There are events in life that often have a strong sense of the spiritual and sacred. Moments such as a wedding, Easter Sunday, Christmas Eve, Holy Communion, and Holy Baptism. That was my expectation leading up to my son’s baptism on Sunday, May 1st. While it was a beautiful day of worship and baptism, I couldn’t help but wonder why I didn’t fully sense the divine. The moment was beautiful when the baptismal waters flowed over my son’s head. The music was inspiring. Yet, in the midst of it all, I still sensed something was missing.
Perhaps it was my focus on the sermon I was about to deliver or my strong desire that worship go well. It could have been the flashing red light on my mic battery pack indicating that my batteries were dead. My mind immediately raced to solutions. I could use the lectern to preach. I could walk out of worship, which would have been awkward. In an instant, my mind remembered that there were batteries near my pastor’s pew where I was sitting. During the opening hymn, I covertly removed the dead batteries and installed the new ones hoping that no one noticed that I wasn’t really singing the hymn. As you can see, I was filled with the sense of sacred in that moment. Maybe not.
Yet, as I finished the sermon, sat down, and listened to the choir sing a beautiful choral response to the message titled “I Was There To Hear Your Borning Cry”, I realized that the Spirit of God was found in those moments. I was hoping for some sense of the Spirit, so as I looked out and saw my parents, many family members, friends, my son, my wife, my congregational family, and my friend Sister Geraldine who came to be with us on Zechariah’s baptism day, I was once again reminded that the Spirit of God is found in community.
I shared in my sermon, which was a letter to my son on his baptism day, that we have to be reminded time and again that God is faithful. We remember that the most in the church community, the Body of Christ. I preached to myself, as I realized after my message that the holy was found in those who gathered to worship and to be witnesses of the grace poured out upon my son.
Next time you need a reminder that God is faithful and present, look around into the faces around you. See the broken, yet beautiful. Notice the sinners, yet saints. Experience a small part of the Kingdom of God around you called the Body of Christ. In that moment, know that you are not alone. The community of faith is present, therefore God is there. “Where two or more are gathered” I once heard.
Baptism is a reminder that we are a part of the larger community of faith. The Body of Christ goes beyond the local church or even the faithful on earth. All Christians are united in these grace filled baptismal waters. It was a reminder to me once again on the Sunday of my son’s baptism that the sacred is found in the community and the rituals we offer to one another and God. Thanks be to God for the faithful community who offers us the sacred and the holy.