He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ… (Ephesians 1:5a, NRSV)
In some Christian traditions, the season of Lent has a distinct “baptismal” emphasis, an emphasis rooted in the early church’s practice of preparing new converts to be baptized at the first service of Easter. For those prospective converts, the season was spent learning the stories of the faith and probing the mystery of Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection. Since I was baptized as a young child at around four months of age, I did not go through a similar process before baptism, but I have been instructed in what Scripture says about Christ and our relationship with him, and I’ll admit that I sometimes have difficulty wrapping my head around it all. When that happens, though, I find great comfort in the knowledge that my relationship with God is not dependent on my understanding, but on God’s gift of grace poured out on me in Christ. Brothers and sisters, we were destined for adoption, and that is good news in this season marked by introspection and examination. God’s love is enough to make us God’s beloved children. Thanks be to God!
Holy God, in the waters of baptism you claim us as daughters and sons and gather us into one beloved community. Grant us grace, so that we might trust in your promise and not in our own understanding, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
– Pastor Andrew Chavanak, St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church (20th & Towle)