Daily Lectionary: Isaiah 1:1-28; 1 Peter 1:1-12

But with the word of God it is a Baptism, that is, a life-giving water, rich in grace, and a washing of the new birth in the Holy Spirit. (The Small Catechism: Baptism, Part 3)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. God does what He says. What He says does what He says it does. God’s doing and saying go together. God’s doing is done through His saying! Word and promise and action, they are all one thing to the Lord. When God puts His Word somewhere, it’s going to do His doing, exactly what He said it would do.

We divide His Word from His doing. Where He puts His Word, we don’t want it. We want something else instead. (It’s our only free day of the week, after all.) We divide His Word from His Gift so that we can angle in on being God, so that we can make room for our doing.

This is the original sin. We come by it honestly, if you can call it that. We learned our doing, just like our saying, from our parents. They learned it from theirs, and they from theirs, and on and on all the way back to the Garden, to Adam and Eve.

The Lord gave from His doing, His creating. Trees for food. Tree of Life given for Life. Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil for worship, for not eating. Death would come with eating. The Word says so, and the Lord does what He says.

We separate them—Word and Gift divided. We eat. We die. Dead toward God, dead toward our neighbor, too. We don’t listen. We do our own doing. Selfish. Me first. Neighbor last. God last, too.

He still does for us. He dies for us. More Word to be given. Still more of Him doing for you. His saying does His doing. “I baptize you.”

His doing for us is rejected. We will do for Him. Make up for our failures. Point to our decisions, our being good, even our hearing His Word and our doing of His Gifts! We do anything to make room for our saying, our doing, but our saying and doing don’t last. They end in death.

The Lord’s doing and saying bring life, new life, new birth. God is your Father. Jesus’ death and empty tomb are yours, and so He’s your Brother. Even the Spirit’s yours!

Only in Baptism is all this true. That’s His doing and saying for you. From His Water (doing) and His Word (saying) you are what He says you are: His disciple, His child, His—someone on the receiving end of His saying and doing without any saying or doing of your own. There’s still yet more of His saying and doing for you: “My body and blood given and shed for you.” We eat. We live. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. –Rev. Aaron Fenker

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