Message From Pastor Matt: “Child of God”

I was lucky enough to be able to help baptize the child of some friends of mine last weekend. This little boy was adopted out of very sad and difficult circumstances, by people who had hoped for a child for a very long time. It was a celebration!

And the child, the little boy, was having NONE of it!

He cried. He yelled. He wandered around the worship space (he’s not quite one, but boy can he go!). He made us all laugh. He made us all go, oh boy, kids are a LOT.

He made his parents smile.

And I told him (and everybody): listen, Little Guy, you are not able to understand what I’m saying right now, but I want you to know that we are giving you a name today, and it is Child of God. And just like you made the name Dad apply to your dad and Mom apply to your mom, we are here today to tell YOU that Child of God… is YOU.

He cried, and yelled, and wandered around the worship space!

But someday, he will hear that name, and know that it applies to him. And someday after that, he will stand with others and tell a little baby or a yelling toddler or even someone older that that name applies to THEM, too.

Who first told you that you are Child of God? Do you remember? How did they do it? Did they say it in so many words? Sometimes we do that… usually we do it in church, and usually it’s the pastor’s job to say it, right. But who first made you know it, for sure? Did they use words? Were they “you are Child of God,” or were they something else?

When did you first feel like you were that special, that meaningful, that loved?

We are given that name in baptism, and I am convinced that God wants us to know that that name is ours for always. But like Little Guy at his baptism, there are times when it seems like we’re having NONE of it. We fight. We rage. We think only of ourselves. We wander off from the path. We forget what our name is. And even though it’s our job to remind others that that name applies to them too, sometimes we also forget that they are. We remember that they offended us, or what they owe us, or that they’re not “our kind of people,” or that they they THEY… whatever “they” did or are doing, in our angry opinion that day.

But our name reminds us of who we are, of who we are SUPPOSED to be. Not hurtful or hateful; not mean-spirited or spiteful; not condoning injustice; not rooting for misery. No no no… we are not made for any of that.

You are Child of God. Every day, it is your job to show others what that means, in words and in every other loving forgiving renewing supporting way. And every day, it is your job to remind others that that name applies to them too. You are a Child of God. Practice saying it, to yourself and to others, and may we move closer to the day when all will believe it and live it.

God’s peace,
Pastor Matt

Posted in: Our Life Together

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