Sunday, January 08, 2017

Pastoral Prayer for Baptism of Christ Sunday

based on Matthew 3:13-17

God of wisdom and love beyond our knowing, we answer to many names. Some names are bestowed upon us by relationship: grandparent, parent, son, daughter, sister, brother, friend. Some names are entrusted to us, by role or profession, by what we are gifted to do. And some names are forced on us due to a calling to which we are hopelessly linked, or to limit us by one in authority. We embrace some names while striving to reject or shed others, ever struggling to discover our core being.

Above these other voices affixing to us identities of various kinds, there comes one from divine places that claims us as Beloved. As we shudder at the weight of familial roles, as we strain to live up to vocational responsibilities, as we try to shake loose unwanted perceptions, you speak through water and Spirit to say that we are loved eternally and unconditionally, and that you are pleased with us who ultimately return to you as bearers of your life breath.

God of many names, help us to know ourselves. Open our eyes to see our connection to you, open our ears to hear how you identify us as your children, and open our hearts to receive the truth of who we are. Amen.