Skip to main content

The Baptismal Covenant


I wrote this devotion to be emailed on July 23rd.  You now understand why I didn’t send a weekly devotion that day, as it was the day my husband passed from this earth.  The next week I sent a blog written by a friend, and last Monday I was not able to write.  As I read over what I wrote it takes on even deeper meaning.  The application I used in my life was much lighter than what it is today.  I will continue to keep my Baptismal Covenant even with my broken heart.  I also know that I will continue to fail at times.  It is only because of my perfect Covenant Keeping God that I have spiritual purpose in this life.  I will continue in the apostle’s teaching and fellowship, in breaking of bread, and in the prayers.  I will persevere in revisiting evil, and whenever I fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord.  I will proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ—(my only hope in the loss of my husband).I will seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving my neighbor as myself.  I will strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being. Having this spiritual purpose brings life and hope. Being a Christian means that I grieve and hurt over this loss, but I do not despair. 



The Baptismal Covenant

            Any time people are baptized at our church the previously baptized participate by reviewing their baptismal covenant.  I have participated in this way many times, but during the most recent service I was struck in a new way by the importance of what it means to be a Christian.  Being a Christian is more than saying a prayer that I believe I am a sinner and that Jesus’ death pays for my sins.  It also involves responding to life differently.  The questions help me think about my life and the marks of a Christian.

1.       Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in breaking of bread, and in the prayers?

2.       Will you persevere in resisting evil, and whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?

3.       Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?

4.       Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?

5.       Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?

The answer that you give is:  “I will with God’s help.”  

            I gave the correct answer, but by the end of the day I had failed at numbers 2 and 4 and probably others if I were even able to look at my life as deeply as God.  What struck me about these questions is how often I neglect the promises I make.  They seem plausible as I read them off a paper, but if I take them seriously, my life will be different. 

Continuing in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, breaking of bread and prayers are fully integrated into my daily life.  Resisting evil—I didn’t resist the bag of potato chips by the same afternoon.  Sure my evil is a little more Christian than the obvious pagans.  I love to share God’s love because it is so great, but my actions don’t always proclaim His love.  I have to make a conscious effort to love my neighbor as myself and I constantly feel that I put myself first.  I really thought about the last question.  It is the one that woke me up to really think about my promises.  Do I strive for justice and peace among people and think of every human being as having dignity?  This is a challenge.  Every human being has dignity because they are God’s creation.  That one is the one that got to me.

Then Peter began to speak: I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism (Acts 10:34).  Christianity in Peter’s life opened his heart to the wideness of God’s love.  One of the marks of my Christianity is how I treat others with dignity.  I promised God that I would love His people as He loves me.  That is a lot of love to give out.  When I fail, He made a way for me to repent and start over.  I think I would really like to be around me if I lived by this covenant every moment.

Copyright ©2012.  Deborah R. Newman www.teatimeforyoursoul.com  All Rights Reserved. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Moving Forward

It’s been half a decade since my husband of 27.5 years died suddenly of a brain bleed.  My life turned upside down that weekend, and nothing will ever be the same.  Someone commented to me that I had moved-on.  It was meant to be a compliment, and I totally get the affirmation that was intended.  The truth is I have not moved-on, nor do I ever expect that I will.  I love this quote sent to me in a sympathy card and have shared it over and over with others.  St Bernard of Clairvaux wrote: I can never lose one whom I have loved unto the end; one to whom my soul cleaves so firmly that it can never be separated does not go away but only goes before.               Grief should have a beginning, middle and end; that is true.  That first year or two I would have done anything to diminish my pain.  I was in so much pain that I wasn’t even a person.  It’s hard to believe that we humans will naturally grow more comfortable existing in our pit of despair of grief than to let it go…

Thank You Dad

Recently I have been contemplating why it is ingrained in me that I must be quiet and respectful and look at the flag when the national anthem is played.  It’s as natural for me as standing for the Hallelujah Chorus during Handel’s Messiah or for the Bride when she walks through the back door.  Like a Pavlov dog, my instincts go into action, and I do not even think about my somewhat conditioned response. Why?  It was definitely my own father who had the most influence over me regarding the national anthem.  I am not a sports enthusiast.  However, from a young age I found myself at sports games because my older brother played every sport offered.  Our family faithfully attended those games, which normally started with the national anthem.  I found a way to enjoy the otherwise agonizing experience of being held prisoner to my brother’s sporting events by gravitating to my friends who were there under duress as well.  We made up games of our own; we would laugh and talk throughout the q…

Waiting on Lila

On the first day of Advent I awoke to a call at 3:20 am that I should come to the hospital because my daughter was being taken down to deliver Lila—my first grandchild!  I had been first alerted to her early arrival two days before when Rachel's water broke, but not much labor. I arrived in Birmingham seven and a half hours later (it would have been sooner but there wasn’t a direct flight!). And then...we waited. We waited on Lila’s lungs to respond to a couple of steroid shots (she was three weeks early). As we waited, we halfway watched football and occasionally made small talk about subjects other than Lila’s birth; but mainly we carried on just wishing, wondering and thinking we could plan for the time that Lila would arrive based on the medical advice we were given.  All we could think about was what we were waiting for, our baby girl to come into the world.

While waiting on Lila, a code blue was called to her room; then the number was changed to the room next door. We Gran…