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Baptism Seeds

January 19, 2013

Last week was the feast of the Baptism of Christ. So I have heard again the story of Jesus going to John the Baptist and being baptised by him. Again I here those wonderful words, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

 In the baptism service that afternoon I did’t expect to hear a voice from heaven. But by baptism into Christ each one of us has become God‘s son or daughter, His beloved. I had a new start at my baptism and so did everyone, each of us also gets a new start each day; each time we are forgiven and start again on the Christian way of life it is as though we are washed clean – not by a new baptism but by the power of that one baptism, all those years ago.

 This new life is very like this:

Imagine your out and you find a shop and behind the counter is God. You ask what God’s selling in the shop and he tells you, “Everything your heart desires.”

 Now – what would you ask for ………? Things for the world, things for yourself, for the sick, for friends, for enemies. What would you ask for?

 Well there was a woman who dreamt of that shop and she asked for all sorts of things…. {Peace of mind, love, happiness, wisdom, freedom from fear} {for all people}

 And God smiled and replied, “I think you’ve got me wrong, my dear. I don’t sell fruits, only seeds.”

 That’s what what happened at my baptism; seeds were planted, seeds of “Peace of mind, love, happiness, wisdom, freedom from fear”. Some of those seeds will have sprung up straight away, others will have developed more slowly, some will be still waiting inside me for the right conditions to germinate.

 It’s quite a thought though, isn’t it!

 At first it is encouraging; I have all of those seeds inside of me just waiting to germinate and grow: All those latent opportunities to make my life better. I have all of those seeds inside of me that can make this world a better place. But then I look at myself and I think about how much better I could be. Then I realise that there must be an awful lot of seeds in me that have yet to germinate!

Then I look at our world and see so much that is wrong, and I realise that there must be an awful lot of people with ungerminated seeds in them.

 Then I feel far less happy. If I really think about it, it could make me want to give up. Then I remember something very important, or more accurately I remember someone important, the Holy Spirit.

 Just think about that story from Acts 8, where the apostles Peter and John went to baptise some new Christians with the Holy Spirit. Just think about the story of Jesus’ baptism were the Holy Spirit came down like a dove.

 The Holy Spirit is the one who makes those seeds grow inside us. It is the Holy Spirit that prepares the ground with in us. It is the Holy Spirit who waters those seeds. It is the Holy Spirit who is the nutrients and light that those seeds need to grow. But as God’s child, I need to work with the Spirit; I need to share in the work.

 I have the Holy Spirit who is working in me; who has been working in my throughout my life. There is no need to be discouraged by all that has not happened. I am not perfect, but I am a work in progress. I’m God’s work project and so are we all.

 So now, take a moment to think about all of the things that you would ask God for: All those seeds from the divine shop keeper. What would you ask for, peace of mind, love, happiness, wisdom, freedom from fear..?

Whatever it is that you would ask God for pray that the Holy Spirit will germinate the right seeds in you, and in enough people to make it happen.

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