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O Lord, in your goodness you bestow abundant graces on your elect: Look with favor, we entreat you, upon those who in these Lenten days are being prepared for Holy Baptism, and grant them the help of your protection; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. 

Look at this image. What is the very first thing you notice? Now pay close attention to the central feature, taking in the stonework, the water, the simple carving. What sort of place is this? How does this scene make you feel? What do you see with your heart?

Reflect. The Collect reminds us that people in the ancient church, and still today, are being prepared for Baptism.  The scene is near the Jordan River, where tradition says that Jesus was baptized.  While you may not recall your own Baptism, consider the promises made on that occasion. Recall that when Jesus was baptized, he immediately began his ministry here on earth.  Consider where your baptismal vows are leading you now.

Act.  This is a good day to read the Baptismal Covenant in the Book of Common Prayer.  Or another liturgy, if that is more appropriate for you.  Or another statement of a promise you make to the Divine One, for the kind of life you want to live.  Look at one of the promises in particular, and bring it to life today.

Thanks for taking part in New and Contrite Hearts. Your comments are very welcome—let others know what you saw and experienced. Until next time, may you have a most blessed Lent.

Music: “Ambient Sonata”  /Album:  Ambient Sonata  /Artist: Dee Yan-Key

Image:   “Baptismal Font” /Place: Jordan River, The Holy Land  /Photographer: Jon Shematek