You’ve got a family in me.

John answered them all, “I baptize you with water.  But one who is more powerful than I will come… He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  Luke 3:16

15_baptism

I am curious.
Do you have a favorite toy?  Or two?  Or twenty?
Whenever I think about my toys from when I am a little girl, I am reminded that I loved them.  They were like my friends and I just knew they loved me right back. 

Some people might think that is kind of silly.  But not everyone does.  They made a fun movie for kids out of that topic – Toy Story.  Come to think of it they made 3 movies out of the idea that toys love us right back!  I love all of the Toy Story movies – 1, 2, and 3. 

One of my favorite scenes is in Toy Story 2. Here is the clip if you are interested – it is one of the many epic Woody and Buzz argument moments.  I love the way Buzz reminds Woody what he was created for – to be loved and love a kid.  Woody is stubborn and refuses to go, sits down and wipes his boot off and sees Andy’s name on the bottom of his boot. Woody remembers who he belongs to and what his purpose is. 

I imagine on the day we were baptized God put his name on us.  It is at our baptism that God adopts us into his family.  We are sprinkled with water to remind us that God created the world, the Israelites (God’s chosen people) were led through the sea to the promised land, and Jesus was baptized with water by John.  When the priest marks the sign of the cross on our forehead with the special oil (chrism- yup very fancy name for holy oil) Jesus has marked us as  his own forever and ever and ever.   

John the Baptist reminds us of our baptism.  He reminds us when we are baptized we belong to Jesus Christ and that is super special!  Special like knowing that you are made to love and be loved like Woody and Buzz and your favorite toy.  Special like we belong to God and are part of God’s family.  Special like because we are family we can always remind one another that we are made to love one another and be loved. 

So in case you forgot – you are loved by God. Go and love others.

 

Dancing!

December 9, 2012

…because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven…
Luke 1:78

 When I was a little girl my dad and I would celebrate the end of the day together.
First we would turn on some beautiful music. Second we would light two very tall and skinny candles that were in very fancy candle holders attached to the wall.  Next we would turn off the lights.  Last we would decide if we were going to dance to the music or sit on the couch across from the candles and watch the light from the candles flicker and the shadow and light dance together on the wall.  Sometimes we danced, sometimes we sat and watched the flames from the candles dance.  But no matter what we decided, the light from the candles always found a way to dance to the music.

I loved this ritual (do I even need to say it – another big word! This means something special done over and over and over again) of ours.  It made me feel so safe, cozy, warm and Loved.  Rituals can do that for a person!

I think the part that I really liked was that the feelings and memory of our time together stayed with me.  When it was time for bed I still had the image of the lights from the candles dancing to the music.  I just knew that in the morning I would wake up to the sun rising and dancing.  I knew that the candles flickered at night and the sun danced in the day.

Every time the sun rises we are invited into a dance.  A dance with God.   Just like Zechariah (the man who was singing the song to God) was telling about his son (John) who was going to show God’s glory and lead the way for people to know Jesus.

Here is part of Zechariah’s song –

And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
 to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace…

I think the sun lights the way for us to follow Jesus the Son of God.  The sun reminds us in the morning that we are dancing, flickering, shimmering lights for God.  I don’t know about you, but I am not going to sit on the couch today.  I am going to go dance and share the warm, safe, cozy, Love of Jesus that I am feeling today.

Happy Sunday dear friend!