Baptism: a Thought

When we baptize in my church, the priest finishes the baptismal ceremony by saying to the one baptized that he is “sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked as Christ’s forever.” Every time I hear this, I’m dumbstruck. The fact that we dare to utter such words is incredible. Jesus has irreversibly claimed you as his own, rescuing you from the realm of sin and death, and nothing will ever separate you from his love. This good news is beyond my capacity to comprehend! I am a child of God. How can this possibly be?

The Gospel is literally unbelievable. The idea that the Son of God would become a man, die on a cross, and rise from the dead for the purpose of making his enemies into fellow heirs of his perfect kingdom is too grand, too beautiful for our limited human minds to accept. I cannot believe something so wonderful. Only by God’s grace can we receive this good news, and even then, so much of it must be lost on us. He has given us the ability to hear, but how much have we yet to hear?

I wonder this whenever I find myself struck anew by God’s wondrous story, as I was today when we celebrated baptism in church. I think that this must be what life in the Kingdom is like: each day we see the grace, the love, the glory of our God as if for the first time, for his grace, love, and glory are infinite, inexhaustible, unfathomable. We will never run out of new reasons to be in awe of our God.

Thank God for the gift of baptism, that by water and the Holy Spirit he makes us into his children, so that we may serve him forever. And thank God that he is so gracious as to reveal himself to us, giving us the privilege of rejoicing in his holiness, his power, his wisdom, and his love, even though we can scarcely begin to comprehend his greatness.

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