Yesterday we celebrated All Saint’s Day, a particular feast day of the church. Since the 4th century, Christians have remembered the faithful departed, known and unknown. One way in which we commemorate this day is with baptisms. Gathered in Sunday worship, we welcome new Christians into the household of God.
Baptism in the Episcopal Church includes the Question and Answer format of The Baptismal Covenant. The Baptismal Covenant outlines some ways that we can live into the promises of baptism. God’s promise to us is salvation now and forever. We seek to live into that promise in the way that we live our lives.
-Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?
-Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?
-Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?
-Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?
-Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
Our answer to each one is “I will, with God’s help.”
One way in which we seek to carry out our promises is in our daily corporate life, otherwise known as politics. There is no pristine or clear direction for applying our faith to politics. Every good solution has places of error. Even in our attempt to do good, we can be harmful. And completely avoiding suffering is impossible. Thus, humble and prayerful service is the place from which we engage our political life.
Although not all Episcopalians are progressives, it’s the progressive voices of the Episcopal Church that have most effectively united their faith to political engagement. If you’d like to be aware of some of these resources, please email Rev. Whitney at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Love your neighbor” is the phrase that we return to again and again. This phrase comes from the story of the lawyer who, “wanting to justify himself,” asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus goes on to tell the story of the Good Samaritan who attended to the one who “fell into the hands of robbers.”
“Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” Jesus asked the lawyer. “The one who showed him mercy,” the lawyer replied. Jesus said to him, “God and do likewise.” Luke 10:25-37
Our response is that which we say in our Baptismal Covenant- “I will, with God’s help.”