January 10, 2019
by Candace Kostna, Family Ministry Coordinator
“Baptism is so full of comfort and grace that heaven and earth cannot comprehend it. It promises and brings the entire Christ. The blessings of baptism are boundless. No greater jewel can adorn our body and soul than baptism, for through it we obtain perfect holiness and salvation” (paraphrase from Luther’s Large Catechism)
As we hear the story of Jesus being baptized, we are reminded our our own baptism. We begin our lifelong journey of faith at our baptism – a sacrament “through which we are first received into Christian community” (from Luther’s Large Catechism, section IV). Through the water and the Word, we become part of God’s family as we experience God’s promise that we are loved and are forgiven when we mess up. We are blessed with new life in Christ. Our parents, sponsors and faith community all make promises to nurture our faith – to bring us to the Word of God, the Holy Supper, teach us to pray, the creeds and the Ten Commandments. In turn, as we grow, we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to respond to God’s love by loving God, our neighbour and all creation.
Baptism is not a “one-and-done” experience by any means. When we remember our baptism and God’s loving promises we are shaping our faith. When we share this with our children, grandchildren, and godchildren, we are also shaping their faith. While we are reminded of our baptism in worship, we can also live out our baptism in our daily lives. For example:
- Display any baptism mementos – photos, candle, etc. in a spot you see everyday to remind you of who you are in Christ Jesus
- Celebrate your and your children’s baptism anniversary. Take time to light the baptism candle, share memories and photos and pray together.
- We use water in so many ways. When you do – be it to bathe, brush your teeth, wash the dishes, water the garden, enjoy summer water activities, or even wash the family pet – take a moment to reflect/ talk with your kids about how your baptism has washed you clean, making you new in Christ.
- Change your phone’s lock screen or computer screen saver to a water photo. When you look at it, remember you are baptized.
- As part of your family prayer rituals, include making the sign of the cross on each others’ foreheads as a way to remember your baptism and that you are all children of God
- As you serve others in need, see the connection of your loving outreach and the grace we receive in our baptism
May we all be inspired by our baptism – God’s loving gift of grace.