Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Baptism actually does something today?

I will never forget when I entered Seminary in St. Louis. We received a sheet that indicated what our education for the next four years would look like. It was layed out on a pie graph. The graph included things like spiritual and personal growth, field work, chapel, vicarage, and study time. And what confused me was what was in the middle. There was a small circle that had the words, "Baptism." "What in the world? What does that event 23 years ago have to do with my education now?" I thought to myself. I thought the Seminary was crazy, if not at least weird!

Obviously I had been greatly influenced by evangelicalism, especially the church growth movement. I thought that my spiritual life was about what I did, how I made the decisions for Christ, and the Sacraments were just some nice things to do occasionally. But with the help of a friend, I was pointed back to the basics: The Small Catechism

What does such baptizing with water signify?
It signifies that the old Adam in us should, by daily contrition and repentance, be drowned and die with all sins and evil lusts, and, again, a new man daily come forth and arise; who shall live before God in righteousness and purity forever.
Where is this written?
St. Paul says Romans, chapter 6: We are buried with Christ by Baptism into death, that, like as He was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Every day that we confess our sins, we are in essence rebaptized! We drown and die, just like Jesus did and are raised to a new life. It indicates a daily renewal in the Lord and a time that our Lord picks us back up. I would also compare it to the life God gave Adam. Every morning we wake up, dead in our sins, and through our Baptism, He breathes life into our nostrils and points us back to Jesus. EVERY DAY!
This is why the LSB encourages us to make a sign on the cross when we begin with the invocation in worship. It reminds us that God has claimed us, that He is present with us, and He will point us back to His Son in this service and in every day life.
Lord Have Mercy, Christ Have Mercy, Lord Have Mercy

1 comment:

Lynn said...

So what if you forget like I do?