Reflections: Wednesday of Pentecost Week

Today’s Reading: Small Catechism: Apostles’ Creed, Second Article part 1

Daily Lectionary: Proverbs 5:1-23; John 12:20-36a

I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the virgin Mary, is my Lord. (Small Catechism: Second Article)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. “Jesus has become my Lord.” That means that there was a time when Jesus was not our Lord. When was that? King David reminds us, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalm 51:5). But it gets really tough when we see that little baby brought to the font. That little baby, looking all cute and cuddly, gentle and lowly, is actually a poor miserable sinner. It just doesn’t make sense. After all, that little baby hasn’t DONE anything sinful yet.

Martin Luther’s baptismal rite of 1523 included the following: The priest began by blowing three times under the child’s eyes and saying, ” Depart thou unclean spirit and give room to the Holy Spirit.” The opening prayer of the baptismal rite implores God to “break all the snares of the devil with which he is bound.” Later, there was a more extended exorcism of the child, concluding with the words, “I adjure thee, thou unclean spirit, by the name of the + Father and of the + Son and of the + Holy Ghost that thou come out and depart from this servant of God, (Name), for he commands thee, thou miserable one, he who walked upon the sea and stretched forth his hand to sinking Peter.” 

What else is your Baptism, other than the work of God that allows the explanation of the Second Article to make sense? Jesus becomes your Lord in the water, with the Word that exorcised the demons and devil, that drowned and killed the Old Adam in you, and washed you clean in the blood of Jesus. He gave you the full inheritance and gave you His Holy Name! You’ve got it all! You lack nothing. Jesus says you’re His, Jesus says He loves you and protects you and cares for you always. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Gracious Jesus, true God and true man, though I am beset with such grave sin that has caused me to be born as Your enemy, let not the devil and his demons torment me, for You alone have claimed me, You alone have made me your precious child, an heir of Your eternal kingdom and a blessed recipient of Your lovingkindness each new day. So lead me this and each new day to the waters of my Baptism, bring to my remembrance today and forever, Your gracious love and mercy toward me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

-Rev. Adam Degroot is pastor of Calvary Lutheran Church in Rio Rancho, NM.

Audio Reflections speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

Come on an adventure with author Eric Eichinger as he unpacks the saga of Jesus’ Hero Journey. You’ll see how aspects of this journey are seen in popular stories, and how God used Jesus to create the most action-packed one with a real Savior for all. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.