A Baptism of Spirit and Mind

As we consider the baptism of Jesus, let•s look at what Holy Baptism stands for. John the Baptizer preached about baptism by pointing out that there must be repentance, a turning away from the things that we think, say, and do that are against the will of God. When we turn away from participating in the things that are against the will of God we open up our minds and spirits to become aware of our participation in sinful ways and more fully understand that there is another way of living that makes us free from the desire to participate in those former selfish ways.

There is another part of baptism though that has to be put to use. The other part of baptism is the way in which those who are genuinely repentant can also become transformed, meaning made whole by being made anew through God's love. John the Baptizer came to pave the path for his cousin Jesus, who happened to be God manifested in human form. And, John the Baptizer preached repentance from sin and striving to be humble as a component of true repentance by asking for God's forgiveness for being disobedient.

Then, with humility firmly in place in our spirits and minds, we ultimately accept that we need to be transformed by God's love in order to fully realize what the symbolic ritual of being baptized represents. John the Baptizer preached taking part in the baptism of repentance. However, if you look up the passage in the book of Acts 19:1-7, you will see something regarding the difference between the baptism of John the Baptist and another kind of baptism. I hope you read it and hide it in your heart.

Our present day ritual of the sacrament of Holy Baptism symbolizes the washing away of our sins, the beginning of a new and transformed life in Christ's love and the entry into the church or the collection of all people who believe in God through Jesus our Savior!

However, the symbolic meaning of baptism refers to what actually happens in the minds and spirits of those who seek to be in right relationship with God for the rest of their earthly lives, and into the next life existence after we die here on Earth.

I can clearly see today the need for all people who seek God's love and who want to live in its light to be informed about the other part of baptism found in Acts 19:1-7 because I see that there is a deep void in far too many of us. We are reaching for something that we can hold onto that makes our lives meaningful, but what many of us have been holding onto is not the full nature of what Holy Baptism represents. Unfortunately, what some of us are embracing is fleeting, fragile, and dangerous. I believe if we turn to that passage in Acts and hide it in our spirits and minds, more of us can begin to finally be transformed and made whole by being made anew through God's love. Amen.

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