Do you remember your baptism? Most of you who are reading this were probably baptized as an infant or young child, like I was. If that’s the case, it’s understandable that you would have little, if any, recollection of being joined to Christ in the life-giving waters of baptism.
But that’s not what I’m really asking. Perhaps a better way to phrase the question is, “Do you remember that you are baptized?” The receiving of this sacrament is a one-time act, but we live out our baptism each and every day for the rest of our lives, until our baptism is complete in death.
Martin Luther said that all of life is a “continual dying to sin and a daily rising up again to live with God.” And when he was assailed by doubt or overcome by despair, he was known to stand up, face down the devil that he believed to be tormenting him, and yell, “I am baptized!” Not “I was baptized,” but “I am baptized!”
Our oldest grandchild was just a toddler when she had her first overnight with us. At bedtime, we read a story and prayed with her. Then, making the sign of the cross on Christine’s forehead, I repeated the words proclaimed at her baptism: “Christine, child of God, you have been sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever.” It wasn’t long before she was helping her Grandpa and me remember our baptisms, too, tracing the sign of the cross on our foreheads and echoing the words of promise.
We need to remember that we are baptized so that whatever comes our way in life, we can point to our baptisms as evidence that we are God’s beloved – now and forever.
We give you thanks, O God, for claiming us in the life-giving waters of baptism by uniting us forever with your son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.