To ‘baptise’ means to publicly receive God’s gift of belonging to His family, which is made possible only by trust in the death and resurrection of Jesus to make that adoption by God possible. So we baptise the infant children not of all people, but of those whose parents have been adopted by God through their faith in Jesus for two reasons: Because God works not just with individuals, but with families. And because Jesus told us to baptise everyone who is His disciple.
Ephesians 6:10 tells us to ‘be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.’ That is, stop trusting in your own strength to live life. Depend on God to defend against the violent death throes of an already defeated devil. The rest of the passage tells us how. Following God’s instruction in Ephesians 6:10-20 is not going to mean that no tragedy, moral dilemma, sickness or injustice will ever affect your life again. Putting on this armour won’t stop you taking the hits – but it will mean that the devil won’t knock you down.
God hasn’t placed you where you are so that you can work jolly hard to be nice to people and make their lives a little bit better even though yours is a bit difﬁcult. He has placed you where you are so that He can bless people through your being present with them. So let’s expect that, and pray for that, and watch for that. That seeing others prosper through our presence will reinforce our worshipping sense of how God is in control.
‘Post-truth’ is deﬁned in the dictionary like this: ‘Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less inﬂuential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.’ It played out in politics in 2016 like this: Politicians would make a factual claim. Journalists, statisticians and others would check the facts, ﬁnd them to be wrong, and point this out. But it wouldn’t matter. Because as long as politicians were appealing to people’s strong feelings about something, nobody would care when the fact was shown to be wrong.
Last year, certain buzzwords started getting used more and more frequently in people’s conversations, on TV and in the press and social media. ‘Brexit.’ ‘Post-truth.’ ‘Mindfulness.’ In a couple of weeks, I’ll preach about a Christian response to the idea of ‘post-truth.’ This morning, as we look at responding to key ideas in our generation, we’re going to look at the concept of ‘mindfulness’ with our Bibles open.