Friday, June 23, 2017

Saturday Baptism

I'm officiating at a baptism tomorrow. It's against my better judgment to do 'private' baptisms. Baptism should be in the full view of the people of God gathered  on the Lord's day. I believe that--I do--but I also know this: any time anyone wants a touch of God in their lives, I'll do whatever I can to let God touch them.

Ceremonially, I'm pretty 'low church'. However, I have a 'high church' view of the sacraments. I truly believe and live as if they are 'real'--just what they claim to be: opportunities for the holy and wild God to dip into our lives for a moment.

So, if another Episcopal priest has some reason not to officiate at your wedding--give me a call!

If you have a god-father who has to fly back to Puerto Rico on Sunday morning, I'll do a Saturday baptism.

I'll bury anyone who wants to be buried. Christian burial should always be available. The morticians in Waterbury still call me from time to time for murdered folks and suicides and people with no discernible religion because they know I'll never deny the sacrament of burial (OK, I 'know' it's not one of the 7 sacraments, but it seems sacramental to me to ask God to take into God's heart this person who is dead....)

Fewer and fewer people these days seem to want to invite God into their lives. One one level, I understand that--given my wild and uncontrollable God who will just stir things up and turn you inside out. However, anyone who is willing to make that risky invitation to a God beyond our understanding...well, I'm willing to assist in the invitation.

I've known lots of Episcopal priests who  have turned away couples, either denied baptism or made it too arduous, who turn away the unbaptized from the Lord's Table.

For goodness (and His!) sake--it's the LORD'S TABLE, not the church's or the priest's....

I once gave communion at St. James in Charleston, West Virginia to a man who wandered in wearing a turban and with a dot on his dark forehead. He left immediately after the bread and wine.

The communion minister with the cup asked me afterwards, "how did you know he was a Christian?"

"I didn't," I explained, "but God could have struck him dead or me dead if what I did was wrong....And God didn't...."

That's my theology and I'm sticking with it. The sacraments belong to God, not to the church or to me. So, my job is to hand them out as often and as generously as I can.

That's what I believe, at any rate.

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About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.