Authentic Ministry: Learning What Baptism Means

The arrival of summer brings a wide variety of opportunities for many of us.  Summer vacations, travel, holiday weekends, trips to the ball park and perhaps even a little bit of a slowdown from the rest of the year.  So between travel time and watermelon, I hope that we can explore the meaning of a question that resides inside each of us: “How does my baptism shape the way I live?” 

I know that most of us don’t actually get up every morning asking such a question.  But this summer I want you to ask it.  I want you to actively engage your mind and heart and life in asking about the connection between your baptism and the living of each day.

To help us with this question I want to turn us to 2 Corinthians.  We will explore the heart of 2 Corinthians where Paul presents some of the most personal and convicting arguments for authentic ministry.  Authentic ministry is another way of talking about our question: How does my baptism shape the way I live?  If I understand well what God has done for me and through me, then it alters the way I live and calls me into a life that is characterized by service—by ministry!

Perhaps the best words to describe Paul’s theme are found in 2 Cor. 4.7: “But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.”

Indeed.  As simple clay jars, our lives are the conduits by which God is persuading the world to share in the richness of God’s life.  Are we open and authentic with our living and doing?  Each week we will probe into Paul’s words and find teaching that will help us to relinquish our own claims and embrace a way of ministry that discloses the power of Jesus Christ in our world.

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