Lent Day Two

February 19, 2015

I’ve been baptized nearly my whole life – all but three weeks of it. It is perhaps the best gift my parents could have given me. To be “sealed by the Holy Spirit and Marked with the cross of Christ forever.”

Later I made my own affirmation of faith through Confirmation. I was a teen and I was doing what I was supposed to do. Plus, I was the pastor’s daughter so I had little interest and didn’t take it seriously.
Since I became a mother myself (30-some years ago and had my own baby girl baptized), those words above took on deeper meaning for me. It comforts me to know that no matter what, my Sarah also has that gift and that ‘safety net.’
Whenever a baby is baptized on a Sunday morning in church, I fight tears. It is a special and important rite, and a glorious gift of parental – both human and Godly – love.
During Lent I can – and should – reflect on that and its connection to the coming Easter joy. Without the Holy Spirit’s seal and the mark of Christ’s cross that I received at baptism, Lent becomes meaningless. Without the confidence of my faith in our loving, grace-filled and grace-giving God, what would be the point in 40 days of reflection and repentance?
In part it is the inward nature of Lenten reflection that comforts me. It’s between only God and me. My prayers to Him, my dialogue with him, and my worship of him happen in this quiet context of repentance. The rest of the world has no need to know and God understands my weak, sinful nature … and loves me anyway.
Matthew 6: 5-6
5 “And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward.
6 But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

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