Daily Devotion – January 11, 2017

Mark 1:4

And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.


Devotion by Laurie Spencer

Spoiler alert!  I struggle with the meaning of baptism.  So of course I get this particular phrase in Mark to publicly ponder!

When I was 14, just before my confirmation into the Congregational church, I was baptized. I remember a large Long Island church located down the street from a famous shopping strip called the “Miracle Mile”.  I remember the white dress I wore as I walked slowly down the aisle by myself to meet the minister at the baptismal font. I went through this because as a young girl raised in a Christian Science church, I was not baptized. When my mother decided to take me over to the Congregational church, this baptism was required before I could be confirmed with the rest of the teens in my RE class.

Since many churches baptize babies, not everyone remembers their baptism.  Clearly many Baptists experience their baptism fully conscious of the decision and meaning. And John’s adult followers had a similar experience.

But I can tell you that even at 14 years old, I did not have a clear understanding of what it meant to repent and confess my sins. It took decades for me to glimpse the meaning of my baptism. And still I forget and must remind myself that there is a covenant between me and God.

I wonder how many of the people that showed up to John in the wilderness really understood what was the promise of baptism? I venture to guess that thru the ages, many, including me, have struggled with the meaning of baptism and continue to ponder the balance of faith and skepticism.



Father, Mother God, thank you for loving me through a lifetime of ignorance and stubbornness.  Let me remember to follow your example and pass on your steadfast love to others.


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