Do Christians Stink?

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I love infant baptism. It makes me new again as I am reminded that this symbolic act is making even the newest of us…new again.

The oil of Baptism is placed on the head of the baby in a symbolic blessing that welcomes them to the Christian faith.

Today, I was reminded that this dab of oil during the sacrament of holy baptism also makes me new and forgiven through Christ.

When Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, heaven opened as follows:

“Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,

And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.” Luke 3:21-22

Baptism delivers me from shame. The stain and stink of sin that weighs me down in this life is washed away.

The sinful stench that permeates and gnaws at my soul is forgiven.

Jesus took away the stench and I am anointed with a holy oil that smells better than the best perfume money can buy.

I don’t stink anymore…and I am glad.

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

 

Five Secrets

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Someone asked me today to share five secrets about myself that most people wouldn’t know.

My first thought was, they are secrets, why would I share them?

My second thought was…I have a LOT of secrets.

Accordingly, I picked five safe secrets to spew out as a friendly encouragement, which I considered ordinary and not very scandalous.

Secrets are a strange and funny thing; they stay deeply buried and only surface at inopportune times.

To be honest, I don’t like secrets. The mere word denotes some form of covert behavior we only behold in the dark.

Before I received confirmation in the Anglican Church, I was required to attend confession. As I prepared to meet with my Priest, my worry over uttering aloud my “dark secrets” resulted in a physical reaction. I could not stop my knees from shaking. Nausea threatened to overwhelm me. (Side note: I’m not a murderer or anything truly heinous).

That was the only time I have told everything to someone that I deemed shockingly secret and I think I may have surprised my priest although he maintained his “game” face.

I’m glad God knows all secrets. It is burdensome to carry alone. Secrets turned over to Jesus result in transformed lives that move from darkness to light. In so doing, we are freed.

Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
my transgressions to the Lord.”
And you forgave
the guilt of my sin.

Psalm 32:5