St. Paul's Evangelical
Free Lutheran Church
21513 Leitersburg-Smithsburg Road
Hagerstown, MD 21742
Evangelical - Confessional - Faithful
The Pastor's Thoughts
"Whether by penance or by any other way, you can only return to the power of your baptism, and do again that which you were baptized to do and which your baptism signified. Baptism never becomes useless, unless you despair and refuse to return to its salvation."
I recently visited with a member who has been undergoing many health issues of late. It has been some time since she could be in worship with us and it will still be a while until she can again. It was, for me, a very moving visit.
During the course of our discussion she told me she really regretted not being able to be in church on the anniversary of her baptism. What a powerful thought that is - a thought that I spent a good amount of time pondering.
How many of us take our baptism so seriously? It is a sad kind of thing that baptism was one of the things Luther and other Reformers wrote about and preached about most, has become for the modern church just something that gets done once and it's over. When we speak of the Sacrament, we almost invariably mean the Lord's Supper which we celebrate together frequently. But baptism is just as much a Sacrament as the bread and wine of forgiveness.
I guess part of the problem, at least here at St. Paul's, is that I don't preach enough about baptism. So I've made a promise to myself and to the members of this parish that I will be more diligent in the future to make sure we truly understand the importance of baptism
Although we are only baptized once, Luther teaches that we are to return to our baptism every day. In other words, we are to remember and thank God for that Sacrament in which He reached down and took us into His heavenly arms and declared us to be His beloved adopted children.
In our baptism we receive faith. In our baptism we are welcomed into the community of faith. In our baptism we are given all that we need to cling to Christ and resist the devil. In our baptism we are given eternal life. Don't neglect this wonderful gift from God to you.
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