Now, more than ever, I will keep my faith. In uncertain times, and wading into uncertain waters, I will listen more than ever for how I am to be a Christian.
I will not forget that the Jesus Movement was originally counter-cultural, originally a movement of resistance against a tyrannical empire. I will take comfort in this truth, and I will look to it for purpose in these times.
I will not forget that my God became human, lived a life constrained by bodies and work and pain, and that in that short life, he spread a message of love and forgiveness so powerful and threatening that the Roman Empire executed him for it.
I will not forget that this is my religion.
And so, I renew the vows my parents made for me at baptism, and the vows I made at Confirmation. Because they matter now more than ever.
I renounce Satan and all the spiritual forces of wickedness that rebel against God. I renounce the voices within me that tell me that I am not strong enough, not good enough, not meaningful enough. I renounce the voices that tell me that I am unloved, unimportant, and incapable of the path set before me.
I renounce them, because my faith is in God, who has already created us capable of more than we can imagine.
I renounce them, because this faith tells us that love is the very core of our being, and that in the knowledge of that love, we can spread it like wildfire.
I renounce the evil powers of this world that corrupt and destroy the creatures of God. I renounce greed and consumption. I renounce white supremacy and hatred of the poor. I renounce the consumption of more and more and more, that corrupts and destroys this earth.
I renounce them, because my faith tells me that God created us for goodness, and the evils of tyranny, greed, and hatred are not who we really are—that when we seek our true selves, what we find is a power of goodness beyond all reason and understanding.
I renounce all sinful desires that draw me from the love of God. I renounce the desire to fight for my own self, tooth and nail, always, and I renounce the belief that no one else will care for me. I renounce the desire to treat other people like objects, any creature of God like a means to an end. I renounce the desire to pretend that I have no need to become a better person.
I renounce them because my faith tells us that God loves us so much that we are called, always and everywhere, to become more loving, more honest, more kind, and more present to the Christ in every person.
I turn to Jesus Christ and accept him as my savior, because I believe that my God became human in order to live as one of us—to love, suffer, heal, and die like we do. To walk in our shoes, and understand our existence, and to save us from ourselves. I believe that the going is tough, and we won’t always succeed, but God knows this because God actually really experienced this.
I put my whole trust in his grace and love, because I am called to stand up, and act out, against the evil I see in this world. Put my trust in Jesus, because cannot do that on my own, and in him, I don’t have to.
I promise to follow and obey him as my Lord, because I do not want to be ruled by money, or things, or achievements. I do not want to obey the markets, or the rules for success, or the unspoken keys to safety in our rapidly breaking world.
I promise that I will obey love, kindness, and truth. I promise that I will obey the needs of the poor, reconciliation with my neighbor, and above all, hope.
Always, I promise that my Lord is hope, and that my ruler is the Good News.
I will keep my faith.
**This is an expansion upon the words from the 1979 Book of Common Prayer that are traditionally used as promises at baptism. Read them here.