Friday Followings: Baptism, The Power Lies in the Promise

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
This weekend, as we continue in our walk through Martin Luther’s Small Catechism, we’re focusing on the tremendous gift of Baptism. Through Baptism we are brought into God’s family. So today I’ll give you a little “Baptism Humor”.
 
A Lutheran minister and a Baptist minister were discussing the topic of Baptism. The Baptist said, “The Bible says that when Jesus was baptized he came up out of the water, that’s why when we baptize a person we dunk them under all the way and raise them up out of the water.”
 
The Lutheran minister said, “How about if a person was up to their knees in the water?  Is that enough water?”  “Not enough”, said the Baptist minister.  –“Okay, how about if the person was up to their waist?”  -“Not enough!”
 
“What if the person was up to their neck in water?”  “Not enough” – “What if they were up to here and just the very top of their head was showing?”  — “Not enough.”
 
“You mean to tell me”, asked the Lutheran minister, “that it is that tiny bit of water right on top of the head that does the job?”  “Well, if you put it that way, I suppose it is”, said the Baptist.  “Well good, because that’s where we Lutherans put it, right on top of the head.”
 
I do love the image of someone going all the way under the water in baptism, drowning with Christ and then being raised up out of the water, out of death to new life.  That’s what baptism is: A dying and rising with Jesus. Yet it’s neither the water, nor the amount of water, that has the power to change us. Rather, it is the promise of God that is connected to the water that changes us.
 
For this weekend’s worship, and in your daily life, ask yourself and ask within your family: “What does it mean to be part of God’s family? What privileges or gifts does that give? What are the benefits of having God as my loving Father?” But then ask yourself also, “What responsibilities do I have as a member of God’s large, world-wide family? What is God calling me to do within this big family? How am I to live knowing that I have the promise of grace, forgiveness, new life, and eternal salvation?”
 
The power of baptism lies in the promise of God. And that promise brings both privileges and responsibilities; both gifts and callings. God has gifted you with an unimaginable gift. You are God’s. Receive it with joy and live it out in service to the world.
 
See you in worship!
Pastor Tim