There’s the story told among the German Baptist Brethren, about a man who resisted the call of God for decades before finally giving his life to Christ. As was the custom, he was baptized on Christmas Day. The minister literally broke the ice on the surface of the pond, then dunked the man in the frigid water three times, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. As he came up spluttering and gasping he shouted in triumph, “At last! It’s over.”

The minister smiled and said, “No, brother. It’s just beginning.”

Whatever else the baptism is, it is not an ending, but a beginning. I’ll never forget when my daughter Marley was baptized as a baby, our pastor said to her – and to us, “You have the rest of your life to live out the meaning of this day.”

That is true because the life of faith is an on-going journey. For most of the world’s religions – including Christianity – faith is not just about what happens to us when we die. It is all about our life today – right now! How we live.

Today, whatever your faith or background, may you make the most of each and every moment. Infuse this day with the grace that God has given you. Love deeply, give generously, and hold on to hope no matter what.

When we put our faith into practice, it adds meaning and depth to our lives.

Let us pray: Loving God, sometimes in life our faith gets pushed to the side. We hold it in reserve until we think we need it. But we know that you want so much more for us. Help us to live what we believe. In doing so, may we experience the fullness of your joy. Amen.