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AfterWords | Christ’s Own Forever (April 30, 2023)

AfterWords is a series of community-contributed reflections intended to further the conversations that begin during Parish sermons.

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A 3-Minute Read
by Keely Darnell

I love baptism Sunday. The baptismal vows are so beautiful and moving to me, but there is one phrase that always stands out. It’s right after the baptism when the person is getting marked with the sign of the cross and these words are spoken over them:

You are sealed by the Holy Spirit in baptism and marked as Christ’s own forever.

Read that again as a promise to you and notice how you respond.

What feelings, thoughts, sensations, memories come up for you?

For me, my shoulders relax and I can take a deep breath. I’m also reminded of Psalm 23 and the care and protection of God.

I love how Sally Lloyd-Jones translates Psalm 23 in “The Jesus Storybook Bible”. I offer this to you as a blessing over your week:

“God is my shepherd and I am his little lamb.
He feeds me, He guides me, He looks after me. I have everything I need.
Inside, my heart is very quiet. As quiet as lying still in soft green grass in a meadow by a little stream.
Even when I walk through the dark, scary, lonely places, I won’t be afraid because my shepherd knows where I am.
He is here with me. He keeps me safe. He rescues me.
He makes me strong and brave.
He is getting wonderful things ready for me. Especially for me. Everything I ever dreamed of!
He fills my heart so full of happiness I can’t hold it all inside.
Wherever I go I know God’s
Never Stopping,
Never Giving Up,
Always and Forever Love
will go, too! ”

May you rest in God’s delight over you. You are marked as Christ’s own forever.

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