January 13, 2013

Baptism of the Lord

Isaiah 43:1-7

Psalm 29

Acts 8:14-17

Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

God, your voice moves the waters.  Immerse us in your grace, mark us with your image, and raise us to live our baptismal vows empowered by the Holt Spirit and the example of Christ our Lord, in whose name we pray.  Amen.

 

The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”  Grace-filled hearts and loving souls are abundant in Guadeloupe as witnessed by Global Ministries missionary Tim Rose.  Cultural and economic links have always been apparent between Guadeloupe and Haiti but over the last few years, the Protestant Reformed Church of Guadeloupe and the Protestant Federation of Haiti have developed a special connection. “In particular, the church in Guadeloupe has entered into a partnership with a local parish in Port-au-Prince,” Rose said.  “The parish, located in one of the poorer parts of the Haitian capital, was heavily damaged in the 2010 earthquake. Today the church is not only rebuilding, it is struggling to run a small elementary school and an orphanage.” Prior to the earthquake, the church was taking care of seven children.  After the disaster, that number grew to 50. Half of the children are living in the homes of several parishioners while the other half are being cared for at the orphanage. To help care for the children, the church in Guadeloupe is helping to provide clothes, medicine and financial support to the orphanage. “As followers of Christ, we are called to regard all people as brothers and sisters. This radical call to love and solidarity transcends geography and nationality.  While the church in Guadeloupe is small, and already engaged in trying to respond to the many needs of the Guadeloupian population, this small gesture of solidarity with its sister island has become one of the foundations of the church’s mission,” Rose said – a gesture of solidarity from people with hearts full of grace and loving souls.

 


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