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Psalm 47

 
Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy! For the LORD, the Most High, is to be feared, a great king over all the earth. He subdued peoples under us, and nations under our feet. He chose our heritage for us, the pride of Jacob whom he loves.
 
God has gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm!
 
God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne. The princes of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham. For the shields of the earth belong to God; he is highly exalted! 
(ESV)
Baptismal Walk
Anselm of Canterbury, Theologian
21 April 2016
Easter is the season of the new life. Through baptism we share with Christ in His new life (Rm 6:1-11). Since baptism gives us the life of Christ, it also gives along with Him all things for our salvation, as Scripture itself teaches. If we truly meditated on the blessings granted to us through baptism there would be enough to study in that contemplation for a whole lifetime. Baptism alone is so full of God's gracious activity that we can never fully comprehend its benefits because of the sinful timidity of the human heart.
 
How easy it is for our weak consciences to doubt the graciousness of God in baptism. We are like the person who, although afraid of heights, ventures to cross a rope bridge spanning a deep gorge. When he reaches the unsteady center of the bridge his eyes plunge to the rocks below, and he needs to be encouraged to look only ahead. How easily we look to places other than God's promises to us in baptism. The fear of death rivets us. A thousand doubts can attack at once so that we no longer believe that baptism spans the world's rocky gorge from death to life. Let us every day learn the promise of baptism. It puts us into Christ and He is our way across. However, it is always a walk by faith, not by sight.

 

Martin Luther

"Every Christian has enough in baptism to learn and to do all his life. For he has always enough to do by believing firmly what baptism promises and brings: victory over death and the devil (Rm 6:3-6), forgiveness of sin (Acts 2:38), God's grace (Tit 3:5-6), the entire Christ, and the Holy Spirit with His gifts (1Co 6:11). In short, baptism is so far beyond us that if timid nature could realize this, it might well doubt whether it could be true. Think about it. Imagine there were a doctor somewhere who understood the art of saving people from death or, even though they died, could restore them quickly to life so that they would afterward live forever. Oh, how the world would pour in money like snow and rain. No one could find access to him because of the throng of the rich! But here in baptism there is freely brought to everyone's door such a treasure and medicine that it utterly destroys death and preserves all people alive.
 
"We must think this way about baptism and make it profitable for ourselves. So when our sins and conscience oppress us, we strengthen ourselves and take comfort and say, 'Nevertheless, I am baptized. And if I am baptized, it is promised to me that I shall be saved and have eternal life, both in soul and body.' For that is the reason why these two things are done in baptism: the body-which can grasp nothing but the water-is sprinkled and, in addition, the Word is spoken for the soul to grasp. Now, since both, the water and the Word, make one baptism, therefore, body and soul must be saved and live forever (1Co 15:53). The soul lives through the Word, which it believes, but the body lives because it is united with the soul and also holds on to baptism as it is able to grasp it. We have, therefore, no greater jewel in body and soul. For by baptism we are made holy and are saved (1Co 6:11). No other kind of life, no other work upon earth, can do this."

Martin Luther,  Large Catechism, 4.41-46
 
Prayer
Merciful God, be gracious to me. I am sinful and deserve nothing but Your condemnation. Yet, regardless of my past life, I know for sure that I am baptized and made a Christian for the forgiveness of sins. I know without doubt that my Lord Christ was born, suffered, died, and rose for me. He gave His body and blood for the nourishment of the soul and the strengthening of faith. Therefore I am absolved and free in the name and the power of Christ. Amen
 
For David Rakotonorina in Madagascar, that he and his people would be upheld in their holy faith
 
For the candidates waiting for the placement services on our seminary campuses, that their heavenly Father would be with them as they take up His call to feed the sheep of the flock
 
For Diva Pilli who is suffering from congestive heart failure, that God the Lord would send His holy angels to guard her
 
For those travelling to the meeting of the Council of Presidents, that they might arrive safely and prepared to do the work of the Lord Jesus
Art: RUBENS, Peter Paul  The Resurrection of Christ (1611-12)

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