Sacred Encounters Lesson Eight

February 28, 2024
Lesson 8 artwork: Lydia by Silvia Dimitrova
Lesson 8 artwork: Lydia by Silvia Dimitrova

Lesson Eight: Lydia Encounters Jesus in Worship

Scripture: Acts 16:11–15

Baptism connects us to God and the community of faith.

The following text is adapted from “How Remembering Your Baptism Can Get You Back on Track,” written by Caitlan Ranger. The citation and link to the article are below.

When was the last time you thought about your baptism?

If you were baptized, it is likely that this rite was celebrated when you were an infant, so you have no memory of the event. Baptism is not an aspect of our identities that we hold up very often—for most of us, it’s a background fact, like the place we were born. After learning more about baptism, I now realize that it is a mistake to overlook this fact. Whether we remember it or not, baptism has the power to positively shift how we go through daily life.

Always beloved

We are all different, but we all share common human desires, like wanting to be seen, known, and loved. These desires drive our behavior in relationships, our professional aspirations, and how we encounter the world in general. When we operate out of a conviction that we are deeply and unconditionally loved by God, we live differently. Baptism is a sign of that love—it is a sign that we are joining a community of adopted sons and daughters of God.

When we are baptized, we no longer belong to ourselves, “but to him who died and rose for us.” What does it mean to say that we belong to Jesus Christ? Do we lose our identity? And how are we connected to someone who lived so long ago?  The key here is to remember that though Jesus lived and died 2,000 years ago, he is risen from the dead and present to us even now. This belief stands at the fundamental core of our faith: Jesus is God’s Son and wants to have a relationship with us.

Remember, Jesus experienced profound joys and sorrows in life—just like us. To say we belong to him might sound threatening at first, but Jesus who knows us and loves us more thoroughly than we know and love ourselves, whether we believe that or not.

Rangel, Caitlan “How Remembering Your Baptism Can Get You Back on Track” (Grotto Network, March 20, 2021),


This blog is the eighth in a series of nine blogs.

Presbyterian Women in the PC(USA), Inc. publishes an annual Bible study. Sacred Encounters is the study for this year. You can purchase a Sacred Encounters Bible study book (HZN23100) and study along with us. Call 800/533-4371 or order online.