The story of the Transfiguration is a brief, but quite beautiful story. Jesus takes his inner circle of disciples up to a mountain to pray. Mountains seem to be special places for revelation by God to humans; and while on that mountain, off by themselves, the three disciples have a vision of Jesus filled with light. In the vision they also see Moses and the prophet Elijah who are talking to Jesus. This vision places Jesus in line with the law and with the prophecies of scripture, and perhaps, as we continue to read the gospel stories about Jesus, his being there also brings new light and new interpretations to the law and the prophecies. As they are there, a cloud covers them, and a voice that they have heard before, says what it did, a few years before when Jesus was baptized by John: This is my Son, the Beloved, with Him I am well pleased; listen to him”. Understandably, the disciples become afraid; at first, before they heard the Voice of God the Father, they wanted to stay on the mountain and just live in the beauty of the moment as long as possible. And then, the Voice comes, and it reveals once again the identity of Jesus, as well as issuing them a challenge to listen to Jesus… and while they may not know it yet, listening to Jesus once they leave this mountain begins to be all about going to Jerusalem to face his death at the hands of the Empire. I can’t imagine that they really want to listen to any of that, let alone, live through it, as they are about to do. As the disciples quickly figure out, none of us can stay in the quiet and peace of those mountain top experiences; but those experiences are important to give us the vision and strength to move forward into our lives and into the challenges that are given to us by God. Today, we have a bit of a mountain top experience right here. We gather today to baptize Lincoln. It is a wonderful celebration and mountain top experience that we take together. Baptism, like any mountain top experiences of God is both beautiful and complex and even hard. Today, we welcome Lincoln into the church; not just St. Michael’s but the whole church; one of the reasons the baptismal font is placed in the back of most churches, is to remind us that it is the doorway for us into the community, into the Kingdom of Christ. His parents and his godparents will be charged with raising him as a child of faith, one who hopefully will always know Jesus, and will continue to learn about Jesus and the love of God. We who are gathered here will also be charged to do all that we can, to help Lincoln grow in faith and love, which will mean loving him, and teaching him about what it means to be a child of God. And just in case we have forgotten what that means, we will renew our own baptismal vows with Lincoln’s parents and godparents so that we can remember what our responsibility is to him and to God’s people. Then the ancient prayers over the water will be said, prayers that remind us that water is holy and living; the Holy Spirit moved over the water in creation; water was the pathway for freedom for God’s chosen people; water today becomes the sign of new birth for Lincoln. Today, Lincoln will be reborn into the life and death of Jesus; he is washed today, leaving behind all that would tempt him to move away from God, and today, he becomes the person that God is asking him to become; he may still struggle and resist as he gets older, we all do; but today, just as Jesus and the disciples heard the voice of God proclaiming that Jesus was God’s son, if we listen carefully, we too will hear God’s voice proclaiming that Lincoln is God’s beloved child today. Because Lincoln will be joined to Jesus in his life, death, and resurrection, Lincoln will be adopted as a beloved child of God, who will be loved by God for ever. Fragrant, holy oil will be placed on his head, and he will be marked as Christ’s own forever… marked, as Christ’s own, forever. All of those who are marked as Christ’s own have the assurance that death will never have the last word for us; as Jesus was raised from the dead, so shall we be raised into the presence of God forever. A candle will be lit from our Pascal candle, the great candle of Easter which symbolizes the light of Christ to the world, and today, Lincoln joins with us and with all those who have been baptized to be the light of Christ in the world. Being that light isn’t always easy; baptism takes us to dark and uncomfortable places sometimes where we are asked to shine the light of God and put an end to the darkness. Being baptized is risky business, As Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury says, “Baptism means being with Jesus in the depths; the depths of human need… but also in the depths of God’s love…” Just like the experience of the disciples on the mountain, today is rich in beauty, tinged with just enough warning that what happens today has consequences for Lincoln, his family and for us. Today we celebrate the gift of new birth given to Lincoln by the Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ. And I hope that in the midst of the celebration, we will remember our own call to new birth in the Spirit. We are all marked as Christ’s own forever, to bring light into the darkness, to be heralds of God’s Kingdom, and to be loved by a God who loved the world so much, that he became human to die so that death would never have the last word. Thanks be to God.