Friday, June 27, 2008

All Who Believe and Are Baptized

This coming Sunday we will be celebrating St. Peter and St. Paul here in my parish, marking the 25th anniversary of my ordination (June 26, 1983), and receiving new members into our parish. Two of the adults being received on Sunday will be baptized.  

One of today's lectionary readings is the account of the baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch, Acts 8:26-40.  Philip, urged by the Spirit, encounters this man puzzling over the scroll of Isaiah, not understanding of whom the prophet had written.  Philip, beginning with that very passage, spoke to him about Jesus.  The eunuch was baptized and continued on his way to his home in Africa.

Thomas Kingo, a Dane, wrote this hymn which was originally intended for use after Holy Baptism.  This Sunday it is our opening hymn in both services.

1.  All who believe and are baptized
        Shall see the Lord's salvation;
     Baptized into the death of Christ,
        They are a new creation.
            Through Christ's redemption they shall stand
            Among the glorious, heav'nly band
       Of ev'ry tribe and nation.

2.  With one accord, O God, we pray:
        Grant us Your Holy Spirit.
     Help us in our infirmity
        Through Jesus' blood and merit.
           Grant us to grow in grace each day
           That by this sacrament we may
        Eternal life inherit. 

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