Sunday October 18

The word this morning was shared by Rev. Ian MacDonald and what wonderful words of reflection on the last Sunday before Canadians go to the polls. He gave the context of this verse, set in a time when the early church was small and persecuted by the Roman Empire.

The church had no distinction on nationality, race, and gender. In fact everything else is washed away when we become one in Christ Jesus by the seemingly simple act of Baptism. I sat in the pews and pondered what it means for all our labels to be washed away. In those days, candidates for baptism were immersed into the water facing west, spun around and raised facing the rising sun in the east. This act of rising from the water signifies a new beginning. The burial of the old life and the resurrection to walk in the newness of life in Christ Jesus. We therefore are no longer Jew or Greek, Canadian or American, Aboriginals or Settlers, Conservative or Liberals or New Democrats. We are all one, God's chosen people. Baptismal blessing takes away the class system and economic exploitation of our society. Neither slave nor free. The first will be the last and the last will be the first. Neither boss nor employee. Baptismal blessing takes away the division of gender.

We are loved not because of the shape of our bodies but because of the souls that live within those bodies. We are loved not because we are daughters or sons, but because we are children of God. This is the mystery of the sacrament and celebration of baptism. 

 We live in a time where we are free to worship, and we must not treat baptism like a tame event. Instead we should treat it like a life-long process of transformation that it is. Baptism is front and center in our lives as Christians. It reminds us of how we came to be children of God and how we should live our lives. Baptism is not about self, it is not about individuals, it is about the continuous renewal of the people of God.

So on this eve of election, as we prepare to elect our leaders tomorrow. Let’s take a moment to pray for our leaders. Let’s pray for leaders who will create a better world and a just society. Let’s pledge to live renewed – rising in the morning and living afresh like God’s children.

Koko A.