Today’s Reading: Romans 6:3-11
Daily Lectionary: Judges 13:1-25; Galatians 2:1-21
We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. (Romans 6:6)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Guilt is potent stuff. We drag it around behind us. We attach it to others. We let a singular event define us. The accident, the mistake, the divorce, the incident. The sin. Everywhere we go it follows us. It’s on our minds. It’s on everyone else’s. We can’t seem to go anywhere without being known as that guy. Or we might be her. . . you know the one.
It’s like that one little moment owns us. More people understand what it’s like to be a slave to sin than you’d think. As hard as you struggle against it, as much as you want to put it behind you, it owns you, it holds you captive.
It’s like we come to church to set it down. Hear about the love of God, about forgiveness. Lay that sin on Jesus. Hear Absolution. Then, when church is over, pick it up again on our way out the door. How many times does someone have to confess the same sin over and over before they’re finally forgiven? How many times before you can look at yourself in the mirror? How many times before you can look at your neighbor as anything other than undeserving of any good thing for their sin?
The singular event that defines you is not your sin. It is your Baptism. You are baptized. Tied to a real Cross where Jesus suffered and died to forgive the sins that have such power over you. Tied to a real resurrection where you are free from those sins. Today, you are baptized. You have this identity today. That means there is actual salvation, not IF you manage to accomplish something yourself, but BECAUSE Christ has given you this gift. Your identity is not “sinner.” You are a child of God. Be free from your past. That past was crucified with Christ. You really are forgiven. He bled and died for you. You’re baptized and united to forgiveness. He is risen from the dead, and you are united to that freedom from the sin that’s really gone. You are baptized. Reckon yourselves forgiven. Dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. When you can’t forget your sin, remember your Baptism. Remember who you really are. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
In Baptism we now put on Christ—Our shame is fully covered With all that He once sacrificed And freely for us suffered. For here the flood of His own blood Now makes us holy, right, and good Before our heav’nly Father. (“All Christians Who Have Been Baptized” LSB 596, st.4)
Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Duane Bamsch