Baptism - A New Life in Christ
Colossians 3: 1-11
"Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth".Vs.2.
Paul exhorts the Colossian Church to live a holy Christian life. This can be possible through acquiring heavenly wisdom. As far as church members are concerned, understanding and abiding in the depth of the word of God and meaningful participation in the sacraments are important. It helps them to grow in the wisdom from above. The church celebrates the sacraments as the means of grace. Sacraments help us to receive God's blessings and inspire the recipients to remain faithful and lead a committed Christian life.
Through Baptism, one of the dominical sacraments, we identify with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Every image and metaphor used in the baptism liturgy and the symbolic actions in all the sacraments are profoundly meaningful. The modes of immersion, pouring and sprinkling etc depict various aspects of baptism. The spiritual meaning of baptism is that we have turned from the old life of sin to a new life in Christ.
"But now you must get rid of all such things -anger, wrath ...; and abusive language from the mouth; You have stripped off the old self with it's practices and have clothed with the new self" - Verse 9-10
Baptism is the process of incorporating a person or child into the body of Christ, which is the church. The baptized becomes a new person in Christ. If we do not understand and accept the spiritual meaning of the sacrament, it will become a mere ritual. The main emphasis and purpose of baptism is seen in Matthew 28: 19-20. "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you." Here the emphasis in Baptism is a call for discipleship. Discipleship is possible through new birth and Resurrection.
God, our Father, thank you for the greatest act in history: the death, burial and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Help us to lead a renewed life in Christ. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
"The more you read the Bible, the more your life will be transformed."
Rev. Mathew B, St. James MTC, NY