PASTOR BRAD'S PAGE
January 14, 2018
This week we celebrate Baptism of Christ Sunday and this year we read the story of Jesus’ baptism as it is recorded for us in the Gospel of Mark (1:4-11).
As Mark tells it, as Jesus emerges from the water, he saw heaven “Splitting open.” The Greek word translated into English here as “Splitting open” is “schizo”. It means, “To tear, divide, split, or rip open.”
Jesus’ baptism not only marked the beginning of his ministry, but it also marked the beginning of the ripping and tearing that Jesus would do to the religious, cultural and social structures that were in place in the world. He sought to break them down and replace them with the ways of God, the ways of mercy and compassion, sharing and service, humility and grace, peace, hope and love.
As his disciples, we also ought to seek to tear down those same divisive, oppressive, and hurtful structures that are still in existence today. Amen.
Rev. Bradley A. Walmer,
a 2008 graduate of Lancaster Theological Seminary, where he received his Master of Divinity degree and was awarded the 2008 Rev. Delores Berry prize for preaching. He was ordained into Christian ministry by the Lebanon Association of the Penn Central Conference of the United Church of Christ on June 1, 2008. Prior to beginning his pastorate here at New Covenant on August 1, 2015, he served as the pastor of St. Paul’s Summer Hill UCC in Auburn, Pa (located southeast of Pottsville, PA).
Pastor Brad and his wife Michelle were born and raised in Lebanon County and now reside in the area with their dog, Chloe.