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As I Went Down to the River...

This past Sunday we had an opportunity to remember our baptism. As a pastor, this is one of the most meaningful moments of ministry. I saw family and friends gather at the font together. I saw silent tears and pauses of gratitude. I saw children splash with delight. I could sense a renewal and a refreshment in each person who chose to come to the font.

As United Methodist we believe our baptism is an outward sign of an inward grace. The water is only sacred because of what it represents — God’s unconditional love, mercy, and grace. This is why we do not “re-baptize.” None of us can ever fully comprehend God’s salvation. We can, however, accept it, grow in it, and bless others because of it. As we grow and learn we remember that even when we didn’t understand as fully as we do now, even though we weren’t as sincere in that moment as we are now, God’s grace is enough to hold all that we were, all that we are, and all that we will become.

Naomi offered a beautiful backdrop through song. It is a song with no known author or origin. Another reminder of all that has been, is, and will always be a part of our journey.

As I went down to the river to pray

Studying about that good ol' way

And who shall wear the robe and crown?

Good Lord show me the way

Oh children, let’s go down…

down to the river to pray

May our lives continue to be an outward sign of an inward grace so that all may know of God’s redeeming grace.

Pastor Jo Cooper

January 17, 2023

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