For local churches who follow the Revised Common Lectionary last Sunday was “The Baptism of Christ.” It is one of those holy days on the liturgical calendar that I rather like. Not only does it go without notice in the wider world, it has few – if any – expectations associated with it.
Since I was leading worship for a colleague, I wanted to use water in some way to help us remember our own baptisms and the promises we have made to follow Jesus.
Plain bowls of water seemed boring (i.e., not visually interesting). Buttons have no liturgical significance. But I wanted something in the water and was reluctant to buy blue “stones.” And I have plenty of blue buttons on hand!
One image of baptism is to “take of the old and put on the new” – symbolized by the baptismal candidate wearing a white gown. I refrained from suggesting it Sunday, but maybe the buttons could be used to secure the new.
On a more serious note, here is a prayer from the Confirmation liturgy adapted for use on The Baptism of Christ Sunday.
By your Spirit, almighty God, grant us love for others, joy in serving you, peace in disagreement, patience in suffering, kindness toward all people, goodness in evil times, faithfulness in temptation, gentleness in the face of opposition, self-control in all things. Then strengthen us for ministry in your name. Amen.Adapted from Order for Confirmation: Affirmation of Baptism in Book of Worship, United Church of Christ.