Wednesday, January 27, 2016

We are Children of a Fallen Humanity

We are Children of a Fallen Humanity

On an unremarkable Sunday, in the city of Flint, Michigan, a baby, fitted in a slippery, billowing dress, worn by her mother and her grandmother, is brought to the front of a sanctuary.  Tap water is poured into the baptismal font. God's promise is spoken."We are children of a fallen the waters of baptism, our gracious heavenly Father redeems us from sin and death..." 

Water and WORD combine, transformed into redemption...In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit...

The Pastor's finger, dipped back in the water, traces a cross upon the child's brow--"Child of God, you have been sealed by the Holy Spirit, and marked with the cross of Christ, FOREVER."

Water. WORD. Redemption.

A freshly cut branch from a tree in the churchyard is immersed in the basin. Tap water is now God's promise raining down upon the assembled Children of God.

Water. WORD. Redemption.

Remember your Baptism.
Remember God's WORD of redemption, found in this water.

We are children of a fallen humanity. 

They say the toxic waters of Flint have poisoned an estimated 10,000 children.
But I will argue the waters did not poison Flint's children--we are children of a fallen humanity. 
Corruption. Greed. Disregard for the poor. Racism. Neglecting the city's children for a generation--THIS is a fallen humanity is! THIS is what sin is! THIS is what causes our God to weep...

We are children of a fallen humanity. 

We are children of this....and as Children of God, we can not blame "the other" or the "toxic waters" for the fallen humanity of Flint. 

10,000 poisoned children.

That's ours. That is a broken, fallen creation....and yet...

In the waters of baptism, our gracious heavenly Father  redeems us from sin and death. 

Churches in Flint filled baptismal basins with toxic waters...and yet, through water and the WORD, this toxic waste became Living Water. Holding BOTH God's promise of redemption AND toxic lead that would poison its children....

In the lead poisoned waters of our Baptismal river, we are called to be the Living Body of Christ. To strive for justice for all people. We are to live and proclaim to the world the TRUTH that our fallen humanity is redeemed and transformed.  Water. WORD. Redemption.

We are called to remove the lead from the waters of our baptism.

1 comment:

  1. A strong message, Pr. Tracy. We are called to respond. I am glad Leonard and I moved from Flint in 1959 the summer before daughter Andrea was born but feel sorry for the grandchildren of my former students who remained living there. Your ending sentence will be food for thought! Give us some ideas of the things we need to do that we aren't doing now to rid the toxin from the waters of our baptism.