Teaching confirmation last week, I told our students that Jesus’ baptism by John was not a sign of repentance of sin, but an ordination into ministry. Baptism is a multifaceted experience for Christians that needs to be lifted up in various ways for us to see the beauty and wonder of this gift from God.
Barbara Brown Taylor writes this about baptism connecting all God’s people together, both ordained and laity.
What we have in common is our baptism, that turning point in each of our lives when we were received into the household of God and charged to confess the faith of Christ crucified, proclaim his resurrection, and share in his eternal priesthood. That last phrase is crucial. Our baptism are our ordinations, the moments at which we are set apart as God’s people to share Christ’s ministry, whether or not we wear clerical collars around our necks. The instant we rise dripping from the waters of baptism and the sign of the cross is made upon our foreheads, we are marked as Christ’s own forever. (The Preaching Life, p. 30)
Our baptism is our call into ministry. We all have a place to serve in God’s family and God’s world. Through baptism, the Holy Spirit is placed within us to be a burning ember of power and life. To discover our place can be a challenge in the free-market society we have. There are so many options from which to choose. Yet God has given the Holy Spirit to guide, nudge, empower, coax and affirm our direction in life. The community of faith and our inner voices become crucial in the discovery process.
Luther Seminary has a process called the Dependable Strengths Articulation Process which helps congregations and individuals discover their calling for daily life. Resurrection Lutheran will be using this process on Saturday morning to help people discover how they can use their baptism fire for God’s glory.
Holy Spirit, ignite us with a passion to serve Jesus and his people.