This is from the letter to the Romans, chapter 6.
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.
This passage from Romans that will be read on Sunday is one of the central things in the proclamation of the church—it’s one of the great messages of good news, that we are taught by the apostle Paul. That in baptism we are bound to Christ in his death—as we plunge into the water with him, submerged, immersed in the water—we die with him. And as we are raised up out of the water of our baptism, we are raised with him, and we are bound to him in a resurrection life like his. And there is nothing now that can separate us from the love of God. And there is nothing now that can separate us from one another, those who have been baptized in this same baptism.
This is an important thing to know for everybody who looks around the world to see if they belong, if they are in a relationship with God, and if they are in a relationship with everyone who is baptised in this world—and by extension, everyone in the Creation. This passage says, “yes”! to all of those things and it is the basis, for me, of my relationship as a child of God, as a brother of Jesus—one who can say with every Christian across the world, “Our Father” . . . when we pray.
This unity is expressed in such a diversity that it is a beautiful thing. And we will have the opportunity over the years to come to incrementally but quickly embrace more and more the diversity that God has made in the world.
This week there is a celebration of the National Indigenous Day of Prayer. There are some tremendous resources available through our diocesan website diohuron.org and through the national Anglican website anglican.ca
There you will find a video worship service premiering at 2:00 pm on Sunday (June 21) for the National Indigenous Day of Prayer. In addition to other worship opportunities on Sunday morning, I will be praying alongside everyone at 2:00. I commend it to you. In the meantime, I’m going to lend my voice to those who are leading such prayers by offering this prayer from that same set of resources.
This is A Litany for the Healing and Restoration of our Church originally used in the Anglican Diocese of Rupert’s Land, in 2017. (adapted for one voice and for this purpose of this video)
We pray for forgiveness and healing:
From our failure to recognize and respect the revelation of your truth and love in the First Peoples of this land,
From our participation in the systematic oppression of indigenous sovereignty,
language, culture and spirituality, forgive and heal us.
From our role in the Indian Residential Schools designed to eliminate the unique society, wisdom and beauty of the indigenous peoples of this land, forgive and heal us.
From our complicit tolerance of the decimation of Indigenous family structures leaving children vulnerable to abuses of every kind, forgive and heal us.
From our continued acceptance of unjust legal, educational, health and social structures that continue to oppress and destroy the lives of many indigenous people, forgive and heal us.
O God, we pray for the gifts of your grace and your love which never gives up on us and is forever faithful. Inspire our minds with a vision of the reconciliation of your kingdom in this time and place.
Touch our eyes, that we may see the sacredness in all creation.
Touch our ears, that we may hear from every mouth of every peoples the hunger for hope and stories of refreshment.
Touch our lips, that we may speak of the beauty of every tongue and dialect proclaiming the wonderful works of God.
Touch our hearts, that we may discern your mission in which you call us to be immersed, particularly in partnership with the First Peoples of this land.
Touch our minds that we may witness to your Good News in our neighbourhoods, communities, and all parts of the world.
Touch our hands, that we may forever shun violence and embrace the work you give us to do.
Draw your Church together, O Lord, into one great company of disciples, together following our Lord Jesus Christ into every walk of life, together serving you in your mission in the world, and together witnessing to your love on every continent and island of your creation.
We ask this in the name of the Risen Christ in whom we are one, through our baptism. Amen.