Study: Recall a moment when you “died” to something sinful. Who or what gave you strength?
Pray: Thank the Lord for the precious gift of your life – and count your blessings!
Serve: How can you offer some of your time or talent to help another face life and death issues?
Living on the shores of Lake Superior, I am blessed with an abundance of water in my life. Here in northern Wisconsin – with our countless clean, freshwater lakes – it is easy to take for granted this precious resource.
Yet consider these two elements of Water:
- Life giving
- Death dealing
Water is essential for human life. Approximately 55-60% of our bodies are composed of water, and this crucial substance is always present wherever people are living and thriving. What’s more, all life on our planet requires water – it simply is invaluable for existence.
Yet a surplus of water can lead to destruction. A flood may literally wash away everything in its path with power that cannot be overcome. Too much water and life drowns, unable to find the proper balance to survive.
This sense of life and death that we discover about water is not only true for life; it is also apparent when we discuss spiritual life. In baptism we use water to reveal both of these aspects:
- New life through a configuration to Jesus Christ
- Death to sin through Christ’s death on a Cross
Through baptism, we are joined to the death and resurrection of Jesus. Freed from sin by the Lord’s sacrifice on the Cross, we are raised up to newness of life in this world as we prepare to be united to the Lord forever in heaven.
The Baptism of the Lord by John the Baptist reminds us that our experience of God draws on our relationship with the Lord. His life becomes our life; his death frees us from our death. Configuring our lives to Jesus through our baptism, we not only become his disciples – we open our hearts to receive his grace.
May we call upon that grace as we face the challenges and blessings of life today. Trusting in Christ, we engage our lives for service as we follow his example of life and death.