Re the Daily Office Readings June 27 Anno Domini 2020

Holy Trinity, Thornhill, California

The Readings: Numbers 20:14-29; Romans 6:1-11; Matthew 21:1-11

Today’s reading from Romans is an invitation to reflect on our own baptism. Recall the Celebrant’s prayer:

“We thank you, Almighty God, for the gift of water. Over it the Holy Spirit moved in the beginning of creation. Through it you led the children of Israel out of their bondage in Egypt into the land of promise. In it your Son Jesus received the baptism of John and was anointed by the Holy Spirit as the Messiah, the Christ, to lead us, through his death and resurrection, from the bondage of sin into everlasting life.

“We thank you, Father, for the water of Baptism. In it we are buried with Christ in his death. By it we share in his resurrection. Through it we are reborn by the Holy Spirit. Therefore in joyful obedience to your Son, we bring into his fellowship those who come to him in faith, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

“Now sanctify this water, we pray you, by the power of your Holy Spirit, that those who here are cleansed from sin and born again may continue for ever in the risen life of Jesus Christ our Savior.

“To him, to you, and to the Holy Spirit, be all honor and glory, now and for ever” (BCP 306-307).

This is New Exodus language, signaling the start of a journey to life in its fulness through an indissoluble bond (BCP 298) with Jesus. It mirrors what Paul received; what Paul wrote. The Greek language lets you tack a preposition onto the front of a verb, and Paul does this repeatedly with ‘sun’ (‘with’, as in ‘synapse’, ‘synchronic’, ‘syntax’, etc.): “buried with him” (v.4), “united with him” (v.5), “crucified with him” (v.6), “live with him” (v.8).

As Paul’s argument makes clear, this does not erase my agency. But I’m no longer in Egypt. I don’t have to listen to Pharaoh. And if I am not baptized, what am I waiting for?

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