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The Intersection of Hope and Fear
Daniel’s baptism was the perfect exclamation point for the sermon this morning! As Daniel stood in the baptistry with his arm extended to heaven, I was reminded of Jesus’ baptism, his prayer, the dove, and the proclamation, “This is my son”. Baptism places us in solidarity with Jesus and everyone who has ever followed him. It is an awesome expression of faith as we put aside our puny efforts at making life work and surrender to the one who promises to partner with us to move mountains.
I think I said something in the sermon about hope and fear being emotions. Upon reflection I would reclassify them as beliefs. Both are very real (and inescapable by the way). Both have the power to control our lives in ways that can be good and bad. When dreams fail and fear takes hold of a person bad things are almost always the result. The solution, Jesus said, is to put our faith in God.
May God teach us how to hope again and may God keep us from obeying our fears. Baptism is a perfect picture of this: we die to old life (the old dreams) and accept Jesus’ resurrection life. We pledge our lives to follow him come what may. May we follow him all the way to the cross, trusting God for resurrection. As the old song says, “Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come. His grace has brought me safe thus far; and grace will lead me home.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!