Endings, Beginnings, and Baptism

Life is full of endings and beginnings, big ones and small ones. 2010 is over and when we look back on the year past, I am sure that we each can count more than a few significant endings and beginnings. Some of those endings have been really hard, and we have needed to call on God for strength, and some of those new beginnings have be exciting, and we have given thanks to God for our blessings. This cycle of endings and beginning is a part of each of our lives.

From the day of our birth, we begin to face repeating cycle of endings and beginnings. From the day of our Baptism, the day we began our new life in Christ, God brings us God’s powerful help to the process. This is where our faith helps us understand the role that God plays in our life. The promise of Baptism finds its’ way into our life everyday as the way that God helps us face our endings and move into new beginnings. God helps us face our addictions and put them behind us. God helps us work through our grief of loss and find new meaning and purpose in our life. God helps us to walk away from the situations and relationships that temp us to destroy the things that are good in our life. At the same time, through our baptism, God has promised to be a source of new beginnings in our life. God helps to put the right people in the right places at the right times to open the doors to those new opportunities. God helps us to find meaning and purpose when the night seems darkest. God does not want us to give up, because God is a source of hope.

I know that some of you today, may be feeling struck in transition, maybe waiting for a new beginning to appear in your life. Some one might be thinking, I didn’t get the promotion at work I deserved to get, or my relationship with a friend or spouse is on the rocks, or a family member has gotten sick or died. Sometime we can find our selves in the middle, after the ending part but before and new beginning has even appeared on the horizon. We might say to our selves, this is impossible, nothing new will ever come. Jesus says in Luke’s gospel chapter 18, verse 27, and “‘what is impossible for mortals is possible for God’. We might say, “I can not manage all this grief inside” but Paul reassures us of God’s promise to us in baptism in his letter to the Philippians chapter 4, verse 19, that “God will fully satisfy every need of yours”.

My hope today is to remind you and to reassure you that the promise God made you in you baptism, will be with you through all the endings and beginnings in the coming year. Baptism marked the new beginning of our becoming part of Christ’s family, but baptism also serves as a reminder of how, when we stumble, when we fall, and when we recognise our wrong choices in life, we are promised that God will grant us forgiveness and new beginnings. May your new year be filled with God’s many blessings, both in this new year and in the years to come. Amen.