Every year, on the second Sunday in January, Christians all over the world read the story of Jesus’ baptism and reaffirm their baptismal vows. I pray this hymn text is helpful to you as you remember who you are in Christ. – Lisa <><
Be Still, Remember
a hymn for reaffirming
the baptismal covenant
Suggested Tune- ONE BREAD, ONE BODY (United Methodist Hymnal #620)
Be still, remember, who you are.
Come touch the water
of your birth.
Be dead to sin, alive to God.
Remember who you are in Jesus.
You are beloved.
You are an heir.
You are a child of God.
You are claimed.
You are marked.
You are named by God.
Chosen and blessed
Gifted by God
Witness through word and deed
When you think of the word “enough” what comes to mind?
a. Enough = Too Much. Something that’s bothering you that must stop.
Pat – “I’ve had enough of this moving”
Jo – “It’s what I tell my three dogs when they bark nonstop.”
Song: No More Tears/Enough is Enough (Barbara Streisand, Donna Summer)
b. Enough = Too Little. Enough always tied to the word never.
Fanci – “Enough is a word that … has a connotation of power, because [the one] who has enough holds power over [the one] who does not.”
Scarcity. What you need is unattainable.
Song: Never Enough from The Greatest Showman All the shine of a thousand spotlights
All the stars we steal from the night sky
Will never be enough, never be enough
Towers of gold are still too little
These hands could hold the world but it’ll
Never be enough, never be enough
Psalm 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
It doesn’t mean I shouldn’t want things, long for things, work for things. It means I shall not “be in want.”
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. The Lord is my shepherd, there is enough.
c. Enough = Peace, Satisfied, Contentment. I have enough. There is enough.
Where do you find yourself with the word “enough.”
As I read the psalm, listen to all the things God provides
Psalm 23 (NRSV) 1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters; 3 He restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; Your rod and your staff— they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.
Notice all the things God provides
Verses 2-3, rest for body and soul
Verse 3, guidance and wisdom beyond knowledge
Verse 4, companionship. God’s abiding. We are never alone, never forsaken.
Verse 4, God protects
Verse 5, daily needs, every good gift
Verse 5, healing, blessing, and calling
Verse 6, goodness and mercy, now and forever
I Have Enough = Contentment
Trust there is enough- It’s a key that opens everything. This is a very different narrative than the narrative of our consumeristic culture.
Richard Rohr Quote Once you move your identity to that level of deep inner contentment, you will realize you are drawing upon a Life that is much larger than your own and from a deeper abundance. Once you learn this, why would you ever again settle for scarcity in your life? “I’m not enough! This is not enough! I do not have enough!” I am afraid this is the way culture trains you to think. It is a kind of learned helplessness. The Gospel message is just the opposite— inherent power.
I can trust I have enough (contentment) because I trust that God is enough (commitment). Everything the world tells you will be enough, that will make it so you are enough and have enough, will fall short of God and will fall short of your need.
The Lord is my Shepherd- I have made that commitment. You are the Shepherd and I am the sheep. I’m part of Your flock. Read Psalm 23 again, counting and emphasizing the references to God.
When we read Psalm 23 in this way, we hear the Psalmist’s praise of God and commitment to God. God, I trust you. I have enough because you are enough.
This leads down to our core identity. I am enough. I am enough that the Lord is my Shepherd. I can’t earn it. I can’t buy it. I am enough because God delights in me and says I am enough. Our identity and value and access to grace itself all a gift. This dispels the scarcity that there isn’t enough and I’m not enough.
Read Psalm 23 again, counting the personal references, all the things that are true about you. God is enough and I am enough. Both these truths are equally proclaimed in this incredible Psalm.
This Thanksgiving, remember this. I have enough = I am Content God is enough = I can make a Commitment to God because I trust God I am enough = God says so and it’s now my Core Identity
When we remember this we are re-membered. All the brokenness comes together.
Ann Voskamp on Facebook All the brokenness in the world begins with the act of forgetting — forgetting that God is enough, forgetting that what He gives is good enough, forgetting that there is always more than enough to give thanks for.
Though we forget, though we’re prone to chronic soul amnesia, You never forget us, You never abandon us, You never give up on us.
You have written us, our very names, on the palm of Your hands, written even me right into You — though we forget, You re-member us, You put us and the broken bits and members of us back together again. We are re-membered in You — You who engrave Your love letter to us right into Your skin…. right into Your beating heart.
In the name of the only One who ever loved us to death and back to life again… In Jesus’ name… Amen.
This prayer was adapted with permission from a post by Steve Garnaas Holmes on his wonderful site, Unfolding Light. A single voice reads the regular print while all present read the bold print. (2 Timothy 1:6) Consider following this liturgy with each person lighting a candle or striking a match. – Lisa <><
You have a treasure in you,
a seed of glory planted from stars,
a song written for only you to sing.
