Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The Bethany Bullet Sermon Message - Week of January 13, 2019

Sermon: “Soak It In!”

Most of us are familiar with the phrase “Soak it in.”   The past few days we’ve had, and according to the weather channel over the next few days we will have more, occasion to say those words.  May our lawn “soak it in!”  After all, if the lawn and garden soak it in new growth, some deep green and certain beauty will come forth. 

Of course, living in a coastal desert climate we probably say those words more often figuratively than literally.  When used we are hoping, asking or even pleading for something to be absorbed either emotionally, physically or spiritually. 

Baptism’s impact, no longer how long ago your baptism was, brings daily opportunity to “soak it in.”

In Baptism, God granted you identity, amnesty, intimacy and a daily opportunity.

In our world it is pretty easy to have your name trashed or tarnished; or to do so to others. Spend any time on social media and you know that.  In Baptism, God not only calls you BY name (which is pretty great mind you); yet, far better than to have God announce that He knows me, Kevin, by name is to know He has pronounced me by my new name in baptism, His name, ChristianOne who BELONGS TO Christ and one who follows Christ.  In Baptism we’ve been given our truest identity.  Soak it in!

While we’ve been given such in Baptism, in those waters something else was taken away!  Our guilt, our sin…in Baptism the Lord who swept Pharaoh’s army away in the Red Sea has swept the stain of sin away from our lives. In Baptism God drown the foes of Satan and sin, guilt and the grave.  He gave us mercy and forgiveness and thus in Baptism we’ve been given amnesty … Soak it in!

Even as the planets population expands exponentially and social media and electronic communication connect us immediately, more and more people are feeling lonely, isolated, ostracized, unwanted and excluded.  Ever felt like that?  The ONLY One, who is really SOMEONE, cared enough to rend the heavens, speak over you and come to live inside you on the day you were baptized.  Through baptism, united to Christ, with God you have received intimacy.  SOAK it in!

In Baptism, the God who has given you identity, provided you amnesty, granted you intimacy, also presents you with a daily opportunity…to rise anew.  In his Small Catechism Luther talks about how the baptized life begins each morning by rising before the Lord to live in trust and service and contrition (which leads to drowning the old Adam/Eve daily)

Rainy days and rainy weeks are great occasions to remember that the greatest ‘greening’ we can long for, the greatest growth and beauty for which we can hope, begins as we daily rise and cling to the identity, amnesty and intimacy we’ve received in Baptism…Soak it in!
Pr. Kevin Kritzer


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