To be Seen and Loved

Weekly Reflection , Sunday, May 5, 2019

By: Amelia McDaniel

I cry at every baptism. Admittedly I am a weeper. But this started early for me. I can’t tell you exactly why but for most of my life, even as a teenager, baptisms have made my feelings come out of my eyes.

We receive you into the household of God. Confess the faith of Christ crucified, proclaim his resurrection, and share with us in his eternal priesthood.

By the time we get to this part of a baptism I’m already a goner. But this part sends me over the top. We are as a community saying to the newly baptized, We see you little one. You are a gift to this whole place, to this whole broken up world. We are going to try to share the story of love we know with you. You belong with us and we belong to you always. If someone walked up to you this morning and held you by the shoulders and said, “I see you. You are so loved. You are just where you should be,” what would you do? My feelings would come out of my eyes for certain.

But this is precisely what I hope happens for our children and youth in some way each time they come here to St. Mary’s. Where else in their lives, except in their homes, do they hear they are unconditionally loved? Where no grade on a test, no ability on an athletic field, no accomplishment at all is necessary to be SEEN and LOVED. The way we treat them helps to shape their understanding of the story of God’s never-ending love for them. Their sense of worth is in part informed by how we greet them and welcome them and model for them what a life lived in the knowledge of God’s love looks like.

This morning at the 11:00 service there will be lots of kids leading and participating in the service. We will recognize 5th graders moving on up to the youth program. We will say goodbye to the seniors who are graduating and heading off to college and early adulthood. And we will say thank you to the many adult volunteers who are the front line of loving up our youngest members here at St. Mary’s. When you see them tell them how proud you are that they are here with your words and with your smiles.