By Janette Haak
We chose April 7, 1996, to have our son, Joel David Haak baptized. Pastor Koch embraced the date and time, the Easter Vigil, the day before Easter.
We chose the date to make it convenient for family who would be in town anyways.
Pastor Koch, however, reminded us of the significance of having a baptism at Easter.
In Romans 6:4, Paul writes “We were therefore buried with Him through Baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the father, we too may live a new life.”
This gave us a new perspective of what was about to happen to our son. Buried and raised in baptism, Joel lives a new life in Christ, baptized and forgiven.
Luther reminds us that if we misunderstand baptism to be our work, then we will always cast doubts on it. When we recognize that it is not our work, but God’s gracious promise and work, we realize that all people come like helpless infants to receive the treasure offered in and though baptism.
Luther reminds us that if we misunderstand baptism to be our work, then we will always cast doubts on it.
We were excited to bring our son, a peaceful infant, yet sinful, before our God and church family to receive the renewing water of baptism. The water in the baptismal font was poured three times on his head.
Was it the water itself that renewed Joel in his faith? No. It is also the word of God in and with the water that gives new life.
In Titus 3:5-8, we’re reminded of this truth. “He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”
It is also the word of God in and with the water that gives new life.
The promises of God given to those who are baptized are not just for infants and children. It is never too late to be baptized. Baptism, no matter what your age is a gift from God.
In the Large Catechism, Luther reminds us of this gift. “We see what a great and excellent thing baptism is, which snatches us from the jaws of the devil and makes God our own, overcomes and takes away sin and daily strengthens the new man. It always remains until we pass from this present misery to eternal glory.”
Earlier this year I visited a family who had recently had a newborn. This was their third child and I was excited to go visit, bring a meal, and of course, hold the baby!
During our conversation, I asked Mom if she had chosen a date for the baby’s baptism. She said she had wanted to talk to me about it as none of her three children were baptized. We had a great discussion and moved forward on the steps involved.
Baptism, no matter what your age is a gift from God.
Sometimes it just happens that way: you know it’s important, but for whatever reason, it just hasn’t happened yet. If you or someone in your family has not been baptized, or if you have questions, please come on January 19, 2014, to a class led by Pastor Justin and me. We will meet during the Sunday School hour to answer questions and review the reasons for baptism.
Then on January 26, 2014 we will have baptisms for those who are ready and have not been baptized. Please don’t let another day, week, or year go by with out living in the renewing waters of God through word and water.