The baptismal covenant of The United Methodist Church asks us as members of the body “Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves?” I said yes to these words when I joined the church. Yet I have failed to live out my baptismal covenant. This Lent I will be examining and living out my baptismal covenant.
This prayer of confession for Ash Wednesday that was used at my church resonates with me as I truly take on living my baptismal covenant.
O, God, when we pause to look back at our lives on this Ash Wednesday, we realize that we have been weighed in the balance and found wanting.
We have neglected to do good when it was in our power to do so.
We, like believers of old, have pulled down your altars
and erected idols crafted in our own image.
We have turned our backs on the poor,
choosing instead to criminalize poverty.
We have ignored the cries of the motherless, the fatherless,
the widow and the widower
choosing instead to turn children and the elderly into the new poor.
We have bankrupted the country with our greed and
consumed more than our share of the world’s riches
We have not dealt honorably with our enemies or our friends,
and we have feigned a place in the company of the righteous.
Forgive us, O God, for turning sackcloth and ashes into a fashion statement
by pursuing form without substance.
Forgive us, O God, for the times we have neglected to provide our children
and our world an authentic example of Christianity.
As we begin the journey of these 40 days
Wash us, O God and we shall be clean
Cleanse us, O Lord, and we shall be made whole. Amen.
Hear the Good News. The Lord, our God, is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.
This liturgy really resonated with me. The liturgy reminds me as I go further into the Lenten season that I must examine and live out my baptismal covenant in all that I do. I do accept the freedom and power God gives me to resist evil, injustice and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves. Will you live out your baptismal covenant this Lent and beyond?