Raining Down Blessings
“In those days, Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.” (Mark 1:9)
The subject of water has been arising in conversations. Some of those conversations have been sweet —speaking of the enjoyment of fishing, swimming or time spent in the hot tub. Some of those conversations have been bitter — speaking of the power of local flash floods and of Hurricane Florence.
It’s amazing that in our modem day we can command a supply of fresh water by the turn of a valve. Yet, we cannot control it when it falls from the sky or jumps the river bank. Water is precious to us, yet it can be deadly (ex. “Always wear your life jacket when you’re on the lake!”).
As one reads the Old Testament, one finds that water was no different for them. In an arid climate, one could not livelong without water. Water meant life then as much as it means lifetoday. Wells were fought over and protected. Agreements were forged by wells and boundarieswere set. Water was important and was not to be taken for granted. Water was life.
Water played a role in blessing and a role in judgment. We remember the world being judged by a flood and Noah and his family being blessed and preserved in an ark while otherswere judged. Later, God chose Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egyptian slavery through the Red Sea. To the children of Israel,
water meant the blessing of life and freedom.
To the armed hordes of Egyptians pursuing the children of Israel, water was the vehicle of judgment marking their defeat and death. Is it any wonder that God has used this very common thing in the beginning of our following Jesus? Baptism is the working out of God’s judgement on our sinful nature signifying the
drowning of the old sinful self. It’s also a mark of God’s blessing as we rise from the water cleansed, filled with God’s Spirit and marked by the Cross of Christ, being given the full identity as a child of God.
When we baptize our children, we make promises before God and before one another that we teach our children the significance of following Christ. As a good
example to our kids, we dedicate ourselves to always immerse ourselves in God’s Word that we might know what being a child of God is all about — needing to be washed in the waters of God’s forgiveness and experiencing the joy of being saved out of the death of sin to stand in the joy of God’s salvation through Jesus facing my punishment and death on the cross.
We recognize this entire experience as we’re washed in the waters of baptism. God cleanses my soul of the disease that no other washing could remove. I am free to receive His grace and His Spirit.
This is life and death stuff. So, keep our children in your prayers as they learn and grow into what this means. Pray for our confirmation students and everyone who teaches. And join in the Adult opportunities to study the Bible. And if you as a follower of Christ have never been baptized, it’s time we do something about that!
Remember God’s work on your behalf the next time you grab a glass of water.
Keep and live the faith!
-Pr. Dave Dahl
December 18, 2018
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