by Kimberly Knowle-Zeller
On a Sunday with a baptism of twins, I rejoice!
On a Sunday celebrating graduating seniors, I rejoice!
It was a grand Sunday this past weekend at the church I attend. Full of excitement, awe, and the power of Christian community. We celebrated a baptism of twin boys as well as a recognition and blessing of high school graduates.
Baptisms always bring me joy. Baptisms remind me to pause, breathe, and give thanks for my baptism. They remind me that I’m part of something bigger than just myself and my immediate family. They remind me that God chose me long before I was born. They remind me that God will always choose me. They remind me that God works in our lives despite our best attempts to run from God. They remind me that it takes a community to raise faithful disciples.
I need to witness baptisms over and over again.
I need to take the water and splash it on my forehead.
I need to mark the sign of the cross on my forehead.
I need to hear the words: “Child of God, you have been sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever.”
I also need the community to be with me in those moments.
When I hear of another prayer request for healing, when surgery after surgery isn’t bringing results, when relationships are broken, when addictions take over, when families are forced from their homes, when war and violence becomes too commonplace, when a member of the community dies, when a job is lost, when an opportunity is missed, when doubts arise, I need the community.
For the community bears the weight of the world with me. The community reminds me I am not alone.
We are not alone. We are bound together through the Water and Word, through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
We are called and claimed children of God. Now and forever.
Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ordained ELCA pastor, mother of a toddler, and spouse of an ELCA pastor. She lives with her family in Cole Camp, MO. Her website is http://www.kimberlyknowlezeller.com
Image: by Ann Fontaine. Baptismal Font at Salisbury Cathedral