Sermons 2009

Resurrection, continued, Doubts, and a Baptism, Easter 2 B, 19 April 2009, John 20:19-31

Home | Proper 17B, 30 August 2009, Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 | Proper 16B, 23 August 2009, John 6:56-69 | Pentecost 10 (Proper 14B) 9 August 2009, John 6:35, 41-51 | Pentecost 8B (Proper 12B), John 6:1-21, 26 July 2009 | Pentecost 7B (Proper 11B), 19 July 2009, Mark 6:30-34, 53-56 | Pentecost 6B (Proper 10B), 12 July 2009, Mark 6:14-29 | Pentecost 5B (Proper 9B) 5 July 2009, Mark 6:1-13 | Pentecost 4B (Proper 8B), 28 June 2009 | Pentecost 3B (Proper 7B), 21 June 2009 | Pentecost 2B (Proper 6B), 14 June 2009 | About Pentecost, Pentecost B, 31 May 2009, | On the Trinity, Trinity B, 7 June 2009 | Jesus and Prayer, Easter 7B, 24 May 2009, John 17:6-19 | How can we love? Easter 6B, 17May 2009, John 15:9-17 | 2 Sermons: Vineyard and a Baptism, Easter 5B, 10 May 2009, John 15:1-8 | Who's in? Who's out? Easter 4B, 3 May 2009, John 10:11-18 | Sacramental Meals, Easter 3B, 16 April 2009, Luke 24:36b-48 | Resurrection, continued, Doubts, and a Baptism, Easter 2 B, 19 April 2009, John 20:19-31 | He is not here, Easter B, 12 April 2009, Mark 16:1-8 | The Seven Sayings from the Cross, Palm Sunday B 2009 | We wish to see Jesus, Lent 5B, 29 March 1009, John 12:22-33 | For God so loved the world, Lent 4B, 22 March 2009, John 3:14-21 | Out with the money changers! Lent 3B, 15 March 2009, John 2: 13-22 | On taking up the Cross, Lent 2B, 8 March 2009, Mark 8:31-38 | News or the real Good News?, Lent 1B, 1 March 2008, Mark 1: 9-15 | Listen to Him! Epiphany Last B Transfiguration, 22 February 2009, Mark 9:2-9 | What do you mean, demons? Epiphany 4B, 1 February 2009, Mark 1:21-28 | Immediately and discipleship, Epiphany 3B 2009, 25 January 2009, Mark 1:14-20 | Right in front of your eyes, Epiphany 2B, 18 January 2009, John 1:43-51 | In the beginning, water and the Spirit, Epiphany 1B, 11 January 2009, Genesis 1:1-5; Mark 1:4-11 | In God we trust, Christmas 2B, 4 January 2009, Jeremiah 31:7-14; Matthew 2:1-12

Easter 2B 2009     St Thomas the Doubter and Holy Baptism


Dealing with doubt is a fundamental fact of human existence -- a fact for Christians, even for Apostles, no less than for unbelievers. The classic doubter is Thomas who was skeptical when the other disciples told him that the risen Christ had appeared to them. He was the one who said bluntly, "Unless I see holes in his hands and side, I will not believe it."

            When the risen Christ again returned and Thomas was there, Jesus understood his doubts and helped him move beyond it to faith.  Having doubts about our faith, or about anything, is nothing, in itself, to be ashamed of, or to be escaped or hidden from.  For us Thomas can be the patron saint.  Thomas is one who can give us courage to face our doubts. (1)   And when we baptize someone we three times affirm our own faith even in the face of our doubts:  at the beginning of the Sacrament of holy baptism, in the middle when we all renew our baptismal covenant, and in Holy Communion when we proclaim the mystery of faith.

The sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion :   What a day this is for this little child and what a day it is for everyone in his family present and past.  And for those generations yet unborn – assuming that he himself will marry and have children and bring them before the Lord who loves them to be baptized – what a great day for them as well.   What a great day for the four generations here today.  And what a great day for the community of this parish family, all of us here in church today, and those who are away today and for the church which has gone before us and the church which is yet to come as we confront, even set aside our doubts, in celebration of the twin mysteries of Baptism and Communion. 


It is a great and holy and wonderful  and special day for this child whom the sweet Lord loved before he ever was.  Today  is, of course, the most important day in his life, the most important day he will ever have in his entire life, this day of his Holy Baptism, although at the conscious level he may not be completely aware of it.  But who knows what the sweet Lord Jesus is whispering in this little bay’s mind as we baptize him, as we speak the words invoking the Triune God and wash his sins away in the water we will have blessed.


That’s the first thing that needs to be said about his baptism and every baptism:  that it is the most important day of one’s life.  And it needs to be said every time we baptize someone. 


And it is we who baptize him – not only the priest but every Christian believer in this congregation, indeed every Christian everywhere –past, present, and future is a part of the baptism of this child.


Those of us baptized as infants don’t remember our own baptisms.  But we may remember the baptisms of our younger siblings and surely we remember the baptisms of our own children and grandchildren.  We participate in those baptisms we remember and in those we don’t remember and in those of which we are completely unaware.  All Christians across time and space participate in this baptism – and that’s the second thing that needs to be said about baptism.


Which leads me to the third thing.  All Christians everywhere and particularly those of us here present have serious responsibilities.  Parents and godparents  take the same vows, vows which demand of them before God that they bring this child up as a true Christian until he is able to assume responsibility for himself – at whatever age that might be, and not necessarily marked by confirmation.


And the congregation –  before we renew our own baptismal vows we are asked this question:  Will you who witness these vows do all – ALL – in your power to support this child in his life in Christ?  And the only answer permitted is: We will!


And that is the third thing to be said about baptism:  We vow and promise before God and the whole company of heaven that we will do all in our power to help this child in his life in Christ.  We have no other choice; God and God’s Church demand it of us.  The soul of this child demands it of us.  And our own souls demand it of us.


And now the parents and godparents will present him for his baptism as we stand and sing Hymn 508, “Breathe on me, breath of God”.