April 13, 2020
Easter means new life for us as it first meant new life for Christ. His resurrection reshapes the entire focus and motivation for our lives since we are now hidden with the risen Christ in God.
1If you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, 3for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.
From Sundays and Seasons, Resurrection of Our Lord
New Life. That’s what we are calling ourselves – St. Matthew New Life Lutheran Church. We started this practice before we even left the spaces in the Merrill Road building. We started the practice to remind ourselves that God in Christ is always about new life.
Easter is the premier celebration of our new life in Christ and our baptism is the sign and seal. In this passage from Colossians, the second lesson assigned for Easter Sunday in year A of the lectionary, we are reminded of that truth. Our baptism is the visible sign and seal of God’s promise that we are joined with Christ forever- to his life, death and resurrection. We die to sin, live with minds set on things that are above, and trust in the promise of eternal life in his presence.
During the weeks of the Easter season, we begin our worship with Thanksgiving for Baptism. Part of that liturgy states very simply: By water and your Word you claim us as daughters and sons, making us heirs of your promise and servants of all. This is the great good news of the gospel – that Jesus not only died for us but that he instituted that means of grace whereby we are joined to him forever.
Let us celebrate our new life together as his holy Church and as St. Matthew New Life Lutheran Church.
Let us pray.
Merciful God, we thank you that you have made us your own by water and the Word in baptism. You have called us to yourself, enlightened us with the gifts of your Spirit, and nourished us in the community of faith. Uphold us and all your servants in the gifts and promises of baptism, and unite the hearts of all whom you have brought to new birth. We ask this in the name of Christ.