Jump into Baptismal Belovedness

Baptism is the watery declaration of who we, the washing away of who we are not, and the beginning of how we are to live out our lives as God’s beloved ones. First of all, baptism proclaims our already-real identity as God’s beloved children. We don’t become God’s children in baptism; rather, who we are is revealed.

Second, baptism washes away all the stuff that isn’t part of our belovedness—sin. Sin is a helpful word, although we often try to avoid using it because it has been misused as a way to judge and condemn. The root meaning of sin is actually about “missing the mark.” Think of shooting an arrow at an archery target, missing the bull’s eye, and maybe even the target itself. That’s what sin is. It’s not hitting the mark of belovedness in how we think, speak, and act. Baptism is how we wash away all those misses and get back to who we truly are so we can hit the bull’s eye of our lives.

Finally, baptism is a beginning of living a life of belovedness. It’s our calling to join the School of Belovedness as disciples of Jesus. Like an acorn becoming an oak tree, we need to grow into who we are in our thinking, speaking, and doing.


Luke 3

Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” Luke 3


Reflect on this week’s scripture.  Are there any words or ideas that especially resonate with you or challenge you?

  • Write out and personalize the words spoken to Jesus at his baptism: “(your name), you are my (son, daughter, child), the beloved; with you I am well pleased.” Carry these words with you. Let them grow your awareness of the identity that is yours.

  • Write out the words again and put them by the sink where you normally wash your hands. Let them remind you of the cleansing waters of baptism.

  • Write out the words once again and this time put them where they will remind you of their truth in your daily life. This should be somewhere that you spend a lot of time. In other words, put them where you actually live out your belovedness.


God of love,

I am your beloved child!

Thank you for that you are pleased with me.

Shape me and teach me to live who I am.