Resist and Remember
by amanda Holmes
Do you remember your baptism? Do you remember the vows either you took or your parents took on your behalf? These vows exist to incorporate us into the Church. In baptism, the “I” becomes the “we” of the Church. I am no longer my own, but through baptism, I am being made part of the body of Christ and no longer live as an individual.
Christian spirituality is not a private endeavor, and we are called to have the “same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus. ” Through our baptismal vows and renewal of them, we make a commitment not only between ourselves and God, but also between ourselves and our church community. That is a beautiful thing to proclaim and something we have the opportunity to live more fully into each day, but sometimes it may not look the way we intended.
How can we have a Christ-like mind in this time of trial and pandemic? How can we live into our vow to “accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves?” We are called through our baptism into community, into loving as Jesus did, with a preferential option for the poor, the least, the lost, those truly in need. Right now we cannot do that in the traditional ways we have become accustomed to, and while it is important to sit in that loss and frustration, it is also a time for us to be creative and bold in the taking on and remembering of our baptismal vows.
Resist the ever-present urge to live in fear because fear is not of the same mind of Christ Jesus. By living out our trust, we are able to proclaim the Good News through our actions. We can make the choice to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in our daily activities. Take only what you need at the grocery store- do not allow your fear to cause you to take more than what you need. Let us heed the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians: “I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that there may be a fair balance. As it is written, ‘The one who had much did not have too much, and the one who had little did not have too little.’”
Share with your neighbors as you are able. Help attend to the needs of the community where you can. Profess your faith openly through your actions. Can you spare some money to send to relief organizations? Are you eligible to donate blood? Do you sew? Look for opportunities that you can take your talents and gifts into the community (while maintaining a 6ft distance). Be as generous as you can, in whatever form that presents itself.
I am so grateful to be under a shelter-in-place order here in Evanston, IL with people who have become another part of my community. We have established Facebook groups to check in on the needs of our community, not only physical needs such as toilet paper and groceries but the spiritual needs of a community who went from attending classes in person and seeing one another every day to being told not to return to campus this semester. This adjustment has been devastatingly hard but the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ has given us not a spirit of fear but one of grace and caring, able to trust that all of our needs will be attended to and cared for.
Without the community I was baptized into and enveloped in through my home church of Mount Olivet and my seminary community of Garrett-Evangelical, I would not be able to weather this storm. Remember that we together can create a community of those who have the same mind as Christ Jesus and who choose to live out those vows that called us together. Remember your baptism and be thankful.
- Amanda Holmes