Reflections: Thursday of the Sixth Week After Pentecost

July 4, 2024

Today’s Reading: Catechism: The Sacrament of Holy Baptism – Fourth

Daily Lectionary: Joshua 10:1-25; Joshua 10:28-22:34; Acts 11:19-30

What does such baptizing with water indicate? It indicates that the Old Adam in us should by daily contrition and repentance be drowned and die with all sins and evil desires, and that a new man should daily emerge and arise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. We have often been reminded to remember our Baptism and that we have been baptized into Christ, making us God’s dear child. However, despite this knowledge, we often find ourselves feeling alone, stuck, and fearful of our own destruction and death. It seems that Baptism alone does not take care of the messes we create or those caused by others.

Luther reminds us that although we are baptized, we are still stuck with our Old Adam. This part of us will never go away and will continue to tempt us to deny Christ and live for ourselves. The world also tells us to prove ourselves, make a name for ourselves, and be our own god, while the devil prowls around reminding you of your sins and that you deserve death.

We are in a continuous struggle in life; we are forgiven, yet we still sin and will continue to do so until we die in this world. God’s Law still remains, reminding us daily that we are sinners and that we love to follow our Old Adam. Paul puts it this way: “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.” (Romans 7:18-20, NKJV).

Remembering our Baptism means living in the newness of life that Christ has given us. It is not just about recalling the date and time when water was splashed on you. It is about remembering that Christ put our Old Adam to death with Him on the cross, and we are now a new creation. Paul reminds us of this: “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4, NKJV). Jesus says this: “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38, NKJV) A river can be a blessing, but it can also kill. As you remember your Baptism, repent. Cast off the Old Adam into the raging river of water and blood that flows from Jesus’ side for you. By that same water and blood, you have the newness of life in Jesus. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

My faithful God, You fail me never; Your promise surely will endure. O cast me not away forever If words and deeds become impure. Have mercy when I come defiled; Forgive, lift up, restore Your child. (LSB 590:3)

-Rev. Kent Schaaf is pastor at Grace Lutheran Church, Little Rock, AR.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Jonathan Lackey is the pastor at Grace Lutheran Church, Vine Grove, Ky.

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