Bayern, USA, Deutschland

Monday, June 16, 2008

Father's Day +1

The best thing my father (and my mother) did for me was to get me baptized six weeks or so after I was born. I don't remember the event. I have a little picture from that day and my Baptism certificate that I have framed. I know who my God-parents are. On that day I received three fathers: my natural father, my God-father, and my heavenly Father. What a blessing, especially in a time in our society where fatherhood seems to be maligned by certain groups with an ax to grind.

Dr. Nagel once mentioned in a sermon that we are "chrismed, Christed, and christened". What a short, simple, and powerful declaration. Chrism is the act of putting oil on the forehead of the soon-to-be-baptized individual. Christening is another way of saying "Baptism". Both references to holy Baptism bracket Christ. He is in the middle and in our midst. I have pondered on this image and have realized how talented a wordsmith Dr. Nagel has been over the years. His words tell us that it's all about Christ and what He has done for us: the Sacrament of Baptism brings us to Christ and gives us forgiveness of sins, salvation, and eternal life. Christ is the centerpiece in God's salvation history and the means of grace point us to Him alone.

Luther mentions in his Large Catechism that it is the father's duty to bring his children to Christ by getting them baptized, teaching them the holy Scriptures, and the Small Catechism. Such an important responsibility God has given to human fathers. I am blessed and proud that my father did all this and much more for me and my siblings!

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