Discovering Spiritual Truths & Celebrating God's Grace in the Every Day Happenings of Life.
Yesterday morning, while walking past the sanctuary, something caught my eye. It was enough to pique my curiosity and stop me in my tracks. Where was the brightness coming from that flashed as I quickly shuffled past the big class windows? As I peered into the church, I noticed that our baptismal font was glowing. Not literally, of course. But the way the sun was pouring in through the stained-glass windows, it was hitting the marble font in such a way that the whole thing just radiated. I tried to capture it, but the picture doesn’t do it justice at all.
As I sat down in the pew to appreciate it, the words of our Old Testament reading for this Sunday came to mind. “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you…” (Isaiah 9:2-3)
The image of light and darkness is common throughout the scriptures; and in these words, the prophet Isaiah declares that although people have been stuck in darkness (without salvation), when the Lord appears He will bring light (salvation) to all who trust in Him. The Lord is promising a joyful, new life to all who trust in Him. He is promising to remove them from the fear and scary shadows of darkness, where there is so much that is hidden and so much that is unknown. In its place, the Lord assures us that there will be joy. This is the very same promise we receive in baptism as well. In fact, we can point to our baptism as the very moment where God removes the darkness and places His light within us. It is more than appropriate then, that in this picture, we see the font just below the cross. The beauty and benefits of baptism flow from the sacrifice of the cross. It all starts with Jesus. Because of everything Jesus has done for us, on the cross and in the empty tomb, we know that we have joyful, new, and eternal life to look forward to. On the cross Jesus wins and finishes God's redemptive plan; and, in our baptism, He delivers all the blessings of that redemption to us. Just as water cleanses our bodies, so the waters of baptism cleanses our souls. Baptism is the means by which we are brought out of the darkness and deadness of the grave, and re-created into the light and life of being a beloved child of our Heavenly Father. The slums of sin and the druthers of death are drowned. At the font of, we are brought into the Lord’s most glorious light; we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ. God is light, and in Him there's no darkness at all. In other words, when God shows up for us in our baptism, He pours out His grace into our lives and all darkness in us is scattered. (cf. 1 John 1:5) Goodbye shadows and sin, hello new creation!
So today, give thanks for your baptism. Lord Jesus, thank You for Your gift of life through Baptism. This day and always, drown out the sin in my life and raise me up to live with You in joy and peace. Amen.
Pastor Steve Vera