Reflections: July 21, 2020
Tuesday of the Sixth Week after Trinity
By Kyle Mietzner
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? (Romans 6:3)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Do you not know? Paul assumes that the baptized Christian faithful know what has happened to them. In Holy Baptism, you are united with Christ in His death and resurrection. They are literally given to you through water and Word. Cyril of Jerusalem preached a collection of sermons to the newly baptized in which he repeatedly told the people what had happened to them. Why? Because it is easy to forget!
How quickly we forget what has happened at the font! Yet it is a reality which underpins our entire existence. You were crucified with Christ! You were put to death with Jesus! Gazing upon the crucifix, we behold not only our dying Lord, but our own death. Time folds in upon itself, and we are there with Him, and He is here with you. So then, when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, it is not only His victory over death, but yours also. You are alive!
You are dead to sin, and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Paul uses no conditional terms here. There's no negotiation. He doesn't ask you if you really meant it or if you really believe it. This is your new reality. You have died in Holy Baptism, and are now living a new life in Holy Baptism. All of your life is lived from the font, from the water and the Word. You are alive, even if you forget that you are alive!
Now that you know that you've died to sin, what will you do? How will we live our new lives in which death is defeated and life has come? What does life look like for the one who has walked with Jesus through death and the grave? We live without the fear of death, walking in the joy of new life! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
There is nothing worth comparing to this lifelong comfort sure! Open eyed my grave is staring; even there I'll sleep secure. Though my flesh awaits its raising, still my soul continues praising: I am baptized into Christ; I'm a child of paradise! ("God's Own Child, I Gladly Say It" LSB 594, st.5)
-Rev. Kyle Mietzner is pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, Anchorage, AK.
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