Reflections: July 23, 2020
Thursday of the Sixth Week after Trinity
By Kyle Mietzner
Baptism is not just plain water… (The Small Catechism: Baptism, pt. 1)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Any church with a prominent baptismal font invites the question, "Is that holy water?" I've been asked this any number of times. There are two answers: yes and no. The water in the baptismal font that is used to unite sinners with Jesus comes from a tap in the back room at church. There is nothing holy or special about the plumbing. The faucet is not even gold plated. At my church, the bowl which holds the water in the font is obviously an old mixing bowl that came from someone's kitchen. Holy? Hardly. No, the water isn't blessed or holy. It is plain water.
But it is not just plain water! It is water and Word together that make a Holy Baptism! What makes it holy? The holy Word of God makes this water holy, for the sinners who are brought to this water are made holy here. There is nothing special about this water, but when it is brought together with the Word of the Lord, something very special happens. A new man arises from the font, buried and made alive in Christ.
When our Lord Himself came into this world and was baptized in the Jordan River, He made all water holy. The very water in the river was dignified by the Lord's Baptism, the Word made flesh, dwelling among us. Some people make a big deal about being baptized with water from the Jordan River. That river kept flowing that day, and the water has spread through all the earth. The water in your shower is as holy as the water in the font. Now, all things are holy, set aside for the Lord's purposes. You are holy, living in a holy world, with a holy people, because you have a holy Lord. Rejoice! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Merciful Father, through Holy Baptism You called us to be Your own possession. Grant that our lives may evidence the working of Your Holy Spirit in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, according to the image of Your only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen!
-Rev. Kyle Mietzner is pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, Anchorage, AK.
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