On Sunday, August 14th, at Fort Carson, Colorado (Colorado Springs area), I had the privilege of baptizing my newest grandchild, Zyon Mykael. Born on July 10th to my son Andrew (pictured) and his wife Tyler, little Zyon is now “Home” in the family of God.
This baptism took place in the exact same spot where a year earlier, I baptized Zyon’s sister, Carsyn. It is a privilege to apply water and speak the Word in this way. It is a privilege to serve the Savior as he claims precious souls as his own through this Means of Grace.
The world scoffs at this. How can something so very unimpressive and unspectacular – something so “normal” as a bowl of water – be a “washing through which God graciously forgives our sin and grants us rebirth and a new life through the Holy Spirit”? (From Luther’s Small Catechism, Baptism 3rd)
It’s the Word. God’s Word is powerful. God’s Word saves. God’s Word (“in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”) along with the water ushers a child into the presence of the Almighty.
Luther continues: Where is this written? St. Paul says in Titus, chapter 3, “God saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying.”
Honestly, there was another splash of water that late afternoon. A few tears of joy fell from my eyes and from my wife Heidi’s eyes as well. We remember Andrew’s baptism vividly. It happened nearly 26 years ago in a hotel room in Baton Rouge, LA, on the day we picked him up from the adoption agency. Through water and the Word, God claimed Andrew as his own. And now the Lord is claiming the next generation.
Thank you, Lord, for your mercy and grace!
Pastor Stephen Luchterhand