let us pray for one another that we might “boldly confess him as Lord and Savior” and learn to do so in thought, word, and deed.
The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector