Sunday, April 14, 2019

Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows

In some churches Easter time is when adults are asked to reaffirm their Baptismal vows. Baptism is once and forever, but the reaffirmation helps us keep our eye on the prize.

This is one version of those vows.

Leader: Do you reject Satan?
Response:  I do.

Leader: And all his works?
Response: I do.

Leader: And all his empty promises?
Response: I do.

Leader: Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
Response: I do.

Leader: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
Response: I do.

Leader: Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic (universal) church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
Response: I do.

Leader: God, the all-powerful Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and forgiven all our sins. May he also keep us faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ for ever and ever.
Response: Amen.

Who is Satan?
Almost half of the baptismal vows talk about Satan. Who or what is Satan?

Satan is anything that we would elevate to be more important that God and God's mission for us.
Satan is more than the classic picture of a demon. Satan is a shape-shifter whose tentacles seek us in the dark, always seeking to wind around us and pull us under.

Money is a useful tool but it becomes a tentacle of Satan when we elevate it to be more important than God.

For most people, a drink can be a calming thing that promotes camaraderie. Too much drink, putting drink before God's plan makes drink one of Satan's tentacles.

Being intimate with your married partner is a great thing. Being intimate with others or being "addicted" to the chase and conquest, well, that is one of Satan's arms pulling you under.

Pride and ego? That is what pulls us out of bed on cold mornings and propels us to work. Too much pride and ego? That becomes us making gods out of us, placing ourselves before God.

I am not suggesting that we be fearful of Satan but that we be mindful of his sneakiness and not underestimate him.

1 comment:

  1. And he doesn't necessarily come in quickly. The long slow slide is often more effective.


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