Baptism is Mission
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”Mt 28:19-20
In our Baptism we are given a command, “go and make disciples.” It seems odd that at the same moment we are welcomed into the Kingdom of God we are sent out to share our gift with others. When the water and the Word touch us they deliver God’s mission. We are to “observe” what He commands, and he commands that we “go and make disciples.”
We are well versed in the personal benefits of forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life. How much thought do we give to what responsibility comes with these benefits? A gift always engenders a response; any gift. A husband gives his wife a shopping spree. What does she do? She gladly heads off to the shops to put his gift to use. She could ignore his generosity and say no thanks. She might wait for the right moment and forget about the present. But the odds seem best to assume she will schedule a day and fulfill the intention of the gift.
So what is God’s intention to wash us and welcome us? Simply to send us. His mission is to extend His Kingdom of righteousness to all nations. His hope is to number the baptized equal to the stars in the sky. And His means is to make us, the baptized, grace filled ambassadors of reconciliation to extend His Kingdom from your baptism to the nations.
In calling us out of darkness and into His marvelous light, God equips us with faith, spiritual gifts, and a command to go. And He promises that we are not alone. Jesus says in Matthew 28, “And I will be with you always.” This promise is fulfilled when the Holy Spirit is gifted to us in the water and promise of baptism. Wherever we go, whomever we speak with, whatever we do, is done with the presence of God guiding us to fulfill His purpose.
Luther says that baptism is God’s daily washing away our sin. I’d like you to consider that baptism is also God’s daily sending you, a redeemed and forgiven person, to share His gift of love with others. This is how God fulfills His mission.
Questions for Reflection:
- How does your behavior, your public life, reflect God’s baptism to others?
- What about you makes others want to hear what you have to say? What makes them skeptical?