Joined to Christ in baptism
As we celebrate Jesus' birth while waiting for his Second Coming during Epiphany, my devotion for today is based on Matthew 28:19, "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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
This week I have talked about John's baptizing and Jesus' Baptism. Neither of these baptisms is a direct equivalent to the Baptism through which we entered God's Church. John's Baptism was one of repentance. Jesus' Baptism fulfilled the law. Christian Baptism, on the other hand, is, as the verses for today point out, instituted by Jesus himself.
Christian Baptism is a baptism of salvation, for it is an act of election by God, marking the time we are taken out of the world and brought into a relationship with God. That is why Saint Paul can say in Romans 6:3-5, "Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried, therefore with him by Baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his."
Please pray with me: Lord, thank you for bringing me into your kingdom through my Baptism. You, who laid your hands upon the children as you blessed them, have laid your hands on me, blessing me in my Baptism. Thank you for the beautiful gift of baptism. In your blessed name, I pray. Amen.