By Water with the Word: Baptismal Meditations
During a decade of pastoral ministry at Trinity Reformed Church in Moscow, Idaho, I baptized dozens, mostly infant children of church members. I introduced each baptism with a brief meditation and exhortation that applied some part of the sermon text to baptism and to the person being baptized. Those meditations are all available on my blog, but I have assembled them here for readers’ convenience, organized canonically from Genesis to the Johannine epistles.
Given the pastoral origins of these meditations, it was inevitable that they would cover only a part of the Bible. (I was astonished to discover that none of these meditations is based on Genesis 1:2!) One can infer that during this period I preached a lot on 1-2 Kings, on Matthew, on Isaiah. It was also inevitable that they would be repetitive; I return to characteristic themes again and again, and there are several meditations each on Matthew 28, Romans 6, and some of the other usual suspects. I left the names of parents and children, and have indicated when they were performed.
Scripture contains a fair bit of teaching about what the church has come to call “sacraments.” More important, Scripture needs to be read “sacramentally” from beginning to end. Jesus taught His disciples that the whole of Scripture is about Him; and since He is the Head of a body and the Husband of a Bride, all of Scripture is also implicitly about the church; and since the church is marked out by its rituals of water and food – therefore, all of Scripture is about sacraments. Though this is far from a comprehensive biblical theology of baptism, I hope the cumulative effect of these musings will be to provide hints of how to see the rest of Scripture refracted through baptism.