Can we make it across?
“‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?’”
Today, a new member of the Body of Christ starts the journey that will teach and guide her throughout her life. This entry into the life of faith, this start on the journey, will give her all the tools she needs to make it across.
Jesus had just finished addressing the crowds and needed to head out. He, and the apostles needed to leave the crowd behind. They decide to cross over.
The disciples, who knew the sea, are panic-stricken when a huge storm hits their boat. They aren’t holding it together at all. They can’t maintain control in front of the fierce storm. They’re loosing it.
What a wonderful Gospel for us on this day. What a wonderful set of readings. Each one points to the journey Callie Elizabeth begins today with Jesus at her side.
In baptism we cross over. We move from one side to the other like Jesus and the disciples were doing on that boat. We move from life defined as a beginning and an end to life defined as a beginning with no end. Our life is grounded in the promise of everlasting happiness regardless of the storms that beset us.
In baptism we are separated from the crowd. We are differentiated from the ordinary and are set apart for the extraordinary. We are made witnesses, not to the desires of the crowd, or the whim of the moment, but to way of Jesus.
Of course we will face our storms in life. There will be bumpy times, sad times, struggles. But we are made strong by the reason of our baptism. We are given something so essential, the strength that comes to us by grace, by our inclusion in the life of Jesus. We are given the full support of the entire body of Christ. In turn, we offer our strength to them.
In the storm we are given the choice to lose it or be saved. There is no cool, safe ledge on which to perch as spectators. There are no bleachers from which to enjoy the lightning and thunder, the waves and breakers of the storm.
In the baptism we have all entered, into which Callie Elizabeth enters today, we are made witnesses, prophets, and the people of God. We have to sail through life and its storms. Baptism makes us not just sailors, but sailors and saints.
Because of baptism, because of our inclusion in the body of Christ, because we choose to live this life, we will make it across. You bet!!!