With the 150th anniversary of the 272 word Gettysburg Address coming a fellow Presbyterian pastor gave a challenge to write a meaningful sermon in 272 words on November 17. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!
This week, Hilliard Presbyterian Church will celebrate the baptism of my son Jacob “Jake” Jackson which happened last week at Covenant Presbyterian Church. I’m so glad that my wife Karen baptized Jake, and it gave a certain symmetry to our family and callings since I had baptized Gracie. Plus, I loved witnessing this amazing day.
So, here is my 272 word offering for this week:
Rev. Rob Jackson
Little Jacob Jackson, the child of two congregations and One Body
is a little ankle-grabber, like his namesake.
Also, he grabs Daddy’s papers, Sister’s toys, Mommy’s coffee and anybody’s hair.
He grabs hearts, too- full of love and smiles – and lots of spit-up.
He will wrestle you gladly and all night long.
I warn you- to him, you are an angel
and he will not let you go
until you give him a blessing!
You have promised him this blessing,
him and his brothers and sisters in Christ.
You promised to love and nurture him (and them),
to teach them about the Living God of Abraham, Isaac…and Jacob.
Many were baptized by John at the river Jordan,
vipers and tax collectors among them.
John taught them they must be sorry for doing wrong,
And to not harm others – and to do justly.
You must teach all the ankle-grabbers to do the same!
Jesus was baptized, too. He joined us in the waters- though it was not required.
And then he baptized us with fire, which burns in the belly to speak of the Kingdom of God,
even when it’s so slippery to understand and explain
that we must use water, pearls and mustard seeds, wine and broken bread.
This water and this fire
gives us dreams of a different world,
which thirsts and burns to love God and neighbor,
giving away a coat when we have two, letting selfishness melt away.
It is a water-born dream which calls us to die!
We die to sin.
We die with Christ.
And then we are resurrected with him, new and redeemed.