Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Remember Your Baptism!
Remember your Baptism!
“It will therefore be no small gain to a penitent to remember above all his baptism, and, confidently calling to mind the divine promise which he has forsaken, acknowledge that promise before his lord, rejoicing that he is still within the fortress of salvation because he has been baptized, and abhorring his wicked ingratitude in falling away from its faith and truth. His heart will find wonderful comfort and will be encouraged to hope for mercy when he considers that the promise which God made to him, which cannot possibly lie, is still unbroken and unchanged, and indeed, cannot be changed by sins, as Paul says (II Tim.2:13): 'If we are faithless, he remains faithful – for he cannot deny himself” - Martin Luther.
With Dr. Luther I encourage you to remember your baptism!
I write this note on a rainy April morning. But while April showers bring May flowers, they also remind me of Holy Baptism – like rain, a gift from Heaven. Like rain, a gift we neither control nor may grasp for, but it gratefully received from God. Like rain, it cleanses and gives life. But unlike the passing rain-shower, our Baptism is a constant blessing which remains as sure as God's word of promise.
So many Christians regard their baptism as an event in the past – a right of passage with little value. It's a special time to welcome a baby, or a ceremony that reminds us of God's love, or even a “fire insurance policy” that loses meaning or power once we are adults. But Holy Baptism is so much more.
It is God's promise to you – and that never fails. That promise never becomes irrelevant. You never grow out of it. You may reject it, of course. You may turn away and go astray – but God will never turn his back on you. He will remain faithful despite our unfaithfulness. We are the sinners, but he is the forgiver of sins. We are wayward children, but our patient and loving Father always calls us back to his “fortress of salvation”, and comforts us with those baptismal promises.
Thank God for his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, whose death and resurrection win for us such blessings! Thank God for the gift of Holy Baptism, a great and daily comfort for forgiven sinners like you and me.