Q: My contemplation for the day is “For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son.”  Does this have a different meaning other than how it is traditionally interpreted?  Is there another way to see this other than God sending a savior to save us?

A: Yes and no. Yes, He literally gave His son so that humanity could be saved.  This can be a little hard to comprehend, that God has a son, literally, and that you are now “saved” because of his sacrifice.  So there is another way of looking at it as well.

Upon close examination of your contemplation for the day, we find that not only are we saved if we accept this, but that we are unconditionally loved.  For some reason, this is not emphasized near as much as the fact that Jesus is our Savior that God sent for us.  But if you stop, pull back from your absorption in your everyday tasks, you can feel God’s love enveloping us.  It feels like an all-encompassing peace, a peace that is there at all times, in all situations.

So, to answer your question, yes, God really did give his only begotten son because he so loved the world.  And if you really want to feel the gift in this, stop and feel God’s love all around us.  When the world seems like it has gone mad, God’s love is always there, will always be there, Amen.

Q: What is the significance of baptism?

A: Baptism is the acknowledgement of Jesus Christ as your savior.  This is either done by you and/or by your family and congregation on your behalf.  It puts you in the collective M-field of souls who recognize their connection to God and Jesus Christ.  This will travel with you always, through the good times and the bad.  It acts as a directive in our life to live closer to God.

When you are baptized, it is not only you who are acting on your own behalf, but the whole congregation, even the whole church. Spiritually, everyone involved is blessing you.  It is a very powerful field to be invited into and can be a very important step in one’s spiritual life.  

The collective intent of the congregation multiplies the intensity of its energy. It’s kind of like being part of a meditation group; everyone who’s ever meditated with a group knows that it’s more powerful to meditate with a group rather than by oneself (although this also has its place).  

Of course, if you are not baptized, it does not mean that you are going to Hell, but it is serious grace to be baptized.  Also, this baptism can be done for you when you are just a child and can be renewed later in life, as you make your personal commitment to God.  Consider this baptism kind of like a “booster shot.”