Baptism Letter: Sept. 22nd
Dear Baptized Ones,
On Sunday, we will join together to celebrate the baptism of Genesis Blackman with her parents Chris and Kelsey as part of our worship in Joel 1:13-20. In this passage, Joel calls for us to use various means of grace (lamentation, fasting, prayer, and worship) to cry out to the Lord in repentance. In fuller revelation of Jesus Christ, Genesis’ baptism will call for us to remember and grow in our Abba Father’s loving response in Christ to our lament over our sin and separation from Him. Genesis’ baptism will also call her in the future to respond to the drawing of the Holy Spirit to repent of her sin and respond in faith alone by Christ alone through God’s grace alone. On that day, she will have the opportunity to rejoice in the reality of her sin past, present, and future being put to death with Christ and she being raised to newness of life in His resurrection as signified in her baptism. This is the fruit of her baptism that we hope for, pray for, disciple her toward, and support her parents in as we have opportunity. This is the fruit of our repentance that we will celebrate together on Sunday! John Calvin’s prayer in his exposition of Joel 1 in his Commentary on Joel, Amos, Obadiah proves worthy of our reflection as we prepare for Genesis’ baptism:
Grant, Almighty God, that as thou invite us daily by various means to repentance, and continue also to urge us, because thou sees our extreme tardiness, — O grant that we may at length be awakened from our indifference, and suffer us not to be inebriated by the charms of Satan and the world; but by thy Spirit rouse us to real groaning, that, being ashamed of ourselves, we may flee to thy mercy, and doubt not but that thou wilt be propitious to us, provided with a sincere heart we call on thee, and seek that reconciliation which thou daily offerest to us by thy Gospel in the name of thy only begotten Son. Amen.