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What does God promise? How are we called to respond?

Beginning our Lenten journey with Conversation Sundays

Living Together in God’s Promises

God makes promises to us – but what exactly does God promise? And how are we called to respond? This Lenten season, our church will explore what these promises mean for our walks of faith. We’ll start this season with a two-part Conversation Series, looking at what it means to be part of these promises.

In week one, we hear Mark’s telling of Christ’s Baptism. The heavens are torn apart, the Spirit descends like a dove, and Christ is immediately sent out – first to the wilderness, and then to proclaim the Gospel. However we interpret these promises, we cannot understand God’s promises to us, or our role in those promises, apart from the waters of Baptism. I will spend a lot of time in my sermon exploring this connection.

While much can be said about the promises conferred at Baptism, I am going to focus on one particular expression of this promise: God’s commitment to making all things new. Baptism is the moment where God breaks into our lives to commit to constant renewal, redemption, and restoration. There can be no separation from God’s mission of making all things new once the Sacrament has been given.

As a young parent, I hear friends and family members discussing whether they should bring their young children to be Baptized. Many are reluctant to bring their children forward. It’s not that they don’t want anything to do with Baptism so much as they don’t understand the benefit. Since they don’t see a clear benefit of Baptism, they are reluctant to make a public expression of their faith. We are, after all, living in a time of authenticity, where the cultivation of one’s own unique identity is seen as a vital task. To make a profession of faith in a public setting is to make a statement of one’s identity. Thus, young parents approach Baptism with some anxiety – seeing Baptism as potentially infringing on their authenticity!

God is indeed making all things new, creating and restoring in places and circumstances that seem beyond help and repair. Through our Baptism, we join Christ’s ongoing redemptive work, and hear the promise that we too are always and at all times restored. Look for discussion questions in our sermons Feb 18 and Feb 25th, along with some digital content to follow. I will also be leading conversations on this topic with Mens’ Groups, Amped, and High School Youth in the weeks ahead. If you have a group you’d like Ryan to connect with, please contact Ryan via email at