Today’s Reading: Galatians 3:23-29
Daily Lectionary: Isaiah 63:1-14; Luke 2:21-40
“for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Galatians 3:26-27)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. A blessed and joy filled Christmas to all the saints of God! Paul gives to the church at Galatia a reminder of who they are and whose they are through the waters of Baptism. Their identity had been stripped from them as the Judaizers had infiltrated the church and imposed the law upon the people of God. Their identity was no longer about Christ but about what they had fulfilled in their attempts to live perfectly under the law. They had lost their identity.
Our world works diligently to take away our identity. Various social media platforms use different criteria to identify who we are as individuals. We fill out forms that ask where we were born, where we currently live, what is our ethnicity, what religion we practice, what grade we are in, what we want to do after high school. All these factors make up our identity.
As Paul writes, he reminds his hearers that there is only one identity necessary and that is our Baptism. Our Baptism identifies us as the oldest son in God’s family. The oldest son is the one who receives the inheritance. When the people of Galatia heard these words of Paul they were reminded of the customs and traditions that the oldest son was the recipient of the family’s estate by nature of the birth order. Even if the eldest son didn’t deserve it, he still got it because he was the oldest.
We are certainly not worthy of the inheritance that is promised to us through Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. In Baptism we are baptized into the name of Christ. We have His name on us and we receive all the blessings and benefits of being the first-born son of God. The world uses a plethora of ways to identify us but in Christ there is only one marker and that is our Baptism. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen
God’s own child, I gladly say it; I am baptized into Christ! He, because I could not pay it, Gave my full redemption price. Do I need earth’s treasures many? I have one worth more than any, That brought me salvation free, Lasting to eternity! (LSB 594-God’s Own Child, I Gladly Say It stz 1)
-Pastor Timothy Paul Davis is Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Athens Georgia.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Patrick Sturdivant, Development and Marketing Executive at Higher Things.
Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.