Thanks to the Holy Spirit and scheduling conflicts, we’ll be baptizing three people at the 10am service on the Fifth Sunday in Lent. I can hear the grumbling from my Anglo-Catholic friends, and while I agree baptisms on Easter would be preferred, I think a baptism smack in the middle of Lent works just fine, especially on Lent 5B.
Here’s what Jesus says about discipleship in Sunday’s Gospel lesson. “Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also.”
Here’s what the Baptismal Covenant says, at least in part, about discipleship, “Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself.”
The life of discipleship is a life of service to Christ and neighbor. Jesus tells us that plainly as he approaches the cross, and the Church makes it equally clear for those who would come to be baptized in Christ, sharing in his death and resurrection. So what does it look like to serve Jesus? Like I said on Monday, it is about loving our neighbor so much that they are compelled to ask why. Serving Jesus looks like caring for the poor through food pantries, homeless shelters, and advocacy. Serving Jesus looks like caring for the middle class by teaching them that the American Dream isn’t the be all and end all, that he who dies with the most toys still dies, that life is more than soccer games, good grades, and eating dinner in the car. Serving Jesus looks like challenging the rich to share their blessings with those less fortunate, to give generously to the Church, and to take good care of those in their employ. Serving Jesus looks like reaching beyond our selves to ensure that the whole world can see and know that Jesus Christ loves everything and everyone he created.