One body and one Spirit

Baptism reflection, January 14, 2018
Glennon Heights Mennonite Church
Betsy Headrick McCrae
Scripture passages: Mark 1:9-11 and Ephesians 4:1-6
One body and one Spirit
Being a Christian is never a solitary endeavor. We’re in this together. In the
words of the Apostle Paul: “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to
the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all,
who is above all and through all and in all.”
Today we celebrate this sense of divine togetherness by receiving new people into
membership here at Glennon Heights. These persons will commit themselves to walking
with us as a congregation as we seek to be a faithful community of Jesus Christ. Susan
Bertsche and Claire Franz – will pledge their allegiance to the way of Jesus today. They
will be baptized. They will commit themselves to following Jesus and to following Jesus
with us, as part of our congregation. Yes, we’re in this together. Thanks be to God.
In our Anabaptist tradition, we stress the importance of being part of a
community. We know that this is necessary to us. Our relationships with fellow
believers shape and form, feed and nourish our faith. This is how God created us to be, I
believe. God created us to be in relationship with others and in relationship with God. In
fact, being in relationship is how we best know who God is and what God desires.
I was struck this week by these words in one of Franciscan Richard Rohr’s daily
reflections: “You cannot know God the way you know anything else,” he writes. “You
only know God or the soul of anything subject to subject, center to center, by a process of
‘mirroring’ where like knows like and love knows love—“deep calling unto deep” (Psalm
42:7). The Divine Spirit planted deep inside each of us yearns for and responds to God—
and vice versa.
“We are not so much human beings trying to become spiritual,” he goes on to say.
“We’re already inherently spiritual beings and our job is learning how to be good
humans! I believe that’s why Jesus came as a human being: not to teach us how to go to
heaven, but to teach us how to be a fully alive human being here on this earth.”
The Apostle Paul says much the same thing: “Lead a life worthy of the calling to
which you have been called,” he writes. You inherently spiritual beings who are learning
how to be good humans. “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with
one another in love, make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of
In this body of believers we are reminded that we are loved by the God who
created us. We hear the words that came from heaven when Jesus was baptized, “You
are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” We come to understand that this
is the way God feels about us as well, for we are also God’s children. Together we feel
the deep calling unto deep. We see love reflecting love. We see God in each other. And
when this happens, we see God in ourselves. One body and one Spirit, one Lord, one
faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.
Amen and amen.

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