Be what God wants you to be

So, what did you think of the Royal Wedding, of those hundreds of thousands of people all cheering and wishing the best to that happy couple? The sight from the balcony of Buckingham Palace, looking down the Mall to Admiralty Arch, was truly breathtaking. As Princess Catherine said: “Oh, wow!”

And as we celebrated Hans’s baptism last weekend, we reflected that there was an even greater “WOW” in the heavens, as God, his son Jesus, and all His angels rejoiced at Hans’s fantastic decision to commit his life to Christ.

And a lot of what the Bishop of London had to say to the wedding couple, in a talk watched by an estimated 2 billion people, made good Christian sense and could apply to baptism. One person he referred to was Saint Catherine of Siena. Now, we don’t pay much attention to the saints of the established church, but she is credited with saying something interesting: “Be who God wants you to be, and you will set the world on fire!”

We believe that adult baptism helps us achieve just that. Through baptism, God provides a way for us to become exactly the people He wants us to be. And how powerful we can become in doing His will once we accept that is the case.

Hans (second from right)

Jesus helps us to become what God meant us to be, what He wants us to be, what He put us here on earth to be – that is – our deepest, truest selves, faithful servants to Him, promoting His glory in the world in which we live.

God knows everything about us. He knows how we were knit together in our Mother’s womb. He knows our every foible. He can number the very hairs on our heads – be they many or few. It is amazing – God knows all this and He is deeply interested in our lives and what we are going to do with them.

And so he gives us baptism. A time of joy and celebration. Baptism is a truly incredible moment. Through baptism we open our lives to God, allowing His power to flow into our lives and the lives of those around us – if we will but let it.

This is all made possible a generous God, who so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that through Christ we might serve God’s greater glory, and our spiritual lives might grow, as love finds its centre beyond our individual selves, and instead comes to rest with Him. And, as our spiritual lives deepen, we find a door opens onto the real mystery of spiritual life. The fact is that we increasingly discover:

“The more we give of ourselves, the richer our spiritual life becomes; The more we go beyond ourselves in love,  the more we become our true selves, and our spiritual beauty is more fully revealed.”

Through baptism we are brought into fuller life. Through faith we walk towards God. Through Christ we are given the chance to bask in that glorious and majestic presence, imbibing the life-giving energy that we so need to help us grapple with the many, many brickbats and boulders this life seems to throw our way.