February 14, 2016, Never Forget Yourself – Mtr. Kathryn Boswell
Below is an outline of the sermon. To listen to it, click here: 120623_001
Immediately after Jesus was baptized the Holy Spirit took him on a 40-day retreat into the desert.
1. This is before Jesus had begun any ministry or done any works of power or shown himself to the world – a time of preparation
2. He ate nothing for the 40 days, and only drank water; he was weakened physically, which weakens us mentally and spiritually as well.
Satan showed up as he always does when we are vulnerable story personifies him, but it is the same kind of battle we know very well that goes on inside our heads
3. The three attacks – make bread from the stones; be king of the world; prove that God is watching over him
4. Twice, the temptation begins “IF you are the Son of God….” and once, “IF you will worship me…”
5. The heart of every temptation is to forget who we are, to doubt our identity as children of God.
6. Gen 3 – Adam and Eve listened to the serpent and fell for the temptation to try to be somebody else – “IF you want to be like God….”
Baptism today – it’s all about establishing our identity, “marked as Christ’s own forever.”
7. Max – makes Mom and Dad and Gramma smile, likes Smurfs, lots of awesome things
8. But today he is sealed as a child of God, an identity which he can claim forever no matter what temptations or doubts or fears come along to make him forget it as he grows through life.
9. When Jesus was baptised, God declared his identity, speaking from the heavens, “You are my beloved Son, with whom I am delighted.” When we are baptized, God seals us in his beloved Son. He claims us for his own. He takes delight in us.
In 1972 a documentary film was made on the life of Edward VIII, the Duke of Windsor, who had just died. A video clip was shown of Edward himself some years earlier, speaking of his boyhood as the Prince of Wales. He said, “My father [King George V] was a strict disciplinarian. Sometimes when I had done something wrong, he would admonish me saying, “My dear boy, you must always remember who you are.” Our heavenly Father, who is nothing like King George V, who is abounding in mercy and lovingkindness, who is slow to anger and quick to forgive all who come to him, speaks to Max, and to all who are baptized in his name, every single day, in much the same words, “My dear child, you must always remember who you are.”