Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Bethany Bullet - January 15, 2013

The assigned reading from the Old Testament for the Baptism of our Lord is from Isaiah 43.  There are times in which the prophet’s role was to declare to the people who God is: Holy & Righteous, Almighty & Judge of all.  There are other times in which the prophet’s role was to remind the people who they were.  This is especially true in times of sorrow, loss, grief, or fear when one needs to hear they are loved, that they belong.  Isaiah calls to mind the journey through “water and river” that proclaim who Israel is.  

While we’ve not gone through the Red Sea or the Jordan, we have gone through the water - the river called Baptism.  Though we’ve gone through the water, like our forefather’s we know what it is to wander and wonder.  We’ve experienced sorrow and loss, grief and fear and we too need to hear that we are loved and that we belong.  The water’s of Baptism crash loudly with such affirmation and in its wake the prophet reminds us who we, the Baptized children of God, are.

Through the waters we come to know that we’ve been chosen BY Him. True it was our parents, or as a result of our own action that we came to the Baptism fount.  Yet, in Baptism it was God who was acting. He, through His Word and Spirit, also made the join to the fount and at it HE did the real declaring; just as He did at Jesus’ Baptism. He declared us to be His beloved child with whom He was pleased. In Baptism we know we are chosen by God in Christ

Though slaves to sin, captive to death and the devil, and prone to wander from the shepherd of our soul we are never-the-less precious TO Him.  He created us and formed us.  From the foundation of the earth He loved us and in our mother’s wombs He knit us together.  Then in the waters of Baptism through which we pass He re-created us as He forgave what the fall had left in its wake. He reformed us as His new creation drowning that which had distorted His original creation.  Through the waters it’s been proven that we are precious to God in Christ

Though we ought to have been left adrift in guilt our God would bring us back safely to His side of the shore, so to speak. Such action would come at a price and with a cost.  In exchange for our lives He gave His own, the life of Christ given in exchange for ours as a people redeemed THROUGH Him.  Our misery became Jesus’ and His mercy and merit became ours through the waters for we have been redeemed through God in Christ.  

Having come through the waters we exit no longer just Kevin, or Karen, or Justin, or Mary Ann (insert your name here) when we passed through the water we were given a new name: CHRISTIAN for through the water we’ve been named FOR Him

So when all seems against you, when the news is fraught with doom and dread remember who you are Baptized child of God!  You are one who has been chosen by Him, because you are precious to Him and redeemed through you and named for Him. 
-Pastor Kevin Kritzer


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