My newest grandson, John Peter Hensley, was baptized yesterday. It happened to be on the commemoration of the martyrdom of John the Baptist. Pastor Douthwaite preached a remarkably good sermon, tying both of those events together, linking John the Baptizer with John the Baptized. Finally, he announced that just as we have St. John the Baptist, we now have, by virtue of his baptism, St. John the Hensley.
And as if that were not enough, throughout the sermon, he also tied everything into vocation. A sampling (Adam and Joanna being his parents; Johnno being the Australian nickname for John):
Not all heard John’s preaching as good news. And Adam and Joanna, I can fairly surely say that you will not hear all of little Johnno’s preaching to you as good news – especially when he calls out to you at 3 am, calling you to your vocation as father or mother to come and feed him, or to change his diaper. But he will call out, whether you like it or not, because that’s his vocation right now, calling you to your vocation, and so being God’s gift to you. That you may serve as you have been served. That you may love as you have been loved.
You won’t believe how good this sermon is. You have got to read the whole thing, which has more insights than I can summarize. The sermon is posted here: St. Athanasius Lutheran Church: Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist Sermon.