**edited to add—this is one of the best sermons I’ve ever heard on baptism, from my pastor Paul Bushur.
Two months ago, Susan and I and the girls were making necklaces for my ’12 Days’ series. I knew right away what I wanted mine to say. I called my friend Kim, who had recently shown me pictures from Salisbury Cathedral in England. On their baptismal font were the words that I wanted on my necklace. Kim reminded me.
“I have called you by your name and you are mine.”
What a promise we have in our baptism. Christ calls us by our name. He marks us as one of His own. He seals us, protects us, hems us in, preserves us.
He opens heaven to us and promises to keep us safe in Him.
He gifts us with more than we can comprehend; life, forgiveness, heaven and the Holy Spirit and divine protection against the fires that threaten our very souls.
I wore that necklace everyday until 3 days before the fire. It got caught on something and came off, leaving an empty shell.
I laid it on my nightstand and planned to re-attach it soon. It now lies in the ash heap——but the promise it gives does not.
Yesterday, I read Susan’s blog and saw this post. I sat dumbfounded. She was thinking about my necklace too and looked up the context of where the verses came from.
Fear not, for I have redeemed you, O Isreal;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Isreal, your Savior.
you are precious in my eyes, and honored,
and I love you.
It may look hopeless today.
What we have worked for lies in ruins
but He is there.
What we have loved is destroyed
but He will never leave us.
We may see no hope for tomorrow
but He holds tomorrow in His hand.
He alone repairs our broken.
He has given His promise and its’ everlasting melody calms our fears.
” I have called you by your name. You are mine.”
As the church celebrates the baptism of Jesus today, we rejoice and remember our own baptism. And we know that all is well.
Because we are His.
I lost my home also, in 2008 after my husband lost his job. It hurt, I especially get sad when I think about what we could have had. We had just built a home next to my mom and dad, after being away for 23 years. My son was to grow up next to grandma and grandpa. He would learn how to milk a cow, how to drive a tractor, he would have two strong men in his life.
I just want you to know that it will get easier, you will make it through. You already have. Thank you for sharing this with us, I hope the best for you and your beautiful family!
Just as Jesus submitted to John, we submit our lives to Him. Even though you have had to give so much of yourself-He sees you and he will never foresake you. I have been praying for you.
Edie, I am truly sorry for the loss you have suffered. I just wanted you to know that a few hours after reading this post, my husband and I received a 1 am phone call that led us to discover our family business under three inches of water. We may have lost everything, but we just don’t know yet.
As I stood there in those flood waters, I somehow remembered your verse reference and looked it up in the bible in our lobby. Isaiah 43 also promises to be with us through the waters. God was with me, just like He said.
You helped me get through that night.
Erica Cooper says
I can’t imagine coming home to this, but knowing you safe are in God’s hands has to be immensely comforting. Your post and words are beautiful and remind us of His strength, promises and plan for us. How much more can we ask for? Prayers for your family as you go through this time of loss.
Beautiful. I hope you continue to find encouragement through God and others.
Southern Gal says
That is one of the first verses that comes to mind when loss comes into our lives. Such a strong message of hope. I’m so glad you are being ministered to, Edie.