Tag Archives: Sacraments

Hopes and Prayers at a Baptism

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, December 10, 2016

baptism_collage

Hopes and Prayers at a Baptism

Tomorrow, my church is hosting a baptism. It is always so wonderful to celebrate a baptism! Seeing the new life, the hopeful, eager attitude of the family, the godparents, the others who have joined to celebrate with the family. An exciting time, to be sure. It is a time of expectation and hope, too.

Since I am a pastor at a Congregational church, I do have several personal, theological views on baptism. I am glad my viewpoints rub along well with the baptismal views of the official group with whom we are recognized.

Pastor Gordon is bringing this couple and their child to St. Luke’s Church to be baptized, and I am so pleased to be able to host the family of the child, as well.

I wonder—how often should I encourage others to celebrate the sacraments? As often as I get the opportunity, that’s what I think. Such a chance to welcome these new people, these new members in God’s forever family.

Gracious God, thank You for the gift of baptism. Thank You for the mark we impress upon the forehead of those who are baptized in love and obedience to You. We pray that this family will raise their child in the knowledge and understanding of You, Your will and Your ways. We ask Your blessing to rest on not only this child and the family, but also on all those who will celebrate with Pastor Gordon and me, tomorrow. Dear God, in Your mercy, hear our prayers.

@chaplaineliza

 

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Give Back to Us the Light, Lord!

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, October 28, 2015

sunrise over the clouds

Give Back to Us the Light, Lord!

With the end of October drawing near, the darkness approaches, closes in. Not a positive thing, especially for someone with Seasonal Affective Disorder (fittingly shortened to SAD). Darkness is also a big deal for the worship and vigil of Holy Saturday. Today’s prayer comes under the notation “For the Kindling of the Light on Easter Eve.”

This is one of the oldest prayers I have yet seen, by Prudentius (348-410), in the section “Thine Is the Kingdom.” (Prayer 522, page 158) [1] Today’s prayer is about Sacraments.

Light is not a sacrament of the Church. In my Protestant tradition, baptism and communion are the two designated sacraments. However—light is fundamental to Christian belief. I can well understand how someone as significant as Prudentius could pen these distinctive lines.

“Good captain, maker of the light” – referring to Christ, who is acknowledged to be active in creation. And, focusing on the light. (Or, is it perhaps an oblique reference to the Light, Jesus, as mentioned in John 8:12?)

“Who dost divide the day and night” – again, a reference to the Second Person of the Trinity. Genesis 1 vividly speaks of the division in the first Creation narrative.

“The sun is drowned beneath the sea” – I think this is an allusion to the Sun of Righteousness, another name for Jesus from verses such as Malachi 4:2. And drowned? Under the sea? I suspect this is a reference to Holy Saturday. Remembering our Lord when He died. Descended into hell, in the words of the Apostles Creed (one of the oldest existing Creeds).

“Chaos is on us, horribly.” – Ah, the chaos of Holy Saturday. Horrible, desperate loneliness. Chaos of Genesis 1:2, formless, void. Empty. Wasteland. Who can save us from this desperate state?

“O Christ, give back to faithful souls the light!” – Dear Christ, hear our cry. Send us Your light. Lead us forth from the seeming endless void of Holy Saturday into the blazing brightness of Easter morning.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] The Oxford Book of Prayer, edited by George Appleton. (New York: Oxford University Press, reissued 2009), 158.