Messiah Lutheran Church 6201 W Patterson Av
Chicago IL 60634

January 2013

A New Beginning for the New Year!

An old Nike commercial, featuring Michael Jordan, illustrates the concept of not giving up in spite of our past failures.

Jordan says, " I missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost about 300 games. 26 times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed."

Not that we set out to fail. But when we do fail, because of God's grace through Christ, we can be assured of a new beginning. Our baptism reminds us that in Christ, we are given a new beginning, whenever we happen to fail. We have a chance to do things over again.

Our baptism reminds us of the new identity we have been given as one who has been baptised into Christ's death and resurrection. As Luther writes in the Small Catechism, Baptism ".. signifies that the Old Adam in us should, by daily contrition and repentance, be drowned and die with all sins and evil lusts and, again, a new man daily come forth and arise, who shall live before God in righteousness and purity forever."

For St. Paul writes in Romans chapter 6, "We are buried with Christ by Baptism into death, that, like as He was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."

In the Lutheran Church it's been a tradition to have an 8 sided, or in English, octagonal shaped baptism font. The 8 sided font, not just standing for the 8 people who were saved in the ark, Noah, along with his wife, his three sons and their wives. But also 8 standing for a new creation, whereas the old creation took 7 days.

And so, our baptism reminds us that in Christ, we are given a new beginning, whenever we happen to fail. That we have a chance to do things over again, as we as individuals and as a church daily claim the promises of God's Word concerning our baptism into Christ and live up to our identity as His forgiven Saints.

We can even become new and improved in our walk with God, as we learn from the lessons of past mistakes. May we see this New Year, 2013 both as a church and in our individual lives, as an opportunity for further growth and maturity in our walk with God!

Your Servant,

Pastor Wendt

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