“What it means to be Christian?” Many people will reply, “Do the right thing,” or “Live a good enough life to get into heaven.”  People believe it is up to us to earn God’s love. That is not Jesus’ message. Jesus’ message is one of overwhelming grace, forgiveness and love.  We are claimed by God in the waters of our baptisms. We see this in Jesus’ baptism, where God says, “You are my child with you I am well pleased.” Jesus’ baptism happens before he begins his ministry, before he heals and preaches to the crowds, Jesus hasn’t done anything and God says, “I love you, you give me overwhelming joy.” It isn’t about what we do or decide, baptism is about God’s love for us.

As part of God’s amazing love, God creates in us strengths and through our baptisms we are called by God to use our gifts for the thriving of our neighbor and the world God loves. God cares about all the world and is active in our world and believes in us so much that we are God’s plan for the thriving of the world.  A place where all are included.  A community where all are welcome at the table.