From the District Superintendent

I Do - Reaffirming Our Baptism

Posted 21 September, 2017 by Rev. Kathleen Overby Webster

I do, I said quietly as I stood before the altar, focused on the sacredness of the moment and the enormity of the questions.  It was Palm Sunday; I was 12 years old and standing there with my confirmation class. I was being baptized and received into membership. Though the exact wording of the questions changed slightly when the liturgy was revised in 1989, the heart of the questions is unchanged.

As weighty as the questions seemed to me that day as I stood shoulder to shoulder with the other confirmands at the altar railing,  they seem even more so in our hurting and fractious world and nation today. So, during each Charge Conference we will revisit those questions together as we reaffirm the baptismal covenant:

 

On behalf of the whole church, I ask you: Do you renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of this world, and repent of your sin? I do.

Do you accept the freedom and power God give you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves? I do.

Do you confess Jesus Christ as your Savior, put your whole trust in his grace, and promise to serve him as your Lord, in union with the church which Christ has opened to people of all ages, nations, and races? I do.

 

I believe faithful response to these heart and life shaping questions molds our discipleship in innumerable ways. Some questions that arise for me are:

  • What am I learning from those who are privileged and those who are victimized by systemic forces?
  •  What am I learning from those who are powerless and those who hold positions of power?
  • Am I claiming a growing awareness of own privilege or societal protection and the use of my influence?
  • How can my service move from simple kindness and charity to life-changing justice?

An amazing new way of life opened to me as I said I do that Palm Sunday morning, a life that daily offers me incredible opportunities and huge challenges for following Jesus.

 

Journeying with you in faithful discipleship,

Kathleen