E-votional - A Great Day
January 13, 2003


And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”

Matthew 3:17 (NRSV)


And the Spirit of the Lord descended upon Him, like a dove. From the clouds above the came a voice saying, this is My Son, whom I love, and I am well pleased. Such and image, an image we can imagine and almost feel the power. It was a great day. Sunday was a great day too. We had family and we had friends there. It was an important day, you see, Ryan was to be baptized on this day. As Carol placed her hand upon Ryan's head, uttering those words, "Ryan Christopher Banks, I baptize you in the name of the Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit ...," for me, it was as if my heart opened up releasing words, "this is my son, with who I am well pleased." For me, it was a great day, for Ryan, it was the greatest.

Hear the Good News, God has a great gift and a great day in store for each of us, and that day is our baptism. It is the day in which we welcome a new life and by the grace of God, move closer in our understanding and experience of God. But, you and I must understand that there is a growth that takes place. Ryan, as precious and perfect that we might see him, will and must grow in and into his faith and Christian heritage. This means baptism is not the end, but rather the beginning of the rest of his life. The family and the friends who accepted him into the household and family of faith now have the task and responsibility of upholding Ryan as he grows, struggles and all, that he might be the person God has and is calling him to be. In the same way, you and I are still growing in our faith, both with struggles and celebrations. This must then each day, each day of our life, and even, ultimately our death is a great day.


   Gracious Father in heaven, You pour Yourself out upon us, Your children, and for that I must thank You. It is by Your power and grace I am able to grow to be the person You are calling me to be. Please, strengthen me, empower me and embody my actions, that I might be more like Your disciple. In the midst of struggles, reassure me of Your presence that I not lose focus of You in all I do. Thank You for all You have done and all You will continue to do, for I ask this through Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.