Today we baptize three beautiful children. We enact the ancient rites and rituals of the church that we have practiced for thousands of years.
Their parents are entrusting them to this community to baptize them.
But a question remains. We baptize them–into what?
What do they become by being baptized that is different from who they are now?
Baptism induces a permanent and irrevocable change of state.
They were created in the image of God, but today they are baptized into a community, an identity, and a calling.
In a very real sense they are being ordained to do a job.
They, and you, are in the priesthood of all believers. Baptism marks the transition into this work.
As we read in 2 Peter, “You are…a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
So what does the work of the priesthood of all believers look like?
We get an important part of our commission in Peter’s sermon in Acts today.
Peter says, “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ…”
“Every nation,” Peter says.
“Peace by Jesus Christ,” he says.
This text struck me to the heart as I read it this week as day after day we seemed to be marching toward a war with Iran.Continue reading