This Bible study help youths leaders walk youth through the incredibly meaningful liturgy of The Rite of Baptism used by The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.
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Tom DuBois, a Missouri-Synod Lutheran and world-renowned artist, wrote the following words describing his painting, “The Cloak” which portrays a beautiful, finger sucking newly baptized girl just wrapped in her new white baptismal robe.
When I first started going to Church regularly I was a tad annoyed when there was a Baptism at the beginning of the service. I thought: “Why should all of us have to sit through this? Isn’t this something the family should do privately with the pastor on a Saturday, and not interrupt the Divine Service for all of us on Sunday?
“Not another baptism! How long will church be today?”
How often have you had those thoughts when you opened the bulletin and saw the announcement that there would be yet another baptism? How impatient and rushed we are when it comes to receiving great and glorious gifts from our heavenly Father. Perhaps in our busyness we have failed to slow down and see the tremendous blessings that our Lord is granting his children in the sacrament of holy baptism. As Luther penned in his catechism hymn on holy baptism:
All that the moral eye beholds
Is water as we pour it.
Before the eye of faith unfolds
The pow’r of Jesus’ merit.
For here it sees the crimson flood
To all our ills brings healing;
The wonders of his precious blood
The love of God revealing,
Assuring his own pardon.
(To Jordan Came the Christ, our Lord, LW #223)
For this life-giving water “works forgiveness of sins, rescues from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare.”
Tom would, over time, come to more fully appreciate the lavish gifts given in holy baptism.
What an extraordinary honor to be present the moment the Word of God and the instrument of water washes this sin stained human being from the ancient sin that guarantees perpetual death into a new life a new perfect creation of everlasting life. I am troubled at the thought of the way I used to think. At last I realize how richly blessed I am to have such wonderful and faithful parents who have assured me of God’s grace in my baptism as an infant. Now when I attend early service and the announcement informs me that there will be a baptism at late service I will be there to live in this moment of grace and glory in a Christ-instituted and God-doing event.