Revelation 22 & John 17 May 8, 2016
Baby B., this sermon is for you. In just a few minutes, you will be washed with the water of baptism, the water of life that Jesus offers to you as a gift.
Now, I know that you are far too young to understand words. What I will say to you won’t make much sense right now. But I also know that you know your father’s voice, and especially your mother’s voice. Whether or not you understand their words, you understand the love that is behind them. The water of life is God’s way of speaking his love to you, and to all of us. God loves you tenderly and intimately, just like your mother.
Soon your life will be hidden in Christ. He will be the first thing in your life and the last thing, your beginning and your end. When you are older, this may seem like a bad deal, as though you were losing anything that would make you distinctly you. Nothing could be further from the truth. It means you will die, as we all must. But Jesus died too. So now, because you will die like Christ, you will also live like Christ. In baptism your robes will be washed, and you will have the right to eat from the tree of life. You will live forever with Christ.
This will not be easy. There are many things in life that will try to kill you—not your body, but the you that is you. You will have to face many temptations, setbacks, failures and losses. Ultimately, you will have to face death itself.
I hate to say these things to you, B., but I want you to be warned about what you’re getting yourself into. The world can be a sad and threatening place at times. But it can also be joyous, filled with light and laughter.
Remember this: Christ is now and always will be just around the corner to save you and take you in God’s loving arms. Pray always that he will come to you soon. Pray that he will come to all of us.
Remember this: we are always here for you. There is not an adult in this room who would not trade his or her life for yours. Our purpose in life is to take part in Christ’s work to save you and love you. Sometimes we need to be reminded of that. Don’t be afraid to remind us.
Remember this, B: Christ your Savior was born like you. He lived like you. He died like you. He did all of this for one reason: so that you would know the same love that he knew from God. As God loved him, so he loves you. And as Jesus loves you, so we love you, too. May the love of Christ be in you, and may it be in all of us too. Amen.+ + +