you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were
baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by
baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the
glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” ~ Romans 6:3-4
Lenten Midweek focus this year is “Baptized We Live” – a reminder
that, at the core of our identity as Lutheran Christians, is the sacrament
that defines whose we are. In Holy Baptism, God claims us as God’s
own. With just a little bit of water and a few words, God’s love goes from
being some nebulous “out there” concept to being something we can touch.
That touch is what we carry with us and it helps ground us in our identity
as God’s people.
that identity are promises that we have made to God. More importantly,
though, within those promises is the reminder that they are responses to
God’s love and commitment to us. One of the promises we make is to hear the
word of God and share in the Lord’s Supper, and the expectation is that we
do these things as part of a faith community. So how do we live into that
promise in a time when we are being encouraged to self-isolate due to the
first part, hearing the word of God, is relatively easy. Make a time to
gather as a family – in person if that’s an option, and via phone call or
video chat if you’re unable to be in the same room – and read from the
Bible to each other. Whether it’s the assigned readings for the week or a
favorite Biblical story, set aside time (each day, if possible) to spend
with God’s word and then pray for each other.
in the Lord’s Supper is a bit trickier, but the principle is the same. As
best you can, gather for a meal – even via video chat. Take time to pray
before eating. As you enjoy your meal, remember the story of Jesus sharing
a meal with his friends and also the ways that God is present in your life
and communicates with you. Pray after your meal, giving thanks that
we are connected to each other through Jesus wherever we are.
this season as you do what is necessary to take care of yourself and the
people around you, it can be especially difficult to be away from our faith
community. But my invitation to you is to remember your baptism. Every time
you touch water, remember the touch of God’s love that you received.
Remember, also, the ways it connects you to our faith community, even in
the times that we aren’t able to all be together.