A good book can take you anywhere, or so many posters claim. To a certain extent of course, the posters are absolutely true. Books can take you back in time to eras long past or forward into an idea of what the future may be like. Books can immerse you in the culture of a civilization you’ll never actually visit. Yet is reading a book really as good as traveling yourself? Is reading a book really as good at relating what life was like 200 years ago as living it yourself? Some may disagree, but personal experience is usually a better teacher than book knowledge alone.
In Romans 6:4 the apostle Paul writes to us about something that is truly better to experience secondhand. He writes “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Through baptism every Christian can rightly claim that they have died and been raised from the dead. In Christ it’s as good as if you were laid in that tomb on Good Friday. In Christ it’s as good as if you rose from the dead on the third day. By the faith and forgiveness granted to you in the sacraments and through the living and active word of God, you have conquered death in every way that matters. Death may lay claim to your body for a short time, but your soul along with the souls of all who are baptized and believe will rest with Jesus. Every Christian has died to sin and been raised in the newness of life.
This wonderful gift of baptism is meant to wash away worry and fling fear to the farthest corners of the earth. Paul encourages you to look back on your baptism and remember the great things which the Holy Spirit granted to you: faith in God, forgiveness of sins, and everlasting life.
In Christ, Pastor Naumann