Thoughts on the baptismal covenant in the Book of Common Prayer: five commitments to structure our daily lives

I will, with God’s help.

I recently had the opportunity to reflect on the liturgy for Holy Baptism in the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer. I was particularly struck by the commitments made on pages 304-305:

Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of the bread, and in the prayers?
I will, with God’s help.

Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?
I will, with God’s help.

Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?
I will, with God’s help.

Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?
I will, with God’s help.

Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
I will, with God’s help.

I tried to paraphrase and personalize these five commitment as best I could. What are the five things that we promise?

  1. To be part of a Christian church community and participate in the traditions and rituals of the community.
  2. To structure one’s life in such a way as to be continually seeking to strengthen our relationship with God.
  3. To share God’s love with others as best befits our unique gifts and situations.
  4. To lead with love in our interactions with others, loving them as ourselves.
  5. To channel one’s efforts and work into vocations that work to bring about social justice and peace in the world.

This, I think, represents an important component of what types of principles can guide a Christian ethic of values and living. What do we do each day that contributes to each of these five commitments?

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