Consider this…what are we preparing for?
John the Baptist had a very clear purpose, to prepare people for the coming of Jesus. He accomplished this by his austere lifestyle, the call to repentance and by baptizing for the forgiveness of sins. All that John did, his entire life was about preparing for someone else to succeed him. What is our life preparing for?
As we are now beyond the busy part of Christmas and New Year celebrations, we linger in a prolonged celebration of what the incarnation is all about. This is a great time to think, is my life’s purpose only about me? My happiness? My satisfaction? My well-being? If John the Baptist’s life was all about preparing for Jesus, what is the core purpose of my life really about?
This can be a challenging question. To answer this, I would like to suggest we look at our own baptism, and what the baptismal rite invites us into. When we were brought to the church for baptism, parents share the name of their child being baptized, and their request for baptism. To that the church’s response is;
In asking for Baptism for your child, you are undertaking the responsibility of raising them in the faith, so that, keeping God’s commandments, they may love the Lord and their neighbor as Christ has taught us.
Then a very important question is asked of parents and Godparents;
Do you clearly understand this responsibility?
Our purpose then is defined by our baptism. As parents we raise our children in the faith, teaching them to love as Jesus loved, both God and neighbor. When we get older our purpose is then to assume that responsibility on ourselves, and the Sacrament of Confirmation reminds us of this and confirms this purpose in our own lives. Our purpose as a Disciple then is to live for God and others. How often are we doing that? When we work out, is it solely for our own benefit, good looks, in shape body? Or is it so that we are healthy to praise God and help others? When we work, is it to accrue money for ourselves to live in luxury? Or are we invited to care for ourselves responsibly and share our resources appropriately with others?
Our perspective in how we approach life has a big impact on our purpose. A simple change in perspective can give a much deeper meaning and sense of purpose. This weekend is a great time to look at our perspective on life and ask ourselves if it aligns with what our faith is all about. John the Baptist had great purpose and meaning in his life. Jesus had great purpose and meaning in his life, and invited us to choose that in our lives too. Do we?
PS – Our first annual State of the Parish will take place on Friday, February 5 beginning at 6pm in the new church. All are welcome to attend, and this will be livestreamed. More details will follow.