Lesson 6: "Green Grow the Bushes - Oh"

Question. Who gave you this name?
Answer. My godfathers and godmothers in my baptism; wherein 1 was made a member of Christ...

A member is a living part of something. Hands are members of the body; Members of Parliament living parts of the Government. But a chair-leg is not a member of a chair, because it is not alive; though the branch from which it was made was a member of a tree when it was a living bough growing on it. The rushes by the island on the boating-lake (where the swans are) in Victoria: Park are alive; each leaf is a member of the whole plant, because the sap flows through it. Break off a leaf, stop the flow of sap; and the leaf dies because it has ceased to be a member.

In baptism you were made a living part of Jesus Christ. One day he said that he is like a vine, and that we are some of its branches (St. John 15, 4-6); and St. Paul said that our Lord was like a human body, with us as some of its members (1 Corinthians 12, 12).

The life that Christ gives all his members (like sap in a plant or blood in your veins) is called Grace. Grace is God’s power, given to people, to enable them to be good (like ripe fruit on a living bough). Unforgiven sin stops Grace (tie a piece of string tightly round your finger, the blood stops flowing and your finger grows cold, numb, dead): it can cut you off from membership with Christ, like an axe cutting a bough off a tree.

In baptism you were joined on to Christ. He made you one of his living parts; and gave you, by Grace, his own life.