Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Baptism in the way?

The story goes like this...

A student at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, was lamenting the structure of the new chapel built in 1992 in a class with Dr. Norman Nagel. The student was upset with the acoustics, the color of the wall and then said, "And why do they put the baptismal font in the back of the church, it is just in the way."
At that moment, Dr. Norman Nagel slowly replied with a deep Australian accent, "Shouldn't our Baptism always get in the way?" The student was silent!
In the history of the church, the baptismal font was placed in the "front" of the church, right when you entered the sanctuary. The reason for this was because each time a member would enter worship, they would have to step aside from their normal walkway and remember what God did in Holy Baptism. It might be in the way, but it is meant for that purpose.
It is like our every day Christian life, each day we enter our vocations and often our Baptismal identity gets in the way! When we are tested to live according to worldly standards and not God's, our Baptism gets in the way and tells us how to live. When we are tempted to keep our resources only for ourselves, our Baptism reminds us of who gave us these gifts. And when we are tested to fix our eyes on things other than God, our Baptism reminds us who to keep focused on.

Our Baptism gets in the way when we want to live like the Old Adam. But what good does living like the Adam do for our lives as Christians anyways? Thank goodness our Baptism does get in the way.

"On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand."

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