Christian Century Editor, John Buchanan was looking back on a collection of essays he wrote over his fifty years of ministry as a Presbyterian pastor and remembered one particular Sunday service in which he was baptizing a two year old boy.
After sprinkling the water on his forehead, Buchanan followed the directions of the Presbyterian handbook and addressed the boy in Trinitarian language. He said, “You are a child of God, sealed by the Spirit in your baptism, and you belong to Jesus Christ forever.”
Unexpectantly, the little boy looked up at the pastor and responded by saying, “uh-oh.”
Of course, it was amusing to the entire congregation, they all laughed out loud but Buchanan decided that the “uh-oh” was an appropriate response and a stunning theological affirmation from the mouth of a two year old. The boy said, “uh-oh,” because from that moment on, everything was different for the boy. Indeed for the two year old, whether he understood it all or not, his life was changed forever. He didn’t belong any more just to the family that brought him to church that day, but he was born all over again, this time to God’s family, and he was called to live a life of love and self-giving that we find in God, and among God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Indeed, maybe we should all say “uh-oh” when we realize that we too are called to be about an agenda that is different from the world’s agenda, maybe even our family’s agenda. We are called to be about acceptance and love and justice for all people, all creatures; and if we clearly understand what that means, we understand that is not always easy.
As you move through your week, remember your baptism. Remember the call placed upon your life, a call that may be hard and sometimes conflictual, a call that might lead you at times to say, “uh-oh.” Remember that you are loved and a part of a great family who promises to support and encourage and pray for you and you are a part of a family, joined with Christ to do his work.
Blessings on you as you continue the work and ministry and service to bring God’s kin-dom to earth.
You are the light of the world!