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Community of the Baptized

“If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there?  Or didn’t you realize we packed up and left there for good?  That is what happened in baptism.  When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace – a new life in a new land!” Romans 6:2-3 MSG

This morning consider our church’s relationship to the community. There are many models of church: a sanctuary for people to take refugee, a learning center for people to develop their minds, an outpost for people to meet while in the wider world, a worship center for people to encounter God in unique ways, a social center for people to dream about their community with new creation imagination, a justice center for people to conspire healing intervention against injustice and evil, a helping center for people to receive services and goods to better their health and life… the list is endless.

This morning as you gather for worship and consider the word Baptized, look for ways that we are a gathering of the Baptized. Look at the others sitting with you, those behind the scenes, and those up front: envision their baptism- that all of these have made public professions of belief in Jesus all been marked as participants in God’s grace, as God’s beloved.

As you prepare for worship, slow down and offer yourself anew as a citizen of God’s country of grace.  Pray about the encounters you will have with your fellow worshippers. Pray about the experiences of grace that will occur in our worship gatherings. Acknowledge Jesus’ gift of himself, and re-up, as a follower of Jesus, a baptized-beloved one, giving of yourself as a participant in grace-land.