Last month, I wrote to you about the Lutheran emphasis on community service ministry, sharing my joyous experiences with the Fulton County Social Service Committee. After the fact, it occurred to me that that article would be a great kickoff to Trinity’s celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, a celebration that will be at its peak around October 31 (the date on which Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on a church door in Wittenberg, Germany in 1517). My newsletter articles for you in the coming months will each explore a different highlight of our great Lutheran tradition.
This month, I emphasize here God’s great gift to us of Holy Baptism. Now, many of you have probably discovered by now that I talk about Baptism a lot in my sermons, and that is because Baptism is one of the most important things God has given us. We are baptized once--washed once with water and God’s Word--but the effects of Baptism last a lifetime, as we are given forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation through this sacrament.
Baptism is a gift God freely gives us, without any work or particular worthiness of our own, and if you have ever received a truly wonderful gift, you know how difficult it is to ever thank the giver enough for such a gift. Thus, each day of our lives is an exercise in saying “Thank you” to God for the gift of Holy Baptism as we die each day to sin and rise again to new life in Christ (Romans 6:4 & Luther’s Small Catechism).
Here are some ways that you can say “Thank You” to God for your baptism:
So, as our celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation gets into high gear over the coming months, let us all daily thank God for the gift of Holy Baptism that unites Jesus’ followers in God’s care--no matter the denomination of Christianity to which we belong.
Pastor Micah Garnett has been our Pastor since July 2016. He grew up in York, PA and graduated from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg in 2011. He enjoys worship, working with social services in Fulton County, writing hymns, and cycling.