You have gifts to give.
The treasure is buried,
and it may take some digging to recover.
The song is forgotten,
but still hidden in your bones.
Rekindle the gift of God that is within you.
Nothing that happens to you
can remove it, no fear or shame
destroy it, no failure ruin it.
It is who you are.
Rekindle the gift.
Listen for the quiet voice,
the Spirit of Life
singing in you.
Rekindle the gift of God that is within you.
Listen… and sing.
Tune your life to its melody.
Let it sing in you,
let it sing you into life.
Rekindle the gift
that is God within you.
Give God this joy— for it is
God who is singing.
Rekindle the gift of God that is within you.
Be sure to check out another wonderful prayer by Steve Garnaas Holmes on the theme of spiritual gifts entitled Not Lacking based on 1 Corinthians 1:4-7.
Sermon Series: Spirit Filled Message 4 of 5: Pour Out Your Truth
Scripture: John 14:16-17, 25-26
Notes from a message offered Sunday, 6/30/19 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota Florida.
Saints QB Drew Brees Shares his testimony
John 14:16-17 Jesus said, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
The Holy Spirit is the Presence of God with us right now.
The Spirit is with you and in you. Now and Forever!
God’s presence, sustaining, and blessing is all around us. You have the power to ignore and push away the Spirit. You have a choice. The Spirit will not be forced upon you.
The Holy Spirit is the Advocate = Helper/Counselor/Parakletos. One set from the Father. Exactly like the Father and Christ.
The Presence of God is a Help. The Presence is for you.
John 14:25-26 Jesus said, “I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.”
The Spirit Teaches us and Reminds us
One of Jesus’ main missions was to teach. Jesus would refer back to the Old Testament, reminding his hearers what it really meant and really said. Jesus brought the promises of God into his time period and thus our time period. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, will continue to do that.
What the Spirit teaches us and reminds us is seen in how the Spirit is revealed in the Scriptures. Think 4 B’s: Bird, Breath, Blow, Burn.
We are named and claimed by God in our baptism. Our true identity is found in Christ Jesus, rooted in the eternal, not in how the world wants to label and stereotype us.
The Love Dove of Jesus’ Baptism- The heavens were opened to Jesus. He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. This is my Son the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased. (Matthew 3:16-17)
The fire of God reminds us of passion, our mission/calling from God, and the refiner’s fire which burns away what isn’t good for us so the gold is revealed.
Moses and the burning bush (Exodus 3)
The pillar of fire leading God’s people through the darkness and across the wilderness to the promised land (Exodus 13-14)
God consuming the offering in the battle between Elijah and the false prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18)
Isaiah’s lips being cleansed by a lump of burning coal from the heavenly altar
God companioning and rescuing Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the fiery furnace (Daniel 3)
God described as a Refiner’s Fire (Malachi 3)
John the Baptist’s prophecy that the Messiah would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Matthew 3, Luke 3)
The tongues of fire dancing on the disciples’ heads at Pentecost (Acts 2)
When you think of Fire, what comes to mind?
Fire takes- burn down the house, forest fire, burn my skin- sunburn, radiation treatment. Devastation. Destruction. Consuming. Devouring. If I surrender to the Spirit, what will he take from me?
Fire gives- candles on Christmas Eve, campfire, warmth, light.
We get scared of the Spirit. Not sure if we want it.
What the Fire Gives by Jan Richardson, from her book Circle of Grace
You had thought that fire
only took for itself,
leaving merely ash
you had believed,
if not permanent,
would be long enough,
to be nearly
So when you felt
the scorching on your lips,
the searing in your heart,
you could not
at first believe
that flame could be
that when it came to you—
you, in your sackcloth
it did not come
to take still more
What surprised you most
were not the syllables
that spilled from
though that was miracle
to have words
what had been numb,
to find your tongue
aflame with a language
you did not know
no, what came
as greatest gift
was to be so heard
in the place
of your deepest
to be so seen
within the blazing,
to be met
with such completeness
by what the fire gives.
Holy Spirit, Pour out your truth
“That flame could be so generous.” I needed that reminder.
What we believe about God matters. If we believe God is angry, ready to punish, always watching, distant it will color everything. But if we believe God is generous, strong, good, and near, then the gift of the Holy Spirit is generous, good, and near.
We have our normal we know really well. It’s comforting and comfortable in a world that’s always changing. But, what God offers us is a new normal beyond circumstance. It is generous.
The first thing God always offers is to be heard and seen. Being before doing. God knows me just as I am. God sees me just as I am. God loves me just as I am. God invites me into all I can be.
I long to be known and seen and understood like this. That’s what I find in the presence of God. No need to hide. This knowing and seeing are so generous you can surrender to it. It is trustworthy and it is truth.
What do you most need today from the Spirit?
What do you most need to be reminded of?