Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church - Marshfield, WI

Lent 2021 - Holy Baptism (Anderson)

March 18 – Pastor Anderson

What is your identity? We sinful humans are prone to find our identities in a lot of flimsy, worthless things. Some find identity in their great piles of wealth. Some find identity in their popularity or group of friends. Some find identity in their work. If you meet somebody new, one of the first questions you will ask them is: “So, what do you do?” Work is identity, especially for many in rural Wisconsin.

            However, the Scriptures argue that your identity is not found in you at all. Your identity is not based in anything you have done or anything that you are. It’s not about who you are…it’s about whose you are. “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). Your identity is this: I am a baptized child of God. Your life, your worth, your value is all connected to the washing of renewal and rebirth in the Holy Spirit. Baptism gives you an identity where you previously had none.

            Even more amazing is the fact that you don’t have to craft your own identity. It is a gift of God to you. Baptism is not a work that you do for God. It is not a profession of your faith or your commitment to live as a Christian. Baptism is God declaring war on the devil and claiming you as His own child. His work gives you identity. When the devil screams in your face that you’re not good enough and you are deserving of hell because you are a nobody, you can reply, “I am baptized into Christ. I have been crucified and raised with Christ Jesus. That’s who I am and nothing you can do or say will change that, Satan.”

            What an amazing gift this identity is. However, an identity is not a past event, but a present reality. It is not that you were baptized in the past and now it doesn’t matter anymore. No! You are baptized. So, live out your Baptism and its implications in your life. Put away the sinful nature, which was drowned in the waters. Turn away from habitual sins, which were crucified with Christ. Walk in newness of life like the child of God that you are.

            Above all else, always remember your Baptism. In most Christian congregations, newly baptized people receive a candle to remind themselves that they walk in the light of Christ. If you aren’t in the habit of lighting that candle every year on your baptismal anniversary, go ahead and start doing so. Celebrate it like you celebrate your birthday. Embrace your identity and wear it proudly in a world that struggles with identity issues. You know whose you are, so declare it loudly: I am baptized into Christ.

March 19
Read Mark 10

March 20 & 21
Read Sunday’s Lectionary Readings and attend Divine Service

Jeremiah 31:31-34
Psalm 119:9-16
Hebrews 5:1-10
Mark 10:32-45
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