by Richelle Hecker
Washing the Innocent.
You can listen to today’s devotion by clicking on this SoundCloud link.
Today we are baptizing my 3 month old son into the body of Christ. Some might proclaim that an infant is too young to be baptized, after all what can a newborn have done wrong? We question whether an infant needs to have its sins washed away. Also, we question how a baptism this young could have any worth if the baby has no understanding of what is happening.
I look at this picture of my son taking a bath, with those huge innocent eyes smiling up at me, and wonder how such a perfect being could possibly be considered imperfect in any way. At the same time I know from evidence of my own life, and from watching my other children grow up, that we are all capable of sin no matter how innocent we seem at the beginning. It is in our nature, and without the power of the Holy Spirit there are situations we would navigate poorly. Even with the Holy Spirit guiding us we make choices against God’s will that harm us and others. We are sinful beings, born into a sinful world, no matter how innocent we look.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus”
Romans 3:23-24 New International Version
Baptism isn’t a sacrament that simply keeps us out of Hell, it helps us to navigate the hardships of life. In regards to why we baptize infants, Pastor Karen Bates Olson aptly put it this way, “We want them to get what God gives in the sacrament of baptism and get it as soon as they can…not because hell is hot but because life is so often cold, cold to the bone cold…lonely, isolating, full of judgments and pain.”
Christ paid the price for our sin and saved us from death. Baptism is His gift to us that helps us live this life. Through baptism we receive the gift of His Holy Spirit…not through anything we do, but because of what He does. Because of this gift, I know that God will always be with my son to help him, whether I am there or not.
Copyright Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, CO