Suprising answer from my Mom

My wife and I were out to dinner last evening with my Mom to celebrate her 74th birthday. If she read this blog it would be the 64th.

We had a very nice dinner and a nice time discussing all matter of topics, mostly family related. My Mom is not a religious person and hasn’t been in church, other than for weddings or funerals, for over 40 years. She and my Father (now with the Lord) were raised as Roman Catholics but really didn’t attend church regularly when they were young.

Anyway, we got onto the topic of baptism in discussing my cousin’s daughter, who just had a baby girl about a month ago. We were talking about where the baby might be baptised since the dad is a Lutheran and the mom is a Roman Catholic. We also mentioned another family member who is always proud to announce, when the subject comes up (every blue moon), that he has not been baptised and will not be, and that his kids weren’t going to be baptised if he had anything to do with it, either.

We discussed how an attitude like that is akin to spitting in God’s face and what a terrible thing that was for the children to be denied baptism.

So I figured I would take the opportunity to teach my Mom something about baptism and maybe get a good word or two in for Jesus.

I turned to my Mom and asked, “Do you know what baptism means, Mom?”

She said, without hesitation, “God makes you His child.” I wasn’t expecting that answer. I didn’t think that she had any idea what baptism was. I was quiet for a moment, stunned I guess, then I said, “that’s absolutely right, Mom…that’s exactly what it is.”

I always pray for my Mom and the other members of my family who do not as yet express too much interest in the things of God. But I have to say, I’m not as worried about my Mom as I used to be. I’m not worried at all. I believe that God adopted my Mom in her baptism, 74 years ago.

I will remind her, when I can, of the great things that God has done for her in her baptism… and she will remind me as well.

I know there are some that visit here, that do not view baptism in the same way that I do, or in the same way that the majority of the world’s Christians do…. and that’s ok. There was a time when I didn’t think a whole lot of it myself. But I have learned that God does the baptising in a baptism, and that Jesus commanded that we be baptised. I have since learned that God does not command us to do anything where He will not actually be present in it. Even though I have learned all this fairly recently, it is still good to be reminded of it as often as possible …even by those whom you would least expect.

27 Responses

  1. Those who object to baptism – especially infant baptism – always end up mounting a defense of ‘free will’ – the last bastion of the old Adam and Eve. The very fact they object to the sheer graciousness of baptism betrays their dogged adherence to the law….and the primacy of the uninterrupted self.

    I’ll baptize anyone, anywhere, any time…and spit in the devil’s face!

  2. “I’ll baptize anyone, anywhere, any time…and spit in the devil’s face!”

    That is one of the reasons that Pat and I drive 40 minutes past dozens of churches to worship at LCM.

    “….and the primacy of the uninterrupted self.”

    That describes the old Adam better than anything I’ve ever heard.

    Thanks very much, Pastor!

  3. God bless your mom.
    BTW. I made it all the way back to Tooele, and not without the help of a guardian angel. How I avoided hitting those two police cars parked in the middle of an Icy road at the bottom of the hill, and missed the on coming traffic I am still not sure. Generally I like police but sometimes you have to wonder….

  4. Bror,

    Gald you made it back alright. Somebody up there likes you (or doesn’t want to see your mug just yet).

    If anything had happened, you’d have the comfort of knowing that you belong to Christ Jesus…that He made you His own in your baptism!

    Even pastors need to hear it!

    Talk to you soon, Bror!

  5. God bless your mom, that’s GREAT Gospel!

    Amen pastor Anderson, AMEN!


  6. “How I avoided hitting those two police cars parked in the middle of an Icy road at the bottom of the hill, and missed the on coming traffic I am still not sure.”

    Everybody S L O W down. (I remembered to pray for your driving today as we were all over the place, too.)

  7. Brigitte,

    I hope you are doing ok. You are in my prayers.

    – Steve

  8. Thanks very much, Larry.

    Thanks for the encouragement.

  9. “I’ll baptize anyone, anywhere, any time…and spit in the devil’s face!”

    Martin Luther would be proud! 😉

  10. “Pour out your Holy Spirit, so that those who are here baptized may be given new life. Wash away the sin of all those who are cleansed by this water and bring them forth as inheritors of your glorious kingdom.

    To you be given praise and honor and worship through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.”

    — Luther’s Small Catechism (Service of Holy Baptism)

    Praying for you mother, Steve.

  11. Magdalene,

    Thanks so much. You are a gem!

    – Steve

  12. I had a similar thing happen with my mom a few months ago. I can’t remember what she said, but I remember that I took a deep breath and said a quick prayer before I reminded her of our baptisms. I was ready for her to gloss over my comment and still leave me wondering if she still counted herself as an adopted child of God. Then she told me that she was back in church and had repented of falling away for a (long) season.

