I will with God’s help

Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?I will with God's help

I have been reflecting a lot recently on these two questions from the Baptismal Covenant. I believe they are foundational to how we as both Episcopalians and as followers of Jesus understand how we are to “live and move and have our being”.

As you know, our response to these questions is, “I will with God’s help.” It is certainly clear to me personally that the only chance I have of coming anywhere close to living into these Baptismal promises is by God’s grace. Yet, that is what I have committed to strive to do.

With this in mind, on more than a few occasions I have pondered what the world would be like if in fact every human being made these, or some simple commitments, to strive for this to be the way we treat each other. Truth be told, almost every religious tradition has a very similar understanding or expectation of those who believe in it. And even a significant number of those who have chosen not to adhere to any particular faith tradition still hold these to be values they ascribe to.

So what if all of humanity decided to love neighbor as self and respect the dignity of every human being? Can you imagine what the world would be like?  Talk radio to much of reality TV, bullying to being cut off in traffic, beheading to spouse or child abuse…and likely 90% of what we endure every time we are confronted with the headlines of the day would be eliminated.  Can you just imagine?

In the end the choice comes back to me, and to God’s grace. I can truly take seriously the Baptismal promises I made and each day strive to live accordingly. And I can encourage others to do likewise and to work to bring justice and peace to others. It will only happen if I do so and with God’s help.
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