Reflections: August 12, 2020
Wednesday of the Ninth Week after Trinity
By David Magruder
And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:11)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. What a gift! A gift that keeps on giving! Holy Baptism. I have always been struck by the profound simplicity of Luther's words in the Small Catechism and their faithfulness to the witness of the Bible. From beginning to end, the catechism reminds us that our relationship to God comes about by His grace.
My favorite part of the catechism is our reading for this day: Holy Baptism, part 4. It distills into one beautiful (and long) sentence numerous biblical truths about salvation and then it perfectly connects them to Holy Baptism.
What does Baptism mean for you? It means the daily death of your Old Adam and the emergence of the new man made righteous and pure by water and Word. And what is that Word? "We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:4). Daily death and life in Jesus. Yes, the event of water and Word being applied to you happened once, in time. But the remembrance of your Baptism is a daily reality. You've heard it before: we don't say, "I was baptized." we say "I am baptized." It is an ongoing reality worked by Jesus.
You are joined to Jesus' death and raised with Him. You now walk in a new life created and sustained by the Father, in the Son and by the power of the Holy Spirit. To see what that beautiful and wholesome life looks like, read the entire text for today from 1 Corinthians 6! It is a beautiful description of what it means to be washed and made holy (sanctified) in Jesus. And so you are! Baptized! Justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
So use it well! You are made new—in Christ a new creation! As faithful Christians, live and do within your own vocation, until that day when you possess His glorious robe of righteousness bestowed on you forever! ("All Christians Who Have Been Baptized" LSB 596, st.6)
-Rev. David Magruder is pastor of Peace With Christ Lutheran Church, Fort Collins, CO.
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