Read: Acts 2:14a, 36-47
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
The Fire That Comes Through Water
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
When there’s a fire, how do you put it out? Depending on the kind of fire, you probably pour some water on it. Fire and water don’t usually get along. Once you pour water on fire, the flame goes out. Water is used in baptism. But in baptism, the waters of baptism ignite the fire of faith! In baptism, God puts his name on us and gives us the best blessings that he has to give: the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. God gives us a new identity as his children—children of the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Perhaps you noticed that we started our devotion with these words, “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Maybe your church service starts with the same these words. Do you know why? It’s a regular reminder of our own baptisms, that we are children of God.
Peter spoke of baptism in our Bible reading. It was almost two months after Easter on the day of Pentecost when Peter spoke the words of our lesson today. He shared some pretty tough words with the large crowd gathered there. He told them that it was because of their sins that Jesus died. He even went so far as to say, “You crucified Jesus, the Messiah.” Ouch. The truth hurt. They realized that they were guilty of sinning against God. So they asked, “What should we do?”
Peter pointed them to baptism. Why? Because in baptism we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. You see, when we are baptized, we personally receive the forgiveness that Jesus won for us on the cross. It is in baptism that the Holy Spirit creates faith in our hearts, and faith holds on to the gift of forgiveness like you hold onto a new present you are given Christmas morning. It’s like the Holy Spirit is lighting a fire with water!
If you have one of those days when you are feeling guilty, remember your baptism. If you aren’t sure whether or not God loves you because it seems like everything is going wrong, remember your baptism. If you’re worried, scared, or overwhelmed, remember your baptism. God made you his child in the waters of baptism and has opened heaven’s doors for you. Baptism is God’s gift to you! And this gift is yours—in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Dear Triune God, we thank you for the blessing of baptism. Help us to always remember our baptism knowing that in you we are forgiven and we are your children now and forever. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- What do the words “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” remind us of?
- What day were you baptized? Do you or your parents have any pictures of your baptism day? Ask your parents about that day.
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- What is the gift of the Holy Spirit?
- Think of a time when you were feeling guilty about something. What comfort do you have from your baptism?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- Can infants have faith? (See Acts 2:39 for help.) Why is it helpful for you to know that?
- In this devotion, we were encouraged to “remember our baptism.” What are some ways that you can remember your baptism if you don’t actually remember being baptized?
Hymn: CW 160:2 – This Joyful Eastertide
Death’s flood has lost its chill
Since Jesus crossed the river;
Lover of souls, from ill
My passing soul deliver.
Had Christ, who once was slain,
Not burst His three-day prison,
Our faith had been in vain;
But now has Christ arisen, arisen, arisen;
But now has Christ arisen!