For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all. (Titus 2:11)
At my daughter's baptism, the pastor told the children gathered around the font about the gift of baptism. Through the water and the word of baptism, God shows us how much we are loved. We can think of how a parent hugs a child to show what the words 'I love you' mean. Sometimes we need more than just words. Actions communicate to show us and give greater depth to the words.
In Paul's letter to Titus, we are given words and shown the promise. The promise is that “the grace of God has appeared” (Titus 2:11). This is Jesus who came to live among us, as one of us, fully human and fully divine. Why? Not because of anything we've done but because God is merciful. Later Paul writes that our Savior came through the “goodness and loving kindness of God” (Titus 3:4). To top it off, we are pointed to baptism. God's mercy is shown “through the water of rebirth and the renewal of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5).
God of grace, show us and all people what your words mean in our life. Imprint your goodness and loving kindness on our hearts, and our hearts in you. Wash and renew us in the flowing waters of baptism. Amen