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March 13, 2012

Day 21: Baptism

by Rev. A. J. Iovine

Baptism is the universal sacrament. It gives entry to the kingdom of Christ. And whom does our Father not want in the kingdom of His Son? Our heavenly Father has placed no barriers of age or status upon the gift of baptism. If age would be a barrier for baptism, what would keep us from applying other barriers to those seeking the gift of baptism? If age puts a limit on baptism, what would keep us from applying other limits? Of course, our Lord does not place limits of age on the sacrament of baptism. He says, “Go, baptize all nations.” Who exactly would that command leave out? Who could not be included in the designation “all nations?” Whom has our Lord forbidden us to baptize? But if age limits baptism, wouldn’t it be conceivable that other barriers, such as social status, just as easily prevent those who are otherwise eligible to be baptized? While it might seem unlikely to us, the early church struggled with precisely these questions…

Baptism sets us into the one who is the way, the truth, and the life. This is who we are because we are in Him, not because we follow a prescribed pattern of life. Baptism gives us Christ and places us in Him, and provides resources in whatever station of life we may find ourselves; whether we be single, married, young, old, male or female. We are adorned with Christ and His righteousness. We are kept holy in the chastity of marriage. We are maintained in the righteousness of Christ in the single life. Baptism does it all.

Written by Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray, Pastor at Memorial Lutheran Church, Houston, Texas, and vice-president of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. The above is taken from his morning devotional email.

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