Thursday, 01 December 2022

First Lutheran Corner: The baptism of Jesus

In Jesus’ baptism was a sign for Jesus as well as John the Baptist that God had indeed chosen Jesus to be his incarnate presence in this world.

Jesus’ baptism was an epiphany event, a manifestation, a light and a revelation of God’s presence in this world.

In baptism, we too become God’s chosen ones. In the pouring of the water and in the saying of the words, we become God’s children. We are chosen by God. He acts, He comes to us through the water and the Word to make us His.

The baby or adult being baptized will have no active part, that is because God is the one who acts. God comes to the person and claims them for His own. God does all the action in baptism. God claims the person’s life for eternity.

A pastor stood by the grave side of a young mother with her husband and three children. The husband looked into the eyes of the pastor and demanded, "Now tell me what you really believe, Pastor, is this the end of everything, the way God meant it to be?"

The pastor said, "It’s not what I believe that matters, you have the answer in your heart. You know deep in your heart, this is not the end. You haven’t stopped loving your wife. Do you think God has? You know that life with God is eternal. God gave you that faith. All YOU have to do is believe what your heart already knows."

Yes, the claim upon us in baptism is for eternity. In our baptism, we are also anointed with the Spirit. A sign of the cross is made to seal the covenant agreement made through the water and the word.

Our sins are forgiven as it says in Titus 3:5, “He saved us not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the HoIy Spirit.”

Our sins are forgiven, and at the same time, we agree to fight against sin and to confess our sins daily to God so He will drown them and raise out of the waters of our Baptism a new person.

Baptism is not a magical rite, but in baptism an agreement is made between us and God. This agreement is for a lifetime.

We ask God to cleanse us and renew us each day in the waters of our Baptism. That is not to say we need to be baptized each day, but each day we relive our baptism in that God drowns our sinful selves and raises up a new person.

So, baptism happens once, but we must live in it daily. And if we don’t keep our part of the agreement, to confess our sins, to seek God’s forgiveness, then the promise of baptism means nothing, because in our forsaken selves, we also turn away from God’s action of forgiveness.

Please join us this Sunday, Jan. 13, to hear more about Jesus’ baptism and how this sacrament is a promise of eternal life to all who believe.

Worship is at 11 a.m., followed by lunch. All are welcome so please come as you are.

Chris DelCol is pastor of First Lutheran Church in Lucerne, Calif. The church is located at 3863 Country Club Drive, telephone 707-274-5572. Email Pastor Chris at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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