Epiphanytide and Baptism

josOur Epiphany season will be bound by baptismal celebrations.  On January 11, we welcomed Sam and Reeves into the Household of God and on the last Sunday before Lent begins, February 15, we will witness the wonder of grace again as two more babies are joined into The Body of Christ. Epiphanytide is an appropriate season for us to reflect on the irrevocable identity bestowed upon us in baptism:  we are children of God. All of our other identities, like what we do for a living, who we’ve parented or been parented by, our roles as volunteers or supporters or taxpayers, etc., are secondary to our foundational identity as God’s children.

The World tells us the most important marker of our identity is the size of our bank accounts or the prestige we garner in social circles. But deep down most of us know, most of the time, that we are far more than what our bank statements proclaim or what social affiliations we have. Yet we need a community to remind us of the deeper truth of who we are, of God’s claim on our lives, and God’s unconditional love for us.  St. Peter’s strives to be that Beloved Community for everyone who walks into our red front door to worship or to serve or to be served.

What small things can you do every day during Epiphany to remind yourself that you are God’s beloved child? Maybe it is remembering God’s grace when you are hard on yourself or remembering your baptism when you wash your face in the morning or finding some time to be purposefully playful rejoicing in the wonder of creation. For you have been “sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked as Christ’s own forever” (BCP, 308).  Thanks be to God.

–The Reverend Joslyn Ogden Schaefer, Associate Rector