Baptism at Jacksonville Presbyterian C hurchI recently read about a recent seminary graduate, who just began his very first call in a congregation. He and his wife went to visit his family one Saturday afternoon for lunch. This pastors mother sensed that her daughter-in-law was not all that happy, but not wanting to be nosey, she pretended not to notice. She figured they would work it out.

And sure enough, as her son and daughter-in-law were leaving, she knew everything would be okay because she overheard her daughter-in-law say, “All right, we can go by the church and you can practice baptizing me just one more time. But remember this, when you have your first funeral, you are not going to practice burying me!”

The story is funny! But on reflection, more important than practicing baptizing on someone else, is practicing our own baptism. Or I should say living in such a way that our baptism makes a difference.

When Jesus was baptized, God spoke, “This is my Son, the beloved, with whom I am well pleased!” In baptism, God claims us as well – and we are sent as Jesus was to share the love, hope, and forgiveness that we ourselves have received.

Today, I pray that you would hear God’s words for you, “You are my son, my daughter, the beloved. With you I am well pleased!” And I also pray that love and acceptance would spill out of your life and touch the world around you.

Let us pray: We thank you Gracious God, for your love that knows no limits. Help us to accept your mercy and grace in a way that sustains us and compels us to share it. We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.