Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Getting Personal

In the first reading today we hear Peter instruct the crowd to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. One thing should strike us as odd immediately. Any of us who have ever witnessed a baptism in most churches have heard the minister say the words, "I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

In fact there are a few churches that do follow Peter's instruction literally and baptize only in the name of Jesus and not the Trinity. The reason most of us baptize in the name of the trinity is that the instruction to do it that way came from Jesus himself just before the ascension according to Matthew's gospel.

What difference does it make? A great deal. Baptism is not just about God forgiving us. In baptism on our most basic level we are transformed, and most importantly our relationship to God is transformed.

In the gospel today Jesus tells Mary Magdalene to tell the other go and tell "my brothers" that "‘I am going to my Father and your Father." She has called him rabbouni. She does not understand that the relationship is changed. No longer is it just God and worshipers. Yes we worship God but through our baptism we become children of God. We become the brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ.

The Christian faith is not just a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, but a personal relationship with all of God. A familial relationship with all three persons of the Trinity.

How often do we take time to personally interact with the Father, with the Son, and with the Holy Spirit? In this Easter season it's time to get personal with all three.