Today’s Reading: Small Catechism: Baptism, pt. 3
Daily Lectionary: 1 Kings 18:1-19; Ephesians 1:1-23
Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself. (Acts 2:38-39)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. When I was 11 years old, I went with my best friend to his Baptist Bible camp. I had a good time most of the week. (I mean, it was not as good as an HT Conference, but nothing is!) The last night there, one of the counselors told me that since I was baptized as a baby, I should decide to be baptized again so that it would be more meaningful rather than something my parents chose for me.
I came home with a brain swamped by questions. Had my parents made a mistake and done things wrong? Did my Baptism mean anything since I didn’t choose it? The worst question of all was wondering what would happen if my parents or pastor found out that I was questioning my Baptism! I (WRONGLY) imagined it would go badly for me, so I kept my questions to myself, which only made things worse.
Thankfully God knew how to rescue me from these doubts without my asking Him to. During confirmation classes about two years later, Pastor Rauschek and Mrs. MacLain used the Scriptures and the Small Catechism to teach us the answers to all the questions I was too afraid to talk about. I learned that Baptism means what God says it means. It is a life-giving water, rich in grace no matter when it happens in a person’s life.
My parents had made no mistake getting me baptized about a week after I was born. Again and again the Scriptures rejoice over all the things that God does in Baptism and really does not say much about what you and I do there! He unites us to Christ’s death and resurrection (Romans 6), gives us a new birth from above (John 3), washes away our sins and pours the Holy Spirit into our hearts (Titus 3). Best of all, God’s promises in Baptism are for adults and for children (Acts 2). And there is nothing I could do to make it more meaningful than that! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Sin, disturb my soul no longer: I am baptized into Christ! I have comfort even stronger: Jesus’ cleansing sacrifice. Should a guilty conscience seize me since my Baptism did release me In a dear forgiving flood, Sprinkling me with Jesus’ blood? (“God’s Own Child, I Gladly Say It” LSB 594, st.2)
Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Duane Bamsch