Saturday, July 22, 2006

"I want to get washed up"-- Godspell

253. What great things, then does Baptism give or work?
It works forgiveness of sins;
b. It delivers from death and the devil;
c. It gives eternal salvation.
-- Luther's Small Catechism
I went to church tonight. The last few weeks I have been going to church on Saturday nights as opposed to Sunday mornings. There are two reasons for this. The first reason is I have a class on Saturday that meets all day, so I have to have Saturdays off, the second reason is that the Saturday service is always a traditional service, the Sunday service I usually go to alternates between traditional and contemporary and I can never remember which week is which. So, to keep the confusion down I've been going to the Saturday night service and I have really enjoyed it. Its a bit more intimate than the big Sunday service and I find myself paying attention a bit more closely.

Tonight we had two of my favorite things: a baptism and communion. Both sacraments in one service. It doesn't get much better than that, really. Seeing God's grace in full view, tangible. It was exciting. One of the things I enjoy about worshiping is watching others around me worship, I get much stregnth and pleasure from that. Seeing someone being truly moved gets my light fired up. As I listened to the Baptism liturgy I watched the mother and the father of the little boy being Baptized. The baby's Godparents were holding him over the faunt as Pastor Y poured the water from a silver shell. The baby's parents were a little to the side. Both smiling and the mother kept wiping her eyes and covering her mouth as she cried happily. I don't think I've ever seen that before-- such subtle happiness and faith burning bright like I did tonight.

That subtle display turned my Faith "pilot light" on. In the back of my mind I thought boo-yah, another one for the winning team. And then I thought of the Parable of the lost sheep from Luke 15.
4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

Tonight was a good night. Grace was given, received and thanks given.

1 comment:

Frank Gillespie said...

Whoever says that miracles don’t happen, haven’t seen a child sealed with the cross of Christ. I was thinking the very same thing at my church’s Easter Vigil: a baptism, the very word of God preached through his called and ordained servants, and our Lord giving us his body and blood in the Eucharist. Miracles happen all the time, you just have to see through the eyes of faith and believe. Great post!