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New Beginnings

By Rev. Joan Kessler

Romans 12:9-21

I do not have a typical reflection for this morning.

Sometimes actions really do speak louder than words and this is my hope for today’s service. We are here to witness and experience a sacramental moment, that encounter between what is Divine and what is Human coming together in Holy Mystery. This is what we celebrate today with the very earthly elements of Water, Bread, and Wine…or grape juice as is the United Church’s practice.

We are here this morning, to share in the journey to There. A journey we each undertake. And if today proves anything, it is that we are never past the point of wondering what do we do with this one wild and precious life. How do we get There? The little child in our story this morning wonders what it will be like to grow up. She has so many questions about what she might experience along the way. These are our questions too as children, millennials, middle-agers, and wise sage-seniors.

Today’s actions of baptism and confirmation are a Yes to what God is already doing and the love that we experience. These acts don’t put us in a different club or give us a free pass on hardships or sufferings. No, instead they are touchstones to stand before our beloved community and say Yes to being part of something bigger than our individual selves. They affirm that we are part of a family. And yet, it is a very individual, and personal commitment we witness this morning. I hope Adam, Payton, Winter, Kim and Louise, Dave and Nancy, all feel our love and support surround them as they continue on their journeys. And Paul reminds us in his letter today of the importance of setting the groundwork of Love in all we do.

Let love be genuine and sincere, and cling to what is good. And then he speaks of living in community with one another: show honour to one another; be excited to serve and bring your gifts to any undertaking share with one another what you have so everyone has enough; practice hospitality. And Paul knew that sometimes there would be conflicts and differences of opinion over life together but just bless those with whom you differ and live in harmony with one another.

Good words to live by…

We are never too young or too old to enter a new frontier of our lives of faith. It is my hope and prayer that each one of you making declarations today will live bravely and courageously your faith. That you will share your gifts, renewing your minds and strengthening your hearts for the journey to There because we are all heading off together, maybe with different goals and destinations in mind.

I was part of a discussion earlier this week where we were contemplating what makes Winfield United special and their answer was it was a Patient and Embracing community. I have been thinking about this and I think that is a most accurate description of our life together. May we be patient with one another, understanding of the views and experiences of others, embracing the stranger and friend among us so that all feel they have a place of belonging.

We do not walk this journey alone.

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