Most of us have a regular routine we go through most mornings to start our day. We get up, take a shower, get dressed; and we are ready to take on the day. If you skip any of these it can spell embarrassment or disaster. Then we eat breakfast and grab that cup of coffee. God describes Baptism in similar terms.
Wake Up! “Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 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.” (Romans 6:3-4) When people are sound asleep, we might say they are “dead to the world.” They are oblivious to anything going on around them until their alarm startles them awake. So also, we “were dead in trespasses and sins.” (Ephesians 2:1) Through Baptism, we were aroused from spiritual death by being buried with Christ into His death and then raised with Him, ready to start a new life. Every morning when you wake up, thank God that He has awakened you not only from slumber, but also from the sleep of spiritual death to live your day with Him.
Wash Up! “Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins.” (Acts 22:16) We take a shower because we want to start the day clean. People are usually turned off by us if we are dirty and smelly. Your Baptism has washed you clean from the much more putrid stench of your sin. Your sins are not only a turn-off to God, they absolutely bar you from His presence and blessing. Baptism has the power to “wash away your sins” because it does connect you to Christ’s death and resurrection. As you stand in the shower washing off the sweat and grime of life, offer a prayer of thanks that God has washed you clean in the blood of Christ and made you fit to live in His presence.
Get Dressed! “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Galatians 3:27) If you don’t get dressed after your shower, your day isn’t going to go very well. You will be barred from any public place and could even wind up in jail. We get dressed so that we are presentable to others. More important than that, we need to be properly dressed to live in God’s presence. Recall what happened in Jesus’ parable to the man who tried to get into the king’s wedding feast without a wedding garment. It is not enough to be cleansed from all our sins, we need to be clothed with the robes of righteousness which Christ gives us in Baptism. We put on Christ! His perfect righteousness covers our nakedness. When you get dressed in the morning, praise the Lord for clothing you with Christ.
This not only enables us to come before God and to be a guest at His eternal wedding feast, it also is for the sake of the people around us, our family and friends, our coworkers, neighbors and acquaintances. Let them see Christ whenever they are around you. You are clothed in His righteousness—show it in everything you do and say.
Our Baptism makes us ready for the day, every day. Oh, and don’t forget breakfast and coffee. It is the most important meal of the day, you know. Similarly, your soul needs the nourishment and boost that can only come from the Word of God. Now you are ready for the day! Praise the Lord!
David Reim is pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Vernon, British Columbia.