Reflections: October 6, 2020
Tuesday of the 17th Week after Trinity
By Gaven Mize
There is one body and one Spirit--just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call--one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:5-7)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. As Christians we enter the Ark of the Church through the same means that kills, yet saves: water. Baptism seals us into the Ark like sanctified pitch, yet instead of tar residue we are blessed with a watermark that confesses our faith to the world! You are a baptized child of God! But what does that mean? To ask it another way: What is in a name? As Lutherans we believe the biblical truth that Baptism saves us. Likewise, we believe that when the pastor says, "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit," God has written our name in the Book of Life and placed His Name upon us. Thus, we are "little Christs." With that lavish washing away of sins we are placed firmly in the Ark and separated from the multitudes of unbelievers. Baptism is the greatest blessing of regeneration, but what about living in a world that Jesus has told us will hate those who love Him? How should we interact with the world? What is our recourse? How do we approach a world that believes all things should be fair and/or equal? As Christians we simply continue in our vocation and let our faith speak for us. It might just bring a song to our lips.
Understanding that faith is given to Christians without any merit or work is one of the most important doctrinal truths that we have. Luther called this "justification by grace through faith" the chief article. It is the justification by God's own perfect grace that gives faith the weight to anchor down the most stubborn of souls. What a blessed state of affairs it is that God has not been fair to us and has instead been gracious with what is His to give. And what He has given from His abundance is the living faith within us. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
-Rev. Gaven Mize is the pastor of Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hickory, NC.
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