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Posts Tagged ‘Martin Luther’

Recently I asked the congregation to remember their baptism throughout the week. I told them how the Protestant Reformer, Martin Luther, used to trace the sign of the cross on his forehead and remind himself, “I am a baptized person.” Doing so assured him of God’s presence and grace in every situation. I asked the congregation to try that all week and see what difference it made.
I had done a similar exercise in another congregation. People reported that this practice provided great comfort in some very difficult circumstances. Others said that it reminded them to live up to the standards of behaviour and speech that they cherished for themselves.
I suppose some thought it was foolish to do this. Or, maybe they were nervous about what it would mean to recall that God had claimed their lives long before they had any choice in the matter (since most were baptized as infants). At some level, people are aware that acknowledging the lordship of Jesus in their lives will challenge many of the commitments and practices that they are embracing.
It reminds me of something William Willimon wrote about baptism — that, often, we don’t accord baptism much importance in our liturgical practice or in our day-to-day living. To do so would require transformation. It is too dangerous.

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