A while back, Margaret sent me the following email. It was very illuminating.
“Tom, I met with Jerry yesterday regarding some real estate documents that were in the archive. While I was there, he told me the funniest story. I thought you would like it. There was an important baptism scheduled for Sunday in the era when we still used the old wooden font that is in the archive. Parents, grandparents, and many other family members were all assembled for the big day. When the pastor removed the lid from the font it was bone dry. The pastor called out to the head usher to get some holy water. The water arrived in about two minutes, undoubtedly taken from the nearby restroom.”
Yep, if you’ve ever wondered where the holy water comes from for the baptismal fount, it’s from the closest spicket. Most of the time, it’s the restroom. When we use the watering trough for an immersion, the water comes from a garden hose we attach to a spicket outside the sanctuary.
Doesn’t sound too holy, does it?
What we have to remember is, it’s not the source that makes the water holy, it’s the act it’s used for. It’s the same for us.
In and of ourselves, we are broken, fallible people with no hope of redemption, wholeness, peace, or holiness. In and of ourselves, we are lost because we believe we are the foundation of our existence.
But when we reach outside of ourselves and commit to live a life in concert with God’s will, suddenly we are in a completely different place because living life, not for ourselves, but for Jesus Christ. This is what brings redemption, wholeness, peace, and holiness. It’s a matter of faith.
The way we do this is by following Paul’s instructions in his letter to the church at Rome: “ Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:1-2)
This morning, make the commitment to walk the narrow path. While it won’t be easy, your commitment to walk with God will make you a better person. It’s worth it.
Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, by focusing on myself I know I have nothing to offer. By focusing on you, I know I have everything to offer. Please use me for your holy purpose. I am yours. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
It doesn’t matter where you come from or what you have done in the past. Trusting in Jesus and intentionally living to please God is the recipe for a holy life. Give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.
Also, if you’ve never thought about it, for a pastor, infant baptism is one of the most dangerous times in the worship service. The short answer is, I am glad clergy robes can be dry cleaned because mine has had everything that can possibly come out of a little body on it.
So, if you need the name of the greatest dry cleaners in the history of dry cleaning, let me know.
I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.