Devotions for the Week of January 8, 2017

Meditation for the Week of January 8, 2017

“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”  Romans 6:3-4 

Just over a year ago, I had the joy of baptizing someone whom I had come to know through Faith, Hope, and Peace Ministries.  Although she was over eighty years old and had visited churches on many occasions, she had never been baptized or really come to understand the Christian faith.  She has since returned to her home, and she has been confirmed and is an active member of the congregation that I serve.

She can remember her baptism quite vividly.  I cannot remember my baptism so clearly.  I was only ten days old when I was baptized, and I have no recollection of the event.  Chances are, that is true for you, too.  If you are baptized, it probably happened when you were very young, many years ago.

Even though it may have happened when you were so young you couldn’t remember it, your baptism was one of the most important events of your life.  In your baptism you were connected to Jesus Christ.  Everything that happened to Him happened to you, too.  Just as Jesus Christ died and was buried, you, too, died and were buried when you were baptized.  Just as Jesus rose from the dead, you too rose to live a new life when you were baptized.

This is a great comfort to you in difficult times in your life.  When you are faced with suffering and even death, you know that you have already died to sin, so your death will not mean the end for you.  You have the same life that Jesus has in the resurrection from the dead.

Martin Luther gives us these words of comfort in the Large Catechism:

“Thus we must regard Baptism and make it profitable to ourselves, that when our sins and conscience oppress us, we strengthen ourselves and take comfort and say: Nevertheless I am baptized; but if I am baptized, it is promised me that I shall be saved and have eternal life, both in soul and body.  For that is the reason why these two things are done in Baptism, namely, that the body, which can apprehend nothing but the water, is sprinkled, and, in addition, the word is spoken for the soul to apprehend.  Now, since both, the water and the Word, are one Baptism, therefore body and soul must be saved and live forever: the soul through the Word which it believes, but the body because it is united with the soul and also apprehends Baptism as it is able to apprehend it. We have, therefore, no greater jewel in body and soul, for by it we are made holy and are saved, which no other kind of life, no work upon earth, can attain.”

If you are baptized, give thanks to God for this gift that makes you holy and saves you, body and soul.  If you are not yet baptized, please talk to a pastor about baptism and the blessings that God gives through this holy act.

Our Weekly Prayer

 

Please consider praying this prayer as part of your daily prayers.

 

Father in heaven, at the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River You proclaimed Him Your beloved Son and anointed Him with the Holy Spirit.  Make all who are baptized in His name faithful in their calling as Your children and inheritors with Him of everlasting life; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.