Whenever there's a minus 40 degree wind chill on a Sunday morning, I always try to comfort those who have gathered together for worship. I say, "It is bitter cold outside, but when God's people gather together we feel the warmth of God's love all around us." Those may be comforting words in winter time, but what do you say to encourage a congregation in a sanctuary where the heat index is pushing 100 degrees?
Recently I had the honor of performing a baptism for a 2-year old boy. The service was at 5:30 on a Saturday evening and it was over 95 degrees outside. There was little movement of air in the chapel where the congregation had gathered for worship, and people were vigorously fanning themselves with their bulletins.
During the first words of the baptismal liturgy, the little boy seemed distracted. At one point the boy's father, who had been holding him, put him down and the boy wandered back to the front pew where friends and family members were seated. However, when it came time for the boy to be splashed with baptismal water, his father lifted him back up in his arms.
Rev. Heather Brown
The boy was dressed in a white, satin tuxedo suit compete with vest and tie. He may have been feeling a bit warm in his gentleman's attire, for when I splashed the water over his head three times his full attention focused in on the cool, refreshing water. In fact, after being baptized he reached toward the baptismal font wanting more.
On these intensely hot summer days, let us all remember our baptism. It is through our baptism that God names us and claims us and fills us with his Spirit. As we are marked with the cross of Christ forever, God calls each one of us to join his mission to love and bless the world.
Whenever the summer heat compels you to splash cold water on your face in order to cool down, remember the refreshing waters of your baptism, and feel renewed in your mission as God's child in our world.
Reflections, a mini-sermon written by Minot and area clergy, will appear each Saturday in The Minot Daily News. Clergy interested in writing a mini-sermon should contact Religion Editor Loretta Johnson at 857-1952 or Debbie Sandvold at 857-1950. The toll-free number is 1-800-735-3229.
The Rev. Heather Brown is pastor of Trinity United Parish of Glenburn and Lansford.