This week I had planned to be in Toowoomba, probably not enjoying the cold, but enjoying the company of fellow pastors and members from across the Queensland District of the Lutheran Church at our annual District Convention of Synod.
Like many of you, this is just one of many ‘holidays’ or ‘trips’ that have had to be missed, postponed or cancelled all-together. While grateful that we are now able to travel freely within our state, it still leaves us with a sense of loss for those trips missed, and depending on your next steps, a time of waiting to go on those trips again.
I read an article last week where the writer longed for ‘precedented times’. We constantly are referring to the time we are in as ‘unprecedented’, and we long to go back to some sort of normal. And it appears we are on our way back there – but it is still going to take some time.
And this common bond that so many of us have to ‘go back to normal’ is what binds us together. Even relatively friendly strangers will share with you how they want things to go back to the way they were.
This week we are blessed to have Bishop Paul Smith share with us something else that binds us together.
And that is our common baptism. The Sunday after Pentecost is ‘Trinity Sunday’ the day where the Pastor traditionally tries to explain the Trinity to the church in such a way that is not heretical, but allow people to understand the Godhead as ‘Three-in-one’. And one of the common expressions of the Trinity that we find is in the waters of baptism, as we baptise people in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit (The Trinity).
And so Paul reminds us of something else we have together, for those who are a part of God’s Family, how we share a common Baptism in the Triune God, a bond in water (and God’s Word) that brings about unity and faith.
While I long for a ‘return to normal’, I continue to be amazed and excited about how God continues to work in and through His people. Because while worship and gathering corporately is an important part of our journey as a family of baptised believers in Jesus, it is as the church (the people) that we go out into our families, our neighbourhoods and our communities to serve others, love others, and to share Christ with them, that they to are led to baptism, and join in a bond that is ‘thicker than blood’.
God be with you and guide you this week,
Pastor Ben Hentschke