Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:3-4)
On Sunday it is my joyful privilege to baptize two new little brothers in Christ:
Sydney James Richens
Dominik Izaiah Rodney Sampson
What a gift!
We used to think about baptism as something WE absolutely had to do FOR GOD, and dread the horrific consequences if we didn’t; frankly, it was understood as something of an eternal life insurance policy. How sad, and so much fear!
Now, thank God, we have come to understand it more richly and more joyfully as primarily something that GOD does FOR US, claims us and names as God’s own children. Wow! What joy, and no more fear!
Article XXVII (Of Baptism), of The 39 Articles of Religion, states this:
“Baptism is… a sign of Regeneration or New-Birth, whereby, as by an instrument, they that receive Baptism rightly are grafted into the Church [or the Body of Christ]; the promises of the forgiveness of sin, and of our adoption to be the [children] of God by the Holy Ghost, are visibly signed and sealed.” It might sound a bit dry, but it’s worth celebrating! It’s our eternal birthday! And, in fact, it’s anything but dry; it’s all about living wet, walking daily in the power of God’s gift given freely in the waters of death and life, our new reality as partakers in the life of Jesus, crucified and now risen forever.
Congratulations, Sydney and Dominik, and welcome to the family which lasts forever, the family of God, where water is always thicker than blood, and life is always stronger than death!
Thanks be to God!