Pastor’s Message July 2019

SUMMER HAS ARRIVED!!!!  I believe we can say we’ve all had enough rain.  You turn on the weather and it’s another day of rain and possibly thunderstorms.  We’ve seen the devastation from the tornadoes, and floods that the rain has caused.   I’m struck by the power of water.  Water is necessary for life and when we don’t have enough life suffers.  Water has the power to give life and also has the power to destroy life. We’ve seen the devastation that’s occurred in the Midwest from the tornadoes and flood waters.  We’ve also seen the devastation that’s been occurring in Oswego with the rising waters.  Many farmers are having trouble getting their planting all done.  

Watching the news and seeing the water surround so many places reminds me of the water that gives us life.  The water that flows from God through Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit: The waters of baptism; These waters have both destructive and life-giving powers.  Paul tells us in Romans 6:3-11 (NIV) 3“don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.  For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,[a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Paul is telling us when we go through the waters of baptism, we experience a death and a renewal of life.  The moment we go under the water we die of our broken sinful selves and we arise with a new life in Jesus Christ.  From the moment the Word of God’s promises combined with the waters touch our brow, we’re drowned in them, die, and live by the Spirit of the living Jesus Christ.  The waters of baptism destroy our brokenness, our captivity, the power of evil, chaos, suffering to sin and death.

At the same time the waters of baptism have the power to give us life.  As we go under the water it brings us into the gift and promise that we receive in Jesus Christ.  God’s love encircles us in such a way that it can’t be removed.  We live each moment of every day as one of God’s beloved children, carried by His unlimited grace. In baptism we received the same life to which Jesus was raised; life without end; life that is stronger than sin and death, life that promises an end to suffering and pain; life that no evil, experience, thought, word, or action, can take away.  We find this difficult to wrap around in our minds because exactly how it works is a mystery of God.  Yet, there is a death and there is life in the same act, in the same waters, brought about by the power of God’s Living Word, Jesus Christ.  In these waters we find the promise of God.  By God’s action through these waters we know God’s Love Never Fails, His forgiveness is stronger than our sins, His life makes a way through death and His unwavering presence is with us with always.  He has promise to Never Leave nor Forsake us!

When you see the water around, as the rain continues to fall, as you see the devastation, the destruction, and the life-giving power of the water, remember the powerful waters of baptism which God’s promises become a reality for you and are renewed for you every moment of every day in your life.  

God Bless You, Keep Praying and Studying God’s Word.  Invite others to attend church with you.

In His Service,

Pastor Doug