Presented to God
“They brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord…..” – Luke 2:22-40
My little brother’s linen and frilled baptismal robe hung in the coat closet at my house for decades. He is now past 50. One day he called and wanted it. I said, your children are grown, so are mine. Why?
Because, said he, I want it near me. Why? I said again.
I want to remember that I was presented to God and that God took me in. But why now?
Because, he said, life has become very hard for me. My first wife and my first child are angry with me again. My second wife just hit my only son. My third wife is tired of hearing me talk about my first and second wives.
Aha. Life becomes too much for many of us, many times. We realize at Christmastide that we not only have to rely on a child for salvation (!) but also have to rely on our own childhood. It is never too late to have a happy childhood, I have quipped often.
It is also never too late to remember our baptism – “Baptismatus Sum” – as a touchstone of all of God’s promises. We too have been presented to God. And God accepted the present of us.
When life becomes too much for us, O God, let us remember Whose we are. Amen.
Donna Schaper is Senior Minister at Judson Memorial Church in New York City. Her most recent book is I Heart Frances: Letters to the Pope from an Unlikely Admirer.