Reflections: Thursday of the 13th Week after Trinity

Today’s Reading: Small Catechism: Baptism part 1

Daily Lectionary: 2 Chronicles 34:1-4, 8-11,14-33; Colossians 2:8-23

Baptism is not just plain water, but it is the water included in God’s command and combined with God’s word. (Small Catechism: Baptism) 

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Why do we baptize? Why do I need to be baptized? Is it just because God said so? Don’t you hate that? When your parents tell you that you have to do something, “Because I said so”? If it was such a good thing to do, don’t you think they would have an explanation as to “why” it is such a great idea? It makes you think they want you to do it for some random, arbitrary, reason without any real purpose or point to it other than, “Because I said so.”

As a pastor and a parent, I can tell you it’s not always for no reason that we tell you to do something, “Because I said so.” Sometimes I just don’t have time to explain the “why” behind what I want you to do. Sometimes it’s because you just might not understand the reason or purpose behind doing what is commanded and so the command stands alone.

There are things, times, and lessons we have to learn without knowing the whole picture or reason behind them. There are times when we just have to trust that God’s knowledge is bigger than our own and that something is good or will at least work out okay, “Because He said so.” Baptism is not one of those times.

In Baptism, there is more than just God’s command to baptize all nations. In Baptism, the water is combined not only with the command, but also with God’s Word, God’s Promise. God tells us why we baptize and are baptized. Baptism makes disciples. Baptism puts Christ upon us. Baptism crucifies us with Christ and raises us to new life. Baptism saves you, “not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21). Your Baptism is for the comfort of your conscience. It is God’s Promise to you that for the sake of the death and resurrection of Jesus, your sins are forgiven, your salvation has been won, and your eternal life is secure. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. 

In Baptism we now put on Christ- Our shame is fully covered With all that He once sacrificed and feely for us suffered. For here the flood of His own blood Now makes us holy, right, and good Before our heav’nly Father. (“All Christians Who Have Been Baptized” LSB 596, st.4)

-Rev. Brett Simek is pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Hilbert, WI. He also serves as catechesis coordinator for Higher Things.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

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.