This will be the “back page” for the Fishkill UMC bulletin this Sunday, the 5th Sunday of Lent (Year A), 2 April 2017. The reading is from Isaiah 58: 6 – 12.
It should be noted that I have spoken of this incident on a number of occasions in the past.
There is no doubt in my mind that my faith was challenged during the season of Easter in 1969. I didn’t understand (though I thought I did) what it meant to be a Christian and then (as I will describe next week) my own faith journey was questioned.
With the war in Viet Nam and the Civil Rights movement constantly in the news, one could not help but think about the correct thing to do. I was, as many people know, active in the anti-war and civil rights movements on my college campus (much to my parents’ concern). My participation was based on the idea that it was the right thing to do and it would open the gates of heaven when the time came.
But I found out that you do not do good things to get into heaven; you do good things because it is what you have been called to do when you accept Christ as your Savior.
I believe only you know when Christ calls you to accept Him. But I know that I could discern that call because I was baptized and raised to understand that my baptism was more than an event in my life.
The challenge is we must build a community that helps people find Christ and that makes the act of baptism the first step on that journey.
What does it meant to be baptized? It means that we, individually and collectively, have decided to begin a journey with Christ.
~ Tony Mitchell