Imagine that on the day you were born, something incredible happened. A long-forgotten relative invested $1 million in a trust fund reserved in your name. When you turned twenty-one, this account had grown in value to more than $7 million! But life wasn’t so kind to you or your parents. They divorced nastily when you were a child, and they never told you about the trust fund. You spent your life struggling, just trying to get by with no idea how rich you were. If this were real, wouldn’t that be tragic?
Well, for most of us, something incredible did happen shortly after we were born. We were baptized and given spiritual riches beyond what we could imagine. We were joined to Christ and made citizens of heaven. We became children of God and heirs of his kingdom. All the treasures of heaven became ours!
At its core, Baptism is a work of God, a very real work that moves a person from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God. It’s not a magic trick; it’s all about God’s work in our lives. On the very first Easter Sunday, Jesus commissioned his apostles to go and make disciples of all nations and to baptize people in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). On the cross, he had defeated sin, and now he wanted to share that victory with everyone who would come to faith and accept Baptism. He wanted us to experience and be transformed by all the blessings he had won for us.
Let’s Go to the “Bank.” The fact that many of us were baptized as infants shows how incredible this gift of God is. No infant could ever understand, let alone deserve, what God did on the day of their baptism—but that didn’t stop him from giving this gift to us.
But Baptism, in order to impact our lives, needs an ongoing response from us. We all know that a person can be baptized and yet not be changed by all that God has given them in Christ. In fact, we ourselves can sometimes be unaware of how rich Baptism has made us! This is especially sad because all we have to do is go to “the bank” to withdraw the funds that God has established in our name. In other words, all we have to do is respond to the Lord each day, draw close to him in prayer and the sacraments, and let his word in Scripture shape our hearts.
So as you pray through the front section articles during this Easter season, remember St. Paul’s promise that “in baptism, . . . you were also raised with [Christ]” (Colossians 2:12). You are a new creation! You can experience the power of the resurrection to help you live a new life in Christ.
All of us here at The Word Among Us wish you a blessed Easter and a joyful Pentecost. And may our baptism into Christ, coupled with our faith and love for the Lord, continue to change our hearts so that together we can change the world!