Pastoral Prayer for 1/10/21 (Jesus’ Baptism)
God as we heard the echoes of the familiar baptism story, our minds bring back so many memories of baptisms past; we hear the stories that were told about our own, we can maybe even see old pictures of chubby infants in the same family baptism heirloom. In each memory God remind us that you have welcomed each of the young ones with open arms, that to each you said, you are my beloved and with you I am well pleased.
Lord we pray for each and every person that was ever baptized at this font, for each baby who was ever walked down this aisle and introduced to their church family. These babies are now children and teenagers and young adults. They are becoming doctors and teachers and artists and musicians. They are still your beloved child. We pray for the fortitude to live out the promise we made on that day, when we in unison promised to love, support, and care for this child. We have heard the adage it takes a village; remind us O lord that we are in that village; that we have both the responsibility and the joy of watching those whom you lit a spark in, become a dancing flame that moves through the world spreading warmth and light. Help us live into that promise of support; in the way we pray and speak and encourage.
Lord we pray for those who are feeling lost, those downtrodden by grief or loneliness, those who lost lives, loved ones, jobs, and homes in the pandemic of 2020. These are all your children and they are broken and hurt and scared. For these we pray that you will send your signs of doves to descend on their hurt; we pray that they may hear the echo of the promise “you are my beloved.” We pray that they may feel down to the depths of their being that they are claimed and loved and belong.
Just as Jesus’ life has shown us, our baptisms were not a shield of protection that kept us from suffering or loss. Our baptisms were a foundation that rooted us in you as the storms of life undoubtedly shook and battered us. Root us now Lord. Root us in the promises of our baptisms. Find us in the river, so that with our souls laid bare we may be both comforted and empowered by the truth that we are your beloved. Thank you for claiming us, and may we live in such a way that your claim on our lives is unmistakable to the world. In the name of your Son we pray, Amen.
Rev. Darcy Crain