Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Holy Baptism, the singular symbol of Renewal and continuous Regeneration
v4,5 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
Each day is God’s day. Each moment is God’s moment. By now a sub-microscopic virus has possibly taught us many lessons, especially; we all have realized the limitations of science, technology and human capabilities. Yet, the greater truth is that life is not limited to the flesh and the material. There is the realm of the spirit as St. Paul rightly says, “We are the temple of the living God.” 1 Corinthians 3:16. Our Lord has taught us that, “which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the spirit is spirit.” John 3:6. The Holy Sacrament of Baptism as an infant (in addition to other things), affirms this truth that we were born into the flesh, due to the will of God, into the family of faith. Our parents first affirmed this, that it is God who decided that we be born. The primacy is for the will of God. We were in the mind of God even before we were born. The Sacrament of Baptism symbolizes the foundational truth that we are God’s children. This Holy Sacrament is a lifelong process. It starts at our infancy in the sacrament of Baptism, with the affirmation by our parents that we were born of ‘His grace,’ not as an accident or human choice. This affirmation is appropriated to us when we accept the Holy Communion at the age of understanding.
The Holy Baptism is a continuous process of renewal and regeneration, involving a dying to our sins and living to the resurrection of life. It is an immersion into the death of Christ for a rebirth to “walk in the newness of life.” (Romans 6: 4). There is a death-death to sin and a rebirth- birth in the newness of life, this is a conscious act. Each day we reaffirm, each moment in our life is a reaffirmation of our life in God. As stated earlier ‘each day is God’s day and each moment is God’s moment.’ There is no act we do or life for us apart from God. This is the grace of salvation in and through Jesus Christ. Let us reaffirm this today that God is the centerpiece of our lives.
Gracious Father, thank You for Your love in Jesus Christ that enables us to remain in the orbit of Your love even when we are falling short of Your standard for us and enabling us through Your grace to rise and shine in newness of life.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Let us be freed from the vicious cycle of sin and its resultant guilt and frigidity to emerge into a new life in Jesus Christ, each moment, to grow in relationship with our loving God for an abundant life.
Rev. Kurien George (retd), Edakulam, Kerala
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church