    Praise the Lord.

  13. Steve,
    It is interesting that after so many years of occasional church attendance – a fact that would cause many to write her off – your mom was able to make such a clear confession of baptism. It may not be all that can be said about baptism and she may not have the deepest understanding of what Christ brings in baptism but don’t you think she must find some comfort in baptism?

    “A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, until he sends forth judgment unto victory.” Matthew 12:20

  14. Pastor Mark,
    Given what is preached in so many churches, and that if you here something often enough you tend to start believing it, perhaps God used her sparse church attendance to preserve her faith.
    Going to church in and of itself is not necessarily good for your spiritual life. If you are being fed a diet of false doctrine it is actually better to stay home and watch football.

    (Brigitte, thanks for your prayers, I am sure they helped. We had a bad storm blow through Northern Utah yesterday as I was driving. I topped out at 30 miles an hour. Most of it I was doing maybe 20. But I came up over that hill and saw the lights flashing half way down the hill. I started pumping the breaks, and doing all I could to stop before I hit them. But ice has a way of keeping you going down hill. I squeezed by them at 10 miles an hour.)

  15. Steve, we must always keep our eyes and ears open. We sometimes assume we’re the ones bringing the good news and yet God’s already been there ahead of us. Thank God for your mother’s understanding. May her heart be continually turned toward our Savior. Blessings.

  16. Well said! Bravo!



  17. Bror,

    I totally agree. A well-scored touchdown can be far more edifying than a half-baked sermon!

  18. Ivy,

    “We sometimes assume we’re the ones bringing the good news and yet God’s already been there ahead of us. ”

    Isn’t that the truth! What a gracious, loving Father we have in Christ Jesus!

    Thanks Ivy!

  19. Raggedy Lamb,

    That is wonderful about your Mother returning to worship! Just wonderful! Thanks be to God!

    Thanks for such encouraging news and a reminder not to give up on any of our friends, family, or anyone with whom w have regular contact.

    Praying for them and reminders of baptism and comforting them when we can , as we can, with the gospel.

    Thanks R.L.!

    – Steve

  20. Pastor Mark,

    ” It may not be all that can be said about baptism and she may not have the deepest understanding of what Christ brings in baptism but don’t you think she must find some comfort in baptism?”

    Absolutely. That is just what I think is going on. Baptism is giving to her just what God wanted it to. Comfort… that He is for her.

    Thanks you, Pastor.

    – Steve

  21. But to be honest I don’t watch foot ball. It holds no temptation for me. Just never have cared for the sport, too much Rugby in Botswana as a kid.

  22. Rugby in Botswana? That would be a good book title.

    There’s another idea for you!

    I used to be a football guy, still enjoy the college game, but the pros lost me a long time ago.

    I hear tell there’s some sort of game coming up wherein many churches are cancelling or setting up different worship schedules so their congregations can have the day (Sunday) to enjoy the game with their friends and families. Worshipping the Lord is alright, but you can do that anytime…right?
    Also, what a great message to children!

  23. Remember that only God can discern the heart. The rest of us have to guess – and get it wrong half the time. Those who are married know whereof I speak.

  24. James,

    Point well taken.

    I guess that’s why we keep the Word in front of ourselves and others (as much as possible) and trust that the Lord will do what He will do.

    You might be a bit generous with “half the time.” !

    Thanks James.

    – Steve

  25. I’m not a fan of the baby dip and spritz but I am for taking the plunge. My dad did it last year-glad the old folks are following us.

  26. “I’m not a fan of the baby dip and spritz ”
    And why not Milly? If God can make you his child in baptism why can’t he make your child his child in baptism?
    The whole point of this is Baptism is Gospel through and through with no requirements of us but that we be sinners in need of it. You can always tell a sinner, they are susceptible to death. If they can die, they need baptism. It is an inoculation to death of sorts. It inoculates you to death, by killing you, and burying you with Christ, so that you can be raised with him to new life.

  27. Milly,

    Once one is able to shift their understanding of baptism from ‘something that ‘WE DO’ to an understanding that it is something ‘GOD DOES’, then the mode of baptism becomes less of an issue.

    The symbolism of being totally dunked is great, and i’m not against that per se, bit although the water is a component of baptism, it is God’s Word attached to the water that gives baptism it’s promise from God.

    So, any amount of water will do.

    We Lutherans actuall love to baptise babies (we’ll baptise anyone of course) because it is a great picture of how God puts His grace ahead of our faith. There is no better way to illustrate that than by the baptism of a clueless infant.

    I was baptised as an infant (and I’m still clueless!) and God’s promises are just as valid today as when I was baptised 52 years ago.

    Thanks Milly!

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