On Sunday night, December 29, after I safely worshipped at DHPC with our community, I found myself at Decatur Square, headed towards the bookstore with my five year old nephew, Miles. Police and emergency lights flashed from vehicles blocking the pull through. As Miles and I crossed the square, we stumbled on a community Hanukkah celebration. He was mesmerized. I was sad and a little bit nervous. The day before, a man had entered a Rabbi’s home in New York and committed a mass stabbing. This was just one in a series of antisemetic acts of violence that have taken place in recent months. And the police presence during that holy night was a reminder that a threat loomed.
This week, we celebrate Baptism of the Lord Sunday. Every year, on the Sunday after Christmastide, we encounter Jesus in the Jordan River being baptized by John. As we open up this scripture together, my heart is heavy with the weight of the hatred that has bubbled to the surface towards our Jewish family. And I wonder how that hatred came to be. When Christians are descendents of the promises God made with Abraham, how can we hate those who encountered God’s promises first?
So this Sunday, we will explore the roots of baptism. We will be reminded of God’s abiding love (for us . . . but not only for us). We will also celebrate four members living into their own bapsitmal vows by accepting the call to serve as elders, through ordination and installation.
Sermon: “Child of the Covenant”
I look forward to starting off the new year with my beloved community and marking the leadership of Missie Grawert, Gigi Muirheid, Suzette Stewart, and Beth Thorn.
See you in the pews,