God of new birth,
thank you for this celebration of baptism.
Thank you for your sacrifice for us,
and your presence in our lives.
Thank you for each person baptized today,
for this chance for many to remember their own baptism,
and for others to consider an invitation to join your church.
Thank you for the reminder of the way we die to our sins,
leaving behind self-centredness, greed, and hatred.
We don’t know how you are tackling the big problems;
the wars that won’t end, the racism in our own hearts,
the inequality we live with and accept without a thought.
We die to these things, we rise to new life,
new hope, new ways of living and being.
Even on this day where we speak of faith,
some of us live with doubt.
We wonder what it means.
Is it just water? What difference can it make?
God, help us to live with mystery, knowing we don’t know it all,
and trusting you to take us where we need to go.
Help us this week as we walk towards people who are hurting,
not passing by on the other side, not hiding our eyes.
Maybe it’s the despairing mom in the grocery store
who doesn’t have enough in her wallet to pay for the groceries.
Maybe it’s the co-worker who is looking so despondent.
Maybe it’s the person on the bus who is the subject of a racist remark.
You are the God of new beginnings.
We begin to see with your eyes, and give with your hands:
we will speak the words you want us to speak.
We can do this, because we are filled with your Spirit.
New ways, new times, new followers of Jesus;
we will walk together, we will walk with God.
This is our prayer, this is our pledge,
spoken in the name and power of Jesus Christ, our Saviour,