Baptism



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“In Holy Baptism, our gracious heavenly Father liberates us from sin and death by joining us to the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are born children of a fallen humanity; in the waters of Baptism we are reborn children of God and inheritors of eternal life.  By water and the Holy Spirit we are made members of the Church which is the body of Christ.  As we live with him and his people, we grow in faith, love, and obedience to the will of God.”  ~ Lutheran Baptismal Liturgy


“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”  ~ Mark 10:14


THE GIFT


In his final instructions to followers Jesus commanded them “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” [Matt 28:19].  Along with the command to baptize, Jesus also gave a life-changing promise: “I am with you always.” [Matt 28:20].


When we are touched by the waters of baptism, God immediately begins keeping that promise, and we are never the same. Forevermore the God we meet in Jesus will share every adventure, every disaster, and every joy that comes our way.  Never will we be abandoned or forsaken.

 

OUR RESPONSE


When children are baptized, they become members of a community of faith. As parents and sponsors, you are part of the “inner circle” of this faith community and your commitment to their spiritual lives is critically important. Many parents present their children for baptism during the first months of life.  Lutheran Christians like this tradition because it reminds us that God is the principle actor in Holy Baptism. Our relationship to God is not based on knowledge or understanding but on the gracious will of God to include us in God’s holy family.


At Peace, there are also parents who present their children for Baptism at a later age.  This often coincides with the timethat families begin to worship together.  During the rite of Holy Baptism, parents and sponsors of those children promise:

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  • To live with them among God’s faithful people,
  • To bring them to the word of God and the holy supper,
  • To teach them the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed, and the Ten Commandments,
  • To place in their hands the holy scriptures,
  • To nurture them in faith and prayer, so that they may learn to trust God, proclaim Christ in word and deed, care for others and the world God made, and work for justice and peace.

As partners with parents, we help families prepare to receive the Sacrament of Baptism in several ways.

  • The pastor meets with parents and candidates in their home prior to the baptism for conversation and study, using the Bible, the parents’ life experience, and other resources for discussion.
  • Parents who are new to the Christian faith, or who are newly returning to worship life after a period away, are invited to explore and affirm their own walk with Christ.  This process may lead to baptism or affirmation of baptism for the adults as well as the children.


STORIED WATERS


Each of our lives is shaped by some story. To be baptized is to be plunged into the Biblical story of God’s unfolding plan for redeeming the world.  This grand story, begun at creation, reaches its zenith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Baptized into Christ, our personal stories become forever linked with his, and the waters of a life of faith begin to flow and fill every aspect of our lives. [1]  Christians all over the world practice baptism as a sign of the new life that God gives us in Jesus and as a symbol of unity between all who bear the name Christian.

 

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT BAPTISM, PLEASE CONTACT PASTOR ERIK

“See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called the children of God!

And that is what we are!”

~ 1 John 3:1




[1] Dan Erlander, Let the Children Come.