Baptismal Wellness

When Jesus Appears... In the Water!

Reading time: two minutes. Yes, yes, I know: God is hidden.  He's chosen not to appear in  theophanies before us and shout, "I am the Lord God!", but He's not that hidden.  I saw Him this morning. In this season of Epiphany we remember the work of God the Holy Spirit making Jesus known in word and in power.  God is indeed hidden from the view of our senses, but He is constantly making Himself known to those who have receive the gift of faith by the Spirit. Have you seen Jesus this morning?  Would you like to see Jesus today?  Do you NEED to see Jesus?  Take a look in the water.  He's looking right back at you. Read More

A Prayer for Baptismal Wellbeing

Praying time: less than three minutes. Baptismal renewal is a privilege for us moment by moment throughout the course of every day.  I pray for you every day.  I hope this prayer might be your own! Holy, blessed, eternal God, You shine with the light of glory.  The flaming seraphs who are always before Your throne  fade and diminish in comparison to You, their Creator.  My brothers Peter, James and John glimpsed a reflection of Your glory in the face of my Savior, Jesus, and they fell face down, terrified.  Holy, Holy, Holy is Your name, O Lord. Read More

Baptismal Wellbeing and Psalm 103

Reading time: less than three minutes Just in case you haven't had reason to sing to the Lord yet today, here's one: the splash of the water!  God has made you His child by the water and the powerful word of grace, cleansing and renewal of holy baptism, and that's enough reason to rejoice and sing.  Anytime.  Anywhere.  Always. So what do we sing?  How about a song the Lord Himself has written through His inspired servant, David.  How about a song of celebration from the anointed prince of Israel, a great sinner (like me) who knew the joy of sainthood (like me)? Here's a song for you: "Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name" (Psalm 103:1). Read More

Church Health: Who Are We?

Reading time, three minutes. In 1974 I was 6'3" and 160 pounds so I bought a pair of platform shoes with three inch heels.  Not only did they look stupid, they didn't feel very good either.  I looked like a stork with a limp (the plaid bell bottoms didn't help much), and every bone in my ankles and feet screamed at me, "What are you DOING!?!" I wanted so badly to look cool like some guys I knew who really did make those shoes work for them, that I ended up miserable.  Churches can do that too. Read More

Baptismal Wellbeing Is the Power of WE!

Reading time: less than 3 minutes. I once was asked on a theology test: "Explain the Trinity.  Use the words essence and substance."  Fortunately the professor only left room for about 50 words on the test paper.  I'm sure my answer was pathetic. I wish I'd known about "perichoresis."  Not to impress the instructor, of course.  Well, maybe just a little.  Perichoresis is a term the ancient Greek Fathers used to describe the relationship of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  It literally can mean "dance around" (get it... "Peri" like perimeter + "Choresis" as in choreography).   Some say the Greek dance involving at least three dancers, weaving in and out of one another inspired the Fathers to say, "That's what the Trinity is like!" What a wonder that in the grace of baptism, you and I have been invited to join in the dance! Read More

JOY Is Baptismal Renewal!

Reading time: 3 minutes What does JOY look like?  I've got a pretty good idea of what joy looks like.  I've seen it a few times. Have you ever been at a ball game where the announcer says over the loudspeaker, "Today we honor the families of our military personnel serving overseas..." and out marches some children of soldiers?  Then suddenly, sneaking up on the children from behind, comes daddy or mommy, returned home from service unannounced and sooner than expected. Read More

Baptismal Wellbeing Is… RENEWAL

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes. Did you ever feel like starting all over again? Wait, what I’m really asking is, Did you ever not feel like starting all over again? I’m sorry. That’s not right. Please let me try it again. Have you ever known deep in your heart that your only hope is for a brand new beginning? (There, that’s better!) The Gospel is always about beginning all over again New beginnings. That’s the hope and the joy of the gospel of Jesus Christ, isn’t it? That’s why we’re open every Sunday, for new beginnings, fresh starts in the wondrous gift of Christ’s love and forgiveness. But isn’t Sunday too long to wait? If you’re like me, you’re ready for new beginnings all through the week! Read More