I think of this passage whenever I participate in the congregational response to an infant baptism. What if we were to promise to remove the stumbling blocks that our and prior generations have deposited, and make the paths smooth?
If so, it would seem that the baptismal promises that we invoke are directed beyond the dampened child before us: they are covenants with the child’s whole generation. Our baptismal promises are inherently political, promising that we will take an active role in constructing the Kingdom of God.
God of promise: Lead us to live out our own baptisms in ways that the baptisms we witness, call us out of our comfort zones of desires for personal salvation and nostalgia. Move us toward a world where Christ is revealed as making all things new. Guide and challenge us as we pray with the words spoken at our own baptism: in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Rev. Dr. Christopher D. Rodkey
St. Paul’s United Church of Christ