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Thursday, March 19, 2015

03182015 - Wednesday of Lent 4 - Blue Bead

Sermon Audio

March 18, 2015
One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism!

Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in and through the Water connected with Word in Holy Baptism, You lifted each of us up and cleansed us from our sin.  Remind us not of that which bound us, but of You Who set us free to be the people of God.  For Your promise in Holy Baptism with the pouring of Water and connected to the Word offer us life and salvation and entrance into Your Kingdom.  And this offer is made because of Your great love for each and every one of us.  AMEN.

In seminary, my fellow classmates had t-shirts made that contained a simple saying, “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism!”  Encapsulated in this saying, not only was a confession, but a belief in God.  Tonight we like my classmates encounter a bead that is a reminder of God’s epic promise to each and every one of us.  With the blue bead on the Salvation Bracelet, we can understand it stands for the promises from God to and for each of us in our Baptism.

When we were brought forward and the Water and Word of Holy Baptism were spoken and poured over our head, God made a promise to each of us of what He would do.  It was not a promise to take us to Disneyland, to go for an Ice Cream Cone at the Vault or Dairy Queen, or even to prevent us from ‘skinning our knee’ as we grew up.  God made the promise to offer us life and salvation through the simple yet profound connection of simple water, with the Word of God.

With our baptism in the font, like this one, or another or even in a river, pond or even cattle watering trough.  God made each of us the promise of eternal life and salvation that is connected with God’s Gift of Grace and Forgiveness found in Jesus Christ.  When we became wet, God sealed for each of us a reality that Jesus Christ fulfilled on the Cross of Calvary.  Jesus Christ Who came and lived among us, walked the landscape of Israel and Egypt, healed the sick, fed the poor and proclaimed release of the captives, is connected to each and every one of us here tonight.  Our connection is not just with a font, it is with our having the Cross made upon our brow on Ash Wednesday, sealed in the Blood of the Lamb of God that we receive in Holy Communion and even when we wear a simple Salvation Bracelet.

The bracelet we wear is the beacon of the promises of God that are fulfilled for each of us.  The Blue Bead that symbolizes both the Water and the Word in Holy Baptism are meant for us to be a reminder of what God has done and continues to do for each of us each and every day.  It is a reminder for each of us of our Holy Baptism and God’s promise for us.  It is a reminder of God’s willingness of His Son, Jesus Christ to become something for us.  Not just our friend but a bearer of our burden, our sin.

Tim Challies, wrote an article entitled “How to Become a Burden-Bearer for Others”.  In the article Tim states, “To be a burden-bearer is a great ministry.”  But for we who gather here tonight, this is a ministry we are unable to fulfill if left to our own devices.  Yet, God through our baptism has grafted us into and we become the burden that Jesus Christ carries and bears on the Cross of Calvary as the perfect sacrifice for each of us.  And when we wear our Salvation Bracelet, we point, not to ourselves, but to what Jesus Christ did on the Cross of Calvary for each and every one of us.

We point to Jesus Christ offer of life and salvation for each and every one of us.  We point to and remember how the Water intimately connected with the Word offer us eternal life, because of God’s great love for each and every one of us in Holy Baptism.  Tonight we gather to remember a simple blue bead as a reminder of God’s gift for each and every one of us in the font of the forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ for all of mankind.  And the blue bead in the salvation bracelet reminds us that our Holy Baptism is an offer by Jesus Christ not for a select few, but is for and includes each and every one of us gathered here at Emmanuel who remember our baptism through this simple blue bead.  And the offer of salvation for each and every one of us, because of His love for all of mankind, including each and every one of us who remember our baptism with the blue bead of the salvation bracelet.  AMEN.

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