The Divine Mystery exists in each of us. We are Stewards of that Mystery.
In this week’s meditations leading up to Cornerstone Sunday on October 27th, we focus on the third Cornerstone, “Serve others in Christ’s Name.”
“Because I am baptized.”
Have you ever answered a question that way? Any question?
I’m not sure I have. I sometimes explain I am doing something for various reasons relating to my faith, but I can’t say that I’ve ever answered a question with as direct a reply as the quote above. I’m not sure why I haven’t.
I was baptized because my parents wanted me to be in close contact with God. Once I could really answer for myself, I was confirmed because I wanted the same thing. I never thought of baptism as being a particularly radical act–I was, after all, about four months old when it happened to me. Over the years, I have thought a good deal more about what took place at that moment.
Being initiated by baptism into Christ, into the Christ-life, is at its root a mystery. I cannot adequately explain it to you in this forum, or any other, frankly. That doesn’t leave me completely off the hook, though. I can’t explain why my two football teams lost in two different cities on two different days this weekend with no time left, either. Or why I love my family the way I do. Or why an orange sunset makes me wish I could paint or why certain movie scenes make me cry projectile tears (even in front of other guys). The most important things in life cannot be taught…and they cannot fully be explained. They can only be experienced.
In my baptism was a beginning and an end. It was the beginning of my discovery of who God is and how Jesus shows us that in human form. It was an end in that I can go no higher in this or any other life than to be grafted into the Being who has no beginning or end.
The stunning part of all of this is not what my parents did or what I have discovered about the meaning of baptism along the way; the truly stunning aspect of baptism is that I have been mystically joined to a Living God whose nature it is to serve us.
That just doesn’t make any sense. God’s being is higher than human being. How can God want to serve beings lower than Himself? What does God get out of that arrangement?
Communion is what God gets out of it. Being at one with us. No matter what we do. Or say. Or don’t do or don’t say.
Why do I try to serve others? Because I am baptized.
Questions of the day:
Do I believe that God wants to serve me? If I can’t really believe that, what would God look like if I did believe that?