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Pastor's Blog
Posted on June 23, 2017 8:56 AM by Church Office
Categories: Editorials
Do you remember your baptism?  Probably not if you were an infant.  Therefore, your parents had to “re-member” your baptism for you.  They know who baptized you, where and most likely when (probably have some old photos) you were baptized.
If you don’t remember being brought to the “baptismal font,” it doesn’t matter.  You were introduced to a nurturing congregation.  A Minister of the Word and Sacraments received you from your parents.  After your parents made a covenant with God to “rear you in the nurture and admonitions of the Lord” and after a congregation promised to teach you the Christian faith, that Minister prayed over the “baptismal water”  expressing thanksgiving for God’s covenant faithfulness, praising God for the faithfulness of Jesus Christ’s reconciling act of atonement, and invoking the Holy Spirit to attend and empower your Baptism, make the water a water of redemption and rebirth, equip the congregation for its faithfulness in the covenant with God, and lead you to your “affirmation of faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.”
Then your parents provided the Minister with your given name; and the Minister baptized you after saying: “Jasper Newton, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”  The sacred water was taken from the font and applied to your head.  The Minister then declared: “Jasper Newton of the Keith family is now a member of the holy, apostolic, catholic Church of Jesus Christ, and his name will be added to the baptized member roll of this congregation.  The Clerk of the Session will s record this action in the minutes of this congregation.”
The sacrament of Baptism is the sign and seal of incorporation into Christ.  “In Baptism, we participate in Jesus’ death and resurrection.  We die to what separates us from God and are raised in newness of life in Christ.  Baptism points us back to the grace of God expressed in Jesus Christ, who died for us and who was resurrected for us.  Baptism points us forward to that same Christ who will fulfill God’s purpose in God’s promised future [BO: W-2.3002].”
“…Baptism is the sign and symbol of inclusion in God’s grace and covenant with the Church.  As an identifying mark, Baptism signifies the faithfulness of God, the washing away of sin, rebirth, putting on the fresh garment of Christ, being sealed by God’s Spirit, adoption into the covenant family of the Church, and resurrection and illumination in Christ [BO: W-2.3004].”
The text for the coming Lord’s Day is Romans 6:1-11, and the sermon title is “Given Our Identity.”  Hope to see you in worship!  Additionally, following worship on June 25, it looks as if we may have as many as 115 persons sharing a luncheon in Fellowship Hall (bar-b-que pork and chicken, pork & beans, green beans, slaw and trimmings).  May a good time be had by each and all!
Blessings and peace with my joy and gratitude,
 
Jap
 
 
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