You were but a little babe when the water was sprinkled on your head and you were baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. You don’t remember that day. But we do. We dressed you in finest white and hoped you wouldn’t cry when the water dropped onto your forehead. You didn’t. But we did. Inside, we cried in thanksgiving for joy, and for grace to be able to properly lead you, guide you, and teach you. You were such a tiny, helpless creature lying there in our arms. How could we ever fulfill this calling alone? Really, we were no less helpless than you. It’s true. Baptism seals and confirms to us that both we and you are adopted children of God. We held a wonder in our arms. And wonder of wonders, he holds you and us in his.
You didn’t know anything about the water being dropped on your forehead. Maybe you didn’t even notice. That doesn’t matter. It was without our knowledge, and much less without our help, that God cleansed and justified us in Jesus Christ from all eternity. We didn’t even know we were sinners. We didn’t know evil from good. We weren’t born yet. But God knew us. He knew us in Christ before time began. He knew our Redeemer would suffer and die and rise again to save us from all our sins. That was the real baptism. And we were there—in Christ. It didn’t matter at all that we knew nothing of it until now. It was all his work alone, as only an eternal covenant of grace can ever be.
So now we have things to do, too. Not for salvation; that’s finished. But we have praise and thanksgiving to live and to sing, truths to better understand and to learn, and spiritual battles to be fought and won. Were we baptized for nothing? Oh no! In baptism God separated us out from the world to live as dear children of his very own. Our calling is to increase and grow up in the Lord Jesus Christ. Just as a plant must be watered and weeds pulled away, so too must we tend to this spiritual growth inside you. But just as we can’t really make a seed grow, so too must the Holy Spirit cause this growth to happen in you and in us. That’s his work alone, too, by grace.
We know not every child who receives the sign of baptism is saved. The picture doesn’t cause what’s real. But the picture surely shows us what is! And salvation is real for all God’s elect children by grace. As real as the water you see.
We pray for grace for you, and for us. We pray for wisdom, patience, and power, for strength to do what the Lord has called us to. We pray in thanksgiving that our God and Father has forgiven us and you all our sins and received us to be members of his only begotten Son, to eternally praise and magnify the one only true God forever. Oh truly, we give thanks for these things! And we thank him for giving you to us, too.
He saved us. It’s all of grace. An eternal covenant of grace. That’s what baptism is all about.
In love, in thanks, in our Lord Jesus Christ,
and all those who witnessed that day